Save the Best for Lust

Courtesy: Francesca Courtenay

(For the sexual content in this story, reader’s discretion is advised. Last week I wrote a story called “What’s the Point” and I realized there was more to the character Elise than I wrote in that story. So this is how that story went, from Elise’s perspective. Also, drop me an email at if you are interested in getting my e-book The Realm of Humanity)


Mathare Mental Hospital, Nairobi

January 10, 2018


I have spent a lot of time in my life staring at walls, riding the invisible waves of silence, listening to the little voices in the air, keeping myself away from the world but most importantly, keeping the world away from myself.

They say I am crazy. Maybe I am. What I did, what I made him do, what I allowed him to do, what I wanted him to do and actually led him into it, I must be crazy. But I was tired of keeping the wolves away from my innocence. I was tired of holding in my lust; I was tired of keeping the demons away from me. I was tired of being that little girl trapped inside a car, surrounded by clawed monsters, their gargantuan canines dripping wet with sticky saliva gleaming in the moonlight, banging against the windows, glaring at me, lusting for me. I was tired of holding them off, afraid of what would happen to me if I let them in.

So I did. I opened the doors. I opened the windows. I opened myself up to the floodgates of my own lustful desires. And the monsters came in and devoured me in every way I had imagined and more. The pain was excruciating, the pleasure was unbearable. Beautiful ugly monsters, their claws all over me, tearing me up, my insides hanging out – I am become a monster, a nuclear explosion of my own desires.

They have stuck me in a mental hospital where I can finally stare at the walls in peace, talk to my beloved out loud without people casting suspicious glances at me, allow myself to be the monster in love, allow myself to love him in death as I couldn’t in life.

My name is Elise, and this is my story.

Kathageri; Runyenjes – Embu County

Saturday. December 23rd, 2017


When his lips finally find mine, everything in the world feels complete. I allow myself to vanish inside the warm wrap of his lips on mine, I allow my skin to mellow out under his touch, I allow my body, my entire essence to melt in his embrace. He lifts me off the ground and I wrap my thighs around his waist. My body crushes against the wall where he holds me fast, his lips on my neck. A soft moan escapes my lips, soft but guttural. This is everything I thought it would be and more. Through my half shut eyes I spot the spots on the ceiling. My nails dig into his hair. Hair that his mother hates.

I pull his head back and allow myself to look at him. His eyes are fiery like a dragon caged in a dungeon for decades finally let free to set an eternal blaze on villages. He hisses through clenched teeth and I feel my panties moistening. This is the beautiful mess of the world in one damaged moment. And I love, adore and abhor every second of it. I can’t live with it, yet I wonder how I lived so long without it.

I kiss him. His lips feel soft and moist against mine; I feel like I’m kissing another girl but that’s OK. Not to steal lines from a song but I kissed a girl and I liked it. His arms feel strong, holding me against the wall like that.

He peels me off the wall like unwanted wallpaper and carries me to the bed. I feel myself flying through the air, a gasp escaping my lips, and when my back lands on the mattress, I feel my breasts bounce on my chest.

I can feel his eyes, the want in them, the sheer desire, the lust to forget all that is right and delve into everything that is wrong. I know the effect of my twenty-one-year old body on men. I have seen how they look at me and now here I lie on the bed the man I have wanted lustfully for years.

I let him peel off my panties. I let him stand there and look at me, completely naked, so devastatingly wet for him that I am almost embarrassed. I can feel my love moisture flowing out and down onto the sheets, but that is OK. He stands like Zeus, big and hard, ready to declare bittersweet war on my innocence or what’s left of it. Ready to destroy my fragility.

I feel his body on mine. His stomach on mine. His hands working up my body, my navel, my tummy, my breasts, his fingers twirling my nipples, driving me insane, I let out another moan and feel my body lifting from under me.

A voice in my head screams, “Stop it Elise! You can’t do this!” but the very thought of just how wrong this situation is turns me on. The thrill of committing the sin gives me as much a high as committing the sin itself. I am in love with the mess of the situation.

My hand holds him, and I feel like I am holding the commandments. Hard. Commanding. Demanding to be adored, praised, worshipped. I run my hand down his shaft, I feel the large vein running down it with me, I come up to the tip and I feel him moan against me. “We shouldn’t be doing this.” He hisses as his penis quavers in my hand. “We can’t do this.”

“I know.” I hiss back and take him in my mouth. I feel the salty tip on my tongue. I am in control of the most powerful object on earth. The thrill of committing the sin is as much overpowering as committing the sin itself.

