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December 2017

WRAPPING UP 2017

For the past decade, every new year has found me in church. 2017 was no exception. Other than it being a family tradition, I love the joy that comes with celebrating the new year in church. This year, as the clock struck midnight on the 1st of January 2017, the music was suddenly sweeter, louder and intoxicating in the right way. The keyboardist became more vigorous in playing the notes, the soloist was singing at the top of his lungs and the congregation was wild with joy. Everyone hugging everyone. Enemies smiling at each other across the aisles. It was a NEW YEAR .

Am pretty sure in the middle of all that celebration those who owned diaries full of resolutions were ready to begin ticking them. Those who made promises to visit the gym in the new year suddenly started thinking of better ways to spend that money; anywhere but the gym. Those preparing to go to school started stressing over what corner of the house they placed one side of their shoes. And I, was living the moment. Dancing to the music like it was my last day. My immediate thought at that point was how my bed will be cold when I get in and how my body heat would eventually warm it. The next thought was how to restock. (You’ll get this as you go on). The new year was just a few minutes old in all its glory, then I blinked and boom! It’s ending.

Its undisputed that the year 2017 has flown right past our eyes so fast. Just while you are in the process of coming to terms with an event, another passes right by to remind you no one’s got time to wait for you to process things at your own speed. So much has happened this year and it all felt like a movie trailer; considering how fast the year seems to have gone.

For one, this blog was officially birthed this year. We have shared stories and experiences together with our readers. Our interactions were not limited to the blog only, but to our social media accounts too. To connect with us there, visit our page HERE. It’s been a learning experience for both my partner and I.

Away from the blog, several other things have happened this year that could be talked about.

My partner is the kind of person who loves talking about anything and everything. ‘Hey Paula, whats your take on the driving rules?’ ‘What do you think about the current political climate?’ ‘Tell me your take on githeri media.’ ‘Have you read Nyakundi’s posts? What do you think?’ There is always something new to be discussed with him. Sometimes I cooperate and we have a good and rational discussion. But sometimes and most of these times, I just don’t tell him what he wants which makes us have a small problem. Nothing that can’t be solved by an emoji though. The other day he wanted to know what I think about lab processed meat. I mean I get that there is so much on the internet and every day the crazy factory that is science and technology will give us something new. I didn’t give him my view on it. I have no opinion.

There are times when things happen and I sit back and check how much I got left. Am not talking about money. I mean all the shit, fucks, crap, damn and possible rats’ asses that may be left for me to give in any scenario. Then I realize that am out. Fresh out of everything. These moments have all happened in the stretch of this year. 2017 has been the year when most of us ran out. I know I did.

For instance; we have had a never ending politically charged period; and it is not just in my country Kenya, but across the globe there has been a fair share of political drama, limbo, and sometimes even a breakthrough. America has Donald Trump, a president whose supporters are rarely heard, but has more critics that the Kardashians. Zimbabwe just got to have a new president since their independence. Kim Jong-un with the nuclear. Kenya made history by being the first African country to have its presidential elections nullified.

We have seen the rise of the boy child. A movement I must say I support. I do not however agree with the unorthodox and crude means the self-proclaimed president uses in order to get his point home.

So when my partner wants us to talk about all these things and I find a way not to, it’s not that I don’t want to talk about some of these things, it’s just that am honestly fresh out of things to give in such cases. You see there is so much that has happened in 2017. So much to talk about, but there is a moment when you are honestly out of what to give.

But again there are times when the pot is overflowing and there is so much to give. Like when it’s my birthday and the whole country is obsessed with two political candidates instead of sending me sweet birthday messages. Or maybe while browsing through the internet and learning that the one sided relationship I built with my long term celebrity crush, Enrique Iglesias may fail to come to life; and no, it’s not because physical distance is a problem (that can be sorted), but its solely because he got twins with his long term girlfriend (whom I had accepted by the way) and now his focus will be more on the kids. I have never been more heartbroken. But its ok, no hope lost still.

It is these kind of stuff that I give so much about.

It is the end of the year and like I said before, I will be in church. In the meantime, I will restock. 2018 seems like a year that will have scenarios that would need the pot full.

This is the last post this year, obviously. On a personal level, I never have resolutions. But as PepperLife, we have one main resolution. From the coming year, we will do away with the bad spirit of procrastination and laziness when it comes to posting stories. Just like we had promised when we moved here from the WordPress account, we will have a story every week. After further consultation and pointing fingers at each other, we have agreed to mutually share the blame on our failure in this.

Lastly, we are saying a big thank you to our readers, you have kept us going through the year. You are the reason we look forward to the next year. To those who kept reminding us that’s it’s a post day, thank you. We won’t let you down. We are happy. Keep sharing our work to the world. We immensely love you.

 

Happy New Year 2018!

Familiar Much?

The time is 10.28pm, Monday 4th December 2017.

I am not yet asleep; I am watching a movie. It’s a Marvel Studios’ production. I am a huge fan of Marvel. Other than the fact that their movies are awesome, they know how to cast. If you are not enjoying the movie, you are enjoying the view. Greek gods…

My phone is ringing. It’s a new number. I stare at my phone, then mute it. I would probably sing along to my ringtone; but it’s late. So muting is the only option. I recognize the number from earlier in the day.

I was meeting my friend after a really long time. All we have been doing is communicate through social media. Comment on posts. Like posts. Spruced up by occasional chats in the inbox. She was in Kisumu, and we decided to meet at around 11am on a sunny day. Levine, beloved sister, am just bringing to your attention, next time we meet you are probably going to wait for me for at least thirty minutes. It has got nothing to do with you keeping me waiting; I just feel deep down in my heart that on that day, I may have a valid reason for being late.

