A Short Love Story

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They met in the corridors of the university. He was like a tanker rolling towards her; his shoulders filled the corridor, his very presence blocking her way. He towered over her like a watchtower. He seemed to radiate magnetism, something that would send little spasms down to your feet if you touched it. Unbeknownst to her, he was in the university’s rugby team which meant he was famous and he had a posse because rugby guys rolled in packs.  Although he was famous and everybody knew him (because rugby was a cult, a religion) she didn’t know him. She’d never heard of him. Never seen him around campus. She was as interested in rugby as she was about sumo wrestling. So when she said she didn’t know him, he seemed taken aback by her ignorance, intrigued by it, even. 

“You don’t watch rugby?” 

“No, I don’t.”

“Damn.”

“Is that so surprising?”

“Yeah. Everybody in campus watches rugby. What do you do with your time?”

“I study.”

“Of course, I’m sorry let me rephrase it; what do you do with your free time?”

“I don’t have free time.”

“Interesting. And what’s your name?”

“Ruthie.”

“Is Ruth short for Ruthie?”

“No, Ruthie doesn’t have a short form.”

“Do you have a number, Ruthie without a short form?”

“Yes, do you want it?”

“I will be greatly honoured.” 

When she told her best friend that she had met a rugby guy with wide shoulders, who was overly confident but also very charming and kind-looking, she had asked what his name was and when she told her, she had squealed “What?! Do you not know who that is?!” She had said no. “Sweetheart, he’s a big deal in rugby circles! Don’t you know anybody?!”

It didn’t help that he was a medical student, so he had brains too. “I thought he was hot, my friend seemed to agree.”

He was Luo but born and raised in Nairobi. She was Kikuyu, born and raised in a small town in Central. She would have ended up marrying a local boy with a string of matatus, or one of the chief’s sons, but instead her brains became the flying carpet that ferried her to Nairobi to study medicine like this charming boy from the other side of the river who grew up the only boy amongst sisters. “Because of growing up around sisters, he was sensitive and respectful and he cared for women.” 

When you ask her why she thinks he liked her, she says it’s because of her brains, but also because she has ample wide hips and is “built like a Luo”. It so happened that he liked some meat on his woman. They dated and she started hanging around the rugby crowd because to love a man you have to at least understand what he loves. So she would ask why the rugby ball is not round, like a football. She learnt that it was a “try” not a goal, and also about dropkicks, scrums, hand-offs, sin bin, touch-line and that there are actually hookers in a rugby game. She would sit in the bleachers for floodlit games, and watch men crash into other men. 

She wore an ivory dress for her wedding. An A-line, an expensive dress. She glittered in it like a diamond. You couldn’t measure her smile with a tape measure if you tried. Everything seemed so aligned, all corners of emotions meeting seamlessly in perfect right angles. They waltzed on the dance floor at the reception with a big ballroom chandelier hanging over their heads, the weight of his big hand on the small of her back, her nose to his throat. He smelled like a man should. He held her hand through all the speeches and also in the back of the car to their honeymoon suite. “He had kind eyes and warm hands.” In all her wedding pictures, she seems to tilt her head towards him, as if he possessed a gravitational pull. 

The baby came almost immediately. A girl. You could say he made the try fast and made the conversion even faster. He had started doing his masters and he found himself in wards more than at home; doing rounds, peering at patient files, taking pulse rates and all those things doctors do and when he got home he’d have very little left to offer as a father and a husband. He was barely home because of work. She got depressed, postpartum depression. She’d cry when he was away in the hospital or out drinking over the weekend. She felt alone. She’d find it difficult to do anything that humans do with ease; get out of bed, shower, eat, change clothes. She’d lie in bed, red-eyed, tired, dejected. 

“Life felt like one unending darkness and I felt like a hamster running in this darkness. I’d struggle with the baby, trying to do my best but when I would go to the doctor he’d say the baby isn’t gaining weight that I’m not doing enough. I felt like this baby belonged to only me.” 

Her life, she felt, had been diminished to baby tasks; feed baby, change baby, clean baby, shoo baby, while he was out making moves in his career. She felt tired all the time. There was also a sense of failure, something she hadn’t quite grasped up to this point. “I thought I was going to be a supermom, but now it seemed like I wasn’t doing anything to bring me closer to being super.”  

She talked to him about it but she didn’t know that she was depressed. She just thought she was worn out and unhappy. He was understanding but helpless. He would wake up in the middle of the night to help with the baby, but that didn’t seem to take away the feeling of despondency. 

