Excerpt for Bloom by , available in its entirety at Smashwords





This morning could not come any earlier for him; he had felt restless all night only falling asleep for about two hours before he bolted up awake again. Almost losing Linda had made him realize just how stupid he had been in keeping up with a sham of engagement. Actually he had realized it before and broken it off and was looking for a way to apologize to Linda when he got the phone call.

He could not forget that moment it was as if his heart dropped to his shoes when he had the news and all the way to the hospital he was chanting, please let her be okay.

God had answered his prayers and he was not going to lose her again, not ever even if he had to tie her to his side. That was why not spending the night by her side did not bode well with him but he needed to come up with a strategy on how to tell her how he felt. After screwing up a simple I love you was not going to cut it, he had to do it big and convince her to take a chance on him.

His first alarm rang and he was off the bed, first visiting hours were at eight and if he hurried he would be there thirty minutes early. Maybe he could charm the nurses with his celebrity status to let him see her before her family got there. What he had to do was best done in private.

For some unknown reason he was not surprised to meet Ken by the elevators, they were all in the same hotel. They did not speak just nodded at each other as they got into the elevator and pressed the ground button. They kept the same silence all the way to the hospital and Ken even stopped with him when he purchased some flowers.

He appreciated the effort he was making to accommodate him even if they did not voice it.

When they got to the hospital door he turned to Ken, “Buy me five minutes.” He did not know if it would work but he had to give sneaking in a shot.

“Five minutes,” Ken said as he stalked off to go charm the nurse on duty.

He even managed to sneak past the desk guard who was busy dozing off and he made it to the room Linda was assigned. As he opened the door he smiled, he felt good about this, and this was the beginning of their love story. The door swung open and the first thing he noticed was that the bed was empty.

No, this could not be happening. He closed the door again to recheck the room number; yeah he had the correct room. He heard a whimper that seemed like a hurt dog nearby as a sob wrenched from deep within, the only reason the room would be empty...

No, no, he could not finish that thought, she was fine. She had to be fine, they had forever together.

He did not even hear the footsteps coming up behind him as Ken approached saying, “Hey buddy your five minutes are up.

He turned around, he was sure he looked like someone shell shocked.

“Empty,” he whispered hoarsely then blankness just embraced him and he was out.


“Do not go out there!” Linda shouted at the television show as she watched someone go out into the darkness.

What was wrong with people? She thought as paused the movie to go get more popcorn. You hear a noise outside late at night you do not prattle down the stair with your bat to go check it out. You jump out the window and run like the devils hounds are after you.

She sighed when she realized that she had finished all the popcorns and had to make a new batch. So much for finishing this movie before her brother and guardian got home, she thought with a sigh as she headed for the kitchen.

They were due back by four and it was already three thirty yet she was just half an hour into the movie. Not good.

She looked forward to her brother and guardian coming back and she loved them dearly but she still treasured this moments when she was alone to indulge her obsession with movies. She was currently watching Criminal Minds and the latest season was just as good as advertised, even better.

She lit the cooker and placed the saucepan with popcorns and oil on it and covered it, giving it time to pop she jumped onto the kitchen island to wait. Her eyes caught onto the photo of her, Ken and their mother that was placed just above the fridge, they looked so happy. She tried to remember that day but she was about two at the time all she remembered was eating too much ice cream and sweats she ended up throwing up all evening as her mother soothed her.

Those were her mother’s better days.

As a kid she did not understand how her mum could be happy and playing with her one moment then angry at her the next moment. Now she understood that her mother was sick and she just felt sad that no one was there to help her. No one was there to help them.

They had not met their guardian Mrs. Iffy until after their mother passed away and the dreadful day they had ran away to sleep in an abandoned house. She was the one who had been abused but she was sure Ken still carried the guilt with him.

Her, she just tried to bury it so far deep and not think about it. Mrs. Iffy had done right by them, helping them build a normal life and happy memories that buried the sad one’s they had. With time they ended up blending with other kids, going to school, Ken had even graduated to be a lawyer and she was joining Medical school the next semester. Yet making friends had been so hard, so they stuck with each other, closer than most siblings.

She knew the statistics of her developing her mother’s disease when she hit her twenties so she had vowed not to have kids. No way was she putting her kids through what she had been through. She was going to be a doctor and heal other people. Make a difference in other people’s life then die and old spinster with seven cats that would probably eat her when she died.

The smell of popcorns burning jolted her out of her funk and she jumped from the counter to go rescue them. She managed to rescue a bowl full and by the time she was done cleaning up, she had only five minutes to four. If she hurried up she could catch the last few minutes of the movie before they arrived.

With that resolution she hurried out of the kitchen into the kitchen, at the corridor she turned to close the door. The next thing she knew someone was shouting, “Boo” right behind her.

Heart beating, shaking and frightened out of her skin she screamed as the popcorns went flying.


“Ken you scared the shit out of me.” She said as she hit him lightly on the shoulder.

He laughed, “That was kind of the point.”

She rolled her eyes at him as she went back for a broom, “Mean brothers.”

He was still laughing, “Yah I am your only brother. Anyway I have good news for you.”

She ran back from the kitchen holding the broom, she liked surprises and Ken gave the best ones’ “Tell me Tell me.”

“Relax it’s nothing major, I just wanted to take you out tomorrow to Hotel Kims to show you how I am such a great brother.”

