When giving up feels like an option 

He never even imagined that one day he will wake up and find his dad gone, and the rest of the  family looking up to him for survival. I am talking about my friend John.

John is the elder son. He has three brothers and two sisters. His father died last year from  a terrible road accident on Mombasa road, leaving behind John’s mom and his siblings. My boy was so much affected by the whole thing. He was scared and confused, maybe because just like any normal person he thought his dad will always be there. Maybe he had never opened himself to the idea that one day his papa might die. You see kids always think of their parents, especially their fathers, as immortal and I’m no exception. I was once that kid too.

On the next day after the passing of his father, John kept asking me what he was going to do. What he was going to do with his family. I think it had eventually dawned on him that most of his father’s responsibilities will be passed down to him, and he wasn’t ready. He wasn’t ready to even take care of himself let alone taking care of his mom together with his siblings. That scared the crap out of him and it scared me too especially since I didn’t have the answers to his questions.

I couldn’t fit in his shoes because I don’t how it exactly feels like to lose a parent. Yes, I too have lost loved ones before, like my dear sister back in 2015, but not a parent, not a dad or a mom. I thank God my mother is still kicking and dad too even though he is such an assh***. And the other thing I am not the older son like John, I have those who came before me. So as you can see I was not clearly in a position to help him.

A week later John’s dad was laid to rest in his ancestral home in Kisii, the land of the Abagusii. Due to unavoidable circumstances, I couldn’t make it to the funeral but my sister attended. They got it over with and life continued( life never stops even for POTUS himself. It keeps moving. Never waits for anyone).

John came back to the city to continue with his college studies and his mom and the rest of the family went back to their home in Naivasha. His dad’s former employer out of good faith offered to help the family. They asked the family to consider one option between having them handle the rest of John’s college fees and offering him a job at the company. After some consultation with his uncles, they agreed to the latter. He could work during the day and take evening classes.

For some time life has been okay. He get paid, pays up his fees, his bills and still have some change for his family and his college girlfriend that he loves so much. When shit gets too much he will come and share with me and we talk about it or just laugh about it and life continued until February this year.

When I saw John he looked worried. He appeared no longer interested in talking about football, girls and betting like usual or even listening to a new verse I had written, which I do almost daily. He usually listens and criticizes me if he didn’t like it, and if he felt the vibe all he would say is, “iko poa”. Him being a staunch Arsenal supporter and me if you didn’t know I support the Great Manchester United. So if not listening to music, talking about chics, my lyrics, or who was or will be the lucky winner of the Sportpesa jackpot, we will be arguing like two idiots about Manchester United and Arsenal.

Luckily my team did get out of that seem to be cursed sixth position. I am proud to tell you we are in position five and come May, we may even be the one lifting that trophy in front of “Njuri Njekes” a.k.a The Blues.

I asked him what’s up and he was there complaining about lots of stuff, from his job, school to his family. He told me was so tired and just wanted to give up. He was mad at death for taking his dad. He was mad at his dad too, for dying. I could see tears forming in his eyes. I felt tears in mine too. A moment of vulnerability. I hugged him and whispered, “I got you brother. God too got you. It is going to okay”.

The company was yet to pay his salary and he had his house rent and fees arrears of about thirty thousand shillings to worry about. Exams were around the corner and he knew he won’t be allowed to sit without an exam card. On top of that his mom had this emergency and was asking for some money. In his apartment, he had his little brother that was counting on him for food and other basic stuff. He is just a boy himself! The whole world on his young shoulders.

Last week John told me he had applied for deferred exams and got accepted. He is in the third year doing Information Technology. Like he had expected, was not allowed to sit the exams and had no other choice but to defer his exams. I really felt for him and above all I felt bad that I was not able to help him out.

Sometimes life can be very unfair. It pushes you to the wall and if you are not the big-hearted, the resilient kind, you end up giving up. That’s when you lose because once read somewhere that the only failure is quitting, everything else is just gathering information.

I believe in hope. I believe in better tomorrow. No matter how bad life seems today, it will come to pass just like any other day and tomorrow will come bringing with it hope. Struggles are just part of life and is what makes us stronger. Makes us immune.

I know at one time in our mortal life things get so tough until you feel like a helpless rabbit in a snare. You have no way out. You feel trapped. Sometimes I feel that way too but I never give up. I always take it as just a phase, a dark cloud that will come to pass. Never ever give up! Never ever give up! 

I hope my homie will read this. Maybe he will be mad about it or excited, or won’t care. Actually I don’t know.

Let me count the stars as I slowly take my tired head and heavy heart “home”. Today we have a blackout in this Pipeline Estate of ours, so I am likely to see the stars. I love to play with the idea that my star might be among those in the galaxy. Staring down at me and waiting for the right moment to start shinning in my complicated life.

Bye bye dear readers and all the best in not giving up.

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