Waking up the Oasis

By Joe Gacheru

The following is a short fiction story, the story carries us through Sara’s journey of healing. I hope that you enjoy it.

To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.-Chinese Proverb

I have a long painful story of struggles but I did not want to settle for less

It’s the last of twenty minutes of Sara’s fifth zoom etherapy session with a Alex, an American etherapist. Sara had known Alex through Google recommendations.Sara had come to like Alex because Alex was compassionate, empathic, for the four sessions she had had with him he was just sitting together with her , not interrupting, he gave her  positive and supportive feedback that helped her to wallow with. Today session was different, she wanted to hold back from telling more— and Alex knew  it. 

Sara’s entire body felt tense, she was anxious, worried how she was going to meet the hurting self, it was not an ideal place to be, She wished  she did not have a session that day. She sipped green tea, letting the bitterness of over brewed leaves distract me from the displacement She felt.She tried to relax, but she felt dizzy, She could not stay focused on the phone camera, she barely looked into Alex’s eyes on the video chat. 

“Well,” etherapist, Alex, started, the millisecond after She became certain that the therapy time was up and she would be left by Alex for another week hurting. “I don’t think I should let you go until we’ve at least touched on what was put out there at the end of last week’s session, “ Sara, looked up then started to wipe tears. 

She breathed hard, she wanted this not to come up. Her eyelids tightened, her mouth puckered to the left, and her head tilted as though she was asking him to clarify.Forcing a faint smile on her face, she looked at Alex. 

“You said you were ready to talk about how were able to leave home and be on your own feet, “ Alex started, Sara didn’t want to feel angry at her parents so she figured she had to find the right thoughts and story to share, she knew that She had to let go that part of her life go so that she could heal.

“Oh, yeah,”  Sara said with a hissing. “That’s true, how do I begin..” You see within the confines of her family, Sara had always felt she was the biggest target of ridicule. She could not protect her family anymore. She knew she had to tell it all, maybe open up just a little bit for that day.

“ I am ready to tell,” she waved at Alex, taking a deep breath and adjusting her phone screen. He smiled, “please go ahead.”

Attending an Engineering Diploma at the Kenya University College was a miracle, it was a miracle because a girl like myself growing up in Moyale, Kenya could not be able to have higher education unless ones parents and government grants supported her and even then there is always pressure from the parents to get married  after high school, “ Sara paused, looked at Alex to see if he was paying attention, “but that was not my case, I have a long painful story of struggles but I did not want to settle for less, my parents hated me and I had refused to get married to a rich man of their choice so I had to work very hard to beat every odd. “ Sara paused again, waited to see Alex had any questions. 

“You see, I grew up as a simple Muslim girl, every Muslim girl I knew had chosen to be married to a rich man, a rich herdsman with lots of camels and that was my parents’ destiny for me. My parents hoped I would marry a rich Businessman they had found for me in Moyale. They started to tell me about him when I turned thirteen years old. I would say to myself, I’m like, ‘I don’t even know who this person is, what do you even know about him?’

My parents were like, ‘You’re asking too many questions. You don’t need to know this much information.’”

To be continued……

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