Have you ever seen a child who has done something wrong? Everything about them betrays them; from the way they blink to the way their lips move. Even the breathing pattern is questionable. And their tiny movements too raise eyebrows. I was back to being a child since Daniel and I started talking. I felt torn, tortured and worn out. He was a good guy, no doubt, but I was not Red Cross to help people who are suffering. Neither am I alcohol to ease anybody’s pain of escaping from reality. No. I have many problems, heavier than 5 luhya women from Khwisero. I have struggles that need me to just put a rope around my neck and dangle down a roof, then people wake up one morning and find me suspended mid-air. But no. I am still holding on to life so tight, you’d think there is greater promise or assurance of a great future. Or that someday everything will be fine. But yet, I know these struggles are part of life, for what is life with no turbulence?
I have had sleepless nights, thinking of valueless things. People are out there spending sleepless nights cracking codes, debunking fictitious activities, trailing murderers, thinking of innovative ideas that will revolutionize the face of the world, but me? Just another idiot lying in bed. And I lay awake questioning Patty’s love for Daniel and Daniel intentions towards me. I am a woman too and I know if a woman cheats, it is mainly emotional. But Patty’s infidelity was due to love for money. I would love to make her understand, but again, doesn’t she have a bible? I would love to talk sense into her, but women are difficult to deal. We know everything, weigh all options and once we make up our mind, nothing changes the decision. Not even pizza or massage can sway us.
It is Tuesday. Patty calls me up when I am buying eno in the shop outside my place. I feel some panic from a distance. I am a child who has stolen sugar. I feel scared.
“Sasa? You’ve been quiet.”
“Ah no… we talked juzi.” I laugh nervously
“I have missed you.”
Lies are essential for peaceful co-existence. Can you imagine telling everyone the truth? Your head is very irregular. Your walking style is a like a crab’s. Your fingers look really old, kwani how old are you? Your two front teeth stick out like a mole’s. Your breath is pungent. Your body odor is like a corpse’s. The last thing I want is to see her soon, but yet, I lie that I miss her too.
“I wanted to see you urgently”
My heart skipped a beat. Does she know? Did Daniel tell her?
“Haiya! Kuna nini?” I say, my heart in my mouth.
“I can’t tell you now. I want us to meet and talk”
Meet and talk? Cant she text? WhatsApp? Call me up? It sounded like a trap. I have literally walked through the valley of the dead and this was nothing. I have walked through cemeteries in dead of the night and walked through thin poles across crocodile infested rivers and survived. This was nothing. I will go armored.
She said we meet on Thursday. I fear Thursdays, just like odd numbers like 11 or 17. Thursday looks like a trap already. It looks questionable, like it is up to something; a hidden motive. It looks like a jealous co-wife that can’t stand how Friday is received with much jubilation.
I recreated all possible scenes of how she will attack me for talking to her man. She might spike my drink and I die. She might pour acid on my face so that it is corroded and leave my teeth out. Or she might stab me with a knife. Or she’ll create a scene and attempt to rip off my clothes. I might need to go dressed up like I was going to space for safety. We were to meet in town but I decided otherwise and proposed a different place.
She walked in gracefully, her neck placed delicately between her head and her shoulders. Her make-up was amazing and her lips glossy. She had a golden chocker around her neck and had now dyed her hair brown in the middle and shaved the sides. She had four piercings on her ear lobe, all occupied with studs. She wore rugged jeans and an oversize white see through top. She looked more delicate than ever. Surely, she can’t beat me in case we fight. I thought as she approached, smiling. The usual nothings of ooh traffic, oh my ATM followed then soon it was time to address the elephant in the room.
“Imagine I think I am pregnant.” She blurts out finally after no so long.
“What!” I gasp as my mind gets relieved that she didn’t call me because of me talking to Daniel. “For who?”
“I am not sure whose.”
“Oh goodness!” I sink with disappointment.
“I am not very sure” she repeats, as if I hadn’t heard clearly.
“How can you not know?”
“Don’t judge me.” She snaps and leans forward. I could tell she was getting angry
“I am not judging you. I just need to understand who the last man was”
“It does not matter. I have been with all them…”
“Like threesome? Even Daniel?” I gasp, my eyes wide.
“Shucks! Not threesome! I haven’t seen Daniel the last 3 months.”
“So Daniel is out…” I say rather loudly, almost triumphantly.
“It is either Ndung’u or Kip.” She sighs, crushed.
“Are you ready to…”
“Hell no! I am not ready”
“That’s not what I was to ask. Are you ready to tell them?”
“Kip is so ugly! He is so ugly.” She emphasizes to my amusement and I can feel the bitterness. “And he is ruthless.” She adds and stares at the vase on our table and the flowers. She touches the petals.
“They are fake.” She says
“These petals here. They are fake.”
I was clueless, unsure of whether to comment anything or not. I sat still, my head sticking out like a tortoise’s checking if there was any danger approaching. She sounded disappointed, as if she expected the flowers to turn into swords when she touched them. She turned to me,
“I cannot stand Kip. He is rich but ugly. I don’t want to have babies looking like bush babies.” She said wickedly, meaning every word she said.
“Plus he has many illegitimate children already.” I added.
“Yeah. I wish I was pregnant for Daniel,” she says softly and touches the petals again, then cups her chin.
“But you cheated on him. It looks like he doesn’t complete you.” I was not sure if it was jealousy speaking or genuine concern.
“You don’t have to remind me.” she barks, a bit irritated. This woman was actually pregnant. Her tolerance levels have suddenly become so thin. Thin veneer of tolerance.
I perched on the seat, my elbows on the table and gulped the cold mango juice. I looked at her devastation, her sadness and felt sorry. The fan towering above us was faulty and buzzed like a posho mill. It would come tumbling down any minute. Everything looked symbolic.
“But I am here for you, regardless.” I encourage her.
“You know, Daniel asked to see me this weekend.”
It was getting personal. Why would they meet? She pregnant for someone else and does not deserve him.
“He is still my boyfriend, remember?” She giggles. Her collar bone sticks out as she laughs and I can see the veins too on her neck. This girl is almost malnourished.
I felt bile pilling up. I felt like telling her that Daniel is not good for her and she shouldn’t waste time going to see him. It is petty and cheap talk, but things to do with love (or lust) are unquestionable. Sometimes you stoop low to make a point or to make your heart win. Sometimes you might be wrong in love, but other times you might be right. And yet, you can’t tell if you are doing it for the right reasons or not. The uncertainty. The lack of definite answers, reasons. The unclear thoughts. The confusion. That is what life is. That is the beauty of life.