His chest rises up and down as he fights for breath, and my head bobs up and down as I steal his breath. He is done fighting. I can feel it; I can see it in the defeat clouding his eyes like a fallen angel. My fallen angel, once the go-to guy when the family wanted to teach us kids a lesson in working hard at school and having a great life, now lying on my bed, his salt pouring on the tip of my tongue.

His strong arms place me under him. It is amazing how such brutal strength can be used in such a delicate way. I feel myself open up to him as he enters me, slowly, gently, and every pore on my skin from head to toe lets him take over.

It must be why they call this an out of body experience. So much pleasure that a mere human body couldn’t handle it if it stuck around for its entirety. This is stupid but I feel like I am levitating around the room, watching a man and a woman make love.

She wraps her thighs around him as he slowly pushes into and pulls out of her. Her hand is at the back of his head, grabbing a handful of his coarse hair, the other hand is on his back, working its way up and down. His teeth grind on one nipple, now standing erect, demanding attention.

She wants so bad to scream, but she can’t. Her sister Kimberly is in the next room. So her moans die in her throat, pleasure killed with every other feeling she has had to kill for the last so many years. The strength it takes brings tears to her eyes and she watches as he runs a thumb down her face to wipe it away.

The woman’s body starts rocking. Her lower part lift off the bed as her thighs shake uncontrollably. Her heart smashing with the strength of Thor’s Hammer against her chest, her nails dig deeper into his skin as she pulls him close into a crushing hug and lets the violent waves of satiated hunger and lust take her. It is the first and the last orgasm from the love of her life; a man who will be dead inside of a week.

When I am finally able to breathe again, I want to lie in his arms, curl my body around his, kiss him on the lips, whisper sweet nothings into his ear, make him mine permanently. But the look in his eyes, the guilt eating him alive, now that his mast isn’t standing as erect as it was a minute ago, now that his self control isn’t hiding under the aegis of basic human decency anymore, I feel him recoiling away from me.

“What did we do?” he gasps, head in hands. “What did I do?”

He jumps out of bed and struggles into his clothes, forcing them onto his wet, sweaty body so vigorously that he tears his t-shirt. I follow him, asking, begging, stripping down past my self-respect, “Please Kim, please stay!” in my delusion I thought I could own him, keep him, live with him in a world where the rules of consanguinity and natural human behavior don’t exist.

“We are crazy for even thinking of doing this.” He whispers hoarsely pushing me back onto the bed. “Stay away from me Elise!”

Car keys in hand, he gets out of my bedroom and I want to follow him, chase him down whatever foxhole he thinks he can vanish into, and show him that I am down for whatever just as long as it is me and him, but I don’t have any clothes on me. I put on a large t-shirt with nothing under and run after him but as I cross past the living room, I hear his car engine start.

Somehow, that makes me think that I can catch up to him and keep him from leaving because, how is my life supposed to be after this without him? I step out into the cold midnight air, barefoot, pebbles pressing into my feet, and get caught in his headlights.

I can’t see him with his full headlights shining on me but I can feel him behind that wheel, watching me. Is he considering taking me with him? Because I would jump into that car with him, the fact that I am dressed in a large t-shirt and nothing underneath notwithstanding, I could sit beside him and ride with him and him to wherever this lustful tide will take us.

But he reverses and turns the car around, driving away from our compound, from my life, like this house, this whole place is cursed. As his taillights disappear, I hear footsteps rushing out of our house and hide just in time to see my older sister Kimberly running out of the house, hopefully to catch her uncle before he runs away again.

It is too little too late. It is always too little too late with her. I want to step out of the shadows and show her that I am special to our uncle, but something in me tell me that that might not be a good idea. If and when the day ever dawns that the world gets to know about us, it will be because we have mutually agreed to let it be so.

I will wait. One day he’ll come around. History has proven that everything comes around, the ‘natural order’ shifts in time. Being gay used to be considered perverse, but that is no longer the case. There was a time when a black person and a white person wouldn’t share a toilet in America. Now there has been a black president. One day, society won’t be so disgusted by the idea of a niece and her uncle living together happily ever after. It is just a matter of time. I will wait.

Wednesday. January 10, 2018

Maragua – Murang’a County


“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

I scoop a handful of dust and hurl it into the hole that will from this moment henceforth, be the permanent home of my uncle. I can still hear the pastor in my head saying,

“For as much as it has pleased Almighty God to take out of this world the soul of Alexander Kimani, we therefore commit his body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, looking for that blessed hope when the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord, wherefore comfort ye one another with these words.”

