Glady Mwende is a writer, thespian and Filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya. She enjoys creating stories, inspired by people from all walks of life. Her intention with her work is to tell the untold and show the beauty of life and all that it comes with, through her art.
I am fine
By Glady Mwende
Every Thursday at noon, she sits alone in a park eating deep-fried pork sausages watching people pass by. It helps her lessen the burden she carries in her heart, unsaid words, untold stories. She keeps wondering if things would have ever turned out differently if she ever said something to someone, anyone. Now and then, a passer-by would notice her distant stare and would reach out
to ask her if she’s okay. Struggling to recollect herself, with a low unsure voice and a crooked smile she’d answer. “I am fine.” So they would walk away.
Memories come flooding in, shadows of her past creeping on her present. She curses the day she met her husband. Sharp stabbing pains cut across her chest whenever she remembers him. His brown eyes were always filled with subtle fury and distant warmness. How his muscles formed when he held her tightly. How on his good days, he would pin her on the wall and make love to her, the kind she liked. He would choke her a little as he held her waist on his, gently thrusting, whispering how much he loved her. He would cook for her and they would even take showers together. On his good days, he was a man she always knew. She smiles hiding her teary eyes. She is suddenly disgusted when she remembers his bad days, which were most days. He beat her up mercilessly like a stray dog. The times he made her feel like the ugliest creature. The times he cheated on her with her friends and every time she tried to ask, he made her feel guilty about it. It was always her fault, he said. How dare she imagine that? How he would look into her eyes and say, “I love you and you love me and we trust each other so don’t doubt me.” He’d say. His kisses felt empty, dead to her. The times he’d accuse her of being insecure until she became insecure, mostly with herself, doubting her thoughts, her words, her actions, worshipping his. “maybe you should work on your body and be like other women then you would be thinking all that.” The times she tried hard to talk and stand for herself but he beat her up and silenced her.
Every time someone asked her if she was okay after the horrible nights she’d still answer ... I am
The day she read a Maya Angelo quote ‘love liberates’ she chose to free herself. Something that
she still hadn’t figured out but she was willing. Something in her shifted. She lay beside him every night plotting her escape. She knew she had had enough. The scars on her skin had become haunting. She wondered who was this man whom she partly recognized, sweet and bitter. Too
bitter. How could she have ended up this way? did she ever miss anything? a sign maybe? she
hated herself for feeling so much. For always saying too little and she knew she had to leave.
The day she packed her things and booked a plane ticket from Nairobi to Kigali, she had hardly
slept. He looked at her and noticed her tired eyes and asked her how she was, she said “ I am
fine” He left for work and she prepared her things and wrote him a letter and placed it on their bed.
That day she took longer in the shower, she remembers how the water felt on her bruised skin.
How she sat on the bathroom floor and cried for him. Will she miss his soft fingertips on her skin,
his eyes, all the love they made? is she strong enough to leave and never come back? whatever
she had become was his doing. She was sure that she never wanted closure, to understand why
he did what he did. She still loved him but she was sure she needed to leave for her sake.
Every Thursday at noon she sits at the park in a new city that doesn’t remind her of anything. Just
beautiful a thousand hills and a past she has to conquer.
Its been six months now and she has not called him or replied to his pending mails. She is finding
a home in a city that is slowly defining her.
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