It takes quite a lot to marry the same person twice, right.
People part for various reasons. Financial, long-distance, emotional issues and always, because the love, the fire, the passion fade away.
We have a small circle of close-knit friends. But for the two years, when Annet and I were apart, some of us lost touch.
The two of us were the core of our circle. Rallying the team for road trips and tours, camping and supporting each other during projects.
So when we announced that we had parted ways, it caught them by a surprise.
You see, we were the epitome of elegance and taste, a perfect marriage.
Dated for six years and married for three. Couple goals, my friend, the matching vitenges and the Manchester United jerseys emblemed "Babe and I".
Glamour. Status after status, posts on social media.
But it was all a fallacy.
"We were under massive pressure to maintain the hype. We married because of our friends and family. We didn't know each other well," I confided in my friend Jack when I visited him after news broke that we had filed divorce papers in court.
He felt sympathetic for me, especially with most of their marriages working. Annet and I felt like outcasts, but they were there for us.
So they devised a way to bring us together. Whenever we went to an event, they ensured Annet and I came alone and they partnered us for challenges and dares.
This sparked back our friendship. Annet had broken up with her short-time partner and I was unsure of where my heart belonged. So I wasn't into anything serious.
We all agreed to go on a short holiday as friends and discussed everything in our WhatsApp group, but on D-day at JKIA, guess who showed up, Annet and I only, with tickets for seats near each other.
"Guys, where are you at, the flight is in 30 minutes and it's only us here," Annet texted the group.
10 minutes and they send us all the best texts and emojis asking us to enjoy their vacation and make it work.
I learned that Duncan was in charge of purchasing the air tickets.
“Whether you are looking for a Coastal getaway in Mombasa, Diani, Lamu, Malindi, Watamu or Kilifi... a visit to run with Champions in Eldoret... or relax by Lake Victoria in Kisumu, Jambojet has hotel packages to suit your needs!” He sent us a text and an online brochure from magicalkenya.com.
He said that the team had reached the destination and they all agreed on Eldoret as Annet and I had toured nearly all the towns on offer. It was agreed that we needed somewhere new, somewhere we could rekindle our love and make new memories.
"Can't believe we fell for your prank, mates," I added.
"But you guys never wanted to even meet alone for dinner," Paul weighed in, adding that this was our chance to be together.
We took up the challenge. Eldoret it was.
So we used to do a WhatsApp group video call to catch up with the group to narrate our experiences. This was something new for everyone.
First day - The Flight
“You know at JKIA. It took Annet 10 minutes to say something to me,” I stated as we all burst out laughing.
“Tell us about the flight folks. How was it?” Maria, who joined late, urged.
“We sat side by side. We reminisced on the flights we shared back then. Guys landing in Eldoret is amazing. I loved the airport, Eldoret International Airport, it's just 16 kilometres south of Eldoret Town on the Eldoret-Kisumu road,” that was Annet.
“As we landed, you know what? She held my hand. It felt nice,” I laughed about it
The airport was the start of our new chapter, drawing our souls together as we recalled our well-lived memories. Times of love and affection.
Eldoret International Airport was so serene. The people move with ease. Annet leaned on my shoulder as we passed the checkpoints. The floors were clean. I looked at them and smiled at the thought that we were starting again with a clean slate
We were in the home of champions. The home of the legendary athletes who put Kenya’s name on the map.
“You are my hero. You know,” Annet stated and kissed me on the cheek. I bet she had just read my mind.
“Yeh. Thanks, baby. You’d wanna take me on a short distance marathon in Iten?” I joked.
We had been booked in at a five-star hotel, where we enjoyed a host of hospitality and a good chill point for visitors from all over the World.
The weather was warm.
First day, and we learnt that the adventure before us was mind-boggling. From visiting conversancies and waterfalls in Uasin Gisgu County. Touring Kerio Valley and an exclusive dinner for two at a resort.
The road trips were amazing. Uasin Gishu is one of the most beautiful counties in Kenya. Its breathtaking iconic landscape and culture makes it the most welcoming and relaxing zone in the Riftvalley.
On our last day, we went for to run with Champions in Eldoret. We used to jog and hit the gym when we were together and our friends knew such a moment would spur us.
I felt the freshness of dewy air in my welcoming lungs. Annette looked beautiful, tying her hair in a ponytail, ready to jog. I saw the woman I fell for in the first place.
As she jogged, her soles to the road, cushioned by deep sprung heels, she looked so peacful in her tracksuit. Laughing out loud as sweat trickled her soft skin.
Two tired souls, sitting down at a bench to enjoy the morning sunshine.
"We can beat Kipchoge to the 2 hour's race," she joked as she drank from her water bottle. We both laughed as it was factually impractical.
"No human is limited, come on," she poked her fingers into my ribs.
Our tour van made its setady way along, with the scenery unfolding in meditative quality. As the van floated easily along the road, a smooth black river, Annet leaned on my shoulder as we watched the sun travelling back to our hotel.
It was during that last dinner that Annet and I knew we would ultimately make it work.
After spending quite a number of days together and waiting to fly with Jambo Jet back home, she confessed that she was devastated by how things had ended.
“It feels good to meet again. The pain of parting was weighing me down,” she told me as we sipped our wine.
We both felt vulnerable.
"I learnt that I needed to be more mature, which comes with patience, sacrifice and tolerance. We are going to give it a try with much focus. We are young and I love you so much,” I added.
I went to my knees, a ring in my hand and I could see the tears form in my eyes. She said yes.