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. What pointlessness. They are all here, his friends and relatives. They all have one thing in common. They never knew him. Not in the way that I did. I should be the one shedding the tears they are shedding. It is my eyes that should be red with the grief that is stripping them down to the core.

But he took our secret to the grave and so I must stand by this hole in the red ground, scoop a handful of earth and shove it into his new home. Dust to dust.

“Do you feel anything?”

I am standing under a tree behind grandma’s house, close to the cow pen. There are people all over the compound, some I know, most I don’t, and they all look so solemn, it is hard to imagine uncle knew so many people.

A group of women sit on the grass outside the house and talk and catch up and throw their heads back, laughing uproariously and finishing it with, “Hahaha, wuuuu, mmm!” the way upcountry women do. I watch them, hoping I could feel mad at them for being so happy at Kim’s funeral but a part of me thanks them for being real.

They didn’t care about him when he was alive so why would they do now that he’s gone? But a boy from their village is dead and it is only right that they show up and show their ‘support’ by eating the food and drinking the tea and catching up with friends they haven’t met in months or maybe years.

I don’t think they are any different from the cows casually chewing curd in the pen. They don’t feel for the stranger locked permanently in a hole, and they don’t care if the world knows it. Hurray. Happy times.

“Do you feel anything?”

That is my sister Kimberly, who has joined me under the tree, trying yet again to figure me out. Kimberly and Uncle Kim had this thing where they would sit in a crowd and try to figure people out. Get to know what’s happening in a random stranger’s life across the hall simply by looking at them.

Uncle was pretty good at it. Kimberly could try but most times she got it wrong. Or she would have a long time ago, realized that something somewhere wasn’t natural between uncle and myself.

Me: How do you mean?

Kimberly: You haven’t shed a single tear since he died

Me: How do you know?

Her: I just know you

Me: Kim, can we not do this right now?

Her: Do what?

Me: Do that little dance where you accuse me of being an emotionless black hole that sucks the joy out of everything and I stare into the void and ignore you?

She nods, biting back the tears stinging in her bright eyes. She started a hashtag on Twitter once Uncle Kim committed suicide because she needed answers. She needed to know why that favorite person in her world just up and left her without so much as an explanation that makes an ounce of sense. His death so sudden, left her with more questions than answers. All she knew was he couldn’t live anymore.

#What_sThePoint. A hashtag meant to make her feel better, to let her know that she wasn’t alone in her loss, but I guess it only ended up hurling her into the deep end because nobody cared about it. Nobody cared that her favorite person in the whole world, an uncle she had spent her entire existence trying to reach through to, had simply ended his life, effectively choosing to run away from her no matter her need for his affection, permanently. He had rejected her and the world didn’t care.

She heads over to the cow pen and places her hand into the feeding trough where she plays around with the bits of Napier grass, left behind by the satisfied cows, now comfortably chewing curd in the shade a few meters away.

Her: Are you?

Me: What?

Her: Are you an emotionless black hole that sucks the joy out of everything?

Me: What do you want to hear?

Her: The truth! (She hisses, frustration pouring out through every pore on her.) The Goddamn truth Elise.

Me: No you don’t want the truth.

I start heading away from her, trying to avoid a fight, but she grabs my shoulder and turns me around, standing in my face.

Her: What do I want then?

Me: You want me to tell you that I am an emotionless black hole that sucks the joy out of everything. That I don’t feel anything for anyone. Because that’s the only way you can validate the brewing contempt you have for me.

Her: Stop making this about me.

Me: Fine. I am an emotionless black hole that sucks the joy out of everything. You see those people crying over there, I don’t get why they are doing that. You are here whining to me, hoping that I can feel the loss, but you know what, I don’t. I didn’t really care that he was alive. I don’t care that he is dead. I am here because I have to go through the motions like everyone else, but you know what I won’t do? I won’t pretend like I want to be here.

She stands even closer to me, staring me down, trying to read me like she has done her entire life. She looks for signs of hubris on my face, hoping that I am lying to her, that I don’t, that I can’t mean what I just told her. I make sure I look her right in the eye and my lip stretches back a little, with a covert smile. Her face crushes.

Her: Why are you smiling? (Her voice is breaking)

Me: Are we done here?