Kims Hotel had been around since the seventies as an international hotel and until recently they did not have a branch in Kenya. They had just launched a new hotel last week and she had been dying to visit it

“Wow that is awesome, sure you can afford it?” Ken had just started practicing as a lawyer and she was afraid he might be stretching out his savings because he knew how much she loved the hotel.

He was the one who rolled her eyes at her this time, “Have a little faith sis,” when he saw the worry in her eyes, “a client was very generous today and I feel like spoiling my little sister, that cannot be so wrong.”

He kissed her fore head, “Let me go get out of this monkey suit.” Then he headed for his bedroom.

She was sweeping up the popcorns when Mrs. Iffy came in carrying shopping bags filled with groceries. She let the broom down to go hug her, when she went to help her carry the bags she was shooed away.

“What happened here?” Mrs. Iffy asked smiling.

“Ken,” she answered as she picked the broom.

Mrs. Iffy shouted to be heard in the bedroom, “Boy grow up.”

Ken shouted back, “She started it.”

Laughing Mrs. Iffy went to the kitchen.

Linda smiled as she picked up the spilled popcorns and went to throw it away with a dustpan. She went back to the sitting room and tried to finish the episode before Ken finished dressing. She was not so lucky; two minutes later he kidnapped her so they could go for a walk in the park. He said it was not good for her to seat in front of the screen all day, she did not see a problem with it.



The next morning Linda woke up bright and early to do some shopping for a dress and some shoes. She wanted to wear a light green dress that would blend well with the green she had seen in all the photos of the hotel, she did not have one that fit the level of Kims Hotel. It had been a while since her brother took her out anywhere and she wanted to make an impression. KIMS was not just a place she walked in old clothes or sweat pants.

“Mum where are you?” Linda shouted from the sitting room when she got back.

There was a reply from the kitchen, “I’m here.”

Then a short plump woman with her hair pulled back in a strict bun came out of the kitchen. The hairstyle seemed to elaborate her soft round cheeks that were dotted with a smile. It had taken her a year to call Mrs. Iffy mum but now it sounded right.

“Where are you from dear at this hour?”

“I woke up early this morning to do some little shopping.”

“Come in and have some breakfast.”

“Thank you, but I think I’ll have a shower first.”

She then headed for the opposite direction and Mrs. Iffy turned to head back to the kitchen.

Before she got to the bedroom she turned around abruptly and asked, “Do you know where Ken is?”

“He is in his room.”


When they were both ready they shouted their goodbyes to Mrs. Iffy as they made their way out. Since Linda did not have a car yet they had to take Ken’s.

“With this old thing I do not think they will let us in,” She joked as she got in after he opened the door for her. Half joked the car was pretty old; he had it since high school and refused to replace it.

“Yah this baby still runs fine,” was his excuse every time the topic was brought up.

Smirking as he got into the car, “Yah right like they are going to turn away all this charm.”

“More like jam than charm,” she threw back.

That is how they bickered for an hour jumping from one topic to another, until they got there. Mrs. Iffy always said together they were like kids but it worked for them.

When they got there they stopped talking and just took it all in. it was beautiful.

A green stretch of land cover, marked only by a few trees and a fountain of water in the middle. The water flowing from the fountain made an arch of the late president. The area was surrounded by green Cyprus trees that were neatly trimmed which had a wooden gate on the farthest left side. Cutting across the field was a pavement that marked the way to the wooden gate.

On the pavement, Linda and Ken walked slowly down the stretch. Linda in a light green sundress and white sandals, hair left to fall on the shoulders and a shiny glittering diamond necklace. Ken was in black dress pants, a white T-shirt, black shoes and gold coated watch.

They took one step at a time simultaneously and seemed to be in sync, colors blending. When they got to the other side of the gate, their eyes were met with more beauty.

On each side of the pavement were beautiful flowers planted in a systematic pattern to form the name KIMS. The rows of yellow and purple flowers formed an acute mix of colors that made the place seem like a second heaven. The small wooden cabin at the end of the stretch housed the hotel, was painted a beautiful sky blue. Everything together seemed like a beautiful picture on a museum wall.

The sight made her breath catch for a moment.

“I know it’s beautiful,” Ken said with a smile, taking her hand in his.

Looking up at him eyes almost glistering, “Thanks for bringing me here.”

They had gotten to the hotel door, “Then let’s take our seats.”

As they walked into the hotel she hesitated for a moment, “Why don’t we have a picnic?”

“I know I said we would have a picnic but why don’t we enjoy seating in here a while then we can have lunch outside.”

“It’s okay.”

They got in. the hotel was bigger and wider on the inside than when someone saw it from outside. Decorated in pink, white and blue ribbons which kept swaying from side to side to fulfill the wish of the wind. The area near the walls was raised a bit leaving a small sunken square in the middle. On the raised part chairs and tables were arranged for four people each and the square middle part left had two softly cushioned couches, two table tennis tables and another one for pool.

Linda and Ken were ushered to seats on the raised parts by a waitress who left after taking their drink orders.

“I bet it’s beautiful to be up here, no matter how many times you come here,” Linda said.

“Can you guess why I choose this particular place at this particular time?” he asked with his famous cheeky smile.

“Because it is beautiful?”

“I know there is another reason.”

She frowned, “To meet a new girlfriend of yours.”

“No the reverse.”

Before they said anymore the waitress brought their drinks.

