An Uncircumcised Woman

In my community, one is considered a grown man after undergoing circumcision. If he then wishes to make a dozen ladies pregnant, no one will question him. Sure, some might judge his actions, but he isn’t deprived of the title ‘A man’. Now that’s for men. For females. Circumcision is a no-no. In fact, it is considered an abomination (insert a Nigerian accent) so what differentiates a lady from a woman? Some may say it’s her womanly features, others may say it’s the way she talks and reasons, others may say it’s her behavior, others it’s whether or not she’s married while for others it’s a matter of whether or not she has kids. In my community it goes deeper than that. Deep to the point of differentiating a circumcised and an uncircumcised woman.
Alice Wandia endlessly paced back and forth. She had lost count of the number of times she had counted the letters that made up the welcome sign that hang on the door. On she tapped her fingers against her hips in a rhythmic manner that could make certified beats. Those seated in the waiting room had their eyes fixated on her-but who could blame them? I mean, she was putting up a show. Even so, the attention she was drawing worried her less. A phone rang making her jump. There and then it hit her; she was over her head. Halt. Gazing at those who had been watching her, she let out a sigh and took a seat. Sanity finally dawned on her. Trying to avoid the stares, she busied herself by going through her phone. Well, more like staring at the calendar. The same calendar that stated it was a week to her 13 year anniversary with the husband she was waiting for outside the office of a marriage counsellor. God, why hadn’t anyone warned her before? What was taking her husband so long? Why had she agreed to let him walk in alone? Was the doctor a man or woman? If a woman, was she one of his side-dishes?
The absurdness of her thoughts was getting the best of her. So she took a deep breath and sat back letting her mind wander. Wander to what brought her comfort. To what had once made her feel as if she had found her personal Paris. To when she was happily married to the man of her dreams. To when she would have walked on fire just for him. When she couldn’t eat or sleep without him. A teardrop went down her face. Then the door went open as her man walked out. Towards her he walked. “You may go in,” he said. Alice wished she could ask what had transgressed but she couldn’t find the right words. Towards the room she walked. As soon as she stepped in, a sense of calmness and nervousness dawned on her. On turning, she came face to face with the counselor. He was a man! On his desk was a small board written Dr. L. Wambui. (Later she would come to learn that L stood for Lucas) Taking a seat, she focused on the vase that was placed next to the tag. Something about it fascinated her. Something more than the beauty of the flowers it held.

