Posts Tagged ‘short fiction’

Achika’s love

April 4, 2016

By Keya John, Shiro Marima and Eudiah Kamonjo.

NOTE: This was group work done during a writing workshop facilitated by Tanja Duckers at the Goethe Institut on April 1 2016. The task was to come up with a story that includes the words ‘sunglasses, a rat and beauty queen’.


It’s the year 2000. Achika is seated on her bed, going through her tattered album. The creaking of her bed would match the instrumentals of Kenny Roger’s ‘Listen to the Radio’. At the back of one of her oldest and most prized photos, she reads something she had scribbled years ago, ‘Life only allows us enough time and energy to connect with a limited number of people’. Her smile is priceless!


The year is 1994.

She slides her sunglasses up and down her nose. She bought these heart-shaped sunglasses for three-hundred shillings during her first visit to Nairobi, but they had the feeling of making her feel like a beauty queen. They do not quite fit well, so she has to regularly adjust them so they sit nicely. Achika begins her nervous walk towards the river bank. The anticipation of the meeting makes her heart skip a thousand beats. She has only seen him once before-in church, playing the drums.

His name is Jones. He is on a bicycle, riding as fast as he can. His tall frame is bent over and there’s no stopping him. ‘Kwa mwendwa gutirme karima’ (On the way to one’s beloved, there is no hill).

All of a sudden, his bicycle comes to ma sudden stop. A rat has been caught in the spokes of his bicycle frantically trying to free itself. Threatening to interrupt this very precious moment of his life. From a distance, he can see Achika pacing up and down the river-bank, playing with flower petals. He picks up his bicycle, puts it on his shoulder and starts to ran. She senses a movement around her. She sees him; tall, sturdy, determined! Achika grabs her sunglasses and tosses them into the water. She races towards him and leaps into his arms as he abandons his beloved bicycle for his new beloved.


It’s the year 2000. “You surely cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to the person to realize your worth,” she continues to read her own words at the back of the old photograph.

“Achika, my love? Achika! Achika!”

She sits up, looking around, startled. He smiles and sits besides her on the bed.

The creaking intensifies.

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