NOTHING IS AS COMFORTABLE AS AN OLD FRIEND (anonymous)
She breathed in deeply in an attempt to save herself from the looming danger. It felt like someone had wrapped her chest tightly in wrapping paper. She gasped for air once more as she grasped her neck. Being a cold morning, she had taken particular care to dress warmly. A heavy, knee-length, cashmere coat and her fluffy pants did the job just right. That was until a few minutes ago when her asthma proved otherwise.
Here she was, leaning against a tree, probably dying unless something or someone happened to save her . With her inhaler forgotten on her table back home, her chances of getting out of this situation with some air in her were pretty slim. She whispered a final prayer as the streams of tears flowed out. Divorced, childless and an only child. Her only close relatives being her parents who were far away in Ndaragua probably enjoying their fifth cup of porridge and sweet potatoes, this thought angered her.
Alvin was there though, he was all she needed. Strong, healthy and very clean. Never had she been forced to clean after him. She shook her head on realizing that the only significant other in her life was her ginger cat.
Her vision blurred and her knees gave way. The ground seemed to come hurtling at her. Right in the nick of time a strong arm grabbed her. She heard him call out to her severally as he shook her violently. At this time she was wheezing loudly and her heart pounded murderously. The mystical flash of one’s life before their eyes just before death never did come. All thought seemed to be slowly fading.
“Take a deep breathe,” a female voice urged as the familiar scent from an inhaler flooded her mouth and throat. Slowly it cleared up her chest and loosened up her constricted bronchi. As it rushed down her respiratory system, it gave her back her life, her breath, her vitality.
She automatically grabbed the guy on whose lap she lay and hugged him tightly. The tears came back like a flood and she sobbed bitterly. She did not know why but the whole situation suddenly felt so romantic. He smelled all musky and masculine. Like dry wood really, mixed with lavender from his clothes’ conditioner maybe. The miracle here being her ability to breathe and smell, his smelling nice or otherwise notwithstanding.
Beauty and love flow, when the old catches up with the new…
“Tabby! Tabitha Mwangi! It cannot be you, can it?” Anita shouted after finally placing the familiar face on the lady. Anita was walking towards her car to pick a book when she noticed the commotion. A man was bended over a woman shaking her and calling for help. The all too familiar wheezing sound was enough to switch on her SOS button! She grabbed her inhaler and rushed to the duo determined to save a life. The whole parking lot was deserted.
After administering the dose, she experienced a strong sense of deja vu. The face seemed very familiar. Back to her high school days where she went, at Loreto girls high school, Limuru. On that particularly cold morning, a group of seven girls were found missing from the roll call. Her long, spirited and heavy strides back to the dormitories were not graceful in any way. Neither were her intentions angelic nor noble.
“Lazy girls! Sent to school to get an education but all they think about is sleeping all day and writing to boys,” she thought as she swallowed a bit of gall.
“Today they will know they have messed with the wrong person!” Her grimace turned into a smile when she saw a light on in one of the cubicles.”Bingo!”
Anita walked in confidently ready to burst some girls’ bubbles and fight crime! The sight that met her, however, immobilized her. The girls were crying and the despondency in the air was palpable. Seeing their head girl prompted a sigh of relief instead of the terror it would normally arouse. Their plan to sleep in was ruined when Tabitha got a severe asthma attack. Her inhaler was nowhere to be found. They were just about to scream for help when Anita walked in. From that moment none of them would ever wonder what heaven sent actually meant!
Anita being asthmatic herself quickly sprang to action. Luckily her inhaler was tucked in her fleece jacket’s pocket. One of the girls had placed Tabitha on her lap and was violently shaking her.
Anita administered a good dose quickly and the results were almost immediate. Tabitha caught her breathe and hugged the girl on whom she lay and cried. The girls were still punished later on but what came out of that scenario was a bosom friendship between Anita and Tabitha. They however lost touch when Anita, who was ahead by a class, cleared from high school.
“Anita!” Tabitha cried out and broke from her hug. The romance she had conjured up was overridden by sudden excitement and happiness. She stood up and hugged Anita for what seemed like an eternity! Now fresh tears came and both ladies cried their hearts out amidst all the hugging and outbursts of joy.
“ I am Derrick by the way! I have to go though.”Brief introductions were shared and many expressions of gratitude rendered before he left.
“What are you doing in this place Tabitha? I thought you were a banker. This much I gathered from your classmate Sheila back In Kent.” Anita inquired as they made their way towards a seat nearby.
“So much has happened in the past decade my dear. So much that at this moment I doubt anything can take me by surprise!” Tabitha answered as she cleaned her face with wet wipes.
“You remember that song we loved back In the day? Life oh Life?” At this, both women started singing on top of their voice about keeping rabbit’s tails and fearing ghosts. Good old memories wrapped in good old songs.
For the next few moments, both sat down in comfortable silence trying to place the feeling they had inside. It was a feeling so sweet, tender and dear that only the deepest sense of love and old comradeship can arouse. Anita smiled and a tear rolled down her cheek as she hugged Tabitha once more. A gift worth more than gold was being unwrapped before her very eyes and she knew it. A rush of emotions overwhelmed her as she contemplated the possibility of a re-ignited friendship. From her smile Tabitha was thinking the same too!
Are you yet to catch up with part 1 and 2? Here they are…