My First Time

Yesterday I slept with someone I hadn’t seen in a long time. Okay, not quite; I shared a bed with someone I hadn’t seen in a while.
Sleep is not even close to what we did because I wouldn’t be fighting sleep amid the day today.

We laughed the entire night, which was something I hadn’t done in a long time and brought me immense joy.

My phone had rung 20 minutes into my afternoon siesta, and Iraq (her nickname would require another article) said she would be passing by shortly. We should’ve known it was going to be another long night of laughter and great moments.

Wephad met in university, and while our friendship waned after we graduated, we still ran into each other occasionally and had a good time.

Reliving the moments of life we shared, this specific instance had us in stitches. Our first time with weed edibles.

You see, we go through a lot of silent rites of passage on our journey to adulthood. There’s the first time you drank, went to a club, had sex, and so on. They say you can forget your first time, but the high lasts a lifetime.

A few months into campus, Iraq, Jenny, and I had become solid friends, and we were excited about our newfound freedom and everything it brought.
We’d never tried or touched alcohol, let alone weed.

On this particular day, a classmate had invited us to a birthday party.
Even though there had been a lot of drinking and smoking, the three of us kept refilling our glasses with lemon soda and avoided anyone with anything that sounded intoxicating.

After the party, we stayed over to assist in cleaning up and ended up staying the night.
The subject of weed came up during our long chats, and after much coaxing, we agreed to try it since there were a few edibles leftover from the party.

after the first bites, we were checking for oddities or strange behaviors  and after 20 minutes of no one reacting, we went all-in with the remaining cookies. (Biggest mistake of our lives)

An hour later, when we’d forgotten and even dismissed the whole weed frenzy, the high finally kicked in, and the mayhem began.

I wish I could explain this in my mother tongue, so you can understand exactly what I’m talking about, but I’ll do my best.

Iraq got the high first, complaining that her mouth was clogged with cotton. More like she had a mouth full of marsh mellows. Anxiously and distressed, we all stepped in to help, using a torch to search for the invisible cotton in her mouth.

Then our host, Elsy, spotted a spilled stream of water creating an arc beneath the table and announced that there was a river in the house. We gathered around the small puddle of water, terrified, staring at it as if it were an ocean.

When it finally hit me, the high started with the room’s colors shifting to disco colors, followed by an intense euphoria that burst into hysterical laughter. Never in my life had I laughed so hard. Everything around me was amusing, but Iraq’s nose was particularly amusing. I couldn’t take my eyes off it and couldn’t stop laughing.

I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong with it, whether it was the shape, size, or color, but I knew it was the funniest thing I’d ever seen.

On the other hand, Jenny in her new state of mind had realized that her head was lighter than usual, as if she didn’t have one, and kept asking us to help her touch it.
My days! You should have seen us in that chaos.

Iraq’s struggle with the cotton in her mouth was hilarious. She couldn’t stop gagging and drank whatever she could get her hands on to wash it down.

If anything, the water and bottles of leftover beers she kept drinking to wash down the stuck cotton would have been her death. Jenny was inconsolably crying the entire time. Seated in a corner, she mourned the loss of her head.

By this time, Elsy was on her knees, circling the stream of water on the floor that she had recognized as the River Jordan, probably trying to figure out how to cross. We’re it not for the closed door, Elsy would have been on her knees outdoors, trying to find the end of River Jordan.

Then there was me, helpless in tears and laughing my lungs out. I thought I was going to die from laughing.

Except for Elsy, who spent almost the entire night circling the Jordan River, we eventually fell into deep sleep and awoke exhausted. I’ve never been that tired in my entire life, especially from laughing so hard.

That was our first and, for the most part, our last edible encounter, but the high will stay with us forever.
Even though I’d only gotten two hours of sleep when my alarm went off, it was one of the best nights I’d had in a long time.

As I nurse a laughing Hangover, I’d advise you this; If you’re going to try edibles for the first time, take the smallest dose you can. Stay at home and stay inside. I repeat, stay inside!

Up close with the devil

Once you have been the victim of a violent crime and you have seen evil in action, you know the devil lives and breathes in people all day, every day.” Gabrielle Union.