We headed to Naivas Supermarket, for some refreshments while catching up.

Just as we were in the middle of exchanging the latest gossip (please read important data exchange) a young man lurch at the edge of our table. Not tall, not short. Dark complexion. I hadn’t noticed him until he spoke. It really is wrong to interrupt such weighty discussions between ladies. I was hoping this was important. Part of my mind was convinced he knew Levine. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Hi…” he said in a tremulous voice.

Hi”, Levine reacts.

My name is Kevin Omondi

***awkward silence***

Levine stares at her phone. I stare at him. He suddenly had my attention. A man who walks to a table of ladies confidently grabs my attention. It doesn’t matter if you speak gibberish, you have that courage, you got my attention.

Ok, I have told you my name how about you also tell me yours…” he says addressing both of us.

Hahaha… I didn’t realize that was the trade,” I remark.

hehe… ok, so what are your names?

Paula

Huh? Pau…

Paula. P-A-U-L-A

Wow. Ok. And you are?” addressing Levine, who has now kept her phone away.

Levine

Lavine

No. It’s Levine, not Lavine

There is actually a difference you know”, I add.

Wow. You ladies have unique names.” He declares, and immediately adds, “But I told you two names and you’ve told me just one each.”

You made the choice to tell us two of your names. That doesn’t mean we are bound to do the same. Does it?” I politely asked. It may not look so in writing, but believe me, it was polite. Sort of. Let’s not dwell on that.

Not really. Anyway, am not sure if you noticed me, but I have been observing you from where we were seated. I just had to come and say hello.

Oh… No we didn’t notice you…” It’s really good to be honest.

You really look familiar you know. I think I have seen you somewhere…” he said with his eyes fixed on me. Levine, God bless her lack of self-restraint, burst into laughter. A cruel mocking laugh with no pretense of sympathy. I could have laughed too, but one of us needed to play the composed role.

Ummm… Let me try to get this… Could it be that I look familiar because a few minutes ago he was busy staring at me before having made the very brave decision to come over and blurt it out… In the process, he suddenly realized how I am familiar because like I said, he had just been observing me… Which makes the issue of my familiarity in his memory (which is still very fresh and dependable) abit confusing. To an extent that his mind assumes I may be familiar from a past incident… It’s possible because it all just happened in less than an hour. Therefore, deducing that I look familiar is simply an affirmation that he has a good and working short term memory; but does not in any way mean am actually familiar.

Ok… I know, I got a little carried away in my thoughts there. It would have easily been a labyrinth in my mind had he not spoken again.

Could I have any of your numbers?” His voice flat and steady.

Wait, you actually want to choose between us whose number you want?” Levine asked him.

Yes. I will appreciate any number…”

Before we discuss whose number you may or may not get, how about we go a little back to the matter of my familiarity to you. Do people still use that line? It’s really getting old you know…” I told him.

Am serious. I must have seen you somewhere…” Hahaha… Like am going to buy that. It could be true. But pffft…

Hahaha… nice try. So whose number do you want?” I asked him.

I will appreciate anyMaybe even both” He scoffs darting his eyes across the table.

You really need to be more specific than that,” I insisted.

She is my sister. You can’t ask for just any of our numbers. And you can’t have both. Just tell us which number you want,” Levine said coolly.

I can even take yours.” He says pointing to Levine. “…as long as it helps me get to her,” pointing to me. Wow dude. Wow.

Aha… So it’s my number you want?” I asked in a calm, unhurried voice.

Yes” accompanied with a little chuckle.

Well why couldn’t you just go straight to the point…” Levine said (gesturing at a bottle of soda on the table) “If you needed this soda, would you have gone in circles before picking it up?

hahaha… no

At this point I was convinced he would just drag himself  away. But he didn’t. He reached out and handed me his phone. I graciously took it. Keyed in my number and handed it back to him. I didn’t save it. How he saves my number on his phone is his business. I just hope he doesn’t include ‘h’ somewhere. To confirm if it’s a real number, he calls me. (this is why I recognized the number)

Ok, thank you. I will give you a call later we talk…

I nodded.

Just then, he rolls away. My number the latest acquisition in his contact list; probably saved with the wrong spelling.

Drama follows you,” Levine says with a cheeky smile on her face.

You have no idea how much, I thought to myself.

Back to this moment. Am staring at my phone as it rings; still not sure of how or if to answer it at all, until the screen goes black. It is late. I am not picking a call from someone I just met earlier in the day; who had all day to call me but chooses this time, and who may or may not want to ‘interrogate’ me to figure out how to manipulate his speech into making the topic of my familiarity sound more believable.

Men, or the boy child, please stop with that line. It may be true, but we are sick of it.

I expect the phone to ring for a second time. But it doesn’t. I go back to watching. Then my phone beeps. It’s a message. It is awash with the words (these are not even words) ‘plz’ and ‘dia’.

I keeeeeeennnnnntttt!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, for those waiting for me to clear the way, am sorry to disappoint you. As long as am still ‘dia’ and familiar, something I will never buy, the jam is going to be here for a while.

I have said this before, am not a popular person. There is no way I am familiar to people. (Remember paranoia?) Even if I am, don’t tell me. And if you tell me, then you are lying. That line is dead.

***************************************

The time is 7.54am, Tuesday 5th December.

With my earphones plugged in, I am listening to music. My phone rings. It’s the same number…

To pick or not to pick… Decisions… decisions… decisions…