One day – three years later – he drove back from a funeral in shags and left the car at home to go to the local for a drink. He looked tired from all the driving and the lack of sleep in the wake of the previous night. At the bar, he got a call from their neighbour who was at the airport and had forgotten his passport. Could he kindly drop it to the airport for him? On his way back from the airport he fell asleep at the wheel (from fatigue) and the car rolled. She got the call at 8:40pm as she was brushing her teeth, getting ready to sleep. He was unconscious when she got to the hospital, doctors had gathered around him. She could see his feet. They were shoeless. 

He suffered diffuse axonal injury. This is when your brain shifts inside your skull and the connecting fibers in the brain called axons are sheared as the brain rapidly pings around the hardbone of your skull. It’s not pretty. He stayed in the ICU for two weeks. Then HDU for another two weeks. Then the general ward for a month. In that period he had to learn how to walk again. He had a tracheostomy done. He couldn’t stand on his own. He had no bladder control and he had to shake her awake often, to have her take him to the bathroom. He had no balance, so she had to walk next to him for support or he’d topple over like a sack. He later got a walking stick and he’d slowly tap around with it, stopping to catch his breath, to look at the three meter distance he had to cover. When there was sports on TV he’d skip that channel and watch something where there was nobody running or kicking a ball. His speech was shit.  She talked to him like you would talk to a child, repeating things, slowing down words. Although his short-term memory was good, he couldn’t remember things that happened a long time back. He couldn’t remember who the president was, what kind of car he drove, or what happened on the night he had the accident. He was depressed. She was depressed. But slowly his memory started coming back, in little drips, like a leaking faucet.

“I nursed him at a time that I was also struggling with my own issues in the marriage. This was not how I envisaged the first five years of marriage. It was too heavy for me but with counseling and medication for both of us, we somehow pulled through.”

He slowly resumed work a year later but he was a shadow of his former self.  A smart man before, he had problems linking ideas. He repeated himself often. He had to relearn things.  But he became a much better father as a result because since he wasn’t back to work full-time he would be home when their daughter came back from school. He would walk her to the bus. They talked a lot, they became close. She takes after him – a happy spirit, who likes laughing and has a beautiful smile. “Our daughter would always challenge him to a race not knowing of his physical disability and I’d watch them running, him really struggling to run because he didn’t want to disappoint her, and her winning each time.” 

They were happy again. As happy as they could get. It’s almost like the accident had allowed happiness back into their lives. But that didn’t hold because one day they received a visitor in the night. She came home from work at 7:15pm to find him in bed. The bedroom lights were off, so not wanting to disturb him because he was normally really exhausted at the end of the day, she removed her clothes in darkness and changed into her favourite orange Egyptian loose dress, like a deera, but with gold embroidery on the front. She had dinner with her daughter by the television then tucked her in bed. When she went back in the room he was snoring, so she knew she had to change the position of his neck to stop the snoring. In the process he woke up. 

“He looked very confused, like he didn’t know where he was. I asked him if he knew who I was and he said, ‘You are my wife.’.” Then he started convulsing and when that abated she started doing CPR on him. He then lost consciousness. She called an ambulance, which took him to the hospital a few minutes away. When they got there, he was declared dead. 

There is that one event that happens in your life that you know will completely alter its course. Hers was that night. How surreal it all seemed, like it was happening to someone else. She, in her loose dress, being told that the father of her daughter, the man she saw in the morning, would never get up from the bed and go home. 

“My first reaction was anger. I was angry because I had sacrificed so much for the marriage. I had stayed even when he had physical disability, when he had to be fed and taken to the washroom and be washed. I stayed and served him and then he just dies. This was not supposed to happen; we were supposed to have grown old together.” 

She didn’t know what she would tell her daughter had happened to her father. She was sleeping in her room not knowing that she was already fatherless. She remembers crying a lot, going back home at 3am and her friend and their neighbour coming over and sleeping with her in their bed, on his side of the bed. She remembers being in bed in her deera, and not being able to sleep, thinking about what happens to her next, and to her daughter. She had become a widow at 34. Surely, she thought, there was an age where someone should become a widow, not at her age. 

If you ask her to describe grief she says it’s a sharp pain in the chest. A sharp physical pain. Like someone is drilling through your chest. A long-term pain that endured from the day he died, through to the day his body was loaded in the plane as cargo, like you would flowers or pots. She vaguely remembers the wake in Nyanza, she remembers all these things like it was a movie she watched a long time ago. But what she can’t forget is the pain in her chest. 

