How to Fall

There are plenty of reasons why one may choose to divulge in Kush. To forget. To remember. To forget what you have just remembered. To remember what you have just forgotten. To dare. To dream. To express oneself or to simply be. But mostly to forget, because we have to get rid of that which pulls us down and that which we dread. And humans are good at running away from things, as we have done so over the centuries. We ran away from our homes to go and discover another land somewhere else because our home doesn’t satisfy us. We ran away from animals in what we have justified ourselves as having a roof over our heads. We run away from our beautiful bodies and seriously look to cover it up with everything. And very recently, we have known how to run away from even the earth itself, and off to the moon. I’m hearing that soon people will run off to Mars. We run away from our daily lives and into virtual realities where we can start over our broken lives. And it is one of these reasons that I am here, in the backyard of Blinkie’s house, divulging in some of this Kush.

Its late in the afternoon, and the sun is laughing goodbye to us. There is no adult in around because Blinkie’s mum is busy somewhere else looking for a job. Blinkie’s mom had lost her job last week when the company she worked for decided to increase profits by getting rid of ‘baggage’. Don’t people learn tht in this economy, people can’t only survive on one cow. Because the cow will most probably grow old, and you will end up eating it and therefore you will not have any other cow to eat. Unless you decide to put on a cow suit and make love with the cow until you get babies. By which, God will become angry and strike you down because humans were not meant to phuk cows. That’s how to survive in this economy today. You have to phuk the cow. So since last week, Blinkie’s mother has been up and down photocopying resumes and cover letters in the cyber cafes. I once saw her being threatened that she should start her own cyber because she was using up all the paper in the cyber to print out her things.

“Can you imagine she told me that she would starts selling bananas on the streets!! What the hell is that! It’s like she has been possessed by demons!! I can’t have my mother running around on the streets like some low-ass mama-mboga! I have a reputation to maintain.” Blinkie told me one time. And that is why Blinkie was kicked out of school until he paid school fees, and that is why we are here today. Blinkie’s father on the other hand, never comes home from his ‘business trips’. He goes off to them often and sometimes comes back in the middle of the night. And goes off again even before Blinkie or his mother sees him.

Yesterday, Blinkie went into the toilet in her mother’s bedroom and took one 1000 bob note from the paper bag that was covered up in the little water flushing system that rests above the toilet. That’s how he gets Kush.

“Why do mothers have to be so open, like a book these days. I wish I had a mother like yours who stores important things in places where one cannot touch?”

“Which places Blinkie?”

“Mschew…Stop acting like you don’t watch those dirty videos under your blankets.”

I laughed

I inhale the roll.

Blinkie has a friend today. His name is Raul. And he is one of those ones – The type you never talk to, or ever want to talk to because you have nothing in common, and the only thing bringing you together is Kush, or a drink. They have certain characteristics; One: More often than not, they are not at the same intelligence as you. You are most likely the stupid one, and in some rare cases, the bright one. Two: They talk to you a lot as you share in your thing in common. Three: You never see them again, ever.

The things that you become, and the things that become you when you divulge are things to embrace. My eyes become a bit teary as I try to show Blinkie and Raul that I am good at this. Though Blinkie and Raul laugh at me because every time it goes in through my nose and out of my nose. And they say that I am wasting it.

A..pollo..stopo…los” Raul says. Blinkie explains to me that Raul says that every time he is high. That its supposed to mean “We are following Apollo to the moon”.

“Crazy shit man.” Blinkie tells me. “Tell us about Tina meen.” Blinkie wants to hear about Tina ever since I brought her up.

“We just danced together and that’s  it!” I said

Apollostopolos” Raul blurts out.

“C’mon man, we want to hear something that we can tell our children and grandchildren. We want to tell the story of a hero. Not some chicken who didn’t do anything.”

“Okay… Okay…” I give in

“A… pollo… stopo… los!!!” Raul is excited, and I can see that they are trying to bring their minds to my words right now.