That space between her eyes starts trembling like it does when she wants to cry her heart out and since I really can’t be here for the waterworks, I turn around and hurry into grandma’s maize plantation where nobody will come looking for me.

I run. It is something I learned from Uncle Kim. Running and running until my chest cracks, until I am so far away from the world that even my deepest secrets, my rawest emotions are kept hidden safe in the vast nothingness around me.

I hear Kimberly’s sobbing behind me and I don’t look back. I can’t look back. I can’t show her how much this whole thing kills me. So somewhere in the middle of the maize plantation, surrounded by maize stalks which don’t understand tears, pain, laughter, hurt, menace, life and the whole shebang that comes with being human, I let my inner pain go.

This time my out of body experience comes not from intense pleasure but intense pain. I think you can’t have one without the other. The Marquise de Sade was right. Yes he was so damaged that the word ‘sadism’ was coined from his name, but he was right. The pleasure in pain is real.

If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be back in that room, taking my uncle between my legs and loving every shove, every dig, every white drop of my cream on his shaft, I wouldn’t be back there, swimming in the best worst thing that he and I ever did.

It brings me so much pain, seeing him again, that I start digging the soft soil under me, not wishing but actually trying to allow the earth to open up and swallow me.

As I dig, I am thrust back in time to –

Sixteen Months Ago

Thursday. August 18, 2016

Tavern Kenol – Izzak Walton Inn

Embu Town


It is karaoke night at Tavern Kenol and my uncle and I are seated somewhere in the middle, the place illuminated by dull cream lighting. There are couples holding hands, people smoking, and at the most dimly lit corner is a guy in a brown jacket, seated on a leather couch like he owns it, with a girl on his lap and an e-cig on his lips.

The girl is tossing and turning on his lap, trying to get the perfect angle from which to take a selfie and the whole thing is just sad.

Someone is singing Beres Hammond’s, “Rockaway” and it is simply horrendous! It is like Satan ripped out his throat, rubbed it for thirty years with sandpaper, stuck nails and thorns to it and shoved it back into his throat saying, “You have been a sinner all your life and for punishment, you will roam the earth singing like a child consummated in an evil marriage between a frog and a truck engine. Bwahahahahahahahaha!”

Me: Oh my God, is he even hearing himself?

Him: Some people were just born to remind other people why they shouldn’t have kids. If I had a kid who sang like that, I would shove him down a toilet and build another toilet over that toilet.

Me: In every Karaoke night I have ever attended, people who sing reggae are the worst! Why do they even bother?

Him: Must be the weed

Me: Ah! Ah! No! We are not blaming Mary Jane for this. She is a sweet lady.

Him: Tell you what, why don’t you hit that stage and show these losers what singing means.

Me: Um, no thanks!

Just then a waitress swings by, the meager skirt she is in, desperately clinging onto her flesh for dear life, barely covering her thighs.

Waitress: What are you guys having tonight?

Uncle: (Smiles at her) A bottle of Jameson please

Waitress: Partying hard?

She smiles at him and it is not the plastic kind of smile that waitresses are contractually obliged to throw at people. It is something more flirtatious. Oh my God, she is flirting with him and he is flirting right back. For some reason, I feel a potato crawl down my throat.

Uncle: Why do it if it is not hard, right?

Are they talking about partying now or have they moved real fast onto something more private involving little or no clothing?

Me: (Clearing my throat) Ahem

The waitress casts me a cautious look, trying to decipher my role in this situation. I am about nineteen years old and my uncle is around twenty six. She must notice the age difference and ponder. I like her. She is a thinker. I don’t like her. She is flirting with my uncle.

Uncle: You could party with us. When do you get off?

Waitress: In half an hour. (Turns to me) Your girlfriend might not like me joining you guys

Uncle: Oh, Elise? (He laughs) She is not my…

Me: (I cut him off fast) Only if your intentions are to end up in bed with my boyfriend, yeah I would mind that very much.

She flashes him another smile and I remember that not everybody gets turned off by the idea that somebody is taken. The “I have a boyfriend/girlfriend” thing is not always adequate to get somebody off your back.

When she leaves for the order, he turns to me;

Uncle: What did you do that for?

Me: Do what?

Uncle: She was into me!

Me: You mean that second rate hag who possibly leaves this joint with a different dude every night? You should be thanking me. I just saved you from a pot full of STDs.

As I say that, I tap his thigh ‘casually’ too close to his groin for comfort.

