There is this beautiful Lady who keeps popping up on your feed on face book. “Add friend”, facebook insists, each time you log in.She is all the beauty of four clear night sky constellations, but, without the mediocre pretentious aura a woman with remotely the same beauty and age has.
No. She doesn’t post photos of her dressed to impress ,striking a pose that accentuates her gluteus maxima with a caption like, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all righteousness’ . You know that type? The One that somehow, in the confines of this life and universe, finds a correlation between a quote in the holy book and the magnanimity of her derriere.
There is a silent promise in her eyes.She wears glasses and that makes you wonder if, for some reason the universe aligns and, you ever get to meet her whether you would be able to hold eye contact with that silent burning fire in her eyes.Like there is wood being choked by fire silently…patiently waiting to be the finest specimen of charcoal in the market.
Have you seen how charcoal is prepared? Did you know that the finest charcoal is the one choked for longer with little or no air under heaps of soil?
In bouts of curiosity, you prowl through her timeline. Casually, you try to construct her life from her Facebook feed but you cannot do much without sending her a friend request.
You send it. Flash forward. Three days later you receive the notification that she has accepted your friend request. For some reason you are filled with joy.You realize that you have been anticipating this silently and subconsciously, but it doesn’t disturb you a lot. A few minutes later you are knee deep into her profile.
About. You scroll. Check her age. Nothing. Just a day and month of birth.No year. Places she has lived. “Hmmm…she is well travelled’, you think to yourself.
Photos. Now you have access to most of her photos.You scroll through her albums.You pick a few info bytes here and there, and with those you are able to deduce that she is at the edge of her mid twenties if not on the onset of the second half of her twenties.
Moments later,you see a photo of her and a sweet kid.Immediately, you head to the comments and you determine, she is ,indeed, a mother.
Just like that, your ability to seek out for her truth sips out through societal crevices constructed in your perception process called prejudice.
You figure, “no wonder she is humble! I knew it…no Kenyan woman this beautiful would have this calm disposition without having been knocked up with a kid or two” , your thought process has already bagged and tagged her.”damaged goods”, the tag says.
Photo credits : suzanne McCorkell
But, you take a step back from the auto pilot setting societal constructs have built into these eyes you used to see her. You figure,”but I know that she has a story behind those firey eyes.”
You set out to know the truth. Her truth. Her story as told by her. You refuse to be the same as that mama mboga who ,probably, sees her at the market with a child and no husband and immediately says,”ona mwingine! Afathali Malaya analipwa….” Which translates to, “look at another one! At least prostitutes get paid…”
And so you set out on the journey to establish her story.
You begin the conversation on her inbox with an open mind…
“Hi…Is it okay if I said thanks for the add? Or do you consider it a cliche? *insert smiley face*”