The Enchanting Violinist – 3

Hiring the Violinist who sells Weaves in Kinoo.

Phillip clutched his keys, his gaze taking in the quaint town Nyambura had chosen to settle in.  Kinoo was small, out of the city, but still close enough to major hospitals and the hustle and flow.  Having a major highway close was a plus.  Nyambura’s shop was thriving.

She stepped out of the shop, drawing his attention.  She always looked healthy and beautiful.  He smiled.  Her casual style far removed from the ultra modern women he met daily.  No heels for Nyams, she preferred white rubber shoes.  Comfort ruled her world.  Her well-worn jeans hugged her hips to perfection, the white shirt she wore covered her curves but the mystery intrigued him.

Meeting her frowning gaze, Phillip smiled.

“What brings you here?” Nyambura asked, with a flustered smile.

“How are you?” Phillip asked, closing the distance Nyambura kept between them.  “You don’t call or answer messages.”

“Phillip,” Nyambura started.

“I told you, think of me as your friend.”

“Yes,”  Nyambura sighed.  “I know you did.  I’m sorry.  I’ve been busy with the shop and practice.”

Phillip chuckled.

“Excuses, Nyams,” He shook his head.  “I’m not asking for anything else but friendship.”

“Yeah?” Nyambura leaned on the wall behind her.  Her gaze on his car.  “Why don’t you tell me why you came today?”

Nyambura was an escapist.  She continued to avoid his attempts to get close.  Shutting him down without effort, Phillip sighed.

“I have a gig for you,” Phillip said.  “You interested?”

“What kind of gig?” Nyambura asked, finally meeting his gaze, her interest peaked.

Phillip hid a smile and folded his arms against his chest.

“My company has a formal party tomorrow evening.  The main act cancelled.  They’re stuck in Kampala doing another performance.  We have important investors in town, the kind who need classy parties.”

Nyambura frowned.  “How much?”

“Twenty thousand,” Phillip said.  “Formal dress, our guests expect a real authentic show.”

“Twenty-five,” Nyambura countered, forever the business woman.

“Come on, Nyams,” Phillip said.

“It’s short notice, Phillip,” Nyambura said.  “If I need to convince the guys to give up stuff they are doing for cash, I need a good payout.”

Phillip calculated their budget.  The act that cancelled was to be paid thirty thousand for the night, and an early breakfast call.  Their popularity dictated their price.  Nyams and her quartet were classy, but unknown.  Oh well, Phillip decided the payout was well-deserved.  He’d get flack for it from the accountant, but—

“Fine, Twenty-five,” Phillip said.

Nyambura gifted him with her first smile and he stared.  She rarely smiled.  Phillip could count the number of times he’d seen her do it.  Six times, to be exact.  This woman with her hard shell and brown eyes that had seen too much.  She intrigued him.

“Thank you,” Nyambura said.  “What time?”

“Can you show up at five-thirty in the evening?  Set up, and make sure everything is working.”

“Sounds good,” she nodded.  “We need a room to keep stuff, and change clothes.”

“No problem,” Phillip smiled.  “Dinner is on us.”

Nyambura nodded, and reached for her cell phone.  She texted her fellow musicians in seconds, and got a reply back just as fast.  Her excitement was hard to miss.  It made him feel as though he’d helped her win the lottery.  Nyambura’s music was important to her.

Phillip stared at his car keys.  He wished Nyambura would ask him if he wanted tea.  He’d scoped out the little shopping center and the tiny hotel across the street was perfect.  Hell, he could eat a mandazi if she asked.  Or even a samosa

If she wanted, he could drive her to the nearest pizza place.  While they ate, they would talk about everything from the weather, to planting maize…the music people were listening to these days…the possibilities were endless.

“Well,” Nyambura said, and he looked up, hopeful.  “Thank you so much for thinking about us.  We won’t disappoint you tomorrow.”

Yes, the let down was swift, fast.  No room for doubt, Phillip sighed.  Nyambura never dared to give him a hope.

He smiled at her, and she held out her hand for a handshake.

Phillip took her slender hand, squeezed it gently, then she let go, and he was left with no choice but to head back to his car.  He shook his head and walked down the steps.

“What happened to all the courage, Phillip?” he murmured under his breath, and opened the driver’s door.  Getting in, he slammed the door closed and sat watching Nyambura enter the shop with a final wave to him.  He’d come to visit her with such fire, ready to make her hear him out.

