VibeRations

vi·brate

ˈ/vīˌbrāt/

verb

move or cause to move continuously and rapidly to and fro.

 

Nobody knows where I am when I am not here. I sometimes go to the backyard of Lily’s place, where the view of the sun is more yellowish. Not so orange and not so white. It is as if the sun itself is unsure. Sometimes I go to the store, to look at books that I would like to read, or add up to my collection of books I have bought but I have not yet read. Other times I just slip myself into papa’s old car, and imagine myself crashing into the water on the bridge, like he did. But most times, I am with Ray, or next to Ray, or at Ray’s place.

Ray loves metal music, and he puts that all the time when I’m there. I think his parents are deaf because of him. They don’t complain. Its loud. The kind of loud that makes your hair go up in a dance when you bring your head close to the speakers. Then he would wobble up and down in front of me, like a tiny worm, making all sorts of movements. I didn’t get him. Or rather, I didn’t get that part of him. Then, Ray moves his body towards me, and like a bobble head, he drags his big head towards mine.

“Kiss me, you must!” Ray says. I laugh. Then, I push him away. He frolics back to his speakers. This crook thinks he will make me kiss him again with his funny words.  He looks at me, and now he has bulged his eyes wide open, in a way that makes him look like a big mindless person. He looks all weird and funny.

“Stop your funny talk Chike.” I call him Chike. Most of his other friends call him Ray but I call him Chike when we are together. I like Chike. But not when he starts talking funny. Every time he says, “Lemme show you my Pièce de Résistance”- Referring to his male reproductive organ.  And I laugh, because he says it in a different accent. I bet it’s small but I don’t let him show it to me. I find it crazy that Chike has the guts to climb up to my window at night from time to time, and knocks on it- loud enough that I can hear but not so loud enough that my parents can hear. Every time he does this, I pretend I not hear him, otherwise he will start giving me that funny talk and try to make me kiss him again. He thinks I’m in love with him, since that one time that I kissed him. But I want to believe that I can love him.

Sometimes, I think Ray tricked me into this thing we have. I think that he is a wickedly ingenious mastermind for making me like him. I don’t usually like people very much. Or rather, it takes a while before I let people drag me along with their flow. I have only liked Chike because of that day. That day that mom left me to go to school, on my own, claiming that it will be okay, that I would make friends. As the school bus drove to our house on that first day of school, I got on, sheepishly at first, then ran all the way to an empty seat, where I would try to look at my mom again for the last time, before the bus was too far and I couldn’t see her grainy figure in the distance any more. I would do this every day, never minding the craze of other kids who rode along with me in that bus. My mom, my baby sister and I had just moved here. And finally settled. I was tired of the moving. Since my father had disappeared. My mom kept moving us around from place to place, even before I made any friends.

“Here, look… Look here.” I turned away from the window of the bus one day, after, one boy shoved me too much that the only option I had was to comply.

“Arghh”I screamed, jerking away from him like I had been stung by a mosquito.

“Relax scaredy-cat, it’s only a butterfly.” And my heart stopped for a minute before I calmed down. I took the thing in both hands, and my face glowed at the innocence of such a small beautiful thing. That was before he slapped my hand away. It flew out the window and I was mad. He giggled

“I’m Ray.” He said. I looked at him in a how-evil-can-you-be way and ignored him for the rest of the bus ride to school. The next day, Ray came with another butterfly, but he told me that I had to tell him my name first.

“I’m Fey.” I said

“Fe…eee???”

“Fey”

“F…oooiii”

“No, Fey.”

“Fwaiii??” This dumb ass wasn’t getting it, so I had to spell it for him.

“Eff… Eeee..Wai. Fey”

“Oh, Fey!! That’s a funny name.”

“No It’s not.” I smiled at him and took the butterfly away from his hand. Watching it circle round and round through in circles in between my palm. I let it fly out of the window. Ray said he would come with another one the following day. That’s the first memory I have of him

We would later, occasionally take out our pencils and play his game. We would hit them against each other. Ray said that the pencils were meant to be like “lightsabers”. I didn’t know what this meant and even now I still think he is tripping. Swords would sound more familiar. I just played with him in that bus ride to school because we kept making these Pshhhhtt, and Whoosh, and Zuuushh, and Kapush noises as we did. It helped kill the time.

Nothing really happened between us. Like nothing until the day before we almost finished primary school, and Chike realised that after KCPE, they might relocate. So, he pulled me, during break time, behind the classroom, where there was a thick thorny bush, when most of the kids were busy playing foota and kati; when the teachers were busy marking the books; and when he was sure no one was looking.

I was against the wall. Static. Ray was very close to me. Closer than I have even ever been with myself. I felt a tingle in my bone, vibes snaking through my skin. He looked at me, in the eye, for the first time ever.

 

“Will you be my Juliet?” He murmured. “I’ll be your Romeo if you’ll be my Juliet. I stayed silent. He had this honesty in him. This honesty that transfixed me to him. “Say yes.” Ray said

 

“Yes…” I mumbled. Then, he drew closer and closer. Closing our eyes, not not closing our eyes. Saying something; not not saying something. He was holding me-ish, on my arm. Looking at me-ish, as if peeping to see if I was peeping. I’m not sure if I kissed him, or kissed him-ish. Everything from that day was ish ish.

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