As soon as the waitress left Linda asked, “What do you mean by the reverse?”

Ken pulled a piece of paper from his pocket and placed it o the table before Linda. She gave one glance at it and exclaimed.



Excitement bubbled through her and joy seemed to be her soul bearer.

Breathlessly, “Did he make it?”

Ken smiling said, “Yes he is seated o the seat right behind me.”

She looked past Ken and Jerkins sat there his back facing her. He was smartly dressed in a blue T-shirt on which was inscribed the word LOVELY and a dark blue denim jeans. He was bent over studying his menu. As if noticing that someone was looking at him he looked back and their eyes met, locked. Almost electrically charges seemed to be flowing between them. Electricity. Linda smiled and he only waved. Bet he was used to all the attention from fans.

When his companion looked around him to see who he was waving at, Linda’s smile elapsed. It was his beautiful fiancé. The joy and excitement that had lit up her face disappeared. Dropping her eyes she pretended to be reading the menu.

Ken noticing the change in her mood asked, “What is it Linda.”

“Can we go out to the fields for our picnic now?”

“We have not finished our drinks.”

“Then let’s carry our drinks with us.”

She started the way and Ken followed. Her mind was not concentrating on the walking and as she made her way down the steps she missed a step, slid and fell. The drink she was carrying poured on her dress. It was red wine.

Ken was the one who held her up so she did not fall to the ground. By then everyone was watching the commotion. A few of the waiters came over to help but Ken assured them that everything was under control. They left with Linda’s face buried on his shoulder until they made it outside.

When they finally made it outside she lifted her head from his shoulder and said with a smile, “That was a close call.”

“I thought you were crying,” Ken said sounding amazed.

“Why should I? I admit that was embarrassing,” she said looking down at her dress, “And I do not know how I will get home, but such things happen.”

“I have a suggestion why don’t you go and get cleaned up a bit in one of the hotel’s bathroom at the back, am sure there are towels there, I will go hunt down some clothes for you.”

“I can’t go back through that hotel,” she protested.

“There is another way we can use.”

“Then let’s go.”

After making sure she had gotten to the bathroom okay he left. She finished bathing before he came back so she decided to play a game of counting the number of tiles in the toilet and bathroom. The tiles were a combination of green and grey which seemed to be in contrast with the white walls.

The game got boring as time went by with no Ken yet so she got curious. Tip-toeing she stood by the door and peeped outside, their appeared to be no one around. All she saw was the very green field of grass and a swing near the edge. When she was sure no one was watching she made her way to the swing and took a seat.

Setting the swing to pace, she closed her eyes and felt the soft breeze on her face and she sang the song o f her favorite musician. Her pulse beat in tune to the beats of the song. Her mind ran with the words and rhythm of the song. The swing raised and lowered to suit her pace.

She dissolved into it.

She lived and willed freely with the song.

She let it out.

She let it fly.

She only stopped when she realized she was not singing alone. Her heart beating, her mind refusing to believe, she turned and came face to face with Jerkins. Their eyes met and there was that spark again that shot right between them.

“Sorry for interrupting, but I was at the gents toilet and when I heard you sing I was drawn to your voice. You sing rather beautifully.”

“Tha..n..ks.” Great the greatest musician of all time compliments her on her singing and she could not even finish a word. Realizing she was only in a towel she stood up as gracefully as she could, “Sorry I think I have to get back inside.”

Then she turned and ran for the bathroom. She was in such a hurry she did not hear him shout, “Wait.”


It was a sunny day so Linda had pulled back all the window curtains and opened the window, the breeze cool from the soft wind. She was in blue jeans tyra shorts and a light blue shirt with bare feet. Her hair was braided. She was collecting the cloths strewn all over the chairs and putting them in a basket. In the silence surrounding, her voice could be heard rising and falling emotionally as she sang.

They had a bad habit of throwing dirty clothes all over so she was just collecting them.

She was still taking the cloths from the sitting room when the front door opened and Ken got in. since she was facing the door she spotted him as soon as he walked in.

Turning, “How was your day?”

“It was tiresome but am fine,” he said as Linda helped him remove his coat.

“It is a good time for you to come back home, I want to go to the market and get some food.”

“I have a letter for you,” Ken said waving an envelope around.

“Let me take these clothes to the bathroom I will be back.”

She left briefly and came back with her face and hands washed. He held it out to her and she tore it open. She then removed the letter inside and read through it.

“Wow! Ken can you believe it, it’s a reply to my application to the University. I have been accepted.”

She was jumping up and down, and then hugged Ken fiercely.


Releasing him she started boosting, “Can you imagine I am going to be a doctor? I am going to treat people.” They high fived.

“I have changed my mind; I am not going to the market anymore how about we have dinner at Hail’s Hotel.”

“Glamorous. Leave the plans to me.”

“I can’t wait.”

“Then go and keep yourself busy it’s about five o’clock.”

She smacked him jokingly on the shoulder, “You know just the right buttons to push.”

Within an hour Linda had made a quick ran to the salon to get her hair done and bought a new dress for dinner. The next hour she used it to take a shower and prepare herself for the day. Mrs. Iffy came back at around six thirty from work and was happy for Linda; she also joined in the preparation.

At seven o’clock, as the sun was setting, they left for the hotel in Ken’s car.

