The clock ticks, it’s 3 am and for the life of you, you can’t sleep. You’ve tried 40 different sleeping positions, drank 3 glasses of water but it’s made no difference. The script is still the same- NO SLEEP. You wonder what it takes to get some good sleep these days, even just for an hour. It’s not an angry thought, just a fleeting one.
You walk out to the balcony and sit with your red and black Maasai shawl covering your shoulders down. The view is beautiful, isn’t it?
The lights shining brightly from a distance, the empty training ground where your neighbour’s kids spend most of their time playing looks amazing from your viewpoint and the almost light blue horizon stares at you. You wonder if he’d like this view and you smile to yourself.
Coffee and sunsets were your thing after all and you wonder if sunrises will ever be the same.
You take out your phone, imechapaa but hey it can still take good pictures, and so you capture this beautiful moment. You zoom in as if you’re looking for something but nada. It looks beautiful. You almost share it with him but you stop yourself.
You miss him, you want to call him and tell him, “Hey Ricky- it’s been too long. Let’s have coffee kesho?” But you know too well that he won’t answer. His body is lying in a cold dark box at the City mortuary and there’s not a damn thing you can do. 19 years of friendship gone like a thief in the night, 19 years of friendship and you couldn’t save him quick enough.
Your mind sees this as an opportunity to remind self of the questions you’ve been looking for answers in the last 3 and a half months. You try to silence them but no such luck seems to come your way. The thoughts just float in a cloud and their voice is too loud to be ignored.
What if you had called him? What if you replied his text? What if you tried harder? What if you’d checked him into Rehab? What if? and the questions keep on popping and disappearing in equal measure.
You sigh. Your eyes stare ahead into the darkness. That’s how it is sometimes, you console yourself. Some questions are better off left under the pillow unturned.
A new song shuffles back to your phone you think- you tried, you tried so hard like Bone Thugs-n-Harmony but always ended up on the losing side. Lord knows how many convo’s you had with Ricky to end it with Zappa, Johnny Walker, Rum and coke but he didn’t listen. His Mom tried too but the urges were too stronger than the words she spoke to him. It seemed to pay off, he stopped for 6 months but the demons in booze kept on calling him back to their fellowship, he finally gave in and backslid right back to it. The vows with booze were renewed for a fresh start.
You stand up and take a long breath and pray.
Lord, please give his soul rest Lord. Please give his Mom and I some peace of mind Lord and silence these thoughts on the inside. Amen.
I lost my best friend to Alcohol and drugs early this year just days after his birthday. It’s been surreal and it still shreds me to pieces every time I go to town and pass by what used to be our favourite spots-they are favourite no more because they bring back his memories-, when someone says or texts something that is so like him to say. It hasn’t sunk in yet and most probably it will never sink in. Even now, when I see funny clips on Youtube or WhatsApp, he’s the first person that comes to my mind; I can’t resist the urge to send them but he’s no more. I want him back more than anything in this world but that’s not possible (how I wish I can get my petition granted by God on this).
What I can do now is tell his story and hope that somewhere someone will read it and feel inspired to share their stories and struggles. If that’s you, email me. Stories have a way of changing the world and one told at a time I believe will go a long way to bring change.