“So there was this DJ Who was like kicking off, I don’t know what he was doing , but it was sick man. Like he was like Hands in the air…And then this cat walked in…”

“Wait, what the hell man, where is this going man…”Blinkie stood up and shouted.

“Let me finish the story man!!” I stood up too and said to him.

“A… pollo… stopo… los!!!”

“You know, not like a cat like a feline cat. Like a real like You know like. You know what I’m saying dog. Like cats and dogs. It was raining It wasn’t raining. We were raving. And I don’t know whether he was Really saying. And all he kept saying was…”

The speakers played the song Eat, sleep, rave, repeat. And we found ourselves just listening to it. We all lay flat on the ground, as the world began spiraling.

You

You are in another place

A hole

A black hole

A massive black hole

A hungry massive black hole

A hungry massive expanding black hole

And you are falling

You are falling down

You are falling up

You are falling slow

You are falling fast

Very fast

 

I see my shoes ran off of my feet! and I could see Tina in front of me. She had these horns on the corners of her forehead and wings! My belt unbuckles itself from my waist and slithers away like a snake! My shirt slides off my body and flies off like superman! I’m going nuts.

I knew I shouldn’t have accepted to divulge.

I hear Tina whisper to me: Go home…

Infidels

She is the type who likes to take it slow. She wants to look at you first. Look at you in the eye, and into your soul. By looking back at her, you tell her that you are ready, ready to take her whole, not all in one bite, but slowly, so that she will feel every nerve ending on her body; and because this is a ritual that requires the active play of both bodies, you give in. Her eyes make me blush. Her eyes linger all over my face, before she rests her hands on my shoulders. Then, I lean towards her lips, moving them as close to mine as I can. Her breathe moves into mine, as we close our eyes, as we trust each other, as we confess of our selves. She prays. I caress her soft hair as I pull her chest towards mine, and it is close enough that we become one. One in thought, one in body. She opens her eyes and dumps her lips onto mine. A kiss is something of a mystery in how it can cloud out the rest of your world when it is done right. She kisses me, letting herself go as she gets into me, and I get into her. And we are, at this moment, separated from our bodies, our spirits have been let free by willful volition. We are free to roam each other’s bodies, and it takes a while before we can get back to our own.

She is now in my head and I… I can’t seem to find the right place to feel myself because I am all over the place, in her shorts, in her bra, in her hair, in her legs. We lose ourselves in each other. She peels open her heart and lets me in. I feel… I feel overwhelmed by her generosity, her magnanimity to let me flow through her veins, into her very blood and cells. The way she makes me feel, I will consume her. I feel myself drowning in her passion, drowning in a deep well of her drug, addicted. She is seeping my way into my veins, making me burn alive with insanity, with madness. We are both mad, we have both become mad. And we are both to blame for this madness that has infected us.

We need no cure, because this is the kind of madness that heals. The kind of madness that mends, the kind of madness that seals. In this little frenzy of ours, we find a kind of solace, a middle ground. It is only with her that I know what it means to thirst, and what it means to satisfy. It is only with her that I know what it means to matter and what it means to find this thing that matters, this thing that keeps the world spinning, this thing that has become of us. It is only with her that I have known grace. I want more and more. I wonder if she can be my messiah, and save me from this plain world, so that we find our own kind of heaven.

We riot, against each other, against this reality of the eventuality of it all. And now, I hate her, because she stops…

Hiding in not so plain sight

 

Fifi slowly closed the door of the closet behind her, as she watched the light disappear from the outside until, all that she could feel was the darkness and clothes all around her. She cuddled herself up, closed her eyes and covered her ears with her ears. This way, she could pretend that she could neither see nor hear nor breathe. Fifi always wondered what it was when one dies. How do they feel, how are they being. Ever since her mother told her that her father had died last year when she was four, she couldn’t understand. She couldn’t comprehend what it meant by dying, so she decided she would try and pretend that she was dying, by not seeing nor hearing. Because that’s how she understood death… By not being able to see nor hear. And so, she held her palms tightly on her ears, and closed her eyes so hard so that she could feel death. So that she could know how daddy feels.