            “So Alice, tell me something about yourself,” went the counselor breaking her concentration
            “I’m a wife. I have 2 kids. Alice is my name. I’m in my late thirties. I work and I try to be there for my kids. And now I’m here,” she replied.
            (Laughing) “Of all those I’ve attended to since morning, you’re the first to make me laugh,” he replied with his response making her smile and loosen up. “Mind if we start again?” he asked.
            “I don’t mind. I’m Alice. A jovial soul. A lover of art and music. A mother of two boys. Describing myself will take ages so I’ll just cut to the chase. I’m a wife to the man who just walked out of this room. I’m here because I need your help-we both do,”
            (Impressed by her straight-forwardness)” Tell me more,”
            (Chuckling) You are a counselor. I’m here for counseling. I mean, a cow can’t go to the cattle-dip if it won’t go in the dip.” She said with a laugh. “Thing is, my marriage is on the edge,” she said with a tone of sadness. The sort that makes you sense the guilt and fear in someone.
            “Keep going. What’s wrong with your marriage?”
            “Ben married for the past 12 years and we are blessed with 2 sons. Everything has been great. Well, until a year ago. I guess things just fell apart like they did in Chinua Achebe’s book, Things Fall Apart. See, Eric and I were doing everything to keep the fire burning. From spending time together, to creating time for our kids, to being good parents, to shutting out the temptations that come with marriage and now to this- a marriage on the verge of sinking deeper than the titanic ship,”
            “For a woman who is as stressed as you are, you seem to have maintained your sense of humor,” he said seeming impressed. “What happened for your marriage to get here?”
            “Where do I start? (She asked in deep contemplation) It just happened. I started getting busy with work and everything. Without knowing it, the interest I once had for my man started fading. I really don’t know how things escalated. He noticed the change and gave me my space. I guess he assumed I was going through a phase- I thought so too,” she said as she got lost in her thoughts. As if she was calculating what had gone amiss.
            “In most cases it is usually a phase that lasts for a short while. What made you feel or get stuck in that situation?”
            “If I say it plainly will it make me less terrible than I already am?”
            “I’m here to help not judge. Please go ahead,”
            “There was always some hidden chemistry between Eric’s main man and I. Coincidentally, he had always hoped a miracle would happen-it did. We started snooping around and eventually started sleeping together. Biggest mistake of my life. I thought it would be a one-time thing but the thrill kept me going back. This prompted to me completely losing interest in my man. Eric and I started fighting. In my eyes he became less of a man. I started doing things on my own. See, I knew our marriage was on the edge but I didn’t have the time to save it. Anyway, one day Eric lost it. He came home pissed and sent the boys to their rooms. Noticing his mood I saw it best to ask what was wrong. Wrong move. He started questioning me. Questions I had answers to but just couldn’t answer. My silence accelerated his anger making him lose his cool. Hell broke loose. He started talking about my affair with his best friend, how it made him feel betrayed. How he had lost all trust in me. His regret of marrying me. The amount of disrespect he felt towards me. I thought it best to comfort him. You know, I thought my words still had some power over him. That worked out well (she said with a smirk on her face as she rolled her eyes) I don’t know what came over him for he just blurted out ‘I’m even glad I slept with that worthless friend of yours, Carol,” she narrated as she battled with the tears that were fighting to go down her cheeks.
            “Alice, let the tears fall. Express your pain. Get lost in it,”
            “I’m scared that I’ve lost my man forever. I still love him- I really do and I don’t want this to be the end but even so, I can’t fight for my marriage having lost all the respect I have for my man and knowing he feels the same. I get it, we both cheated, but it’s still not enough to make me lose him. I just want to know how I will save my marriage” she said almost choking on her tears.
            “In my village, a lady is considered a woman once she’s declared circumcised. Not the literal circumcision but by the way she talks, behaves, acts and communicates a lot. Marriage says a lot about a woman. Mainly says that she’s grown enough to keep a man and commit. But how a woman keeps a man is what determines if she’s circumcised or not. A woman who talks about what’s going on in her marriage to others, gossips about others, goes home drunk, neglects her kids, cheats on her husband and fails to respect or listen to her husband is considered an uncircumcised woman making her unworthy of the title a real woman. But a woman who knows her place and does the total opposite of all the above, now that’s a circumcised woman. When my grandfather first told me this, I was confused but with time, it came to make sense. Point is, how you get back from the mess in your marriage defines where you lie. True, you messed up but I can tell that you still love your man and he also loves you. People mess up all the time. I can’t fix your marriage for you but you can fix it. Your man is ready to do so. It’s all up-to you,”
            (Wiping the tears on her face she looked at the counselor) “I’m ready to fix things,”
            “You should be telling your husband that”
Alice rose from the chair and walked out of the room. The number of people in the waiting room had reduced. Slowly, she walked towards him as he stood up on seeing the tears in her eyes. In his arms she fell and he crossed them locking her in as she lay on his chest. God, she had missed him. Alice looked at Eric. Eric looked at Alice.
“I’m sorry,” Alice said as tears streaked down her face.
“I’m sorry Alice. I really am,” Went Eric.
            “I’m ready to talk and fix things,” she said with a smile on her face.
            “I love you. Let’s talk and fix things,” he said with a laugh as he held her hand.
As they turned towards the door to make their leave, it finally hit her. Hit her that the vase on the counselor’s desk fascinated her since it was similar to the one that was on the table her husband and she signed their marriage certificates on. Mother Nature really had her way of making things fall in place. A smile spread on Alice’s face. It was time. Time for her to be a circumcised woman.

