I’m dedicating this post to an amazing friend of mine from my campus days. Caki, if you ever get to read this, know that I think you are the very definition of a true friend who brings out the best in others even when they don’t make the time.
Carloweis Kimathi is a former classmate who was never really cut out to be my friend. And this is why. I am picky and anal. Although my threshold for crap has increased exponentially, this guy had to deal with some of the trickiest boys and girls in campus and he never took time to whine about it – at least not out loud. The reason why he had friends from all around was because he was everyone’s friend. And when I say everyone, dear reader, I mean each person who would let him in: the intellectuals who only got As and Bs and sat at the front of the class; the Goths with body piercings on their faces and fitting black clothes; the guys with funny accents who had just come to the city from the village; the average Joes and Janes who did not really stick out for any reason; the drama queens with plunging necklines and mini-skirts or scary bright make-up and loud personalities; the popular jocks who were good-looking and often big trouble for any girl who liked them and showed it… Caki was everyone’s friend.
So imagine my surprise when Caki and I became such fast friends that my roommates and I referred to his as one of our roomies. When I was down about my grades – especially Chemistry – Caki would do more than just encourage me. He became my study buddy for the rest of my stay in campus. When I got sick in my third year, just a night before our exams, Caki was there. I remember him following me to the washrooms because my nose bleed would not let up, so he rinsed out my face towel and placed it on my neck and forehead to cool me off. Caki rinsed out my bloody hankie for me while I pinched me nose. Whenever either of us needed a loan, there was no doubt that we could count on the other to come through. Thanks to Caki, I was able to graduate because he handled my clearance from campus and even booked and delivered my gown. We sat next to each other at graduation and my mother still thinks he’s a really good friend with a big heart. He and I would cook on alternate days at either one of our rooms and stay up late studying and going through past exam papers late into the night. We also had what we now call “Slab Therapy”. This was where we would sit at a slab outside my hostel and talk for hours, especially when one of us was having a bad day, week or month. It was rather therapeutic to get advice and great perspective from someone who knew me pretty well and it soon became the fire fueling the rumour that Caki and I were seeing each other.
Today, Caki is a new dad. His baby was born a little underweight a couple of weeks ago and when he called to tell me it felt as if he were encouraging me that Faith (that’s the little angel’s name) would be okay. Faith okay now and I can’t wait to see her and tell her how awesome her father is. When they were expecting, Caki went for clinic visits and monitored his wife’s food and supplement intake, because as nutritionist he had to ensure that she remained healthy and well nourished.
If you have a friend like Caki and you’re reading this, do something to encourage them to continue touching lives and making this world a better place. I know I have a visit lined up in December so I can meet my campus buddy’s little girl.