I’m sure we have all been through a heartbreak once, twice, or severally in our lives. I’m also sure that we handle heartbreaks differently depending on the connection we had with the person. I’ve only had one heartbreak and I can confirm that it was messy. Going through what I did in the streets of Nairobi changed my life and not for the better. Here we go.
I met my ex-boyfriend a few days after joining campus. At the time, he was in his final year of campus and told me everything I needed to hear. That should have been a red flag but it wasn’t, probably because all I wanted was the security that comes with dating an older/mature man. He was funny but instead of laughing at his jokes, I was gradually falling for them.
In a few weeks, I was head over heels in love with this mysterious fourth year (let’s call him John Doe for the sake of anonymity). I visited his crib and everything in it blew my mind off. He was grooming me to inherit all his essentials after he graduated. We took supper and the romance thereafter was like no other I had experienced before. It’s not like I had experienced anything or anyone before him. He was my first and I was sure he would be my last. And he was my last intimate partner for sure.
Weeks turned to months and a few months later he graduated. He moved to the city (Nairobi) in search of greener pastures but we promised to visit each other soon. I made it a habit to visit him once every month but the bond slowly thinned regardless. It seemed like fate had something in store for us. On the other hand, my course only took two and a half years and in what seemed like an eternity I was done with my diploma. I graduated a few months later and moved in with my boyfriend with the hope of rekindling the dying flame.
In the beginning, it was just like the old days. We spent all of our time together but then the evolution began. He would be gone for hours with no explanation about his whereabouts whatsoever. I trusted him so I rarely inquired figuring he was hanging out with the boys or something. I had read that it ended badly for clingy girlfriends. That wasn’t going to be me. A blond hair on his denim here and several baby locks there, as if someone was playing with his hair should have been my wake-up call. I read the signs but I was too naïve to believe it. How could he be laying with another? How could he be in love with another? I believed we were soul mates.
Several months later, he confirmed my fears and suggested that I should get my own place and move out of his house. I was devasted, not because I did not know anyone in Nairobi, therefore, had nowhere to go but because my heart and spirit were crushed. I was numb as I let it sink, a feeling that I would learn to live with for the next few years.
His lips moved as he continued talking but I couldn’t hear a word he was saying. Probably my eardrums were numb as well. I got up from where I had sat for what seemed like an eternity and left the house closing the door softly behind me. I needed to take a walk to clear my mind and come to terms with what had just happened. Memories from the past three and a half years flooded my mind. Every place we had visited, every memory we had shared. Mind you, we had picked baby names as we waited for the stars to align so that we would build a family together. Yet here we were.
I walked around in circles for a few hours hoping it was a dream and I would wake up after walking for long enough. But this was reality and I had to deal with it. I walked back to our studio apartment and headed for the shower. As the water trickled down my face so did my tears. I didn’t see the point of fighting them back. I hoped that the door would open and he would join me in the shower like he had done countless times before but he didn’t. Instead, I could hear him play Grand Theft Auto on his PlayStation.
They say that great ideas are conceived in the shower and I believe it. I remembered crossing paths with one of my old friends from campus but I had not bothered taking his contact information. However, I knew his Instagram handle so I decided to slide into his DM and request if I could crash at his place for a few days before I could my sh!t together. He was the only familiar person I knew in town. He granted my request and I decided to move out of John Doe’s space the following day. I could not stand being close to him and wanted to get away as soon as I could. The following day was a public holiday so I did not worry about reporting to work.
I packed for the better part of the day and took an uber that evening heading to my friend’s place. Instead of sleeping, I had spent the previous night planning on how I’d better my life. I was optimistic that life had a good plan for me and I expected it to, it owed me that much especially after the heartbreak. I felt that I deserved better. But that’s where I had gone wrong. I expected too much without knowing that Nairobi is the crusher of dreams and spirits.
This would be a new phase of my life. A phase I intended to mould in my favor and to my likeness. I settled into my friend’s house in Kitusuru, Nairobi. I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. My friend was loaded courtesy of his parent’s wealth and connections. He lived in a fully furnished two-bedroom DSQ apartment. He showed me to the guest bedroom where I slowly settled in sobbing but grateful that I had a good friend willing to host my naïve @ss. I was naïve because I expected good from people. A mistake I would later come to terms with.
His place was near our office apartment block. In the days that followed, I walked to work which allowed me to save a few coins to fund my prospect of an independent life in Nairobi. He insisted on taking care of all the bills despite my insistence on buying food once in a while since I could not afford to pay for any of the bills in such a neighborhood. I also cooked and did other chores around the house as a show of my gratitude. At first, it was all candles and roses but like everything else in life, it’s never that glamorous.
End of Part 1
Check part 2 here.
Buy the e-book here