Death Disguised As A Second Chance

Abel Kaikai. He silently sat in the room feeling tired of the number of times he had analyzed the pictures on the wall together with the invisible roach hideouts. Repeatedly he tapped the desk in front of him-who could blame him? Again, he gazed at the antique clock then turned to his watch as if the time indicated by the clock was inaccurate. It had only been 10 minutes. The door-knob turned. Adrenaline and anxiety surged through him. In the doctor walked with an envelope in his hand. “At least the hospital had the decency to wrap sad news,” he thought to himself. Placing the envelope on the desk, the doctor took his seat, crossed his hands and leaned back as if he was about to break news about the commencement of the third world war which he clearly had zero control of.
            “What’s your greatest fear?” the doctor asked
            “Dying poor,” Abel responded
            “Interesting. Abel (he paused) I’d love to give you good news but sadly, today just isn’t the day,”
            “Mind telling me what is wrong?”
            “You’re suffering from fatal familial insomnia and I’m afraid you only have about 10 months to live,
            “How is this possible?”
            “It appears you’ve already gone through the first stages of the illness. You're lucky not to have already developed dementia but it's still inevitable.”
Silence. The doctor’s words turned to mere lip movements. Abel rose from the chair, picked the envelope in front of him and walked out of the room without saying a word. Totally unaware of what was going on around him, he walked to his car, got in, ignited it and drove off towards the main road which was free of traffic. His phone rang- his girlfriend was calling. Today was her birthday Goddamn it he had forgotten! Confidently hitting the reject button, he focused on the road and branched onto a deserted route. Minimal distractions allow one to think, for Abel, he chose to recall how his now confirmed illness began.
One fateful night, his tired-self came home bushed with high expectations of how he’d quickly fall asleep. To his surprise, he ended up tossing and turning endlessly stressing over what he termed less important. Eventually he fell asleep, but little did he know this was just the beginning of such nights. Being the ignorant man he was, he dismissed the matter with the thought that maybe it was because he was exhausted. He even went ahead to console himself with that it was because of his girlfriend’s absence. The nights that followed were peaceful-as if nothing had happened. Well, not until two weeks later. Again, he couldn’t fall asleep. This time it was for a series of hours. Hours that made up a whole night allowing fatigue to torture him the following day. See, this time he decided to do something about it. By something I mean Googling ways to help him sleep. A single night turned to a week which eventually turned to weeks. It wasn’t that he hadn’t come to the realization that things were getting worse. It was just that attending to it seemed like a waste of time.

Maybe at this point he should have paid close attention to his health. Maybe he should have decided to consult a doctor. Instead, he chose to be the opportunist he was. The hours he couldn’t sleep, he buried himself in work. His mantra being, ‘Lack of sleep is my blessing.’ (People say the love for money is present in everyone, I think in Abel it would be termed as an obsession) Nights turned to hours characterized by lack of sleep. His girlfriend was getting concerned but as always, he paid zero attention to her. The sleeping pills he had earlier on popped lost their charm. His insomnia was now characterized by panic attacks especially while driving, his levels of paranoia increased as he also began to suffer from hallucinations. Hallucinations that rapidly intensified. This he had failed to notice till one morning. During a briefing, he burst out shouting, ‘No mother. You’re wrong.” The stares he got from his employees made him shamefully walk out of the room without offering any explanation. I mean, how could he offer an explanation to something he himself barely understood? Again, he chose not to pay much attention to his condition and self-persuaded himself with, ‘Everything was because of his exhaustion’. Not until he got into a fight with his girlfriend and she brought up the issue of him being sexually uninterested in her. That’s when it hit him that they had not been intimate for about two months and he was still disinterested. See, he had forgotten that lack of sleep has its consequences. Consequences that range from aging of the skin, gaining or losing of weight, impaired attention, fatigue, poor concentration and even reduction in one’s sex drive. Unfortunately, for him it had totally killed his sex drive. This had been his cue to go see a doctor.

