You are standing by the window, watching the raindrops hit your windowpane before touching the ground. The rain is rhythmic; you love its predictability, unlike your life. Your life needs a Sherlock Holmes to solve the unending mystery. Every other day, you seem to have a surprise stored for you. It makes you wonder whether you are a guinea pig of a social experiment. Perhaps some scientists just want to find out how much can a human being handle when in distress. You can almost hear their voices on the opposite side of the windowpane. They are using a lot of scientific jargon and psychological terms as they scrutinize you. You don’t really understand what they are saying but you know you are the subject of interest. Perhaps if this experiment and the theory works, you’ll become rich from what they’ll pay you. A happy guinea pig. You smile then sigh.
From afar, you hear your neighbour sobbing. There is a lot of commotion and shouting going on. Her husband is beating her up. Your heart aches a little more. Then you sigh again. Life is miserable, you think. They had been married for ten years; happy and blessed with six children. Then he re-married and boom! everything shattered. It wasn’t the re-marrying that brought the problems per se, it was the attitude towards his family. Life is scary like that. People change, love fades off, evil is real and the world is yet to end. Or you are the one who can’t wait for your own end.
Your father left your mother while you were two months old and she was critically ill. You are lucky to be here. There was a time you almost became homeless, you almost dropped out of school, you almost became malnourished, your mother almost died, YOU almost died; twice in fact. You look at the marks of the razor that went through your hand skin. You look at the scars skillfully and very carefully hidden under the famous Kenyan flag bracelet. You are lucky to be alive, with your mother and under a roof. You seem to have the nine lives of a cat or is it just life that loves you? Perhaps it is the scientists, pumping oxygen forcefully into you. They can’t lose their guinea pig.
‘I don’t want to be part of this social experiment anymore,’ you whisper to the virtual scientists. They look at you like you’re crazy. Like they want to shout on your face, ‘Do you know how much we’ve spent on you?! On this experiment?!’
You feel the burning sensation in your eyes. You force back the tears. ‘Wanaume hawalii’ (Men don’t cry) they say. You ask who? People. In the streets, the wazee in their barazas, youth on their Facebook posts. Real men don’t cry. You are tempted to ask how much tears can a man shed before he is regarded as ‘a useless man’ or even told, ‘You are no different from a woman’ Like a woman is a bad person. But you can’t ask because then, they’ll doubt your manhood.
You hear your mother groan in pain inside. It turns out she has leukemia. You’ve been jobless for the past five months. She’s been strong all along but strength at this point isn’t enough without the ridiculously expensive treatment she needs.
‘God? Can you hear me?’ You look up to the sky and gaze at it. Like you are waiting for a response from God. You and God, you have a strange relationship. Some nights, you stay up throughout, kneeling, begging, praying, crying in silence and talking to Him one on one. And sometimes, some days pass without saying a word to Him. Those days when you feel like He has abandoned you. When you feel like He doesn’t care about you. You get angry and ignore Him like a disappointed lover.
‘God, can you hear me?’ This time, you let the tears flow. It is night, no one will see your tears anyway. Your eyes have now become the Niagara falls. You had missed this. Talking to Him.
You remember this old man in your neighbourhood, he once told you, ‘Snap out of it; the self-pity. God is always there for everyone and anyone who calls out to Him.’ You slowly wipe the tears as you remember his most famous story that he narrates to you: ‘Job (Nabii Ayub A.S) didn’t die despite his severe illness. Abraham (Nabii Ibrahim) didn’t die despite being thrown into the fire. Jonah (Nabii Yunus) didn’t die despite being swallowed by the whale. Joseph (Nabii Yusuf) didn’t die despite being thrown into the well. Jacob (Nabii Ya’qub) survived despite losing his son and his sight. And Ishmael (Nabii Ismael) survived despite the order that he is to be slaughtered. Whatever the test and turmoil you are in right now, God has a plan for you. Don’t give up on His mercy.’
You stare at the clear sky. It has stopped raining now and once again you call out, ‘God?’ Suddenly, you see a star, it twinkles. With tears in your eyes, you smile.
‘He is listening. God is listening!’