Celebrating East African Writing!

Holding on

Written By Ian Arunga


Dearest Doris,

I write this with utmost sadness. As I write this letter I am totally in the balance about where our relationship sits. I wrote you two letters early last week which went unreplied. I am trying to figure out what is going on but I have nothing.

Your friend Ms. Danielle wrote me a letter which I received yesterday. She has never written to me before nor have we talked on occasions earlier than today. Her letter brought tears upon my eyes. I refused to believe the content of that letter. My Doris, I know I have been gone long, I know I haven’t been a perfect husband and I know in me you see not a perfect father. But that is never a reason to sleep with someone else. My heart split open as I read about this on a piece of paper. I read it over and over again, each time praying to God to change those words….

My Doris, I have suffered many a losses in my short life. I have watched people crawl into my life and leap out. I have seen it all. I have but one problem. I have never learnt how to hold on to someone tight enough to be comfortable when they leave. I don’t know how not to hold tight. My heart breaks every-time, but I never learn.

My love, I beg you, tell me you have been faithful – and if you have my love, I kindly ask you to send me a letter. A blank letter. Write nothing on it. I know in my heart that I have loved you right.  I put you first. I have never hit you or raised my voice at you. I have never cheated on you.  I have given you everything you have asked me for. I don’t know how not to love you. I have loved you how the Bible has taught me to… yes I have.

I sit in silence, the hot coffee now cold and lifeless. I drift away everytime I think about you, your touch and you kiss… my breath gets caught when I think about you. You are beautiful. Why are you so scared and apprehensive, so defensive and withdrawn? I keep getting a fresh cup of coffee, and I keep forgetting its there.

I agree what we have had hasn’t been perfect. But then again, what is perfect? A woman with long living in a tall tower and throws down her hair whenever her lover comes over? Or a woman forgetting her glass slipper behind only to be found by a prince who brings it to her and they live happily ever after?? My love, what is perfect?!

I think I have said enough! The more I write, the tighter I hold you in my heart. That is a dangerous place to be. I have always fought for you. I promised never to give up on us no matter how far apart we were. I once read a quote by Goethe that said, “When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.”

I held on knowing you would love me as much as I do you, and there is no reason to hold on if that is absent.

I think about you all the time. I love you. I want you. I need you.

Yours Faithfully in Love,


©Ian Arunga 2011

If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Sunday and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week on the next Monday. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.



4 comments on “Holding on

  1. Gitura Kihuria
    January 25, 2011

    Well, lets hope that Doris replies and not with a blank letter.

    A beautiful ode though.

    vote 6


  2. wambuiwairua
    January 26, 2011

    What a letter!
    An 8.


  3. Joseph
    March 25, 2011

    The idea of a letter on a blank paper would symbolise a fresh start.


  4. carlton
    July 21, 2011

    What was Doris’s response to this heart rending letter


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