She was now officially a widow, something she thought only happened to old women. She wore it like you would wear an oversized shoe, dragging it everywhere clumsily. 

“I didn’t know what it meant to be a widow. Is there a role description? Are there some targets that you must meet? Is being a widow being a wife without a husband? What do you do now? Do you just make decisions without talking to someone? Do you just wake up and change the paint in the house without going over it with someone? I had never lived alone, I left my father’s house to go to university then got married straight out of campus. I had always had someone, now I didn’t.” 

Being a widow at that age is complicated, she found out; she still had a whole life ahead of her, but she also felt like she had lost a great deal of her life. She was required to grieve properly, to honour his name. Society  also expected her not to move on too fast. What was a safe time to have coffee with another man without raising eyebrows? When was a good time to fall in love and get married again? How long should you honour your dead spouse before you start thinking about yourself and what you want? 

“When you get married you are in love but then the reality of marriage hits you. He snores and does things that are not attractive but then later you realise those things are not important. You realise he’s a good father, he’s still gentle and kind, he’s all the things you need. You then fall back in love with the person but it’s a different kind of love, it’s mature. The love is more deliberate, more of a choice. At this point, in my case, my husband died. He died when I felt like we had passed our test of life and we now deserved to be let by life to live our lives.” 

She remembers widowhood as trying to keep things as “similar” as before. To get into the mechanics of survival: wake up, wash your face, brush your teeth, get dressed and go to school, “Like the children’s song, only now you are an adult and you have to do adult things.”

“Slowly, after the pain, which never really goes away,” she says, “you start to rearrange your life.”

Her family and friends kept her going. Her mum would check up on her constantly. 

Two years after she buried him, she fell in love with someone else. “I wanted to get married because I didn’t have a normal marriage: the first three years I fell out of love with my late husband because I was depressed and resentful. Then we fell in love again after the accident but it still wasn’t your normal marriage, given his physical challenges.” 

They didn’t get married, but they got a baby together. She’s not very hot on getting married anymore, she has settled into this arrangement where he lives in his house and she lives in her house and they do life. It works. She likes her space and independence, the idea of not operating within a boundary drawn by the government. She loves him differently, they fight more because she has learnt to be on her own. 

“I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? My greatest loss is behind me.” 

 

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282 Comments
  1. It always baffles me how these faceless, nameless characters can impact my morning. Just like that I’m sad for Ruthie and clutching my chest for Rugby Dude.
    And what happened to the daughter? The baby Ruthie had with the new guy, is it a boy or a girl? Does the new guy play father-figure to the girl?
    Why is the sky blue?
    What happened to Daario Naharis? Is Mereen still standing?

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    1. Very many questions have been left unanswered.
      ”She was required to grieve properly, to honour his name. Society also expected her not to move on too fast. What was a safe time to have coffee with another man without raising eyebrows? When was a good time to fall in love and get married again? How long should you honour your dead spouse before you start thinking about yourself and what you want?” These questions always cross my mind.

      I hear it’s okay for a widower to move on but a widow must take time to move on. The standards are ridiculous and I stopped worrying about what the society thinks about my life.

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      1. I thinking anyone is allowed to “move on” as first as one is able. It’s not that the scar isn’t there, but you can’t dwell on it

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    2. Yes.. and what’s the new guy like, is he as kind and gentle like the first one, and what lesson does one learn from here? Is it loss or courage or disappointment, is she happier or sadder.
      Phew..

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    3. I also want to know what happened to Mereen, and if Daario Naharis is now the leader there. I want to know.

      But Biko is such a storyteller. He is good at what he does.

  2. Whoa!! “I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? My greatest loss is behind me.” Wow, just wow. May she always know happiness.

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    1. Indeed! i always comb through the comments for consolation and alliance “Love is weird” brought tears to my eyes.

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  3. But life really has no rule book or manual… you just go with the flow and see where it takes you… And hopefully it will take you to a place of contentment… If your lucky, contentment may be equal to happiness, and if not, it is well …

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  4. “He looked very confused, like he didn’t know where he was. I asked him if he knew who I was and he said, ‘You are my wife.’.”

    Those last few words meant everything. He truly loved her.

