I remember her. Every day, I see her. The soft-spoken beauty who grabbed my hands when other beauties were still waiting for the opportune time. She reached out, in three words, a paper ironed and slipped in a perfumed envelope.
“Anto Iberna. Aduari”
(You’re beautiful to me. I want you)
I read the letter, the meaning too gross for my mind to process, so I studied her handwriting. Lord, it was a result of routine scribbling. It wasn’t calligraphy per se, but it was nothing ordinary.
Every word smiled at me.
Every word seduced me.
I think I saw her writing them with a ruler pressed on a page as a pen left bits of her soul on the page. She was the letter.
It was an art.
What was I to do? What did it mean when a class 6 pupil wrote a class 4 a letter?
“Anto Iberna. Aduari” this had to be a joke, because I knew ‘beautiful’ boys were not skinny and didn’t have big front teeth; they had round heads, and more meat, and were taller, and were fighters. But I was just a skinny boy. I wasn’t ‘ beautiful’. I was different, I was weak, but I could run, so I ran from her. Ran away from her.
She was the letter, remember? I ran away with her in my pocket, and when I couldn’t run anymore, I crushed her in my palms and chewed her. I killed her.
Fast forward, 15 or so years later. Nairobi homes ghosts. She is the most beautiful of them all. I, the murderer sips coffee that her ghost has paid for.
“I love your locs.” They are four words now, she talks more now. Her thighs fill her skirt. She is juicy. She is the words. I chewed them.