And she would stay there for hours on end, letting the time pass by, as she let her mind wander and move away from home, and away from the pain of her father’s death, and away from her family. Fifi would at times struggle to concentrate, and she would sob silently in her bed until his big sister would come and sleep with her to comfort her. Fifi liked this because it made her not feel alone. Her elder sister is the only one who knew how to make her smile, and laugh, and happy.

Fifi decided to stay there in her closet for a while longer and It would be around evening when her mother began to worry where Fifi was. And she would shout, and Clara her out at the top of her lungs. She would ask her elder sister to look for her, and when she did not see Fifi in her room, mother began to become scared. She would go out and ask her neighbors children if they saw Fifi, before going to their parents. At this point, her heart was racing, she feared for Fifi. A fear that had snaked its way into her heart after her husband died an year ago. A fear of death. How near it was to her. And she had seen someone she loved taken away from her. A poisonous fear that sometimes haunted her in her sleep. She had to call the police now. She held the phone uneasily, as she dialed the numbers, and Fifi’s elder sister anxiously looked.

Just then, a shadow that was Fifi strolled into the kitchen, and grab a banana like nothing was up. And her mother would stand there in front of her, like a ghost, and watch Fifi go back to her room. Her mother didn’t say a word to her and she knew that Fifi was punishing her. Punishing her for her father’s death. She knew that she shouldn’t have told her that her father had died. Now look, her daughter was trying to make her feel worried and thinking about all kinds of things that could have happened to her if she had suddenly disappeared.

That night, Fifi felt a body crawl up and into her blankets. It was not the tender warmness of her bigger sister. And it was not the calmness with which her bigger sister entered her bed. By the little roughness that she felt on the hands that touched her, and by the feint smell of perfume that filled her bed, Fifi knew, that for the first time, her mother was in her bed. Her mother was sort of crying but trying to hide it, she was sort of trembling too, and looked weak. Fifi grabbed her mother’s hand, and held it tight, and moved to cuddle her own mother, as she closed her eyes and imagined death once more, how quiet it was, before she no longer heard her mom cry…and Fifi soon heard her mother sleep.

Spoons

One, two, three, four

One, two, three, four

Five, six, seven eight

Roba has set the tune, and the entire class is following. With their cheap metallic spoons, one other person hits the wooden part of the desk, while others the metallic parts. The rhythm widens to acquire a bass boost, and a little hum. With their feet, they tap. It has become a sort of synchrony. Even the chopis who pretended to be busy reading their books had their heads bobbling up and down. The whole class was in the groove. The beats, crafted by the spoons that they used to eat lunch, and the spoons that each one of them owned, or stole from somebody else. Spoons were such a crucial part of survival, and one moved around the school with his own spoon in his pocket. Lest, you leave it in your desk, and it finds a way of sneaking out of that very desk and into the hands of another. And after that, you would find yourself, struggling to grab that soothing hot piece of Ugali that will burn your fingers even before it reaches your mouth, and you won’t be able to write for the rest of the day. The spoon, is a weapon of war, with food of course, but also a means of war against a person. It is how you weaken a person’s resolve. It is how you control them, like a puppet. You would sleep with it, under your pillow, and you would take it to the field with you, and even to the washrooms, and even at home, because it is never safe outside the reach of your hands.

The groovy beats rise to a crescendo before OJ produces another smooth beat and the whole class follows, erupting into a sort of disco like trance. It’s all so orchestrated, a spoon symphony, and they all follow each other in dropping beats, Kanu, then CJ, then Niz. And before you know it, there are juniors peeping through one window, trying to observe this spectacle of beauty. And it’s not long before there are people who are surrounding the entire class, struggling to peep through the grilled Windows, shouting at the crazy beats.