Still stuck in friend zone, fail, Phillip scoffed.

Jeez, this was getting pathetic.  His mistake though, he kept spouting all the nonsense about friendship.  If he was ever going to get out of there, he had to confess tomorrow night at the party, he decided.  Nyambura was always at her best when she was playing music, so he’d talk to her right when she was flying high from the performance.

Phillip smiled with anticipation and started the car.

****

to be continued…..Thank you for reading ^_^!

Previous Chapters

The Enchanting Violinist – 1

The Enchanting Violinist – 2

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Koya’s Choice

Longing to Heal the Earth – Day 13

Longing to Heal the Earth 

People don’t realize the earth is…alive, her grandmother would say.

events_crystalitas_gaia_mother_earth_healing_meditation_elementars_180x120Before…when her grandmother was young, the world was lush green.  Thick trees grew tall, so tall, one couldn’t see the highest branch.  Green grass in fields, vast and wide, as far as the eye could see.  Her grandmother would run down the hill, to the valley where the fresh spring flowed.  The water sweet, cool and clear.  So clear, the rocks in the riverbed were visible.

Those days, her grandmother would say that all she needed to do was scoop water in her hand and take a sip, drink a gulp, dunk her face in the fresh spring water and drink her fill.

There was no need for machines to clean water.

Not like now, Mira thought, her gaze on the clear glass of water on the table.

All her water came in bottles sold at the supermarket.  She was thirty and had yet to see a clear spring or river, one safe for her to dunk her head into the precious water and drink her fill.  Mira gagged at the thought of dunking her head into the Nairobi River for a drink.  The river was sick with muck, garbage, waste….God knew what else…one sip and she’d end up in the hospital with poisoning.

Her grandmother’s stories sometimes sounded like lies.  Yet she knew, her grandmother would never lie to her.  Mira believed her when she spoke of lush green fields and tall trees.

On days like this, she wanted a taste of the water in a clear fresh spring.  Mira took the glass and drank deep.  It was hot outside, and she still needed to go to the market.

Letting a sigh escape, she got up, wore her hat and took her purse and a light bag she used for shopping.  She stopped at her door to wear the nose mask that had turned essential in the past year, then left her apartment.

The sun was hot.  Scorching hot.  Mira walked along Ngong rd heading to the junction mall.  Pedestrians she passed wore similar nose masks, their heads covered with hats and dark eyeglasses.

The masks were for the dust.  In a frenzy of progress, the country had lost eighty percent of its tree cover.  Forests, fields of green and lush valleys replaced with forests of sky scrapers, apartment buildings and factory buildings.  The rivers had turned to muck-filled waters thanks to the factories dumping at will without regulation.  The streets became filled with trash, as the population increased and no garbage regulations were imposed.  Garbage, muck, chemicals in the air…no trees, the air changed, the soil changed…the earth started dying and so did the people.

She was lucky.

Mira worked in one of the factories that manufactured portable home-water cleansers for those who could afford them.  Water was an essential commodity.  One that the entire nation needed to live.  The water cleansers brought in enough revenue to keep the factory going.  It was a good job, a secure one.

Her job allowed her to afford an apartment that provided clean water, air conditioning to escape the relentless heat and sealed doors to keep out those who couldn’t afford it.

Her people were killing the planet with progress.  The reduction of trees had led to a drastic rise in temperatures.  Summer weather turned deadly, those living in the semi-arid areas suffered first.  The heat spread through the nation like wildfire, it dried the rivers and lakes.  By the time the government started responding to the crisis, essentials like water had turned into a precious commodity peddled by opportunists.  Water was the new Oil.  Oxygen, the second highest money-making commodity.

Air conditioned houses were an essential now.  No living soul could withstand the heat at midday.  Unfortunate souls caught in the daily heat wave met their deaths within the hour if they couldn’t find air conditioned shelters.  It wasn’t easy as the government commissioned shelters got overcrowded.  This daily scramble to get into these shelters was even more deadly.

Mira shivered.  She made a conscious effort never to be outside at midday.  Once, the newspapers were filled with stories on politics, now they were filled with the death toll numbers from the daily heat wave, the severity of water shortages, and what to do to escape the heat.