A stop sign quickly brought his attention back to the road. Lucky enough, his car stopped only a few meters from the edge of a cliff. Out he got from the car taking with him the envelope. There is no sky like the African sky. As he leaned on his car staring at the clear sky, he wondered if God was watching. Was HE watching him go through Hell? He walked towards the hood of his car and sat on it. Gazed at the glorious breath-taking view that lay beyond the cliff. Streaks of sweat poured down his face; not because of the sun but because of the anxiety that was in him as he took out the sheet of paper that lay within the envelope. Funny enough, he even found himself wishing that the sheet of paper contained his HIV test results. At this point, he was very ready to lead his life as a HIV positive person instead of counting the days to his death. But the doctor had made no mistake.
Drugs, women and ego. These are the things he did his best not to let control him. As he repeatedly read through his medical report, everything on it screamed, If only you had known you were a ticking time bomb. His phone rang again, it was his girl and again, he hit the reject button saying to himself, ‘she is a pain.’ There and then it struck him. Struck him that he had control over the remaining phase of his life. Struck him that the first thing he needed to do was write a will and get rid of his nagging girlfriend. Opening his phone’s notepad, he began working on a to-do list of what he intended to do for the remaining months. It seemed satirical for him to be preparing for his death. I mean, he was a living dead man. When he was done, his focus went back to the sky. The sun was setting- just as he would be in a few months. With the sun set came a new dawn of hope. Relaxation is what he now felt. He was ready. Ready to live his remaining months to the fullest. Ready to leave this world in peace. Every inch of him found himself appreciating the beauty that lay in front of him.
What if he had done something earlier? What if he had chosen to pay more attention to his condition? What if he had chosen to be with a girl he actually loved? What if this- what if that? See, he did not have control over his past. However, he now had control over the few months he had left. Putting his phone back in his pocket, he walked back to his car. Ignited it. For some seconds, he wondered if he should drive off the cliff or if he should drive back home. The latter won and he slowly drove off starting his journey back home. Or rather, started his journey as a changed man.

The Midnight Office Moaner; Finale

Perfection. We seek to find those we deem worthy to share our times of happiness and sadness with. Those we believe that once they get to know our secrets they will still love us as we are. The ones who in their eyes we see the future and with them, our problems become minute as our motivation appreciates. Days, weeks, months and years it takes to find them. Weird enough, when we finally do, we easily forget how our lives initially were.
The sun rays poured through the blue curtains giving the room a radiant sky blue lighting. Surprisingly, the sight reminded me of the popular technique used by kids in the introduction of their compositions- the sun rays poured through the curtains making me realize it was a blessed morning. I knelt to say thanks to the Almighty then ran as if hell had broken loose to the frogs’ kingdom. The water was as cold as ice making me shiver like a leaf in winter and wish the ground would open up and swallow me. Those days, huh! I could hear some soul music playing in another room while a man’s voice sang along to the song that was currently on play. On the bedside table was a black iPhone-Caleb’s phone (I still don’t get why iPhone’s are overrated). Pushing the blankets away, the realization that I was in Caleb’s shirt took me by surprise. I mean, we had not done anything the previous night, had we? The house suddenly went silent as the music playing in the next room went off. I could hear footsteps heading my way and within seconds, the door went open.
            “She’s still not awake,” went Caleb’s voice
            (Pulling the blankets away from my face) “She is”
            “How are you feeling?”
            “A slight headache but I’ll be okay.”
Placing a breakfast tray on the bedside table, he sat on the edge of the bed.
            “You’ll be fine. I brought you breakfast,”
            “How sweet of you. I never pictured you as a romantic guy,”
            “I’m not. You’re unwell and I didn’t want to look bad,” he said with a wink
            “It must be my lucky day,”
            “You shouldn’t be letting this go to your head,”
            “I’m not. You’re the one in denial,” I said with a wink.
            “You’re stubborn, do you know that?”
            “Yes I do. By the way, did we bang last night? I can’t recall,”
            “No. You passed out on the couch as soon as we got home,”
            “Well, that was embarrassing,”
            “Indeed it was,” he cheekily said
            “You aren’t making me feel better,”
            “I know. (Smiling) On the bright side, my friends really liked you and said we should go out for drinks again sometime soon,”
            “So I shone like the queen I am to your friends,”
            “Don’t be too excited blondie. You passed out like a hobo,” he said laughing