Music, especially such of the random kind as that, was a way of letting loose, from the routine, from the daily rituals that drained the memory of one in this high school. It was such randomness that people craved, that people wanted, that people needed, and it would rock the school, till they were almost addicted to the beats, until they would lose track of time, and suddenly, all the pupils would scatter like chaff, because the Physics teacher had opened the door. There was silence, all of a sudden. The teacher looked at these pathetic students who all feigned this innocent face, and the students stared at the teacher, who had this condemning look. The day went on, as if nothing had gone down😅

One Blank wall

That wall, Shammie looks at it with indignation, such a plain wall at that point in time. The blankness on the wall is daunting. She has feigned a loose bowel so that she could sneak out of the Chemistry exam, which was their last paper before they finished their senior year. So that she could see it for the last time .Because soon, that wall will be filled with secrets, and she will take part in sharing a secret, with the whole class. It was a class ritual, that every last day of the senior year, the high school seniors would each share a secret that they kept against each other over the past four years of high school. It was a way of letting go of the past that could make them move on to the future. It was a way of making them know that someone else did something and that they had the guts to let the world know. So that, as their lives moved on, they would know each other, as they were and not as they seem to be.

Shammie had gazed on the wall for a while, before she noticed that she would take too long and the teacher would come looking for her. She walked away from the wall, and walked into the class once again, forcefully ignoring the other students’ eyes which would interrogate her whereabouts and she would give in. She came to her seat briskly, straightening her skirt before taking her seat to finish the test. She ignored the stares of others who knew where exactly she was. In truth, they were all curious, to see what secrets other people held.

Thereafter, it became a magical thing, as people would ghost around the wall when no one else was around, and scribble something in a corner, with a marker, a pencil, a crayon or a chalk, onto the grey wall. And by the evening, before they would go home, flocks of boys and girls would surround the scene, in cliques of girls only or boys only, looking at each text, and mildly trying to guess. Some were funny while others were desperate. While the giggles and bursts of laughter were unbearable, the sharers of the secrets felt a sort of pride, and a sort of freedom in knowing that the secret would not bear a heavy burden on them from that point forward. Shammie stood alone, looking from the right end of the wall. She felt the writings on the wall with the tip of the finger, looking and gazing, and imagining that one of those secrets would concern her. They were so pure and raw: I kissed you in my dreams; I farted in class when others thought it was you ;I fucked your mother; I kissed a boy; I peed in your locker; I stole your picture; I never read for exams; I’ve always wanted to talk to you; I’ve always copied your answers in exams; I’ve always wanted to be like you; I lied to you that one time; I hate you; I stuck gum on the seat; I threw a paper at you in class; I am ugly; I’ve had sex before; I am gay; I shit at myself when I see you; I tried to kill myself; I am alone; I aborted your baby; I stole your diary; I sent you that letter in class.

That night, in front of her own mirror, at home, Shammie looked at herself, and at her face. She took the shaving machine, and slowly, looked as each strand of her hair fell to the floor. And she was clean once more. She looked at herself, and at her scalp, and she no longer knew this person standing in front of the mirror. Who was she? But then again, it was good that she didn’t know because as she tried to imagine herself in the shoes of the victims, and looked for herself in those secrets, she could hear the echoes of laughter in her head. That would bounce and reverb in her skull, like a never ending torment. Why did they laugh so hard? She couldn’t tell if any of those were her own secrets. Were they? Did she write all of them that time she snuck out?