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    1. Me too. I did not feel Biko’s hand in this narrative. Felt too much like whoever wrote this was told to narrate it in less than 1000 words. Summarize haraka upesi.
      I knew it was going to be a sad story even before he got there. Kawaida Biko doesn’t give you clues or lead ins, he just gets you unprepared .
      As sad as it was, it didn’t tear my heart to pieces, I didn’t even cry. And that’s not a normal reaction for me. Bikoness was missing in this.
      .

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    2. I feel the whole Women & Marriage series has just been meh! I find myself re-reading Men & Marriage.
      It’s interesting how we women are known to just open up and talk but when i compare these 2 series, it seems as if men are learning to open up more. i don’t know….

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  5. This is the trajectory of the path to finding true love in marriage ………

    “When you get married you are in love but then the reality of marriage hits you. He snores and does things that are not attractive but then later you realise those things are not important. You realise he’s a good father, he’s still gentle and kind, he’s all the things you need. You then fall back in love with the person but it’s a different kind of love, it’s mature. The love is more deliberate, more of a choice”.

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  6. “My greatest loss is behind me”. What a powerful statement.

    I just crossed my fingers reading this hoping that she would bounce back. Because we all want people to bounce back from tragedy.

    This story is a reminder that sometimes we cannot control the cards that we are dealt with. We do not choose those lemons. So just like her, we just work it through and hope it gets better.

    And when we bounce back we truly have this undisputable hope – that our greatest losses are behind us.

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  7. “I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? My greatest loss is behind me.”

    Is this the common mentality after losing a loved one…. It hurts and its like living on the edge of insanity with society’s sanity a mere speck in the sky

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  8. This ode to life is an epitome to God laughs when we make plans for our life.All will be well miss Ruthie,just live everyday like it comes like the birds of the air indulge in today,tomorrow be damned.

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  9. Sad that it took an accident for the man to slow down and get more involved with his family. I am happy she has found love again. Hope she will be able to leave her past behind her and give love a second try.

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  10. I I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? That there is something else. Its like she has metamorphosed into somebody else.

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  11. But what became of her life as a doctor?maybe she would not have felt so empty if she had pursued her career to the end.

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  12. “I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? My greatest loss is behind me.” …..Sighs

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  13. If only all Kenyans could be reading Biko’s blog and try to understand, we waste a lot of time doing what’s not necessary and that time is limited. And just like Jesus death too, comes unannounced, it comes like a thief. My love goes to Ruthie, and yes do you. It’s ok not to be confined in a certain way of doing things. Love yourself more and your kids too. I thought to myself, atleast a happy ending, but the gods had a different idea. I am happy she is peaceful that’s all that matters.

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  14. Well, this was emotion packed. It was surreal. Then there is that bit of her never being alone then boom, life! I like how now, she is living life on her own terms, I mean he cant hold her hostage by threatening to leave. That level of self actualisation emotionally is a place of zen. I totally relate.

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  15. I like the last phrase….
    What can a man threaten me with? That he will leave me? The greatest loss is behind me.
    That is a place so safe that I admire her. When life dealt her a huge blow, she was able to see some greatness in her loss and somehow, I kinda feel like this is what will keep her strong and unbroken.
    What can a new man take away from her now? She has lost all there is to lose in her mind and so no human loss can bow her. Great piece Biko. Thank you Sir

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    1. i agree with you, it just never feels the same never again…
      one got mixed reactions, feelings and emotion not even so sure of it anymore…
      to be sincere its never that easy, it takes more than i even don’t know how to put it exactly….

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  16. When you realize that someone else’s emotions explain the dark pits of feelings that you do not know are in you…live on Ruthie, some of us are barely existing.

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  17. “I felt like this baby belonged to only me.”

    Quiet as its kept, Women really need to lower their expectations on the kind of help they are hoping for when it comes to raising a child, upto the point they become adults.
    I am not married, and don’t have a child yet. But my expectations are to the barest minimum. Realistically in the society today, you are on your own sis.

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    1. I cannot tell if you’re a woman or a man. If a lady, may you never deal with postpartum depression because you don’t even realize that you’re depressed. Only that you’re constantly sad and unhappy by little things. You could have help around and still be depressed by other things.

      If you’re a man, for the love of God this baby wasn’t made by only one person. It wouldn’t hurt to help around. It helps a lot. And makes life sort of easier for the mother.

      You’ll understand where she comes from when your baby comes. Never say never. Raising a child takes a village. They never lied when they said that.

