What they should tell you about regret

Written by Faith Oneya
You think you have laid the demons to rest. You have taken a month off, sitting idly in the house taking wine or vodka. You smile that morning as you go to work after your month off. Your tears meet your smile halfway. You take the matatu.Your hundred shilling note is in your hands. The makanga tries not to meet your eyes. He is half drunk already and has enough problems with both his sugar mummy and baby mama to care about one more hormonal woman. A dollop of a tear falls onto Kenyatta’s unflinching face. The makanga watches as the tear spreads, shrugs and gives you your change. You are now in the office. Regret will follow you to work. It will sit in your computer and stare blankly at you. Your colleague will then ask you: “Is that regret I see on your computer screen?” and you will say: “No, it is just work”. Regret will follow you to lunch and eat half your lunch. You will read a book late into the night just so you will sleep tired and not dream of regret. You will fall asleep over a glass of wine or vodka. Regret will fold itself into your duvet. They should tell you that regret will punch you in the stomach at about 6am, and your tears will be thick, hot and flowing. You will let them flow. Regret will follow you to the bathroom and blend in with the soap and toothpaste. You will lather regret into your washcloth. Regret will caress your skin-gently at first, then roughly, tearing through into your heart, pulling at its tendons. Your heart will break. Regret will blend itself with the eggs in the morning: how do you like your eggs? Regret will fix itself into your perfume, blend into your deodorant and spread its scent all over your body. Your hair too, will smell of regret. They should tell you the truth about regret.


When the Dark chocolate man calls….

By Gloria Mwaniga

Against your better judgment, you push the trolley towards the milk section and there, before your very eyes, is the enemy number one you have been trying really hard to keep off. He sits there attractively, hands folded (well not exactly); frozen, cold and alone. The only brown in the section of pink and white. Begging for you to run to his rescue.

The alarm in your head goes off, you know you have to walk away, but your parents’ lessons in loyalty are fresh in your mind.

You pick the brown tub of dark chocolate and resins  ice cream, move swiftly to the counter and pay for it .You promise yourself that you  will take just a couple of scoops and keep the rest for your skinny daughter. She likes it so much.

You reach home and pull the large shopping paper bag into the house, shut the door and collapse onto the seat.

You drown the last drop off the coca cola bottle you had left half empty on the table and close your eyes as you drown the soft drink.

You remove the shoes that are too uncomfortable, throw the seat cushions to the smaller sofa and lie down.

Your mind goes back to the shopping routine; it had been fun back then, before the kids came. You could spend all the money you wanted to.

Now, it’s a routine you don’t enjoy so much. With the tough economic times and a couple of kids, you have to save every penny. That alone, gets the fun out of shopping.

Your mind glides to the tub of chocolate ice-cream in your shopping bag. You are quick to forget that you are on a mission to eat healthy and keep fit. Only last month, you gave up the midmorning and evening tea, this means less sugar. You have been doing really well fighting cravings and indulgences, whatever made you buy the ice-cream?

You open the tub, and begin devouring the ice cream, beginning with the chocolate and saving the raisins for last. You let the sweetness linger in your mouth as the melting cold syrup makes up for all those months you’ve kept off sweet things.

Suddenly, you hear loud laughter and they are staring at you.

What a fool you are? Their unfriendly eyes say.

Goodness all that ice-cream?  Shame on you.

What a nerve you’ve got, eating all that?  Now you will have to live with the consequences of that. Whatever happened to the self discipline you once had?

You couldn’t possibly ever face my husband again, no not ever. You are the worst human being ever. And you call yourself a wife.  Maybe you should go sleep and never wake up. Because when you wake up you will have added a hundred Kilograms and your husband will never look at you again. He is very likely to divorce you. If anything, your clothes will be too small for your new giant self. What about your children, did you think of them when you were carelessly eating your happiness away? Will you ever be able to go to their school again? They love their mother not Bambino the baby elephant.

The best thing to do would be to run away and never come back. Just allow your dear husband to get a nice sweet woman who wouldn’t indulge in careless behavior like overeating ice-cream. One who feeds on lettuce and salads and nothing more. Just go kiss the photos of your dear babies’ goodbye (I know you will probably leave thick marks of lipstick on them) grab your purse and get walking.

Walk straight to Kenya Cinema, take the lift to fourth floor, there is a nice ice cream joint there. Order all the ice cream you want and eat it. When your money has run out, begin paying via e- banking and m-pesa from your phone. Just keep eating.

You will grow so big and unable to move. Then the Kenya Wildlife Service rangers will come and put a large fencing around you. Children will be picking at you and throwing candy at you. You will be a free zoo.

‘’Ooh no, no it can’t possibly be that bad,’’ you speak out loud eating the remaining ice-cream to clear it. Things can’t so that bad, you loosen up some and vow never to beat yourself up that hard again.