I came across this statement while reading Gabrielle Unions’ ‘We’re Going to Need More Wine.’ In the chapter, Gabrielle recounts being raped, the anguish it caused, and how it affected her life.
I was fixated on those words for a long time, reading and rereading the words as if they held the answers I had been seeking for a long time.

The words awoke something in me, a fear I’d grown so accustomed to that I didn’t need someone to point it out to me.
It was as if she was speaking directly to me, telling me what I already knew but couldn’t admit.

Reading those lines out loud gave me a sense of liberation as if the darkness had lifted and given me a voice.

Like never before, I now know the feeling of looking people in the eye and thinking, “I’ve seen this devil before.”
I know this because I saw the devil up close just a few months ago. No, I wasn’t raped; I was mugged in a way that nearly paralyzed me psychologically.

I was walking home in the evening after seeing a friend. Darkness had not yet fallen, and most people were still on their way home from work. I was listening to music on my earphones, my phone in my pocket, and a purse in my hand.

Two males on a motorcycle came up behind me, roughed me up, and took my phone and took the small sum I had, nearly breaking my skull in the process. I got away with my life and had to nurse a concussion to the head for a while, but things could have been much worse.

The first person I told asked me why I was walking with earphones on and hadn’t taken the bus home.
All this time, I was thinking, I would have died had they chosen to shoot or stab me.
All for a phone worth a few thousand and a few coins that wouldn’t last a meal.

The incident only lasted a few seconds, yet it has stayed with me to this day. It still feels like I’m going through it all over again whenever I think about it.
How can I forget how powerless I felt when that sense of powerlessness still haunts me?

These incidents happen all the time, especially in this town I live in, but these are not the kinds of things you want to happen to you. Even though you are aware that they may occur, you never anticipate them. You never sit around waiting for them or walk yourself towards them.

When I tell people what happened that day, they usually ask why I hadn’t taken the bus, and I’m left wondering what criminal I did by walking home at such convenient hours in a neighbourhood I considered safe.

When some people say things like, “That isn’t even enough to make you tremble. We’ve seen greater crime; that was just a little ‘welcome party’ to the city.”
I wonder how they quantify crime and why anyone would adopt a method that could cause life-altering pain or even death.

At your age, you’ve obviously been through these things.” A friend once remarked bluntly when I told them how scared I felt.
But how could I tell them that, despite having been through a lot in my life, I had never been a victim of such violence?
That I hadn’t had what is rightfully mine taken from me so violently.

How could I explain to them that I believed in goodness and good people, so much that I couldn’t comprehend how someone could be so cold and cruel to another human being.

So when people say things like, “That was only a little shake up,” I’m not sure how to explain to them that this little shakeup was a life or death situation for me.
That I almost sprint into a run when I hear the sound of a motorcycle, even though two months have passed.

I’m not sure they’ll understand when I tell them that unless I’m in the safety of my own house, I feel watched, as if people are creeping up on me, waiting to pounce.

I cannot tell them that I am scared to walk anywhere alone. About the voices, I have to quiet when I am in a crowd of people. Voices pleading with me to leave, to flee, to take a seat near someone who could protect me in the event of an attack.

These people that boldly pass such comments, have no idea how many times I have cuddled the thought of owning a gun, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked up how to get a gun on the internet or how many times I’ve felt the inside of my jacket hoping to find something with which to defend myself.

Now I’m careful, even scared of just pulling my phone out when sitting next to anyone suspicious, and people with an aura of strength make me anxious.

So when Gabrielle says, “The feeling of surveillance, of being hunted, never goes away,” I worry that I’ll have to bear this fear for the rest of my life.

Because how can I know peace when the third eye behind my head has been triggered? When I am constantly looking around for the devil in the faces, I once saw God in?

I know it’s futile to attempt to push this worry away or expect it to vanish as quickly as it appeared, but I hope it becomes easier with each passing day.

That I eventually learn to close my third eye when I’m around people, especially people I can trust.
I hope that instead of looking for the devil in others, I would see the good in them.