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      1. Brenda, where did you get the impression that I wasn’t sensitive to her condition?. I just singled out a statement I have heard many women say throughout my life and gave my opinion on it. Post partum depression has nothing to do with my comment, you are the one who has brought it up.

        1
  18. I like reading comments because Biko’s readers write like Biko, they use “because” a lot and are incredibly sarcastic. They have a twisted sense of humor, May be they have like club meetings where they discuss these write-ups and demand answers for those days Biko screwed us with no story ati because it was his birthday and mama Kim needed diapers from the supermarket. May be the have awards for the first comment guy who didn’t even read the story. They must consider themselves intelligent for following through every Tuesday. I want in.Biko commentary group PLC, you give life to this blog

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  19. Why does this feel short..
    I’m going to wait for a part two!

    Also, I’m glad Ruthie has healed healed kidogo. More grace to her!

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  20. She called an ambulance, which took him to the hospital a few minutes away. When they got there, he was declared dead….
    I was not prepared for this.

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  21. aki life! why cant it just be a straight line? like go to uni, do med, get a job, get married, get kids, get old, die smiling? but then again it wouldnt be life.. eh?

    lots of love Ruthie ,enjoy your happy!

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  22. This was a splint, I read it and it felt like I can’t hold my breath.

    She already feels like the biggest loss is behind her, she can define her own margins of peace and happiness; very few of us get to that point. It’s a kind of a balance, until you meet someone who gets you to the tipping point again. circle of life.
    I wish her “happy”.

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  23. I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? My greatest loss is behind me-Powerful

    1
  24. “He looked very confused, like he didn’t know where he was. I asked him if he knew who I was and he said, ‘You are my wife.’.” Then he started convulsing and when that abated she started doing CPR on him. He then lost consciousness. She called an ambulance, which took him to the hospital a few minutes away. When they got there, he was declared dead.

    My shoulders literally dropped at this point, that is when i realized i was tensed while reading all this and the speed seemed very high too.

    So short a marriage that was, So sorry Ruthie, hope she soldiers on through life’s mysteries.

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  25. This story is so similar to my mum’s story only she had 6 of us to take care of and a widow at 38. She never remarried.She said the love of her life would always be my dad.She still wears both their wedding rings.

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  26. just like when you stop loving everyone until you feel “you lost the person you loved the most what can a new man threaten me with”…love yourself more than anyone else that a lose in your life will be norm

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    1. You owe yourself the love you give to others. The day I came to this realization, that was my ‘Road to Damascus’ moment.

      1
  27. I don’t know if i’m the only one who is curious to know how the neighbor who sent him to the airport felt after he/she learnt of the accident…whether she went to bury the husband or if she/he went to the hospital to see him and even how he feels like right now.

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  28. I feel for Ruthie, but the underlying message is very clear. invest in family, because when shit hits the fan, it is they who will be there to nurse and help you. But more importantly, do not drink and drive. its a recipe for disaster.

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  29. so sad. my take away is on post partum depression, a woman is most fragile after child birth and without proper support, depression can slowly kick in.

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  30. Very sad indeed. How can you lose the one you love at that precise moment when the love has been renewed? how do you even continue breathing after such a loss? May she truly find happiness and love again.
    my take home today is that even in the middle of challenges and depression, true love will always triumph, will always win. There is no need for separation or divorce when you go through challenges, hang on there, because love can resurface again, can be renewed.

    3
  31. “I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? My greatest loss is behind me.”

    BOOM!

  32. This is heart wrenching! If you are reading this comment, I am so sorry and hugs to you. Please walk gently in the life of your new man. It’s not because of him that you suffered your loss. ❤️

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  33. I dunno. But I feel like between those two years and her falling for this new guy, something, a lot of things, are missing.

    I also don’t know what to wish Ruthie. Love and light? It doesn’t feel like enough.

    1
  34. Gosh! I just don’t know. I don’t know how to feel about this story. Life is hard. Adulting issa scam! Marriage is really really tough. Growing up requires balls. I just don’t know what to feel.

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  35. Love and light to miss Ruthie…
    Biko, thank you for bringing us this but heh things are abrupt in this story;sudden meet up, sudden death, sudden man, sudden other child…
    we surely could’ve used ease ins and better transitions

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  36. This story is my life just lost my husband 6mnths ago I feel cheated because since we got married he was working away and when he was finally able to come working close to us he passed on the same month… Still trying to figure out life with my son but one thing am grateful for is that now am slowly realizing myself and am able to be my own person…. Got married at 21 he was actually my 1st.