Me: (Using the hoarse sexy voice I have been practicing on the mirror for a while now) I’ll sing for you if you want.

Uncle: Oh, you will, huh? (He doesn’t get my hand off his thigh)

Me: Yeah. Just ask.

Uncle: Elise?

Me: Yeah?

Uncle: Sing for me.

I drag to the dimly lit stage a stool which I sit on just as Lady A’s “American Honey” starts. Here is the difference between Kimberly and I. While she works so hard to emulate Uncle Kim, I embrace the fact that he and I are different. And since I love country music, I show him why that’s cool, same as I show him why his love for rap music is cool too.

On the stool with one foot perched under me and the other stretched out in front of me and with the microphone in hand, I sing;

Me: She grew up on a side of the road, Where the church bells ring and strong love grows, She grew up good, She grew up slow, Like American honey… Steady as a preacher, Free as a weed, Couldn’t wait to get goin’, But wasn’t quite ready to leave, So innocent, pure and sweet, American honey…

I see him cup his palms around his lips and make a whoop whoop sound. Smiling, I hit the chorus because my entire world feels like it is revolving around this moment, just me and him and the music, to the exclusion of all others.

Me: There’s a wild, wild whisper blowin’ in the wind, Callin’ out my name like a long lost friend, Oh I miss those days as the years go by, Oh nothing’s sweeter than summertime, And American honey

When I am done, I find him on his feet clapping like crazy. He spreads his arms beside him and I run into them, allowing myself to be collected off the ground and twirled around in his hug.

Me: I wasn’t horrendous, right?

Him: You were. But I am not complaining.

Me: Screw you!

Him: Girl, you can’t handle me.

Have you ever heard a conversation which suddenly took a turn into the Flirt Highway without you both realizing until you were well into it and it was now too late to turn back? Well, this is where we find ourselves. Right in the middle of Flirt Highway.

Me: I don’t know man. I am full of surprises.

I love silence but right now, I am dying for him to say something, anything, because silence would be too awkward.

Him: With life being the short chaos it is, I will take my surprises wherever I can find them.


Before this moment right here, all I had on him was a crush. An overwhelming feeling which I knew neither one of us could pursue because he is my mother’s brother. But now, I start to think, what if… I don’t know yet, but this moment right here is the beginning of the end.

Sixteen Months Later

Wednesday. January 10, 2018

Maragua – Murang’a County


In the garden, surrounded by maize stalks I dig. My fingers grab fistful after fistful of sand and toss it away. I can’t dig the hole fast enough. I can’t get the ground to swallow me whole fast enough. I feel the itch. I feel his touch on my skin. Take me, take me, take me, why did you leave without me?

I dig and dig, mumbling to myself, grabbing, scratching, my nail gets caught in a root in my fervent digging but I don’t stop, I can’t stop. The nail breaks and I howl painfully. The soil gets mixed with the blood to form a muddy cake of red, still I dig. I can’t stop. I already let the floodgates in, and I can’t keep them out now.

Dr. Okello’s House

Muthaiga – Nairobi

Wednesday. July 5, 2017


Tomorrow I will be graduating from the University of Nairobi with a degree in English Literature. Hurray. Everyone is excited about that, but all I can think about as I climb on top of one of my former lecturers and screw his brains out, is the fact that I will be seeing my uncle Kim again.

He is lying on his back and I am straddling him, slowly riding him, back and forth. His hands shoot up in a bid to grab my breasts but I slap them away. I have felt them on me before. They are big and coarse, and my uncle’s are smaller and softer.

I pin him down and place my uncle’s face where my lecturer’s is. “Don’t touch me.” I hiss, throwing my head back, pinning him down with my hands on his chest.

He sits up and when I try to pin him back down, he lifts me up and drop me on my back. “Don’t tell me what to do,” he moans and I feel his engorged hardness slowly fill me up. I drop an involuntary moan and allow myself to surrender to his punishment.

“Is that all you’ve got?” I ask defiantly, thrusting myself against him. “For a big boy, your game isn’t quite as strong.” He slips a thumb into my mouth, maybe to make me shut up and I suck on it hungrily. The reason why I am on his bed is because the thrill of us getting caught by his wife turns me on more than he does.

I guess it is for that same reason that I am desperately in love with my uncle. The fact that if the world gets to know, then I will be in trouble. The kind of trouble that leaves people excruciatingly scarred and changes lives permanently in a horrible way.