Me and my demon

You hide her

Behind the closet

And she fits there in that tiny space where I never look

So that I don’t see her when I’m home

So that she peeps on me when I’m naked

So that she peeps on your lips

Craving them, looking to touch them

 

And she laughs out loud sometimes

So loud that I think I’m going mad

Laughs at me

 

You hide her under the bed,

At night, she sneaks up on me,

And tries to strangle me in my nightmares

With her bArE hands

She tries on my clothes sometimes,

Comes to feel you

A coldness sneaks up on me,

Because you take all the sheets to share with her

 

You hide her under the table and

Sometimes, that devil comes to taste what I’ve cooked for you

I find her fingers all over my freaking food

And I wish the food chokes you instead of her

 

You hide her in my clothes

So that you can pull her out whenever you want

From under my bra

Or under my lingerie

And sometimes I feel a tickle on my skin

In my blood and veins

She possesses me, like a demon

Filling me with all these ideas

Of killing you, coldly

And later of killing myself

So that she can roam the house by herself

And dance on top of our coffins once we are dead

And on top of our pretty faces when they turn blue

 

Where are you hiding her when I can’t see her, my love?

 

I wonder what it is that you really want

What is it with her?

Is it her skin?

Is it her silk hair?

Is it her smooth hands

Or her white teeth

We were perfect together but

All you see is her, and not me!!!

 

I am filled with an emptiness

Like an unoccupied house

Where your love was

There is a sweet ripe juicy fruit of hate

 

I have never known hate

But you taught me hate

 

Your love is lemonade, bittersweet in the mouth

Choking me at first

And nutritious to the baby inside me

That lurks in the other end of the tunnel

 

I want to leave,

I want to run away,

I want to flee from killing the father of the one inside me

But now I can’t

 

What is it that you are doing to me?

I feel like a slave

 

How will I heal, from this hurt

 

How do we move forward?

And how are we supposed to raise this baby ,

This child of the sun and the moon

So that it does not hate

So that it does not despise

So that it does not discriminate

And how will I free myself?

From these tendrils that have blinded me

From this tentacles that will not let me be

From these chains that take away my spirit

 

Love

L-O-V-E

The same one that you took away from me

Because when it is real

It cannot ever be threatened

Luluness

Lulu grabbed the sweet whole and pushed it into her mouth whole, after unwrapping it. Her mouth was almost bursting open and she could not really close it well since the sweet was huge. It was the first time she ate a jaw breaker. She couldn’t smile well enough but Mimi and Sisi jiggled in front of her as they watched her try to suck the sweet. It was still day time and Mimi and Sisi knew that their mother would call them up home in a few minutes if they did not show up. And they knew when she did, it would often accompany a cane or two, though they had been called so many times, that their buttocks had already become hard and pain resistant.  Mimi and Sisi were twin brothers. They were not in school because the school was closed for the holidays.

Mimi and Sisi were eight, and the last of a family of five children. They rarely talked to their elder brother or sisters because they were too old for them to share anything in common. So, they confided between themselves… the secrets, the ideas, the grand plans, and of course Lulu, who was a girl from the neighbourhood and who they met while running around in only shorts. At first, they stopped in front of her, and looked at her lovely pink bicycle, that was decorated with pink ribbons and was so shiny. Then, when Lulu stopped in front of them, and excused herself is when they remembered that they were on the way. They laughed and let Lulu pass. Mimi and Sisi looked as she sped away on that bike and they turned to go home before Lulu sped past them and stopped in fron of them. She offered them each a ride before they all went home.

Lulu was funny and cute. And she always challenged Mimi and Sisi for a race on her bike. Mimi and Sisi never had a bike so they ran after her barefoot while she galloped on her bicycle. They would try and catch her. And when Lulu saw that they were losing hope, she would slow down to give them the illusion that they were actually catching up on her, and she would let them pass her before pushing cycling forward pas them again. And they would laugh saying that she was cheating. Other times, she would let them push her in front. They would push hard and she would gain speed before they let her loose and she would scream because they made her go so fast that often at times she would lose control. Mimi and Sisi would laugh their lungs out.

All they did that holiday was to ride her bike and so, when Mimi and Sisi showed Lulu that Jawbreaker for the first time, Lulu begged them to give her. They laughed at her pleas, but when they saw that Lulu was almost crying, they couldn’t bring themselves to see tears roll down her eyes. When she grabbed the thing, she just tore the wrapper open and threw it into her mouth. Mimi and Sisi watched with curious eyes how long it took for her to consume it whole. Lulu was excited, and kept moving it from side to side in her mouth, as Mimi and Sisi pushed it from one cheek to another with their fingers. .Before finally, Lulu felt a soft gushiness in her mouth, and she began to bite into it. That chewing gum, and Mimi and Sisi knew that she had finished it.

