A Date with Destiny

The sky had grown tired of raining. Leaving but a few stray drops conjoining into tiny streams, sinuously snaking down the rainswept window. The perfectly formed, static, like drops of mercury, but rather imperceivable as to the humid translucent layer making the window look frosted. My hand swept through the glass methodically catching the condensing layer of cold. Making visible the featureless grey sheets of clouds pegged onto a purpling sky. Hues of red; a cacophony of colors, as with the twilight, poured gracefully onto the treetops as if to break out into song of a budding infatuation. The sites on the road from home. Magnificent.

My eyes pulled back from the road, bringing notice to it, a light incision across the back of my hand as if attempting to unwrap the network of veins to my extension of digits. A sharp sting cut through the incision immediately I noticed it, crumpling my face as if to have tasted something sour, my eyes crinkling at their corners. Pain only shows up when given attention.

I dropped my hand, curled it inside the other and rested them on my lap. Lost into the calm after the rain, I rested my head on the see-through glass, glanced out the window at the darkening sky. Through the glass, a faded version of me to an imperceptible amount. His eyes quizzical, head bowed lightly as if a great weight had settled onto him, as he bristled with the multilayered question: “Why am I going?”

Why am I going? To a huge degree, I’m tempted to stage my everyday battle with anxiety for my future. On how I shouldn’t be excited about graduating when there are no jobs out there. I remember being with Isco once at Talai Centre staring into the sea of students, numbering in the thousands, and he said: “So all these people expect to be employed immediately they leave this place?” and chuckled tiredly. I smiled dryly, dropping my gaze, seeing myself in this webbed twist of fate. I remember Muz telling me of the rounds of interviews she’d been to only to be dropped last minute. That was life as she knew it for the past year since she graduated. The doubts about her competence metastasizing. Then there’s Brek, who now works at an NGO, with his degree of physics and IT or something. He says on some nights, he takes out his papers and smiles at them, even chuckles. This is what all those sleepless nights were for. He says he got the job by being referred by a friend. He holds that, when it comes to family, only your father can help you, the uncles will congratulate you and ask you ‘what now’ even when they have it in their power to be the ones to give you the way forward. Damn, they could even employ you abroad for one year, then fire you and you’d be set for life. But…

…It’s your circle of friends, mostly the ones from university that will be of most assistance to you. Interesting guy ma shaa Allah.

I could go on and on about this vicious circle but I know better now. I choose to smother the future unknown with the certainty that today is all that matters.

Maybe today is all there is.

Nothing like a long trip by bus to leave you entertaining thoughts of your sudden death.

“Why am I going?”

I choose to see this trip for what it is. Closing a chapter. I look back at this year on how young and foolish I was, cloaked by the comfort of the education system. This bus, I could dress in metaphors, making it a portal to the next chapter I leaf into.

My days of avoiding the real world are finally over.

I begin to draw away from the memories, coming up with lessons to convince myself that all this year was not for nothing. Rather than coming up with 20 lessons to go with into 2020, I think there’s only one important one we all need to carry with us; You are 100% responsible for your own life.

It’s all up to you to dream up the life you want and work towards it. To choose how and what things affect you. How you respond. The type of attitude you carry. Your relationships with people, with yourself, most importantly with your Lord. We like to think that just maybe, sometimes life creeps in through the backdoor, and curves out a person you don’t recognize, and how we would give it all back for a chance to start over and rewrite an ending or two like Sara Bareilles says. But like always, the responsibility has always been on you, to decide the type of person life carves out of you. So, hand that responsibility, take care of just this one lesson and trust me (To my new year resolution people in the front row) 2020 will be your Year of Becoming.

The future is nothing like the present.


The memes tell me that inclining my head on a glass window in a moving bus shouldn’t be this comfortable. But it is. I’m guessing it’s these new Tahmeed buses. I’ve never flown before but if I did, I imagine this is what it would feel like.


Happy New Year everyone.,…

Introspection, New Years, Travelling

Hassan Kassim

An introverted soul; a budding write; with a keen interest on telling stories about my hometown; Mombasa. This is how days spent on the keyboard led me to somewhere totally new and unexpected. Reach out to me through social media or even better, find more of my work on my personal blog: https://hassankassim.com/

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