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blog post cover image time estimate eye icon5min

How love colored his black and white life

In a world full of colour, it is so easy for man to fall a stray in the black and white that hides in the shadows of the night.

This is a story about a life filled with endless struggle and sorrow, about a man much like Job, who tasted nothing but the bitterness of this world. This man was silenced by the ones closest to him, shunned by the society that claims to be impartial and exiled by the people of his religion and culture. As he strains to stay strong, true and hopeful, he can’t help but let the darkness consume him and change him into an unimaginable menace to himself. Through the battles in the valleys of failure, fatuousness and misery, he transformed into his worst enemy and greatest fear, Evil. Be that as it may, on one sunny day the cosmos gifted him with the ability to see the Sirius in the blue sky (the brightest star at night).

Early one morning when the dusk of dawn slumbered away and the stars in the sky still hung with pride. This man sat tall on the edge of his bed, begging for sleep to take him away to the dreams he never knew how to have. Emotionless and nearly dead inside, he took a long deep breath as tears ran down his pale face. These are not; tears of passion or tears of pain, his tears were tormenting and wicked. To him tears were a reminder that he was still alive, that in a world that treated him like a worthless corpse, he was still a slave to its senses and emotions. All he wanted was to escape.

At this juncture, the usual cycle of thoughts ran through his mind. I wonder what love feels like. How many more days until I can see colour again? I wish just one person would confide in me. As the train of thoughts continued to lament in his heart and mind, nothing in nature would let him rest.

Time for him goes by slower than a sloth in its element. Through his eyes the beauty in the sunrise looked no different than the darkness in the sky at night. He stood up on his feet, making his way to start his day, which was always monotonous. He could not consider the cycle a routine, but rather a haunting repetition of the lack of change and newness. Each morning he trenches on to the shower and briefly afterwards, dresses in the same gloomy outfit; boxers, a vest, a brown shirt, faded khaki pants, torn socks, worn out sneakers and grey overalls. As you would imagine, a horrific stench lingered from his clothes. Like clockwork as he gets dressed, he mauls over the sharp black suit he passes by in the window on the way to work every day, sighs deeply and carries on. He could never consider the clothes he owned as attire, but as rags. Swiftly moving on to the kitchen, he retrieves the loaf of bread from the counter, boils a pot of water for his tea and sits alone on his dining table which only has one chair. Crunched over his plate, he consumes his meal in utter boredom and loath.

Once he completed his notorious morning pattern, he makes his way out the door, kicks the relentless cat that cries for food at his door step every day and makes his way to his work at a construction site. Little did he know, that this day he will get to see the blue in the sky.

Every day he scuffles to get his legs to walk, as they do not understand why he even tries. As he drags his feet on the busy streets, with his head hunched over, a pedestrian running in a hurry shoves his shoulder trying to get passed him. Infuriated he calls out to the man “Hey, watch where you’re going you imbecilic”, and spits on the ground. He continues to curse the stranger under his breath, unable to let go of the indignant emotions that are overflowing. As he nears the bus station, he passes a beggar on the side of the walk path, disabled, blind and alone, with a cup of a number of coins inside. The man looks to the right and to the left and to the right again. Without hesitating he grabs the cup, and continues to walk away without a bone of regret or guilt.

“Thief, Thief, he stole my money” the beggar cried. Quick on his feet he dashed and hopped onto the next matatu that passed by. He got away scot free. As his eyes wondered around the bus looking for a place to seat, the second last row was vacant with one beautiful poised woman, reading a book. He sits down, counts the coins that he stole, pleased by the number and closes his eyes waiting to arrive at his destination. Before the bus comes to a halt the conductor approaches him, shaking the coins in his hand like a tambourine in front of his face. The man hand him 30 bob and returns to his hibernation. Drastically the bus comes to a halt. The woman seated next to him closes her book and inserts it in her handbag. She gently taps him on his shoulder, hoping he will make way for her to depart. He ignores her. Still gentle and benevolent she taps him once again and utters in a soft tone “Excuse me sir, may I kindly get through”. As he opens his eyes, and turns his face to look at her, a metamorphic force creates a disruption in his natural order.

In this moment, time stood so still that his heart was no longer beating and his lungs were no longer breathing. As he glossed over her smile, he imagined that when God made her, he turned to his angels and gave them a high five. Her deep brown eyes were angelic yet imperfect just the way God intended. Her dimples deeper than the deep blue see and the dips in the moon. Her eyelashes were long like guitar strings, and he envisioned that every time she blinked harmonies melodies of tunes would play through them. Her skin glistened in the dull ambience of the inside of the matatu so profoundly, he thought she came straight out a magazine cover. Through her smile, spoke again “Sir, are you okay?”. The man returned to reality, yet still intoxicated by her beauty, he made way for her to get out. He rubbed his eyes in denial of what he had just seen and looked out for her in the window. All he could see was the sea of waves of her hair, running down her back, dancing with the wind as she hurried away.

Not long after, he arrived at his destination. Exiting the vehicle, his head was faced down so that he doesn’t miss a step. But once he looked up, life became a canvas of colours vividly described using the painting by Pablo Picasso called ‘Girl before a mirror’. He would see her pure smile in every white cloud in the sky. Walking on the road her figure took the form of the rainbow of buildings in the town. The depths of her eyes were painted in pastel colours of the flowers, plants and trees in the expanse of nature. He would remember the way her skin radiated through the different array of shades and tones of light in every room he entered. From that day, he did everything he never had the courage to do. He trusted with his whole heart, he was confident, focused, hopeful and strived to make sure he would never see black and white again. He knew he had to do whatever it takes to find her again, because there were so many new colours that he was yet to see.

Pauline Gethi,
May 15, 2021

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