It was now time to go home, as they had watched Lulu eat that thing. By the time that Lulu was done, they had forgotten where they had got it from. It was stolen from the shop close by. Mimi had distracted the shopkeeper by asking for a free banana. And while the shop keeper was busy chasing Mimi away, Sisi had slipped into one of the jars in the shop and taken one of the jawbreakers.

Mimi and Sisi turned to run back home before Lulu would catch them on her bike. But Mimi first felt a tug on his shoulder, and Sisi stopped in his steps. It was Lulu. She pulled Mimi towards him and pushed her lips to his, before running over to Sisi and doing the same. She giggled a little before getting on her bike and leaving the two like statues on the road. She rode off away, her pink braids swaying on her back. Mimi and Sisi looked at each other for a second or two and on realizing that Lulu was away, ran after her.

A’ight

A'ight-01

Height

Is just another term for A’ight

And it’s the height that makes everything A’ight

I must jump now from this edge

And stretch my hands like a bird

Around the body of this chiq

Tight

As my mind elevates

Elevation

Such a bright light feeling in the mind

Of one where

Height is another term for A’ight

Elevation

Makes you first, detach yourself

Mind from Body

Body from soul and

Self from Conscious

So that now your body loosens the strings you put on them

And every single feeling is heightened

Rave-like beastiness

Lover-like smoochiness

Hunger-like ufisiness

Hyper-like electricness

Every single cell is made alive in this elevation

To the bone

Only the heightened can feel this

Only the elevated can see these things

These things that make the world insane in the membrane

But stop at this insanity

Where you can believe in any fucking doubt

Where you can be alive and dead in the freaking moment of electrifying sounds of music, and big loud boom boob beats of mystery

Oh my God!

One million views – Of Freedom

Untitled-1-01Abdi looked down all the time. Peeping at people once in a while to check if they had noticed him. The place was somehow stifled as people did not shout like they did in Nairobi, Business was quiet. It was about the afternoon and the sun was blazing. The lack of vegetation made it all the more worse. As Abdi approached the stall, about thirty metres from his house, he looked at the fruits and vegetables and saw only a few choices. The woman who stood next to the stall seemed curious about him. Abdi stole a peek at her face. She was thin, and short, and on her head, she covered her hair with a bandana. Her light skin and lack of a buibui meant seemed queer since all the women he had seen looked Somali. And the community around were all Somali.

Unataka nini customer?” She asked Abdi finally. Her voice shocked him, as it was smooth and fluid, Abdi had heard the other women speak before and she sounded nothing like them. He wondered if she was an outsider like him. He looked at her again before mumbling to her something that sounded like he was drowning.

Ati?” The woman asked out loudly.

Abdi gathered his senses and ordered some veggies before producing the money and quickly trotting off. The woman, stunned by how quickly Abdi left the scene, followed Abdi until she could see him enter his house. She couldn’t help but look think of him. He seemed so different. From how he sneaked looks at her. From the way he looked unsure at himself around her.

Abdi didn’t know how to cook. So, he didn’t even know what to do with what he had just bought once he returned home. He closed the door behind him and looked at what he had purchased… some cabbage and carrots and tomatoes. He wasn’t really sure what to do with them, so he dumped the cabbage and tomatoes on the table in the little room that was supposed to be a kitchen and decided that he would just eat the carrots for his supper. At least he knew that he could eat them raw and that he wouldn’t go through any difficulty trying to cook for himself. He had never cooked before. Because he simply didn’t know how.