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  37. Short love story indeed.. I can’t even begin to imagine how one feels to loose twice, she lost him the first time when she was depressed, finds him then looses him again this time forever… Life! Sigh

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  38. My father died. My mother remarried, but, she has never stopped talking about her husband. The one she buried at 1pm.

    Power to you Ruthie.

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  39. My greatest loss is behind me…. These words are deep if you have experienced such a loss….fir sure it’s A Short Love Story….

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  40. Im glad she found love again.i have been there.unexpectedly losing the one you love.only diff is i.moved on too soon without mourning well and i paid for it because i ended up in a loveless marriage.

  41. I always wonder whether it would be so bad to have such an arrangement, like the one she’s currently having, i’m a loner never gets bored alone can go for days without really having to interact with people, its normally the basic human interactions.

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  42. “I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? My greatest loss is behind me.” Okay!

  43. Whoa! No one can pull off a suprise better than life. Glad she found a new path and she is still living. Some just due and never live after such a loss

  44. yaani he just died like that….kweli this journey of life is truly unpredictable and quite short. we should use every minute we have purposefully and live every day like it’s our last. Death is truly a cruel foe

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  45. What! this is so sad. Life at its best is very brief. nevertheless,Kudos to this lady because she loved in truth. Though left in shambles- I believe time heals all wounds.

  46. She likes her space and independence, the idea of not operating within a boundary drawn by the government. She loves him differently, they fight more because she has learnt to be on her own.

    1
  47. ” I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? My greatest loss is behind me.”
    When you have lost a man you truly love, whatever else is done to you by any other man is nothing.

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  48. For those saying it’s a short and abrupt story, that’s the point. That is exactly how it must have felt for Ruthie. Her marriage, her love, all ended abruptly. So….get over it and feel what the story makes you feel. As Biko intended.

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  49. Heart wrenching. It also reminds me that life’s a journey. We might know where we want to go and work really hard to get there but the journey isn’t ours. Those twists and turns, that’s life. The best we can do is control our perspective during the process.

  50. I just wish and hope the daughter moves on well just like the mother does…
    I hope she gives a try one more time…
    Have come to realize that if you left the society dictate for you, you will never make a bold step ahead…you will never be right but rather be judged for all your moves and actions
    Ruthie, i’m glad you followed your own self here…

    2
  51. It always shocks me how varied views on marriage are. Just when you thought you heard it all, you learn of yet another! Never judge anyone’s singlehood (or marriage) only they know their journey.

  52. Death is the most painful thing that can happen to anyone.
    I say, kifo kisikie kwa jirani….kisikukute. kifo kinauma sana asikuambie mtu!!! Weee! Acha tu
    God’s love is amazing He sees us through and heals us with time ….. I pray for God’s healing and restoration upon this lady.

  53. I don’t know what to feel reading this. Mixed emotions. Life is so unpredictable. When we even go through a relationship heart break, there is that pain…. deep pain, I fear for death of spouses, how do you move on?

    Hugs to her.

  54. I still wonder if I can have a heart to move on in the first place after such a loss,I can’t even think about loosing the people I love because it crashes me though it’s only an imagination,Hold on Ruthie you’re a strong lady

  55. “My greatest loss is behind me.”…………I have been here only difference is I lost my mother who was single and I was an only child. I have never felt naked ever in my life like I did in those many weeks, months and years of grieving. But happiness is me and me is happiness.

    1
  56. “I lost the person I loved the most.
    My greatest loss is behind me.”
    The sad dilemma is if you’ll be able to love them as fully as you loved the one you lost.

  57. The ending is like a dirge. But the beginning is like the new dawn, in Kenya when we promulgated the new constitution. Your writing style is awesome I’m in love with it.

  58. Life,

    When you think you got it, you suddenly realize you haven’t. But you got to purpose to move forward, to look ahead and to let go all that is past.

    Someone once advised that we got to learn to hold worldly stuff with oily hands, so that when the time to part comes for any reason, we won’t otherwise be ripped apart.

    I try to practice this, people may think you are cold, that you are indifferent, but that’s not true. I only can guard my heart from heartbreak….