The Hail hotel was a big hotel in the outskirts of town which gave them a lot of landscape. They decided to take the seats out on the deck; whether the mosquitoes but enjoy the view of the sun setting. The different shades of orange it cast across the darkening sky were awesome. Bright bulbs lit the deck giving them enough light to enjoy each other company.

After they were seated the waitress took their drink orders.

“It has been a while since I came here,” Linda said her gaze travelling all around as if recollecting memories. They used to come here on their birthdays with their parents to celebrate, and since this was a big moment it felt right to celebrate it here. It was like if she celebrated it here her parents would somehow be with them.

“Yeah, very long.”

The waiter brought them their drink orders and took the order for meals.

Linda and Mrs. Iffy both had fish and ugali, a traditional meal while Ken had ugali and roasted meat with a side of vegetables. They then had some ice cream for dessert.

“I think am never going to move from here ever again,” Mrs. Iffy said rubbing her tummy.

“I am to full to move ever again. I just feel like sleeping right here,” She said yawning and they all laughed.

“Anyway Linda, thanks for giving us something to celebrate about,” Ken said.

“It was just by luck.”

“Yes, it was luck and hard work. To get into Chimgan University is not easy,” Ken said.

“When you get there Linda work hard and make us proud.” Mrs. Iffy added.

“Of course I will make you all proud.”

They all held hands and bowed their heads for prayers.
For Linda’s well being.

For her safety.

For their lives and for her journey.


That month she had been busy with registering for her courses and some shopping for what she needed. By the day of departure quoting Ken “she had a boatload of crap”. Each time she brought something new he would say, “I went to college with the clothes on my back.” She would answer “yah I am not you.” It was not like he did not want her to get stuff he just wanted to piss her off. Most of the time she thought it was his hobby to make her mad.

“I’m done,” Ken shouted from outside, it was early morning and he had just put her last suitcase in the blue sports car they had bought her as a surprise last week and closed the boot. The car was second hand but it still had some mileage in it and she loved it.

Mrs. Iffy and Linda came out of the house and Linda was in black skirt suit and a stiletto. Mrs. Iffy had a sand brown suit that was articulately designed and did not wash her out.

Mrs. Iffy and Ken took his land rover and she drove her sports car and they travelled the two hours to the university. When they got into the compound, they found some parking at the back of the administration block. They met outside after they took the keys out of the ignition and locked the door after them.

“Sometimes driving is very tiring,” Ken said stretching himself out; since she was still in the honeymoon phase with her car she did not mind much.

“Let’s go and check in before we get your things,” Mrs. iffy suggested.

Since today was the first day there were a lot of students around, both old and new students milling around. She was curious as they passed the different blocks and tried to find her class but since she could not see any she decided to get a better look after Ken and Mrs. Iffy left. By the time they finished checking in it was noon already.

“Let’s go and have some lunch first and then we can come back and get you settled in,” Ken proposed.

“We do not know anywhere around here. I read in the pamphlet they gave us that there is a hotel in here.”

“Do you know where it is located?”

“We can ask around,” she said looking around that was when she noticed a woman in uniform doing some cleaning. “Let me ask her?”

“Excuse me ma’am good afternoon.”

“Good afternoon. Can I help you?”

“Is there a hotel in here?”

“Yes, if you want to get there, just take this route straight and then turn left. It will be right ahead of you.”

“Okay thanks a lot.”

Linda signaled for Ken and Mrs. Iffy to follow her.

When they spotted the hotel they were shocked they had expected a small hotel yet this was big enough to be commercial. They had lunch in silence as they felt their time to separate was drawing near. It hurt.

After lunch they went to see Linda’s room, number fourteen, it was a beautiful bed sitter with a small kitchen a bathroom and a carpet décor that separated sitting room and bedroom.

“We can now get my things,” Linda said with mixed feelings of both excitement and fear.

They brought her things and helped her place them and arranged it with everything in its place. Mrs. Iffy made sure she was settled in before she had to tell them farewell. Linda took them up to the parking lot and courageously told them goodbye as she knew she would be allowed to see them again.

She went back to her room, threw herself on the bed and cried herself to sleep.

She had a flashback on that night after the farewell party, when they had gotten home Mrs. Iffy had gone directly to bed leaving ken and Linda in the sitting room alone. Ken had switched on the radio, put on a slow tune and held out his hand to her, “Come let’s dance.”

He had held her softly, turned her around to the tune and made her feel the magic in the music, then slowly and slowly made her heart fill with joy. When the music ended he held her still and swayed her slowly.

He whispered in her ears, “You’ll be away from me. I’ll miss you Linda. I’ll pray for you every day and every chance I get I will visit you. Just work hard you are a champion, my champion. I know we shall both have good lives.

Tears she had been trying to hold back sprang and ran down her cheeks.

“Don’t cry Linda. We have to face each day as it comes. We can face all the challenges and overcome.” He said with a catch in his voice that betrayed just how much he was holding himself back from crying. Trying to wipe the tears from her cheeks, “Be strong. Be firm.” He whispered then just hugged her so hard she was afraid he would not let her go.

She held on to him too, he was her stronghold since their parents died. She did not remember a day they had ever been apart since the day they were told their mother’s car had crashed.

She still did not know how she was going to make it every day without seeing him every day.