As the day waned, Abdi started making his house look more like a home. He went through the stuff, arranging the chairs, and the TV in the living room; placing the clothes in the wardrobe and everything else where it was supposed to be, or where he thought they should be. It was then that he discovered that gun. It felt like a large metal pipe when he first touched it, from under his bed. It was wrapped up in gazettes, but its weight was unmistakable. When he pulled it out, he at first didn’t know what it was. Then, he just tore the gazettes covering it up away and he saw up close, how it looked menacing. He hadn’t before held a gun in hand. So, it intrigued him. He felt the steel metal send chill through his veins. It was cold. He touched the trigger and imagined how it was pressed. When he looked at the interior, the thing was full of bullets. He didn’t know what to do with it. It was until someone knocked at the door that he pushed the thing back under the bed, and with his cheap shorts and vest, he went to open the door.

The sun was dimming and so, he couldn’t see clearly the woman who stood at his door.

“Customer, ulisahau nyanya zako…” It was the woman he had bought from fruits earlier. He looked at her, and this time, couldn’t quite determine more details on her face coz it was getting dark. He felt a bit embarrassed before her in shorts. And so, he whispered a thank you before closing the door on her face. He sighed now that he got rid of her. But he was surprised when she turned up the next day in front of her door, asking him to take some onions. Abdi was even more speechless when she offered to cook for him.

That was the first time they talked, when she discovered that he never cooked and had left the groceries to go stale, when she discovered that he wasn’t good in cooking and when she welcomed herself to his kitchen.

“I’m Mina btw…” She said when she noticed that he was staring at her as she cut the onions. Then she let him look at her, thinking about what he was thinking. She smiled to herself. That night, Abdi ate the best food he had eaten in days. Mina, Abdi came to know, was a remixed version of Amina, a name that she had adopted since she came here. She didn’t tell him her real name. It was Mina who told him that he was in some place close to the border of Somalia. The place didn’t have a name. It wasn’t named because names have ghosts that follow them on their backs. She told him how here everyone knew everyone. It was easy to establish that it was possible that the whole place was occupied by just one clan because they were so close. But mostly, the people here were sijuis- people who don’t know home because they left home a very long time ago and lost connections with family.

“I also have no family…” Abdi told her… And she called him a sijui.  But it is possible that you can live with someone as your neighbor and they are your brother or sister. She told him that the Somali is so closely knit that most probably he could find family if he asked well enough. That was the first time that Abdi thought of his family. And he decided that he would try.

Mina, who now offered to come daily to cook for him, wondered. About him. About that empty house. It was so wrong to live in a house all alone. One night when they sat together exchanging stories, Mina touched Abdi’s hand. Abdi jerked his hand away. It was strange, and terrifying for Abdi. He had never felt such warmness. And he had never known the gripping feeling that he had at that moment. Mina looked away and apologized. She continued eating. But then, Abdi also stretched his arm to Mina’s fingers, and they smiled at each other.

Later, Mina would ask to sleep on her bed, next to him. And it felt all the more warmer to Abdi. Mina felt Abdi haunt her thoughts in her sleep, deeply and much more sharply. She woke up next to Abdi, all sweaty and insomniac. It was then that she tried to look for her slippers that she felt the gun herself. She touched it as it was on the floor, caressing it softly at first before lifting it up above her head.

In the morning when Abdi woke up, she joked to Abdi, “You have a good gun…” And Abdi said nothing,” Don’t worry… everyone here has one…” Mina paused a little, smiling at herself as she enjoyed the awkwardness that she made him feel. “Guns help… especially when the shiftas come…” Somehow, Abdi was glad that she had seen it before he had to show her. Then, he was sure that he wouldn’t kill her accidentally while doing this. Deep down, she knew that Abdi was healing from something, something dark, some secret.

They both knew they were crazy. Crazy to accept to be with each other. And it was terrifying, and strange, and beautiful. How would Abdi move on from his past? It was Mina who showed him how to do this, it was Mina who showed him how to touch, it was her who showed him hope, and peace.

(This peace is an excerpt of a larger piece. To read it Click the link here)