Most time of the year, my weekends are just perfect. As I work very hard through the week, I eagerly anticipate for the end of whatever we inveted as “working days.”
Well, after all they vary from person to person. For me, the weekend starts on Saturday morning and ends Saturday night. At my new job, it is just like that. Don’t ask me why.
Last weekend was rather unusual and I must reveal that it is one of the terrible ones I have had simply because I had to bid farewell to a good friend and colleague. Not in the sense of death but in every meaning of the word good-bye.
I received an invitation to the party that was supposed to mean, “Kitty Llewellyn is actually leaving for (UK) her home country and you might never see her again.” It was terrible.
It all started two weeks back when my dear beloved friend mentioned that she would be leaving us for good. For a moment, I took it lightly as I asked why, but in a much laid back kind of mood.
“Must you really go?” I lamented as often as possible. She kept on hinting yes, I have to. “Everything about me is centred on where I am going and I do not think that anyone can change that right now, not even you,” she answered back as many times as I asked.
Now that it always sounded unbelievable, I decided to stop asking. In any case the tone of her voice did not give me reason to believe her. It was on that fateful Saturday, that I was phoned and reminded that Kitty’s farewell party was due to take place that very day.
I grasped as I answered back, “are you sure it is today?” African Munyaneza, the procurement officer replied slowly, “yes…yes it is.”
I gathered all my guts and headed for La Palisse executive gardens, an exclusive place that had been selected by the organisers.
To be honest, it was well organised. The setting was perfect, the guests were quite lively but everything was not right with me. I was sad.
For once, everything tasted stale. The music was like a noisy gong and all the conversations I heard around me were simply irritating my ear drums. “No I will not stay longer,” I thought to myself.
Suddenly she appeared and I had to pretend that everything is just fine and the party is “happenin” like we normally say. I made sure that we sat together so that I could say whatever it is that I thought I might have forgotten to tell her.
Unfortunately everything could not come out in just one moment. As I tried to phrase exactly how I felt deep down my heart, different colleagues made it very impossible as they squeezed in with hugs and handshakes from all corners, just like grasshoppers struggling to get closer to light. It was impossible and I was devastated.
Soon, it was time for speeches, one of our chief’s said very painful words. Frankly, they touched my heart but differently because my mind kept on wondering back to the first time, I met Kitty.
Kennedy Ndahiro said Kitty had significantly turned around The Sunday Times and The New Times will miss her. “I just want you to know that we will surely miss you. I hope that you come back real soon,” Ndahiro said.
Yeah right, real soon indeed, I thought to my self. Well, she may have turned around the Sunday Times but does she know that she is the main reason as to why I can now be called a “good writer?” I wondered as tears quickly covered my eyes and dropped bit by bit, down my cheeks.
I began to let the bitter truth sink in that my Kitty, my best friend and mentor was actually leaving me. Coping with this pain has been harder that I can explain but I have managed to move on.
One thing became very clear though, is that while we live with people everyday, we should remember to tell them exactly what they mean to us because we may not know what tomorrow holds.