As I let my older lecturer finally squeeze my skin, my breasts, my buttocks, as I let his breath soak my neck, as I let him lift me off the bed and straddle him in a seated position as his nail dig into my ass and his big manhood vanish to his testicles into me, I think of Kim.

I see myself kissing him in my room in Embu and for a moment, I see him allowing himself to let go off all the walls and cave in to his desires. I feel his warm tongue in my mouth, his hands cupping my cheeks. I close my eyes and move closer to him, I want him to hold me, I want to be close to him, I want our bodies to get so close together that we actually become one. I want him so bad that when he pushes me away and jump out of the bed, out of breath, scared and rubbing his lips with the back of his hand, my heart breaks into as many pieces as possible.

“We can’t do this Elise.” Kim says, turning to leave, but I chase him. I catch him. I pin him against the wall and plant my lips on his. “Don’t you want me?”

“I do.” He says when he catches a breath. “And that’s the problem.”

“Then let go.” We are both muttering, fighting to breathe, not because we have been running but because we both so desperately want something that is forbidden. “I can’t.” He is pushing me away but this time, his efforts are feeble.

I close my eyes and imagine what it would feel like to have him inside me. How his hands would feel on my skin.

“Kim! Oh Kim!” I moan and grind and pull myself closer to the man inside me. But he stops, yanking me away from my thoughts.

“Who is Kim?” Dr. Okello asks, his face scowling


“Who is Kim? You were calling his name while I was inside you.” He pulls away, and I crawl away from him, suddenly self conscious. I slide out of bed, staying as far away from him as possible, grab my clothes and run out of his matrimonial bedroom, naked. As I call an uber from his living room, I dress up, swearing to myself that I can’t keep giving myself away to men like this, hoping that maybe one of them will fill the void my entire existence has dedicated to an uncle who has refused to commit an incestuous act with me.

I wish I could stop thinking about him, seeing him in every man, smelling his cologne in the air, I wish I could kill this obsession, save us both the trouble, but I can’t.

Uncle has turned into this unavailable guy. He tells Kimberly that he will show up at some function but then changes his mind at the last minute when he discovers that I will be there. He avoids me like I am the face of a plague.

Kimberly is devastated. Like me, she can’t stand many people. So when she finds someone who can be her friend, she holds on to them desperately. She just wants Kim to be her uncle, her friend, but because of me, he keeps running away from her. And I keep chasing him because quite honestly, he has graduated to the reason why I get out of bed in the morning.

Thursday. July 6th, 2017

Nairobi Mamba Village

Lang’ata North Road – Karen

17:00 h

This world doesn’t need one more English Lit graduate, but here I am. This world doesn’t need one more human being, but here I am. What this world needs is love, and I have that by the bucket loads for the one person the world says I can’t love. How poetic.

I have shaken hands till my hand aches, smiled till my face hurts, met relatives who comment on how much I have grown since they last saw me when I was yay high as if I was supposed to stay a baby my whole life, and to run away, I have hang out with the crocodiles and giraffes. I have literally run away from people who have attended my graduation party.

Kimberly and my grandma are hanging out with the giraffes whispering about how worried they are that my uncle is losing it. I am behind a tent, where I am staring out at the evening sky, growing orange fast because of the setting sun.

“I have been looking around for the loneliest place in this compound because I knew I would find you there.” My uncle’s voice whispers close to my ear.

Me: I wish we could do something about that.

Him: Come on Elise. You know we can’t.

Me: Is that why you have been avoiding me?

Him: Can’t we just stay here in silence?

Me: I don’t want silence. Not with you.

Him: What do you want from me? We are related. Your mother and I were born by the same woman.

Me: I am well acquainted with the meaning of ‘uncle’ thank you very much.

Him: Are you though?

Me: You know what I don’t get?

Him: Yeah I do. You don’t get why we can’t just screw like two consenting adults. Because it is wrong

Me: It is only wrong because the society says it is wrong. Same society that used to say that it is wrong for a man to screw a man, or for a woman to go to school or for a woman to not be circumcised, but all that has changed.

Him: I am going to go now, OK?

Me: Yeah sure. Run away. It is what you do best

Him: Yeah! Because this is insane.

Me: No. Us not happening, that’s insane! We could run away together. You travel around the world all the time anyway. You cover wars for a living. You could take me with you and we could be together and nobody could be any the wiser

Him: Are you even listening to yourself?

Me: Look me in the eye and tell me that you don’t want me.