Mira reached the supermarket.  She stowed away her nose mask, just as she saw customers running to the vegetable stands.  Vegetables were a rare commodity.  She caught a glimpse of leafy greens and found her self running too.  Slipping in to the throng of struggling bodies, she slipped under a thin man’s arm and reached out her hand to the shelf.  Her fingers searching, searching, then they closed over a bunch.  She gripped it tight and fought hard to pull out of the human scramble. 

When her hand was free, she hugged her bundle tight against her chest in case an opportunist tried to take it away from her.  She kept walking and didn’t stop until she was in the canned food section.

A smile escaped when she saw the bunch of fresh green spinach in her hand.  She hadn’t seen one of this in three months.  The price on it was high.  One thousand shillings.  More expensive than chocolate.  Lord knew how long it would take until she could get her hands on another one like this.

Fresh fruits and vegetables were hard to come by.  Mira headed to the water aisle and got a ten bottles which she put in her cart for the week.  She took one bottle and stared at the label.  The ice-caped mountain, with flowing streams and green trees on it’s hills seemed surreal.  She doubted anyone in her generation had ever seen anything so beautiful.

No wonder her grandmother insisted that the earth was alive.

If we had only stopped killing the trees, stopped abusing the earth by dumping garbage, pumping gases into the sky at will…my dear Mira, you might have seen how clear a spring can be,’ her grandmother would say.  ‘I miss that sweet water I tasted, my girl.  Nothing like this garbage you drink.’

Mira sighed and placed the bottle into her cart.

She too wished for that sweet spring in her grandmother’s past.  If only she could heal the earth…

***

Thanks for reading!

100 days Writing AdventureDays go on, this week a prompt on writing for the earth.  Collect the garbage, don’t cut your trees, and ride a bicycle or walk to the bus stop.  Love the Earth as she’s alive.

 

Other Stories:

  1. Oran – Child of Destiny

Day 6 – Laughing until my stomach hurts

Funny ha-ha
Do you consider yourself funny? What role does humor play
in your life? Who’s the funniest person you know?

6- Laughing  until my stomach hurts

When was the last time you laughed until you felt you’ll pee your pants?

laughing out loudThink about it.  Really stop and remember that moment, and why you laughed until your stomach hurt and tears filled your eyes.  Laughter is the best medicine in any situation, yet it is so rare.  Sure, you can chuckle or give a small laugh when you think something is amusing.  However, honest to goodness, laugh-out-loud laughing is precious.  An awesome laugh is spontaneous and when it happens, gosh-darn, I fall in love with the person who made me laugh that way.  Why?  Coz, I remember that laugh for days, weeks, hell even months, because it was just so good laughing that way.

The funniest person I know is a cousin I consider our big brother.  I’ll name him J.  J is one of those guys who can get you to laugh until you pee your pants.  I love it when he visits us because he always has the best stories to tell.  He’s lively and genuine.  I appreciate him because he has seen my family go through some tough times, and strange times, and no matter the situation, he always manages to make you feel like it will be okay.  I have had some amazing laughs thanks to J, so this post is my small shout-out to him.

Geez, I think it is important to laugh often.  If you’re not genuinely laughing, find a cat video if you have to and laugh.  #Be happy.   

***

100 days Writing AdventureDay 6 – On the importance of a good laugh….our society these days is so serious, unforgiving, and downright mean at times.  We need to focus on the smiles, and laughs…the genuine kind.

Day 4 – Nostalgic Adventures

Leave a Post-it note in a secret place. One sentence only. What do you say? How does the placement affect the message?

Day 4 – Nostalgic Adventures

When I was young, my family would visit my maternal grandmother every holiday.  My siblings and I would spend one whole week running down luscious green hills, getting thoroughly muddy, and in the evening, grandma would entertain us all.  It was a carefree time, we all loved how close we were then.  This closeness dissipated with time though: growing up pulled us apart as distances increased.  My grandma passed away, and the magic of visiting her highlands seemed to disappear.

My Nephew photo bombed us from the back ^_^
My Nephew photo bombed us from the back ^_^

This weekend, we went back there, and it was amazing looking at that place now.  Thelush places hills are still as beautiful as I remember, flowing straight down to a gorgeous river.  I went walking with my nephews and  nieces, we had a good time running up and down, enjoying ourselves. Almost like old times.   So, my post-it-note: I would leave it in that place.  It would read, #NeverForgetOurDaysHere.

