Electrifying blue eyes stared back at me.
“I know you” they said.
“I know you too” I replied.
We would periodically stare at each other, for the half hour that we were meant to be listening to how Jesus Christ saved us.
“How?” I kept asking.
Honestly I knew him.
As soon as his blue gaze landed on me, that was it. I knew I was home.
And he kept looking back at me too. So I knew this wasn’t in my brain. I wasn’t crazy.
Itching to get up and sit next to him, I had to control myself. Considering that I had once again deceived my mother and hidden the ADHD tablet under my tongue, my hyperness was on an overload.
My senses, each and every single one of them had been awakened by just one glance.
Finally the last song was sung and I dashed across to him. We actually met half way. We looked at each other until I blurted out
The next thing I know was I was dragging my mom across the church parking lot saying
“Mom, you HAVE to meet Christo! His soo beautiful” 😄
While he had gone to get his mom too.
You see, we had made a silent pact. That we just had to be friends and it didn’t matter who or what, we just had to.
So shock on my mom and his mom when standing across each other, with us in the middle giggling and chattering away, they were as different as day is to night.
I don’t know what happened between our parents. All I know is that the next Sunday after church, we headed out to the beach across in Kigamboni and we had the most amazing afternoon ever.
Christo and I dived into the sea, splashed one another, raced, got hungry, bugged our mothers, disturbed our dads and bullied our siblings.
I spent every other Sunday and every other single afternoon after school for close to four years with him.
We would sit in his room and he’d play the guitar or complain about school work. He’d tell me stories of South Africa and I’d tell him my stories of Kenya.
We had a song. Nothing Else Matters by Metallica.
I’d tease him and he’d tease me back.
We rarely pissed each other off, and if we did we’d try to fix it quickly.
He once told me “Your mom’s fat” and I told him “your mom is fatter” then I hit him and walked away.
He came to where I was sitting a few minutes later and said “Look, they are both fat. They can fit shells in their boobs” 😂 (our moms would collect sea shells every Sunday when we went to the beach)
His mom would make coffee and we’d sit in the kitchen and listen to our mothers stories.
Or we’d go outside and watch our siblings squabbling 😂
We’d peep at our dads pretending to get along 😂
We both had ADHD. In his own way he taught me to love myself. He told me how he didn’t want his medication either, and how it felt like it was numbing him.
I loved him. I told him and he kissed my shoulder and he told me “Noni, if I wasn’t a South African, I’d date you. But I can’t. You are amazing. I don’t want you to go through shit.”
I didn’t wash my shoulder for a week. 😂
I remember one day he pissed off his mom and I watched him take off faster than Usain Bolt when she grabbed the mwiko 😂
Or the time he stepped on a sea urchin and she had to pee on his hand 😂 and he got embarrassed cause I was rolling in the sand dying of laughter.
I watched him grow taller than me, his voice broke and I’d tease him about it. I watched him become such a beautiful person.
I watched his musical talent grow and exceed. He introduced me to Jimi Hendrix and all the great guitarists.
I came back to Kenya and he to South Africa. We kept in touch. We had to.
I don’t remember much of my last conversation with him. I know he had a gig.
The next day on the 5th of October 2009, he left this world.
A motorcycle accident.
I broke down completely. I felt my heart break.
Christo was gone. And I didn’t know what to do.
I wrote on his facebook wall twice. Then I just completely shut down.
I felt like my grief wasn’t, I don’t know the word but I felt like I shouldn’t be as broken as I was. That my grief was nothing compared to his moms. Or his family.
I felt like I shouldn’t be as devastated, I mean.. I was just another black girl to him right?
Chriso it’s been 9 years. 9 years of me denying how much you really meant to me.
I miss you every single second. I call you my soul mate because you were. We were never ever going to be romantic because we just couldn’t. Yet I know we loved each other because how else do you explain our 7 year friendship.
I love you Christo Ludwig Visser, and I miss you so so much.