Him: It doesn’t matter what I want

Me: You are only saying that because you want this as much as I do. Only you’re too much of a coward to do something about it.

Him: You think you have me all figured out, don’t you?

Me: Yes. I do.

Him: Look Elise, I raised you. You and Kim. I watched you grow up. I was there, holding your hand, teaching you how to walk. You used to put your fingers in your mouth and rub me with your saliva. I fed you. I changed your diapers when your mom wasn’t home. I told you where to hit boys when they bullied you. Now I am supposed to take your clothes off like all that doesn’t mean a thing?

Me: All that is history. This is now. You want me. I want you. That’s all that matters.

Him: Not to me.

Me: You are lying.

Him: Then watch this liar walk away from you.

He turns around and walks off. I think of chasing him but he is walking too fast. I hear him yelling at his mom, “I’m off to the airport mom. Something came up.” Yeah something came up. His phobia of committing to someone who means something to him. Someone who is not a cheap barmaid looking for a cheap hookup.

Kathageri; Runyenjes – Embu County

Saturday. December 23rd, 2017


I haven’t seen him since my graduation party. I have called and texted and sent him endless emails and he finally called to say that he was coming over to our place for Christmas. Not because of me, but because he misses being an uncle so could I please be a niece to him for once?

He gets home in the evening. Mom isn’t around and Kimberly goes to bed early because she needs to wake up early tomorrow morning to start cooking.

I go to his room. He doesn’t kick me out. When I touch him, he doesn’t push me away. In his eyes I see the fear of allowing a monster you have kept at bay forever into your life. He has given in; tired of fighting just like me.

When his lips finally find mine, everything in the world feels complete. I allow myself to vanish inside the warm wrap of his lips on mine, I allow my skin to mellow out under his touch, I allow my body, my entire essence to melt in his embrace. He lifts me off the ground and I wrap my thighs around his waist. My body crushes against the wall where he holds me fast, his lips on my neck. A soft moan escapes my lips, soft but guttural. This is everything I thought it would be and more. Through my half shut eyes I spot the spots on the ceiling. My nails dig into his hair. Hair that his mother hates.

And when it is done, the guilt comes sweeping in and he runs away. They tell me he has been in an accident which later turns out to be a suicide attempt. That is how far he is willing to go to get away from me. He would have driven straight into a tractor to get rid of whatever it is he is feeling right now

Embu Police Station

December 24, 2017


I meet him at the police station where he is recording a statement and the look on his face tells me that he was not expecting to see me.

Me: Kim talk to me

Him: Please stay away from me

Me: I love you

He freezes then gets closer to me, whispering hoarsely;

Him: What’s the point? Of you loving me? Of me loving you? We can’t be together. We can’t do anything because it is wrong. Simply that. And so are so many other things. I have covered seventy two wars in my life and even in the most war torn places, women still give birth. In places where people from one tribe cut women’s breasts off just because they belong to the rival tribe, children are still born. Why? For what? What’s the freaking point? All I know is that this thing is wrong and we can’t live like this. I know I can’t. It’s too much. I want those children to live; I want those women to keep their breasts, I want soldiers to stop raping women in warzones, but I can’t get all those things. And you and me, the fact that we can’t be together is one more thing I can’t have and that kills me Elise. So stop pushing it! Stop reminding me every day of what I can’t have because it is brutal. And if you care about me as much as you say, you will stay away from me.

I let monsters in, I let them devour me, I found pleasure in their wanton destruction of my existence, and when time came for me to let them go, I let them take everything about me with them. All they left behind was an empty shell, where I used to be.

Wednesday. January 10, 2018

Maragua – Murang’a County


So I dig. With my bare hands I dig, desperately wishing to be with him in death the way I couldn’t be with him in life. It starts with a soft sob, but every time I feel his hands on my skin, I hunger for his touch and knowing that I will never feel it again, the sob graduates into a wail.

The dirt caught under my broken nails doesn’t stop me. I can feel the pebbles and the thorns in the soil eating away at my cuticles but I don’t stop. The wail graduates to a wolf like howl, I feel him sliding between my thighs, I hold him tight, bring him close, whisper into his ear that I will always be his and I call out his name.

“Kim!” he can’t hear me. Too much soil on him, so I dig, “Kim! KIM!”

I feel hands pulling me up, I feel soil particles in my hair, they are pulling me away from the hole, the hole that was going to bring me closer to him. “Kim!” I kick out and somebody grunts. “Kim! Kim! Help me Kim! Help me!”