The chirping of the birds and the coolness welcomed the bright morning. Linda was sprawled on the bed still in yesterday’s attire and dead asleep. Marks of tears were still on her cheeks. She slowly rose and looked around, confused with the environment at first. Stunned by her new surroundings she quickly sat up and tried to pull back memories from yesterday. When it finally hit her that she was in her room in school she released a sigh of relief.

Quickly she got off the bedroom and made her way to the bathroom to clean up. She came out thirty minutes later in her bathrobe.

She went through her suitcase and finally settled on a white skirt and a blue T-shirt and soon she was out of the room to go and get some breakfast. She ordered her breakfast of fresh mango juice and a sandwich and as she waited for it to be delivered she texted Ken.

Linda; Hey brother you up yet?

Her food was just delivered when she heard her phone ping with an incoming message;

Ken; Yah am up on my way to court. Love you sis have a good first day.

Linda; Love you more.

She missed him so much but she was going to make it through it. She never had many friends since what happened with her parents but she was determined now to be more open and make new friends. Meet new people so that she could come out of her shell.

After she tucked her phone away she had her breakfast then made her way outside for a tour of the campus as she did not have her first class until the next day. The corridors were busy as people left the lecture rooms.

She was also delighted to realize that there was an on campus museum just behind the administrative block. What’s more there was a swimming pool that she had a great view of from her room. She quickly ran back to change into shorts then she just went and sat besides the pool with her feet in the water.

She was so lost in her own thoughts she did not hear someone stand behind her until a voice said, “Like it here?”

She almost jumped into the pool.

Turning back quickly, she came face to face with a beautiful girl smiling down at her. She was tall and slim in a model kind of way with wavy thick black hair. She just radiated beauty and vibrancy.

“Yes…very much,” she answered once she calmed her heartbeat down enough to speak.

“I am Carla Wesley,” the girl said stretching out her hand.

The name rung a bell and she stood up so fast she almost toppled into the pool again.

“You are Jerkins sister,” Linda stated, mesmerized and amazed.

“Yes I am,” she answered taking her hand back.

“Sorry, it is just did not expect to meet you here,” she said stretching out her hand which Carla took.

“Ha-ha most people do not expect it; I like your honesty I feel like we are going to be good friends. I have to go now I was just heading to my room and thought I would say hi see you around,” and she was gone just like that. Linda was left standing there and squealing like a little girl.

Being in the same school with Jerkins sister was amazing and it was probably the closest she could ever come to knowing him.

With excitement she called Ken; to hell with court this was more important.

Of course he did not pick up but she left him a squealing message and he called her back in the evening.


The next day Carla sought out Linda to apologize for being in such a hurry the previous day. Linda and Carla’s relationship grew strong with time strengthened by the fact that they had so much in common including the fact that they were both pre-med students. By two weeks they were best of friends and talked to each other about everything, with Carla who was in second year helping her with her assignments.

She had also made a few other friends from her class but some girls were hostile to her because they wanted to be friends with Carla but did not get the chance.

That evening while Carla and Linda were in Linda’s room studying for an upcoming exam Ken called. They talked everyday and it was not unusual for him to call at this hour.

Cheerfully; “Hello,” she answered. “What have you been up to?”

He faked a yawn and deliberately faked tiredness, “guess what, I am just from napping.”

She tried to seem stern, “You have become lazy since I left home, let me not find you that way when I get back.”

He laughed, “Yes sir.”

They talked for a while then he said, “Guess what I just got a free weekend and am thinking of coming to visit you.”


“Yah I am serious.”

She could almost feel him grinning from the other end, “Don’t make me jump.”

“Just jump, can I count as you jump?”

She laughed, “Stupid do not. Anyway I can’t wait to see you again, when are you coming?”

“I will be coming the day after tomorrow, which is on Friday.”

“I wish it was tomorrow. I can’t wait to see you, I really miss you.”

With a sigh, “I miss you too, see you Friday.”

“Bye, will you call tonight?”

“Obviously I will.”



“Carla can you imagine my brother is coming on Tuesday.”

“Wow I think we should make it special.”

“Yeah I want it to be special,” she said as her eyes glistering tears and excitement. “I really do miss him.”

“I know I also miss my brother.”

Over the past few days they had come to know each other better and realized how much they treasured their brothers.


Around ten o’clock on Friday found Linda waiting for Ken in the parking lot and a few seconds later a white four wheel drive drew into the parking lot. Before the car was even properly packed Ken got out and Linda was enveloped into his arms. They held each other tightly as they felt what they had not felt for long and missed so much. Brotherly love.

“Ooh Ken I missed you so much,” Linda said as she pulled back then hugged him again.

“I missed you too Linda,” Ken mumbled into her ears.

When at last they drew apart they both exclaimed, “You’ve grown.” Then they laughed.

After a while Ken said, “Let’s go then I’ll bring you back before night.”

She went around to the passenger seat and got in, he got into the driver’s side tightened the seat belt and they drove off.

They drove around for hours with no particular destination, just talking and laughing, filling each other in on new developments in life. He told her about how strong his relationship with Natasha was growing. She did not like Natasha most of the time she came of like an entitled bitch, she had tried to reserve her feelings hoping the relationship would die down apparently she was wrong.

“I am happy for you Ken, but do you want someone who does not love your sister?”

Throwing a glance at her he sighed, “I do not know what to do. I’m a little bit confused, I want to end my relationship with her but since you left she is my only consolation.”

