The last siku of a vacation is bittersweet. Part of wewe feels ready to go home, but the other part yearns for just one zaidi siku in the warm sun. wewe try to take everything in on that last day; the way the sand feels between your toes, the ocean breeze blowing across your face, the way your best Marafiki hand fits perfectly into yours.
Johnny and his family arrived to their family cottage on the beach, pwani the first siku of July. He was ten now, and had spent every summer on that familiar piece of beach, but this mwaka something was different. The empty lot beside their place now had a new condo sitting on it. This disturbed him deeply. How dare someone songesha in on his turf?
His parents had to practically drag him inayofuata door to meet their new summer neighbors. They were Steven and Mary, and they had a daughter whom they called their “Little Rose”. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. After he met Rose, all the feelings of intrusion left his mind; he had a new friend. They spent every waking moment with each other. Every morning they met at the gate. The gate that led to the beach, pwani wasn’t anything special; just and old white picket fence with sunshine yellow jimmy, hunitumia grown all over it. They built sand castles, swam in the ocean, road their bikes down the local boardwalk, and every night their parents built a moto on the beach.
That last siku was hard on everyone. Their parents had also become very close. They took Johnny’s parents address and phone number, and promised to call and write, and they even planned on coming back the inayofuata summer during the same time Johnny’s family was there. As they sat on a blanket watching the sunset, Rose grabbed Johnny’s hand. With tears in her eyes she told him that this was the best summer she had ever had, and how much she was going to miss him. He told her that they would see each other again inayofuata summer, and leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. They alisema their goodbyes at the gate, and with that the summer ended.
Johnny didn’t know it then, but this would be the last time he ever saw Rose. He checked the mailbox daily to see if she had sent him a letter, and waited kwa the phone at night hoping she would call. He got mad a few weeks later and stopped waiting for her. The inayofuata mwaka however when he and his family arrived at the beach, he ran over inayofuata door. But to his surprise, the house was empty. He shrugged and figured they would probably come in later that day, but they didn’t. All he had left was his memory of her and a picture.