Slowly he moved towards me and pecked me on the forehead as he progressed to place the breakfast tray before me. On it was a glass of juice, a plate with sausages, bacon and two pancakes. (Nothing feels better than having a man who can cook). Moving over to the other side of the bed, he switched on the television. All of a sudden, a certain awkwardness reigned in the room. The kind that reigns when someone has something on their mind but is having a hard time opening up. The same type that reigns in a room full of Game of Thrones fans when one says they have never had an interest in the series. Sensing that I had read his mood, he put the television on mute and turned to face me.
            “Can we talk?” he asked
            “Yea. Sure,”
            “I know this has been going on for some time and I did not want to rush into anything. Thing is, I’ve taken my time to know you, gotten to learn the type of person you are and I believe I have finally made up my mind,”
            “I’m getting nervous,”
            “(Smiling) Guess I’ll have to cut the long story short. Point is, nowadays there aren’t many ladies like you; beautiful, hardworking, mature and ambitious. I’d actually say I’m a very lucky man. Linda, (With a sigh) I’m a hopeless romantic but what I’m trying to ask is:  Will you officially become my girlfriend?”
(The mixture of joy and anxiety that went through me was indescribable) “Yes,” Went my response without thinking twice.

In that moment, Caleb moved closer to kiss me as fire and chills surged through my body making me shiver. It was the type of shiver that makes you feel warm and cold at the same time. Gently, he pulled himself back and gazed into my eyes. The gaze that makes you almost scream I do as you picture the number of people who will attend your wedding. You know, the type that makes you realize life is a bed of thorns but with that special someone, it becomes a bed of thorny roses. Done with admiring the beauty that lay in front of his eyes, he moved towards me and resumed his initial position making every part of my body scream ‘oh baby don’t stop’. Pushing the sheets away with my feet, he got on top of me and I gladly locked him in. His kisses progressed from my lips to my neck as he unbuttoned the two buttons that had been keeping him from reaching the juicy apples that lay on my chest. Passionately, he kissed my boobs and gently sucked my nipples. Enjoying the torture he was subjecting me to, he strategically slipped his hand into my knickers. (The amount of energy that got drained from my body was unweighted) Tightening my grip around him, I slowly unbuttoned his shirt revealing his masculine body. (Gad damn, he was fine) My hands ran against his skin and slowly down his back making him get lost in my touch while his hand started rubbing against my clit making me drip wet. By that, I mean wetter than a riverside. Streams of adrenaline rushed through my body as the emotions within me got too overwhelming for me to handle. Out went my undies. Down went Caleb. Sticking his tongue on my poon, I let out a soft moan. Up and down his tongue moved. In and out it also went making my grip on the sheets tighten. On he kept stroking with his tongue and on I continued calling out his name. Desire increased, feelings erupted, and control was lost. Unable to keep my cool, I rose up and ardently pulled him towards me. “I want all of you,” I whispered in his ear. There it was, the green light. As he pulled down his pair of shorts, I could feel his stiffy against my body (Lord) For a split second he paused (There it was, the inevitable stare) Content, he went forth to put his pintle inside me making me let out a soft scream due to the strength of his thrust. (I bet in his mind he was saying, baby you’re now mine, I’ll be roughly gentle)A thrust turned to two then to three as many more followed. See, this time it was not just about the thrill; it was about the passion, the desire, the thirst for each other, the love that was characterized by filthy romantic sex. Thrusts, moans, calling of names, swearing and screaming were all in the mix. From one position to another. From calling out his name to only managing to scream ‘Yees’. Deeper and deeper he went. Sweeter and sweeter things got. All of a sudden, I heard him softly call out my name, “Linda.” It felt more like a whisper and I knew-It was time. Responding to his call, “Papi” I said. In that moment we both got lost in each other. Whether I yelled or cursed, I am not sure. Immediately after, he fell beside me panting but with a smile on his face.
Time provides all the answers and solutions. However, most try to outsmart time and rush into things that always end up hitting the wall. Funny enough, most of us still don’t learn from our mistakes. As I lay on his chest waiting for him to unwind, a feeling of emotional and sexual satisfaction dawned on me. It was all clear now. I had found HIM and he was MINE.