 

100 days Writing AdventureDay 4 – This was all fun and games, loved every minute of it.

 

Koya’s Choice – 13

13 – Hidden Secrets & Changing Relationships

Ashley Dhali swept her finger over the photos on her pad with reserved judgment.  She was in her office at the Dhali estate.  Her assistant stood a few feet away from her desk clearly worried about her reaction.  

She frowned and shook her head.  

She wasn’t angry.  She settled back in the comfortable leather office chair, surprised.  She really wasn’t angry. In fact, she hadn’t thought about Koya Kalahari in years.

Ashley glanced at the pictures on the screen again.

Charlie stood too close to a beautiful woman in a long green dress.  Koya had matured into an elegant creature.  What worried Ashley was the expression on Charlie’s face.

She placed her pad on the desk and met her assistant’s gaze.

“Where was this?”

“The Power to Women gala held at Riruta church on Saturday.”

So that’s where Charlie had gone.

He’d gone to check on his old flame.

Hunting, she scoffed.  “That punk.”

“Miss Kalahari is the foundation’s Chairlady.  Dhal Corporation has donated one million shillings to their community center project.  They foundation is building the center on a plot close to Miss Kalahari’s home.”

Koya seemed to have found a foothold in the power jungle.

Ashley stared at her pad for a full minute then made a snap decision.

“Call Adele Kouga,” Ashley said, remembering the M.P.’s wife was the Vice- Chairlady. “Make an appointment with her for tomorrow morning.  Tell Nora to start preparations for a dinner party on Friday night.  The guest list is as usual.  Make sure you add Koya Kalahari to the list.  Let’s see if she can swim with the sharks.”

“Yes, Madam,” her assistant left her office fast, shutting the door.

Alone, Ashley stood and walked to a chest of drawers against the wall to her left.  The top drawer was secured with a small keypad.  She punched in the password and the lock system disengaged.  Pulling open the top drawer, she removed a sizable lacquered box, placing it on top of the chest.

Ashley removed a bunch of letters she’d kept hidden for eight years.  Taking the oldest one, she stretched it open and stared at her son’s familiar writing.  Her gaze on the heartfelt words written…

She wasn’t sorry for the decision she’d made eight years ago.  She really couldn’t be sorry, because it would mean undoing so much.  Dhal Corp wouldn’t exist, Charlie wouldn’t have turned out the way he had.  Folding the old letter, she stuck it with the rest and returned them into the box.  She locked the box away in the drawer and strode out of her office.

Regrets were for weak minds.

The best she could do now was get to know Koya Kalahari.

***

“Mahali travel would like us to create a campaign promoting their Diani, Malindi and Nyali packages,” Koya said, reading through the requirements Mahali emailed her.  “We need site visits, Hannah.  I’m leaving that to you.”

“I’m in for a trip to Diani.”  Hannah grinned as she took the pictures of the beach cottages Mahali Travel used to host their clients.  “I see myself here for a month.”

“Haha, there is a two-week limit on the project, cousin,” Koya said as she sat back in her seat.  She swiveled it from side to side, twirling her pen.  “Don’t get lost down there.”

“Hmm,” Hannah met her gaze.  “This will be a fun campaign to create.  I have a billion ideas already forming.”

“I’m sure,” Koya said with a small smile.

She stopped swiveling her chair, and leaned her elbows on her desk.  She signed off on the budget the accountant had laid out and passed the file to Hannah.

Hannah stood to leave, and then paused, studying Koya.

Koya raised her eyebrow.

“What?”

“Are you alright?” Hannah asked.  “You’ve been like a zombie since the gala on Saturday.  You drank yourself to sleep that night. Yesterday, you agreed to wearing lime green at Ashi’s wedding without flinching.  I’m worried.”

“She seemed so set on the lime green for the bridesmaids,” Koya said.  “I didn’t want to argue with her.”

“I’m counting on you to change her mind.  I refuse to look like a bright fruit in the name of a wedding.”

Koya laughed.

“Fine, I’ll take her out to lunch,” Koya said.  “I’m fine, Hannah, there’s nothing to worry about.”

Hannah frowned and took her seat again. 