They grab my arms, they grab my feet but with all the strength I have, I fight. They are carrying me out of the maize plantation, hair falling all over my face. I struggle and hear my dress tear. “Kim! Kim! Kim!” I can’t fight them off. I am tired, I let out a howl of defeat and the cry scares even me.

It is a deep groan, rising from the chest, completely unadulterated by thoughts of what anyone will think of me. They are carrying me away from him and I cannot stop them. I see Kimberly hugging her body under the tree near the cow pen and I scream at her, “What do you think Kimberly? Does this look like feeling to you? Do I look like I am feeling? Are you happy Kimberly? Are you happy?”

She just stands there, pressing her hands against her lips, immobile, mute, helpless.

Inside the house they dump me on a couch, grandmother’s favorite couch, and somebody screams at somebody else to bring me some water. I scratch at my itch. It is all over my body. I am thirsting for one simple touch from Kim and I swear I’ll be OK.

So I scratch and call him out again. They pin me down as I start writhing and howling and kicking out on the couch. “I killed him!” I yell. “I killed him!”

“No! He killed himself.” They say but even in death, I know him more than they ever did. I kick out and writhe and shake them off. He is standing right there, in front of the wall close to grandma’s TV, his hands held out beside him, wanting me to hug him.

So I run, fast and desperately for that one last hug that will make everything OK, but I find myself running right through him and into the wall.

Mathare Mental Hospital, Nairobi

January 10, 2018


I am the girl who let in the monsters. I enjoyed how they fed on me. If I were to go back in time knowing then what I know now, I wouldn’t change a thing. I like sitting here and staring at the walls, seeing him in every crack, seeing his smile in every inch of the cream walls, seeing the spots on the ceiling and remembering those I saw in my room as he was inside me, making love to me for the first and the last time.

Him: Was it worth it?

I turn around. He is sitting beside me on the bed.

Me: Every second

Him: You are insane

Me: If I have to be insane for them to let me have a conversation with you, then so be it

Him: Said like a real crazy person

Me: You left me alone Kim

Him: I’m here now, aren’t I?

Me: Can I kiss you?

Him: You can try

I lean close and just as my lips are about to meet his, he is gone. “Kim?” Silence. “Kim?” More silence.

Someone somewhere says, “It is ten o’clock. Lights out!” All the lights go out and I am left alone in this place, in the darkness.

Can you hear me call out your name? Do you hear me when I whisper my love to you in the evening breeze? Do you feel the smoothness of my skin in your hand when you touch my face? Do you run short of breath when you think of me? Do you hear the sound of my laughter in the wind? Do you feel my kiss on your lips in the morning? Will I find the answers in your face when you appear to me on the wall? Will I feel your embrace after I sing you another song? Now that the monsters are gone, who will devour the empty shell they left behind?


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  1. Looks can be deceiving, they say. Love makes you blind, they said. Eyes are the windows to the soul.

    Kimberly had seen the look Kimani gave Elise. Only she mistook it for curiosity. Maybe it was curiosity. Kimberly saw her sister as an emotionally unavailable person but they not different. They loved the dude but from different points of view. They wanted his love back.

    Elise thinks we should screw the society and what it thinks. I think the society can shove its opinions up somewhere. Do I think an uncle and a niece should have it their way? Do I think it is wrong?

  2. Glad to see you shedding light on mental illness.. Keeping this conversation will help especially in this society where there exists prejudice especially for the affected…

  3. Wow I love the way your writing has graduated Charles you are a genius when it comes to writing and you always get me with your writing I think I’m getting addicted one story at a time

  4. Did Kimberly know how much pain she caused Elise for being so close to their uncle,,,does elise even know how much pain her sister kimberly feels for the loss,,Does their mom know about all this natural mystics?? Oh my charles,,let somebody see the emails and texts elise sent to kim,,let their mom know all this,,and maybe kimberly should know first,,, Its a series charles,,season three we waiting!!

    Write charlie

  5. Wow!!!
    Of complexed beliefs and fixations…..How difficult it is to lie to one’s lower self when your body feels you “deserve punishment” for what’s done.Let go of the guilt of sin and enjoy life’s sweetneses lest you find yourself in an asylum like Elise and six feet like Kim.
    Dope isht Bruh.

  6. This is so epic, I’m literally out of words. It’s all I’ve never thought could be in words. This piece of work has affected me in many ways you can never imagine. Reading more and better works like this is a chance I would be excited to wake up to every morning.


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