Taking her hand into his and squeezing it a little he said, “It just gets lonely sometimes, you know I will never replace you in my life Linda. After what we have gone through together…..” the rest was left to drift in their minds.


Linda’s phone rang when they were on their way back to the university and she picked up, the mood in the car had improved greatly they had even gone for lunch then shopping and window shopping.


“Hello, it’s me Carla, where are you it’s about six o’clock and I am getting worried.”

“Sorry, we stayed late. We are on the way back you can wait for me in the parking lot in about ten minutes I will be there.”

“I will be waiting, bye.”


She disconnected the call.

“That was Carla.”

“She’s concerned; it’s good you have someone who looks out for you.”

“Yeah and I also care about her.”

They had talked about Carla and she had told him about how they first met and all the things they had done together so far. They had even bought her a dress when they were out shopping.

In about eight minutes Ken brought the car to a stop in the parking lot and Carla was already waiting.

She was tall slim and gorgeous every day but in her short black skirt, white tank top and Steve Madden Jaylen wedge sandal she looked dashing.

For sometime Ken just stared at her and when Carla saw them she stood for sometime just looking at him. For a moment Linda saw some reaction and then immediately Ken was in control again. Intresting.

He got out of the car and Linda followed.

“Ken I want you to meet my friend Carla and Carla meet my brother Ken,” she introduced them.

They greeted each other and it was there again, but just for a second.

“Let’s get our things off the boot, Carla do you mind helping.”

“No, let’s go.”

Ken opened the boot and they started unloading. Linda was taking things up to their hostel room as Ken and Carla unloaded. Carla who seemed preoccupied by images of Ken dropped something by mistake.

Ken and Carla both reached to pick it up simultaneously and then stood up slowly holding it in their hands but it was not their concentration. They were looking at each other. Linda who had come to get more things stopped and watched. The third time.

Really interesting.

“Ooh sorry,” Carla was the first to break their gaze, and she resumed unloading like nothing had happened. Ken stood for some time and when he noticed his sister watching he made himself busy again.

Linda had to stop herself from laughing.

All done they closed the boot and then Ken bid them goodbye and then hugged Linda before he was off. Linda started narrating to Carla how they had spent their day.

“Guess what we bought for you Carla,” Linda asked as they unpacked.

She lifted the dress from the box, it was a pink dress, sleeveless and flawless.

“Wow!” Carla exclaimed, eyes shining, “All for me.”

“Yah thou I am sure you have better one’s than this.”

“I do but none of them are from you.”

Excited, “Then come and try it on.”

“You are such a good friend,” Carla said as she hugged her.


A week later, Carla and Linda were free on the weekend and decided to visit the Cassville Mall a few kilometers from the university. They went in Linda’s sports car and when they got their Cassville Mall was full; figured since it was a Saturday. Getting their handbags from the back seat they secured the car and marched straight for the supermarket. Pushing a trolley each they made their way through the alleys picking what they needed. They then packed their trolleys at the foot of the stairs and headed upstairs to check out the magazines, novels and books.

They were exclaiming over the latest Women’s Health when someone called Linda from right behind them.

Then almost immediately someone called out Carla’s name.

They both turned simultaneously and behind them stood Ken and right behind him was Jerkins. They were surprised for sometimes then they both moved to give their brothers a hug, “How are you Ken? What are you doing here?”

Ken laughed, “Which question should I answer first?”

“The how are you question followed by the question on what you are doing here,” she answered grinning.

“I am fine and I came do some shopping.”

Wrinkling her nose something was not right, “You do not like shopping.”

“I was wandering about looking for something to buy for Natasha.”

“I can see Natasha has an effect on you.”

With a careless shrug he said, “Now that I have found you I can lure you to help me.”

“What about Carla?” Linda threw a backward glance at Carla and Ken and saw them looking at where they were standing.

“We can always come back, give her time to catch up with his brother.”

“Okay let’s say hae first.”

They turned to greet Carla and Jerkins who were chatting and the first person her gaze fell on was Jerkins. He looked hot today in black jeans and dark blue top inscribed “GOT YOU”. She let her eyes roam for a second just taking in how good he looked and when their eyes met he had a smirk like he knew she had been checking him out. She blushed.

Almost subconsciously she stretched out her hand in greeting trying to keep herself from fainting from excitement. He enveloped her hand in his and a sensation she was not familiar with shot through her body startling her. He then grinned at her and she almost swooned. They had met before but for some reason they did not want to explain to their siblings how.

“Hi,” she said simply.

“Hi how are you?”

“I am fine.”

“You are friend to my sister?”

“Yeah I am a good friend.”

“That’s nice. It’s good to know my sister has someone as loving as you for a friend.”

Loving, the word rung in her head and inside she was dancing a jig.

Slowly she nodded, “She’s also a loving friend.”

Releasing her hand from his she said, “It’s good to meet again but I have to run now.”

“Where are you rushing off to? I thought maybe we’d have a nice chat over a drink.”

Flattering a little, “That’s nice but I gave to take my brother somewhere.”

“Okay then I’ll wait.”

Flashing him a smile she said, “You don’t have to.” Yet her heart she was saying, “Please do not agree with me.”

“I want to wait for you.”

“Okay thanks.”

Shrugging, “it’s no big deal.”

She turned to find Ken waiting for her. As Ken greeted Jerkins and they exchanged a few words Linda explained to Carla that she was taking her brother to buy something and they would be back soon.

