I met this couple early this year in January when I had gone to the coast.
I’m actually the one who took this photo as we parted ways.
Joe had gone to his never ending errands and he wasnt back yet . I was tired of sitting in the room alone. I decided to step out.
Besides, it was coast, I had come to relax my mind and there was a beach to busk so why not?
I chose a place close to Hemingway’s beach hotel where we were putting up, We had a 4 days voucher to spend.
For some reason, I loved the rocks beside the hotel and the way the waves of water hit them when it was evening and water was coming back.
I had spent the prevoius night at the balcony of the room watching waves hit the rocks and it brought such tranquillity.
I sank in the sand and let the water play with my legs. From there, I had the view of a life time. Local tourists like me, ridding the boat to an island.
So much to see, but my view was digressed to this man standing a stone throw from me, He was walking a young girl across the shore. I supposed she was her daughter.
They were having a good time I could tell. The innocent girl overjoyed, kept moving towards waters unaware of the danger lurking there. The man kept running after her.
Then my mind drifted to my childhood, moments I never had with my father…
Wait! ..did I even see him often? let alone playing with him,
i longed to play with him like this, hug him after school when i came home, and drop my bag at his feet but he wasn’t there that’s something I would trade to have even today. Nevertheless we grew up.
“Habari yako dada?” Those words starlted me from my world of thought. I responded the best way I knew.
It was this very man I had seen but this time he had been joined by a lady. Again I could only suppose she was his wife.
There was a sea shell washed by the waters to the shore that the young girl cried for, this made them sit next to me. In no time the young girl slept.
“Naitwa Said, na huyu hapa mke wangu anaitwa Nyambura” the man introduced himself. ” pretty is our daughter na amelala”, “ni poa kuwajua mimi pia naitwa Nyambura kutoka Murang’a” I replied.
What a coincidence! we not only shared a tribe but also a name with his wife, so nature took course we exchanged a few words in Kikuyu.
” yaani wonire mûthuri no onekeire mombatha” I joked. To mean you really searched for a husband and found him at the coast.
She giggled and said ” nlijipata tuu” Her kiswahili sounded so good you couldn’t detect the Kikuyu ascent anywhere. ” ntakupa hadithi ,”she said.
Nyambura and her husband gave each other a look that made both of them give a hysterical laughter that woke up their sleeping girl. I knew there was really a story to hear.
Just then, my phone buzzed,it was Joe, he was back ..I gave him directions to where i was sitted.
He joined us just as I was beginning to hear the story of how Nyambura from kiambu got married to Said at the coast.
“In June of 2016 we had an expendition to the coast” Nyambura was speaking now.
” it was a tour for fourth years admirably calculated to end the four campus years in style. We went to stay in Shelton hotels a vintage kind of hotel and just one that students could afford. Of importance to note is that this hotel was opposite Mombasa intercontinental hotel.” Nyambura went on.
At this time, a few questions had build up in my mind but I let her continue.
Meanwhile Joe and Said had drifted into what can be called man talk leaving us to chat.
“Afternoons were free so most of the students went swimming but I didn’t know how to swim. I spent hours in the shore watching the water or playing with it .I never left the shore. ” she continued.
“If I was not sand scrubbing I was watching people and waves and that for me was life . Then one day, actually the last dayof the trip, i carried my costume but I didn’t change . It was in my small bag.”
“As I sat there 3 ladies came, they were not whites they were black, like me. They changed quickly and five minutes later they were swimming. I saw that as a humiliation” she went on.
At this point i laughed at her ,feeling humiliated because she didn’t know how to swim.
” I had a figure to die for back then , not like now when i struggle with baby fat. I got looks from people as if to ask what I was doing there wasting precious time. ” said Nyambura.
At this point I interrupted, ” what beach was this? ” I asked. “It was pirates the famous public beach. ” she answered and continued.
” My pride rose within and I decided it was time to swim. Besides ,the school trip was soon going to be over . I Changed into my attire. I never knew the first thing about swimming but I walked in. No life jacket.. But who cared really? ” she smiled at me revealing a gap between her teeth .
Looking at her, Nyambura’s height was just an inch lower than mine. So I could tell she had the advantage of height.
” I do not know how long i was in water, when a wave hit, then another and another ,and my feet couldn’t touch the ground,” she said. The look on her face told me it was an ordeal experience.
” I was sinking, either I had gone too deep in to the ocean or the waters had risen, I tried lifting up my hands, After what seemed like a lifetime, I felt some hand pull me. ”
“When i opened my eyes, i was lying on the ground, surrounded by my classmates, my lecturer and a strange face I hadn’t met. That strange person was Said. The father of this daughter I’m holding” . She smiled looking at her sleeping daughter then to her husband. I could tell she loved her family.
” He had saved me from drowning. It was him who pulled me out of the waters. I saw my lectures shake his hands as appreciation and knew it was him.” She added.Her smile was not about to fade.
“Said was working as a life guard at the beach,.After I regained, I thanked him for being kind,and casually we exchanged numbers .Our school bus left early the next morning.”
“While awaiting graduation in December, I was posted here as a nurse for my internship and the rest is history. ” said Nyambura as many will say when giving their love story.
“Now Said is the life guard in my home” she said as she gave that Kikuyu laugh and we crowned it with a high five.”
It was getting late for them and the baby and we also needed to get back to the rooms. Meanwhile I bid goodbye to my newly met friends and headed back to the hotel room with Joe eager to put her story down to paper.
He saved her for himself.