SHORT STORY Jan. 19, 2022

It sits on the counter, half-full, half-empty, begging me to open my mouth and consume its brown contents.

“Chapa hiyo shot.” The inner me, also begging.

It seems like they are in a weird correlation.

I will not give in. I promised, did I not?

I rise, steadily, considering, almost breaking. I hold it by the neck. I scrutinize it.

Reserve 7.

 Rare Whiskey.

 A blend of Indian Malts and select Indian Grain Spirits.


Net contents: 750ml.

That means, more than 325ml remaining.

My eyes are lingering, my throat already full of saliva, anticipating the bitter taste.

I close them, my eyes, to stop them from lingering. My throat, I swallow the saliva.

I will not give in. I promised, did I not?

I open my eyes.

My hands are still holding it by the neck, and then my legs, carrying me.

The door to the bathroom/toilet is unlocked. I enter.

The toilet seat cover is up. I am not one to put it down every second. Maybe I should be. Hygiene is important.

I have no time for that right now. I am still holding it by the neck, and with eyes wide open, I unscrew the top.

The sound whiskey makes being poured down the drain. Hurts when it hits the bowl, hurts when it turns the toilet bowl water brown, hurts when the bottle is empty.

I did not give in. I promised, and for once I kept my promise.

I try to smile, or cry, or feel anything besides the emptiness of the bottle and the emptiness of my soul.

“Unado?” I find myself texting Ogembo.

I need him.  I hope he needs me too.


He does. He does need me.

“Nakam hivyo.”


Ogembo is not very good at talking. Perhaps that’s why I always need him. I am not good at talking either. I am good at drinking whiskey though, but I will not give in. I promised, did I not?

“That was fun,” I say.

Ogembo, stark naked and now not hard, just nods.

“Unamind nikiasha?”

He is referring to the stuffed blunt next to him. I also nod. I know the green sin keeps him happy, just like the brown liquid did me.

The smell of weed, filling the house.

“Nimeacha Pombe,” I say.

Ogembo, another puff in, smoke out, eyes not turning red. He does not look at me. He rarely looks at me.

“For real nimeacha. Hadi leo nilimwaga hiyo nilibuy jana.”

Ogembo, still paying mind only to his green sin. It does not stop me.

“I think pia wewe Inafaa uache bhangi.”

He now looks at me. How red his eyes are.

“Acha ufala. Pia wewe unajua huwezi acha Pombe.”

The sound the heart makes when it breaks; I can hear it, I can touch it, I can almost live in it.

The disappointment.

I turn away from him, put on my panties, then my bra, then my T-shirt, and finally my trousers. All the while, the sound of my breaking heart, echoing, deafening.

If I was drunk, it would not be this loud.

But I will not give in. I promised, did I not?

“Babes, uko?” I text my best friend. Yes, whiskey is not my only friend, even though sometimes it feels like it is.

“Kwa nyumba” she says.




Terry is very good at talking. Perhaps that’s why I always need her. I am not very good at talking and they say opposites attract right?

“Lee ameniboo leo.” She says.

Lee is her new obsession. I nod and listen. Her obsessions keep me occupied.


The next hour is spent with her telling me what Lee has done.  And he had done a lot.

I drift off as she talks, not because she’s boring but because this conversation would be much more entertaining if I had a little whiskey in me.

But I will not give in. I promised, did I not?

It’s over. The story of Lee and what he did to Terry. I hope I have inserted all the correct reactions and told her all the things she wants to hear.

We sit in silence, but since Terry is not one for silences, she breaks it.

“Anyway, what have you been up to?”

Should I tell her?

“Nimetoka kwa Ogembo.” I decide to.

I am not looking at her, but I can feel the eye roll and sense the words coming.

“Utaachana na huyo kijana lini? I have told you, he’s not good for you.”

Yeah like her a thousand obsessions are good for her. I bite my tongue.

“Can we not?” I say instead.

She sighs and the silence is back again; echoing, deafening.

If I was drunk, it would not be this loud. But I promised, did I not?

I cannot stand the silence any longer.

“Nimeacha Pombe,” I say.

Terry is still silent, and I turn to look at her.

She is avoiding my eyes. The last time she did that was when she had to tell me my ex was cheating on me. What is she afraid of shattering now?

“For real, nimeacha.”

She still avoids my eyes. It does not stop me. More than anything, it fuels me.

“Hadi jana, nilimwaga yenye nilibuy.”

“Nimekushow vile Lee alikuwa anaangalia huyo dem? The nerve of that nigga.” Terry avoiding my eyes, avoiding the conversation.

The next thirty minutes pass by as she still talks about Lee. I have zoned out, and she knows I have, yet she keeps talking and talking and talking.

“Wacha niende kwa nyumba.” I finally say.

I gather my miserable self, my sober self.

I am about to reach the door then Terry stops me.

“Babe, you know I love you right?”

I stand on the door, not turning, afraid of what is to come after that You know I love you right?

I nod, and she continues.

“Babe, labda Inafaa uone msee, like a therapist or something.”

I now turn. I hope she can feel the heat of the fire in my eyes.


I ask even though I know why.

“You know why.”

“But nimeacha. Si I have told you nimeacha.”

My voice, begging, breaking, pleading for that to be true.

“Babe, how many times have you said that?”

The sound the heart makes when it breaks for the second time. I cannot bear it. I cannot. If only I was drunk. Fuck, if only I was drunk.

But I fucking promised. I promised. Fuck, I promised, did I not?

“Bye.” I tell Terry.


It sits on the counter, full, begging me to open it and devour its brown contents.

I stand, hold it by the neck, scrutinize it.

Reserve 7.

What the fuck does it reserve?

Fuck it.

I unscrew the top.

The taste of whiskey in my tongue. Bitter, burning, scorching. Freeing.

Who gives a shit about promises you make to yourself anyway?



by Amanda Nechesa 70


  • Madaraka

    July 7, 2020, 6:11 p.m.

    Reserved in your heart is the seventh sin. 


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