“Koya, we all understand that things are a bit tough for you—.”

“Hey,” Koya protested.  “This is exactly what I want to avoid.  Nothing is hard, Hannah.  Charlie can’t dictate how happy or sad I am.  Life goes on.”

“Sounds to me like you are trying to convince yourself you’re fine.”  Hannah stood and waved the file she held.  “Thanks for this.  I’m off to Diani for some work and play.  Meanwhile, please think try to live a little, cousin.  Life is not all about work, you know.”

Alone in her office, Koya swung her chair around to stare out her office windows.  She tried to get a hold of the anger rising up at odd times of the day: an old anger she’d never managed to destroy.  She kept busy to ignore it, but it was constant and ready to burst out these days.  Charlie had looked well, too well.  His intention to get back with her after the horrendous letter he’d written was insane.  Who did he think he was? 

She’d come in to the office this Monday morning ready to bury her head in work and forget him, but apparently work wasn’t helping.  Her cell phone buzzed on her desk and she reached for it.

“Kalahari,” she answered.

“Come out and play,” Kim said into her ear.

“I’m busy.”

“You’re staring out the windows brooding, come on, don’t be a bore.  It’s Monday.”

“Most people would think you’re the crazy one.  Mondays are serious business days.”

“Not for me,” Kim chuckled.  “Change into jeans and a t-shirt.  Let’s go glass shopping.  I have a client who wants fancy art on glass.  You’re good with that kind of thing…how about it?”

“Will you pay me commission?” Koya asked, although her blood was already singing at the thought of a road trip out of the city.

“A steak dinner,” Kim offered.

“Meat?” Koya laughed.  “I guess I’m that kind of girl.  Fine, let me change.  Where do you want to pick me up?”

“I’m downstairs, hurry down,” Kim replied.

Koya got up from her seat and looked down at the parking lot below.  She grinned when she saw Kim’s familiar black four-wheel drive pickup.

“Five minutes,” she promised, rushing into the bathroom attached to her office.

She kept a mini wardrobe on a shelf in the bathroom.  She changed out of her white and red skirt suit into blue skinny jeans and blue t-shirt.  Pulling on matching rubber shoes, she held her braids up in a ponytail and hurried out of the bathroom.

She made it downstairs in six minutes, but who was counting.  Kim grinned at her as she got into the passenger side.  He gave her a once over and pointed at her neck.

She touched the gold necklace she’d been wearing to match her elegant skirt and blouse.

“Oops,” she smiled and unsnapped it.  She slipped it into her handbag and wore her seat belt.

Kim gave her an approving wink and started the truck.  He tuned the radio to a rock station, turning up the volume.  Koya loved the drive out of the city, a sense of freedom always settled over her.  Glancing at Kim, she smiled because he always knew how to lift her spirits.

***

To be continued…>>

Thanks for reading!

Previous Chapters

Pottery – Art for Sustenance

Adventures in Nairobi led me to a wonderful community center in Eastleigh that does pottery to help fund their projects and support the less privileged.  The Eastleigh Community Center has a full-fledged Pottery Workshop that produces gorgeous pottery pieces they sell to support the center.

pottery1

We got the chance to walk through the pottery shop where they sell their finished products.  Of course, the motto was walk with care.  I kept praying my clumsiness would stay put, the shelves were so gorgeously full of delicate art.  The staff was busy packing for an exhibition, so I only got one shot of the packed shelves.  I’m told you can visit the Center if you would like to view the pottery before you purchase.

pottery2

More pottery on shelves…these jugs remind me of the ones I see in old Egyptian paintings, or Greek art. Imagine yourself filling your jug with water, or milk, and placing it on the work table.  So beautiful….get one here.

Pottery8

The picture above is a collection of mugs in the process of creation, before they go back in to the kiln for another burn.

pottery3

This little plant pot absolutely stole my heart.  Yes, part of it is the Biscuit written on the side, but it is just so cute, I want one!

pottery5

Outside the Eastleigh Community Center offices is a line of potted plants that make me want to go back to their shop and purchase a few for our compound.

The Eastleigh Community Center displays their pottery work at different expos around Nairobi.  You might run into them at Yaya Center, the Maasai Market, or at the Sarit Center Expos…and many other trade shows.

Learn more about this industrious Project

Website : PCEA Eastleigh Community Center