I would never have guessed that a day like yesterday would ever come. A day when I would finally discover that tears do not change a situation. There was nothing extraordinary about the day by the way: It was just the usual boring morning rain in Nairobi that reminds me that I need to get a way to Philadelphia or Denmark... yeah it was a usual Sunday and yeah, I have to go to Denmark and Philadelphia and e.t.c. But something happened and it reminded me to always seize every moment, look at it keenly and really make use of it.
Much earlier in the day, I went to see my father; we had an urgent discussion over a certain issue. It was after that meeting that something that will make me never forget that day happened.
I went to Rachel's home for her farewell party. Rachel in a close pal from high school. We were friends for the same reasons I befriend the few friends I have; Rachel is real. I know this is a bit too personal but truth is, I have a very big problem with fakeness. So Rachel and I remained good friends even after our final examinations in high school. I was with her almost throughout her last semester of the bridging course she was doing and we spent most of our hours laughing.
Rachel is such a gifted story teller who kept me wanting to hear more. I remember pleading with her to pass the night at my hostel because I did not want our stories to end but somehow, she had to go back home. We walked around the city together and truth be told, I wouldn't have mastered the city streets so well if Rachel had not taken me around. I learnt so many things from Rachel. You see, a part from Rachel most of my other friends love books and most of our stories begin with books and end with books again. So Rachel provided me with the so much needed break. She made me look at the world and really take notice. Before Rachel, any discussion about boys(except in a fiction book) would seriously piss me off but at least now, I take time, listen and even comment! Rachel taught me a few lessons about 'losening' up and just laughing at things I don't understand or don't want to. Rachel also taught me something else, how to survive the naughty men in market places. Before Rachel's lessons, I hardly went to the market or let's just say leave the house for whatever reason unless extremely necessary. I feared those naughty men so much and any comment directed at me would even make me cry sometimes. I feared totally. But Rachel handled them in an interesting way and I picked a lesson or two from her.
Rachel also made life full of fun. I remember she asked me to take her to Kenyatta Market one Friday and while there she begun tasting roasting meat on the grilles. I was sure Rachel had no intention of buying roast meat and I had to ask why she was doing that. The answer she gave me was so interesting and I laughed for so many days. She told me that she always tasted meat from so many different people so that by the time she was done tasting(all in the name of finding out whether it was fresh, nice-tasting, hot enough... e.t.c) she was satisfied and she wouldn't need to buy food. Really? Rachel is such an actor. She has guts.
But Rachel will be leaving the country in the next few hours for Germany to commence her studies. I actually thought I was dreaming when I fast read the email. In part it read;
...of all my friends, I know it will hurt you the most. I am leaving the country in the next one week to commence my studies in Germany. I don't know when I will come back but I am certain it will be after a long while. I will miss this country, I will miss the city which we 'painted purple' with our numerous escapades in the three months we were together just recently. Dee, I am going to miss you a great deal and all my friends whom we've been together on this road. But our dreams have to come true if we want meaning and laughter in our lives. I would have chosen to remain home and enjoy the comfort zone but Dee, given another ten years from now, I will regret why I let the chance pass me by; you might even blame me for not going...
I will have my farewell party on 15th of Apr this year and you are welcome. I have also invited all our former classmates who are within reach and that might actually be a reunion for us...
Your lifelong friend,
I read that email severally and I confirmed the date all the time wishing it was April fools' day. But it wasn't. I waited for another mail or sms to tell me that it was a belated April fools' but nothing came. Then that way, I became sure that it was real.
So yesterday, I went to see Rachel off. I met several of my former classmates and I have to mention Vivian here because it appears she will be my company in the absence of Rachel. Vivian too was a classmate and we were also friends but she transferred when we were in form two.
It was a nice party but I did not get a chance to speak to Rachel and tell her I am greatful for everything she has taught me. But I hope she reads this. I will forever cherish the bond we share and not even distance will tamper with the golden memories.
It is important for us all to do what we can when we can. In my mind, I had planned to get something very special for Rachel on her first approaching birthday and then use that day to tell her how much she has taught me. But time had other ideas. The concept of time is beyond most of us. I think I took for granted the times we shared or I just took time for granted- assuming it was always going to be there. But who was I to know? I did the mistake most humans make(and that doesn't make it right) but I intend to better up henceforth. I know I take time to appreciate everyone who has left her footprints in the sands of time around my clock and most of these people are still around but I intent to appreciate them more. They are so important.
Fare thee well, Rachel. I believe that although our paths might appear scattered right now because we don't know where our dreams will lead us, our paths are surely going to cross someday and we will make merry once again. Remember, it's only a matter of time...
I will miss you, Rachel.