Ajena was a role model for every woman and young girl, always there for everybody and never asking for anything in return. Her husband, the pastor, constantly used her as an example of what a virtuous woman should be, and she led many groups in the church. Over the years, she had held many people’s hands as they went through the odds of life.
However, when her husband passed away, Ajena did not want to step into his shoes. She only asked the church committee that it would be too demanding. Instead, she only asked that she continue to receive all her husband’s entitlements and benefits so that she could pay her bills with very little hassle. Despite being a department director at an elite government agency, she did not want any financial burden, she has laboured over the years to cater for her family and is ow ready for the ease of life.
But there was something that Ajena could not bring herself to tell anyone. Even before her husband’s death, their sex life had suffered a heavy setback she didn’t feel attracted to him attracted to him anymore so they blamed it on the devil till he was too sick to even ask for sex. There were days he wished she could just walk away from it all and chase the life she wants. However, she had no guts to explain to her kids and the church and all the people who looked up to their marriage why she would even consider divorce. Their marriage was to everyone else the most perfect there ever could be.
Apart from being this woman she now has become, whom everybody is looking up to she was also once a girl and one people would called a “Tomboy”. She remember now how her mother never thought she would ever be able to find someone to marry much more staying married and she didn’t stop singing her praise on how much she keeps surprising her, so she warded off all thoughts about who she was before she met David her late husband but now he is dead and these thoughts are beginning to overwhelm her lately.
In boarding school, she had been madly in love with Akuma who was literally the most intelligent in the school. Ajena was not sure what she liked more about her but she was certainly attracted to her intelligence more than her other attributes. Akuma was very easy to talk to and theirs was a peaceful love, despite the rumours in school about their sexuality they never let each other go until Akuma couldn’t take the stress of the rumours anymore in their final year. They never really broke up, Akuma just avoided her and she understood why so she didn’t make any extra efforts to convince her, she just allowed herself to hurt and heal but now she isn’t so sure she healed.
Over the years Ajena had met women she admired but it had never gone beyond that, no emotional attachments and now she is not really sure why these feelings are coming back and stronger by the day, now she continuously thinks of the days she enjoyed the warmth of the women she has loved in the past and that’s all the kinds of warmth she craves these days.
She has had sleepless nights and battled with her inner self and questioned the life she has led these past 34 years, married to a man, having children, and being a grandmother amongst other things she has become. Was that a phase or was it her desire for women that was a phase? How is she supposed to navigate the kind of self-exploration she needs to become this person she is craving? who would even date a grandmother in her mid-50s? Are there women in their 50s who are still exploring their sexualities? What is she going to do with these feelings? Even if she finds someone interested in her, then what next?
Ajena has buried herself in self-reflection these days and she just realised that she has focused more on others and what was expected of her than living for her own self but she isn’t angry or sad. She is happy for all that she has been and done for everyone in her life and it gives her joy to have people who need and depends on her, it gives her a sense of purpose but now she has to figure out how to explore her full self and get her groove back.
She came up with a plan. First, change base, move to another house, another area and start afresh. Her Husband is dead and she is basically alone and with the memories they have built in their home, she doesn’t want to be tied to those anymore. Her children didn’t see any reason to object since none of them live at home and the house is too big for just their mother and the Helps anyways so she went on a search for a new house in a new secured area.
Her friends and relatives sent many house agents her way but she wasn’t connecting to any of them as they keep taking her to areas and houses she didn’t like, was almost giving up when her daughter-in-law sent her a contact to call, she did and after speaking with the woman on the other end she felt at peace, at last, someone who understands what she needs.
She got a call after three days to come for a viewing at a location a little outside town. She was sceptical to go especially as the sun was scorching that day but she went anyways. She and the Realtor agreed to meet at a store nearby. By the end of their appointment, Ajena was sure she found a good house and a good friend. There was something about the realtor that makes her certain she was making the right choices.
They became instant friends and began trading stories immediately. Their stories were similar, like her, Kate lost her husband two years ago, has lived her life pleasing the world and taking care of her family and others but is now being intentional about her own needs and chasing fulfilment. They both have two kids and two grandchildren. Kate has recently gone into Real Estate after her husband’s death, she has been a housewife for more than 28 years, not that she regrets it but she always knew she wants to do more with her life.
They agreed to meet the next day for payment of her new flat, it was the most balsy thing Ajena has ever done so they decided to go for drinks to celebrate. It was a memorable evening. The next week Kate came over to help her with the yard sales to downsize her loads as her new place is small for their properties. They shared a drink afterwards and Ajena caught herself sharing with Kate things she never thought she could ever say out loud to anyone but here she is, being vulnerable to Kate and loving every moment of it.
Ajena’s first night in her new house had the two grannies reminiscing on the lives they have led so far in their adult lives, Kate drank too much and couldn’t go home so they shared the bed but ended up not sleeping much as they stayed up all night talking and catching each other up on what their lives used to be. Their stories and gists were endless but they finally fell asleep in the early hours of the morning and slept till noon.
Kate finally left at 3:00 pm with a promise to come back but Ajena wished she could stay more, she is easy to talk to and gets her as nobody else does, she likes this new friendship she has found. She kept staring at her phone all evening, waiting for a call or message from Kate. She finally got herself to reach out and again they spoke all night on the phone, only pursuing to recharge for call credits.
It was her turn for a visit to Kate’s house and ended up staying for two days because they couldn’t stop gisting. After she left Kate’s house it occurred to her how much she enjoys being around her, how she makes her feel special and pays attention to her and she wondered a little if she makes Kate feel the same way.
They took turns hosting each other’s family and got together on birthdays but most importantly the two women took care of each other like they have no one else, they have become inseparable. Kate’s son teased them one day about being the love of each other’s lives, they both laughed and blushed but that night they both talked about it when Kate asked if truly they have become that close.
They both admitted to liking each other more than usual and wanting each other in their lives. Kate acknowledged how she feels seen and loved around Ajena and how that has become the most important part of her life lately, she also confessed how she feels empty whenever they are apart. Ajena smiled through her talk silently. She can’t really say if it was an impulse or not but she suddenly moved close to Kate and their lips locked, like they have been waiting for this all along. Gulping each other’s breath like their lives depended on it.
They stopped to breathe a couple of times and went right back into each other’s arms and by the time it ended Ajena felt like her soul stepped out of her body a bit but she felt full as well, even satisfied. She has craved this all along, to find love with someone who will SEE her the way she truly is and now here she is.