    I am so sorry for her loss…

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  59. Biko ur stories….I think it’s ok to grieve and it’s different for everyone but still they have to move on BUT I think it’s not fair for the next guy that comes along to suffer the consequences of a previous love. Love him different in his own ways n not to compare to the past but at the same time keep the sentiment of ur loss close. No one is the same even identical twins… great piece Biko

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  60. I am just heartbroken, Ruthie I feel like God would allow this to happen because he has lined up another love for you to grow old with. Maybe just maybe he would want you to let go and let him.

    Love and light..,

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  61. But Biko you have rushed us through a good one ! Still a good read and a sad one for that .But this life is so unpredictable ,we just need to be happy and content wherever we are .

  62. When you’re young everyone tells you that you don’t know what love is
    When you’re old you still haven’t figure it out
    What is love?!

    1. Well, I think am beginning to agree with Whitney Houston. That ‘Learning to love yourself;is the greatest love of all’. Once you get to this level, you never settle for less, because, ‘Value never begs’.

      3
  63. Ruthie i apprecite the fact you taken the bull by the horns and charting your way forward, endelea hivo hivo, kwa ground we say ” raha jipe mwenyewe”

    1
  64. I know the pain she speaks of. It is like a rock in your soul, so heavy u feel dead. Absent, empty, like you are watching stuff happen to someone else. Even taking a breath is a monumental effort. But if you bounce back… everything is different

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  65. Life, love, puppies, watermelons, wine, brown socks, githeri…..What do all these things have in common? (20 marks) These are the kind of examination questions that life throws our way.

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  66. “I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? My greatest loss is behind me.”
    #deep and I relate.

  67. I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? My greatest loss is behind me.”

    Such statement affirms my worst fears, you can’t mend a broken soul. A broken soul can only break.

  68. Maybe the worst part of the story, obviously left out for obvious reason, after the death, and her being from Central, they said she killed her aachwe na Mali. Too many commas, huh, I know!

  69. Well,lots of mixed reactions there.
    Ruthie be happy girl.
    Biko ata kama it was a short story, that was extremely short my head was spinning by the time I finished it…lol.
    But as always I put life in these people I could see Ruthie at the campus corridors and the rugby dude…mpaka mwisho.

    1
  70. “I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? My greatest loss is behind me.”
    That is deep. Wonderful story as always. May she get the strength and courage to love another soul like she did her late husband..

  71. This article reads rushed or incomplete. Just my comment and not for those who feel the need to hit back, I’m not feeling engaged with this series at the moment.

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  72. Give us a throw back tomorrow with a post on men in their 40s. It was one of my favourites. It wouldn’t hurt if you start one of those in their very late 40s, asking for a friend.

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  73. Sad it took an accident to get them become one again. But they did get that second chance… only didn’t last that long.. sorry my dear! God will see you through

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  74. I feel obliged to thank you for the beautiful and surreal stories you bring to the comfort of our safe spaces. As a young adult, I have seen the world in a kinder light and seen my peers do the same effortlessly. These stories i love especially because they remove the veil of ignorance from my youthful face and the world seems Less owed.

  75. “I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? My greatest loss is behind me.”

    can i get an AMEN!

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  76. Goodness…I have a son who plays rugby and perfectly fits the description of this guy. I’m sooo afraid for him; like he was too good to die! I wonder what his parents must have gone through…what!

  77. This is true, I get the ‘not wanting to get married again’ the comfort of dating not for marriage but for companionship ..it works !!!

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  78. Life is so damned hard, so damned hard… It just hurts people and hurts people, until finally it hurts them so that they can’t be hurt ever any more. That’s the last and worst thing it does.

  79. My greatest loss is behind me……………A woman who knows who she really is!!!!!! Keep going I am proud of you for speaking your truth

  80. The greatest loss was behind me….do we really get over loss or do we just find a coping mechanism? and what an edge thinking that the new man should not threaten, well unless he pulls the carpet under her feet and she finds that she is not as strong as she thinks she is…this life…we have to cling to the hope that it wont cheat us the second time..

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  81. “When you get married you are in love but then the reality of marriage hits you. He snores and does things that are not attractive but then later you realise those things are not important. You realise he’s a good father, he’s still gentle and kind, he’s all the things you need. You then fall back in love with the person but it’s a different kind of love, it’s mature. The love is more deliberate, more of a choice. …….I felt this..marriage is beautiful..thank you for reminding us this biko

  82. curve of being in love.
    Fall in and out of love, then comes maturity love… it is indeed a choice. Love
    My trip back home from work was short.
    Sengyooooo biko for this piece!!!!

