KELVIN’S STORY: PART TWO
They say it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. I feel differently because opening up to the world is a bad idea, as I’m often left holding my heart in my hands. This is the story behind this feeling.
In the year 2016, I fell in love with a girl who threw me off my game. Whenever I was with her, I could be myself. I didn’t have to maintain a façade just for her to like me. She liked me in spite of the fact that I was nothing but trouble. I gushed over her to my friends, telling them how much she amazed me, how beautiful she looked when she had her no-nonsense face, and how my heart missed a beat when that serious look was replaced with a smile when she saw me. I remember how much effort went into writing her letters. I would come up with the words and pay someone else to do the writing because my handwriting was one of the things about me I hoped she would never see. So when she wrote to inform me that my best friend was in love with her, I was heartbroken.
KK and I met on the first day of admissions in February of 2014, and we became friends instantly. We were put in the same class, which made us even closer, and when you saw me, KK wouldn’t be too far if he wasn’t already next to me, and the same can be said for him. We were inseparable. When I started seeing Mitchelle, he was the first person I told. I gave him as many details as I could, and I am very sure it was so clear how smitten I was about her. Why, then, was I holding a letter saying he had gone after my girl? Was this some twisted joke they were playing on me? Because there was no way he had dared to write to my girl, to say he wanted her, and to advertently make me look like a fool. Impossible.
What worried me the most was that they had formed a friendship. I wouldn’t have been prevented from leaving school circles if I had been a better student, and I would have held her hand in all outings. But we were here. I couldn’t see my girl, and I’d delegated the responsibility of keeping her company during these outings to KK. They had thus become friends, and possibly more. Had I chauffeured them both? Maybe. But it wasn’t my purpose, and I had only myself to blame.
When Mitchelle wrote a second time, she wanted to know why it was taking me that long to respond. But I didn’t have anything to say to her. How could I tell her that I felt that she had colluded with my best friend to betray me? There was no absolution for such a crime, and so I went quiet. First a month, then two, and before I knew it, the term was over, and with it, the academic year of 2016. I told myself that she and I were nothing but a high school fling and that the long-distance thing was never going to work out anyway. It was the right thing. If she wanted to be with KK, I wouldn’t stand in their way. Removing myself from the equation was the right thing to do.
With several months left to sit for KCSE, I shifted my focus and buried myself in books. My new found determination must have caught the attention of my teachers because they lifted my ban. “A reward for turning things around”, they said. For one last hurrah, I was allowed to attend the 2017 Mater Heart Run. Stepping off the school bus felt liberating, and each breath I drew really felt like a reward. As usual, my friends were busy hitting on girls, but I wasn’t interested. I was simply glad to be off school grounds.
At the end of the day, right before our school bus left, I saw her. There she was, looking even more beautiful than the last time I saw her. The universe seemed to collide one last time because she turned and caught me staring. I expected her to ignore me, or at least look angry, for the part I played in ending our relationship. Instead, she smiled at me and waved. I felt my heart beat for her again. It was incredible that her grin still had such influence over me. She was still my girl in that short second. I smiled and waved as the school bus moved out of the parking lot. That was my final encounter with her.