I’m hoping that I’ll be able to calm these feelings over time rather than fighting them.
That the rage I feel when I see or hear news of crime does not develop into an act that puts me in jail.

I hope with my life that when I figure out how to move past these feelings, I will know peace again.

Beginning and Becoming

The other day, which happened to be my birthday, I  let my emotions drown me.

I had expected it, like with previous birthdays, to be a rollercoaster of happiness, smiles, and laughter.  It was, only that this time I was dealing with greater emotions, and I was fighting tears amidst a hearty  laughter.

This person, who could see the tears welling up behind my smile, urged me to set them free.
Knowing how difficult it is for me to deal with my sudden flood of emotions, they handed me a diary, put on a playlist and sat close to hand me wipes and rub my back.

But I sat staring at the new blank diary, unable to find the words to express how I felt.
My heart beating to the wonderful times I’ve had and those yet to come.

Reflecting on how things had evolved and how I’ve grown through them. Thinking of people that’s come into my life and those that’s left. People I am yet to meet and those I hope to bump into in this journey of life.

I sat there, looking into the years I’ve been fortunate enough to call my own, and realized how much I’ve allowed myself to grow, evolve and slide into this version of me I craved for.

For a long period, I felt a tidal wave of conflicted feelings rise withing me. Disappointment, pride, guilt, fulfillment, loss, victory, shame, intense happiness and sadness all at once.

I let the storm rage till it settled and welcomed a wave of peace and calmness.
I felt content with my life and where I was, even if it wasn’t where I want to be.
That, while some parts broke me or caused me pain and sadness, they also helped shape me into the person I have come to love so much.

As I finally open a page in this diary today, I realize that those emotions were preparing me for this new chapter of my life. Helping me to realize what has happened, what I need to carry on and where I need to start again.

Oh, the things I’ve learned!
I’m proud of how, lately, I’ve been able to let things fall into place even when they aren’t falling in my desired order.
Of being okay with my cup being empty on some days, knowing that I can always fill it as long as I have it.

I’ve learned to believe in the fire that burns within my spirit and trust the beating of my heart. To treat myself with kindness, patience and gentleness on days when I want to walk out of my skin.
To speak respectfully, acceptingly, and lovingly to me and about me.

My emotions, as overwhelming as they can be, have evolved to the point that I no longer give  people the power to break me, or stand on the giving end without receiving. That I am  able to hold onto myself when no one does,  is a power I am embracing.

Heck, I’ve learned to let things go! To let go of weights that take up too much room in my heart.
To walk away from places and people  that silence my voice and drain my energy.
To wear and  feel beautiful in my acne, stretch marks and scars, even in spaces that demands perfection.

I’ve learned to love myself and to allow myself to be loved. To tear down the wall around my heart and face the people for whom my soul beats for with raw emotions. To be able to speak my heart while also listening to theirs without  losing myself  in the middle.

Because I am learning to pay more attention to what is going on within me,  to connect with my depths on deeper levels, I realize that relaxing in my bed with a book or binge-watching my favorite shows, without worrying who called, texted, or is coming over, is peace in its own measure.

Despite all the negativities of life, I can proudly say that I am finding myself. Though messy and ugly,  I am learning that this emptiness I try to fill in all manner of ways can first be filled with my own love.
That I can be safe with myself even if no one else hears my screams.

 Even with all the challenges coming my way, I am not afraid of losing this happiness because I know how to make it.
I am in a space where I can comfortably say, “I am home to myself, with myself.”

Now that I’m at this phase where I’m not sure what’s going to happen, its scary, this version of me that’s evolving. Because I know that it could make or break me, but I am not afraid of what will be, because I know that I am becoming.

I’ve gathered my lessons, I’m ready for new ones, and prepared for what this season will bring me.

So as my year begins, I hope to be here more often. To write and let the spirit of writing overwhelm me. To trust in my wings even when I don’t have the strength to fly.

We will therefore  be having a post here every Monday, about life and everything that comes with it. About friendships, sadness, happiness, and books.

When you can, be here with me.
See you in the pages of this chapter of life.
Cheers! 🥂