As they walked away they both seemed lost in thought and only came back to reality when one of the attendants pointed out that they were headed to the manager’s office. They looked at each other guiltily and smiled then politely thanked the attendant and started back for the main floor. When they were sure they were away from the attendant’s sight they started laughing.

“What were we thinking?” Ken asked her mid laugh.

“I can only answer for myself,” she said lifting her hand in mock surrender, “I was thinking of Jerkins.”

He laughed and then his smile disappeared and his face was covered with worry. With a sigh he turned away from her and looked out through the window.

Placing her had on his shoulder she asked, “What is wrong Ken?”

Still looking away from her he said, “I love Natasha but I have fallen for Carla. I think it was love at first sight.”

After a few minutes of silence, “what are you going to do about it?’

A few minutes later he turned to look at her, “let fate take its toll.”

“Fate can be….”

He cut her short, “Do I have a choice,” he said shrugging his shoulders. Taking her hand in his, “let’s get back to what brought us here.”

They walked around for some time and ended up buying Natasha a blue Cinderella sun dress that was knee length.


The lights above were gleaming and every part of the hotel was evenly lit; they made their way to the table Jerkins had reserved with just a phone call. When they got there the guys pulled the seat back for the girls before they took a seat themselves.

A waiter dressed in a white dress shirt and black skirt arrived promptly to take their orders. They all placed their orders of fruit cocktails as they waited for the food order to be prepared.

Few minutes later they were sipping their drinks through strained conversation as the tension was visible.

“Excuse me,” Jerkins said after a few minutes standing up. Eyes were on him until he disappeared.

Few minutes later he came back and said to Linda, “May I have a word for a second.”

Linda looked hesitantly at Ken who nodded.

“Okay,” she said as she got up.

Jerkins lead the way; she followed her heart beating; to the opposite side of the restaurant to a table reserved for two.

Pulling back a chair for her, “Please have a seat.”

“What about….” She started asking but he cut her short.

“Don’t worry about them, just seat.”

Releasing a sigh she sat and looked for Ken and Carla who were not in their original table. They had been seated at a table for two just about two tables behind them. Far enough that they could talk freely but close enough they could look out for each other.

Looking back she saw Jerkins was already seated and was looking at what she had been looking at.

“Pretty cleaver,” she commented as she sat down.

“I needed to be alone with you. When we were together we were not really very free.”

The waiter brought over their dinner order.

“Can you tell me about yourself,” Jerkins asked after the waiter left.

“What about myself?”

“Anything about what you like, what you adore, what you love. As long as it is you I will listen.

“I have so much about me. You’ll come to know me better as time goes by.” She said looking over her drink at him and noticed he had been looking at her.

She actually could not analyze her feelings or explain how she felt.

She thought he was handsome, intelligent and adorable. She wanted to love him; he had been her idol since she was a teenager. She had fallen in love with him in newspapers, in television; now that he was actually here she could not analyze her feelings for him.

She felt an intense excitement and this strong impulse to fall for him, the urgent need to love him. That coupled with the strong need to have him all to herself.

She was lost in her thoughts. Her mind wandering. She…

“… So what do you think of it?” His question jolted her from her stupor.


“The moon shinning outside seems to be providing magnificent light, energy and heat. It seems to be glowing. Vibrating.”

She turned to look outside through the window, it was a full moon and the light was reflected everywhere. Spreading through the dark sky. Lighting up the night. She felt it calling.

“Can we go outside?” It was a whispered request from her.

Slowly he stood up and stretched out his hand towards her. She took it into hers and with their entangled hands swinging between them they made their way for the door. Due to the fact that Jerkins was a celebrity and they made a perfect match, they attracted many peoples attention which they ignored.

Outside they walked on the grass their eyes fixed on the moon as if they were drawing energy from it with each step. When the stopped he stood behind her and she laid her head on his shoulder.

She felt at ease, secure. Then Jerkins started singing softly. Caught up with the song she joined in and together they sang:

I wish I could hold you in my hands

I wish I could promise you my love

I wish I could have you forever

You are like an angel in my life

You are like a snatcher of my heart

You are all I ever need

All my life…


Back at the university.

For the remaining two weeks to exams both Linda and Carla were busy preparing for the oncoming exams. On the eve of the exams they both received two cards from both Ken and Jerkins. Although they still talked everyday exam become their priority cutting on their hanging out time.

On the day of the exams, Linda woke up early and went through her work for the last time. At six o’clock she went to take a shower, the prepared her breakfast of some toast and coffee. By around seven o’clock she was ready to leave so she picked up her phone and dialed Ken’s phone number.

“He..ll..o,” he answered in a sluggish voice.

“Wake up sleepy.”

“I’m up,” he said yawning.

She laughed then she said, “I want you to wish me good luck.”

“I wanted to do exactly that when I wake up so do me a favor cut the call.”


“Just do what I say.”

She did and a minute later her phone rang and she picked it up.

“I wish you good luck baby sister and I know you are going to make it. You will pass with flying colors do not panic am sure you are well prepare. Take courage you are a successor and be strong because you are the pillar of my life,” Ken said.

There were a few minutes of silence.

“I…” She started saying but was cut short.

“How did it sound?” He asked.

“Uummh, I can say fair trial.”

“Ouch that is underrating,” he said with mock anger and she laughed.

“Anyway on a serious note, it was encouraging and I liked it.”