  83. Sorry to her for the loss of her husband,i have even thought she tilted his head suddenly maybe he had an unseen injury after the accident? happy for her she got some new love wish her well

  84. I learnt of this blog while at highschool
    I always read his columns on magazines
    So i expected what i was reading GREATNESS

  85. My greatest loss is behind me” wow… strong words there…. reality of wha some of us go/have gone through…. my greatest loss is sure behind me..

  86. There is that one event that happens in your life that you know will completely alter its course. Hers was that night. How surreal it all seemed, like it was happening to someone else. She, in her loose dress, being told that the father of her daughter, the man she saw in the morning, would never get up from the bed and go home.

    I think at one point in life we all go through this change. I had mine and am living by its impact to date, positive impact of course but am struggling with developing trust with people..

  87. “I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? My greatest loss is behind me.”

    My exact sentiments! I am two years into widowhood
    Does it ever get better? No, you learn to live with the pain ..the tears.

  88. “He looked very confused, like he didn’t know where he was. I asked him if he knew who I was and he said, ‘You are my wife.’.” Then he started convulsing and when that abated she started doing CPR on him. He then lost consciousness. She called an ambulance, which took him to the hospital a few minutes away. When they got there, he was declared dead.

    The above part was excessively summarized and the part where he was declared dead was ruthlessly thrown on my face. I had to pause and catch my breath. Yes you warned us with the short story title but the narration ought to have been detailed…

  89. The story of my life… Widowed at 34….after the pain which never really goes away.. You rearrange your life. and yes you can’t have coffee with another man without raising eye brows… I lost the person I loved the most, my greatest loss is behind me

  90. This is another read that left a number of questions in my mind. Like what is Love?, is the definition of love constant?, can a man love a woman the same way a woman can love a man, can one quantify Love n simulate it’s trend over time?? can one ever gain control over it or we are just helpless pawns in life’s big love game? Are there answers somewhere to these questions???

  91. “I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? My greatest loss is behind me.” enough said…

  92. What a sad story…sigh
    I have to say though, at first I didn’t think Biko wrote this piece……like his thumb print was missing…

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  93. What is it with women? Why do you have to fall in and out of Love this often. I thought love was sacred, and that if you fall for me, you will fall for me even after I am gone. Do other men feel the same? Or is my level of sanity very Low?

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  94. “I lost the person I loved the most, what can a new man threaten me with? That he will leave me? My greatest loss is behind me.” This is such a strong message

  95. Damn, what a sad sad story. I had to pause, fight back tears the moment he died. Death is cruel. My father died in similar circumstances at home. That pain of losing a loved one never ever goes away. Nobody can ever replace those who we lose.

  96. “When you get married you are in love but then the reality of marriage hits you. He snores and does things that are not attractive but then later you realise those things are not important. You realise he’s a good father, he’s still gentle and kind, he’s all the things you need. You then fall back in love with the person but it’s a different kind of love, it’s mature. The love is more deliberate, more of a choice.”

    And I whistled, and whistled again. How true it is.

  97. Nice one but there some gaps on part of the lady.
    1. After leaving campus as a doctor, did she get a job?
    2. How was she surviving financially when the husband was sick as it seems she was a house wife.
    Nice piece but overly edited.

  98. Ruthie resonated with my heart, I was widowed at 27 and life as I knew it ceased to exist. There things that change you completely and death is one of them…..all you hope is that you will one day learn to be happy again!personally God has been my saving grace….I hope she found her peace ❤

  99. Why do i fee;l like this is my mom story, the only difference is that my dad was in army and a football player. She moved on after 7 years.

  100. Wow! Interesting piece, its quite thought provoking and scary at the same time. Looking forward to a script that would be turned into a movie…. You have it Biko.

  101. When Papa passed away mama was 30, these same questioned flowed endlessly through her mind
    “Are there some targets that you must meet? Is being a widow being a wife without a husband? What do you do now? Do you just make decisions without talking to someone? Do you just wake up and change the paint in the house without going over it with someone?”
    It is very hard to move on after you lose your better half. Mama decided to raise us. SHE SAYS WE ARE HER HUSBAND

  102. Oh No… He didn’t have to die… Maybe this girl should talk to my mummy, she was widowed at 33yrs…i still don’t know how she survived the great loss…. Gods grace is always sufficient to widows.

  103. What a way to end my day phew love love love is there a way we can live without this thing of feeling…
    I literally felt the pain as I read this story