“Thanks. Linda I want you to pass this exam. I promise you a present if you pass them.”

“Yeey, what is the present?”

“You will know after you pass.”

“Please tell me, it will encourage me more if I know what it is.”

“Do not make me hang up on you,” he threatened and she just laughed.

“If you dare hang up on me.”

“You will know after you hang up on me.”

Laughing, “So it has become a tit for tat game.”

“No, I’d call it a fair exchange.”

“Fair indeed. Won’t you be late for the exams?”

“No, I have about thirty minutes more but I should get back to preparing.”

“If you dare hang up on me,” he joked quoting what she had said earlier and they smiled.

“Hanging up on you is the best idea right now; I just remembered a sum I did not revise.”

“Stop panicking, I hope you are not going to look it up now.”

“I’d better look…”

“No do not, it will be better for you to just get out of the room and go get some fresh air and relax before the exam.”

“Okay I will do that, bye Ken.”

“Bye sis I love you.”

“I love you too bro.”

She had never doubted her brother’s love for her, they had come a long way together being each other’s support system.

Then she remembered Jerkins. Should she call him? What did she want to talk to him about? Can she talk with him freely or joke with him the way she did her brother? She was still debating whether to call or nor when the phone rang. It was Jerkins.


“Hello, I’ve missed you so much Linda.”

“I missed you too.”

“I just called to wish you the best in your exam I was told it starts at eight thirty.”

“Yes I will start my first paper then.”


“A little I have never done a university test before.”

“You will do great do not worry.”


“I know you are going to give it your best shot.”

“Yes I am going to do my best this has been my dream since I was young so I have to make it.”

“I like your courage, do not give up on a question.”

“I won’t,” then after a few minutes of silence, “I’d better get going or I will be late.”

“Okay I will call you later.”


Thirty minutes later Linda was locking her room on her way out. Today she had decided to go with blue denim jeans, light blue top and white sneakers. Her hair was plaited back to reduce time taken for maintenance and on her neck she had on a beautiful silver necklace. She had carried what was essentially required for exams, a clipboard, some foolscaps and her set filled with stationary.

Down the corridor she went then down the stairs and crossed the field over to the exam room. The seats were already arranged so she just slipped into her seat and fussed over her stuff as she waited for the examiner and other students to arrive. One by one the students tickled in and they waited anxiously for the examiner bantering around. They were all excited because they knew after they finish all the papers they were going for their first break as university students. Linda was also very excited about her upcoming holiday and she was still thinking about it when the lecturer and examiner walked in.

Wow! Her mind rang out when she saw the examiner; she had never seen him before. He was older probably in his late forties but his energy and enthusiasm as her moved around the room was captivating.

The one thing that struck out to Linda and she tried to ignore it was the fact that he looked like an older version of Ken.

You have to concentrate on the coming paper, she told herself.

The instructions and warnings were issued then the examiner started distributing the paper. By bad luck he knocked his leg on Linda’s locker and nearly fell but he supported himself but the papers were not so lucky. They all fell down.

Linda got up from her desk to go and help.

“Linda! Stop get back to your seat!” The lecturer commanded when she was about to reach for the papers.


“No but, just take your seat.”

Head hanging in embarrassment she went back to her seat and did not watch as the examiner and lecture picked up the papers. Then the examiner started distributing the papers again and when he passed near Linda’s locker he whispered, “Success.”

She then mouthed a thank you as her face lit up. Having a lifted heart she sat for her paper encouraged.


“Hi, I am Mr. Randolph but my friends call me Randy,” the examiner introduced himself when they met by chance on the corridor. She was just coming out of the school museum when they met, she liked chilling there it gave her some semblance of peace.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Mr. Randolph, my names are Linda Higgins.”

“Such a nice name.”

“Stop flattering me.”

“It’s not a flatter, I have to go now or I will be late. See you later.”

“Ok bye.”


She stepped aside and let him pass and then she followed him with her eyes as he left until he branched into the SOCIOLOGY room. There was just something about him that felt so familiar she could not place her hand on it.


The closing day morning, Linda’s room.

It’s about six o’clock on a chilly morning and Linda was already up. She was in a pink night dress and her hair had been left free on her shoulder. She was busy finishing the last touches of her packing. The carton boxes were already closed and tied up and she was busy packing up her suitcase.

Few minutes she disappeared into the bathroom to take a shower and came out in her bathrobe with the hair glistening with some droplets of water.

Leisurely she dried and oiled herself then she stood by the bedroom window, pulled back the curtain and looked out to the environment for a moment.

She was so lost in her thoughts, the ringing phone almost made her jump an inch high.


“So nervous? Why are you not in bed sleeping its still early,” It was Ken.

“Because I am so happy. Nervous. Elated. Joyful… I lack words to describe my feelings.”

“Then you would better get the dictionary it has a lot of words.”

“Ooops! That was touchy, how are you?”

“I am fine everyone is doing just fine.”

“What are you doing now?”

“I am watching the sunrise.”

“Me too.”

There was silence for a moment.

“Linda… Are you there?” It was barely a whisper.


“I miss you so much.”

“Me too.”

“This house needs your influence again.”

Silent tears ran down her cheeks, “I am coming Ken.”

“I know and I am happy.”

“I am happy too, are you picking me up?”

“Of course, at eight o’clock Mr. Driver will be there.”

“I hope I will not see this Mr. Driver.”

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