“Fungua mlango”.That was my dad.We were already used to his late night returns.My father used to drink but he was now becoming too much.Sometimes he would even drink all night.His behavior was slowly changing,the responsible father I knew was now something else.
One month after corona virus was first case was confirmed in Kenya,the government adopted several measures including closure of restaurants. My father is a chef and used to work in one of the local restaurants. His salary was enough to cater for our needs.My mother would also support him sometimes.My mother used to cook food for workers of a certain construction company for a small fee.It has since been closed due to the virus.Things have changed and we can hardly afford a single meal.Somehow my father is depressed and he has sold most of the household items.
It is one of this nights that father comes home late.He had left very early in the morning .The previous night we had slept on hungry stomachs.We never cared,we were already used to it.As long as my younger brother got something to eat then the rest of us could survive. Sometimes situations forced us to borrow food from our neighbours to feed my two years old brother.
“Mama Faith,wapi chakula hii nyumba tunalala njaa kila siku” dad asked. There were no right words to answer the question. Where would mum get the money to buy food??.Occasionally she would wash clothes at the neighboring estate.She was paid a smalli amount but it was better than nothing.Those days she would buy food to sustain us for at least three days.
“Pia sisi tumekunywa maji tu mume wangu”. With the most gentle voice mum answered.
” Wewe mke mjinga kabisa,mchana kutwa wakaa chini tu,ata huoni aya?” Dad bursted.”Msichana wangu husije ukageuka bwege kama huyu mama hapa mwangalie”.Dad ‘advised’ me.
My brother was already asleep. Mum and I used to chat waiting for father.
Dad who was sitted was now standing though he could hardly sustain his stability. He staggered towards mum.”Wewe nilifanya makosa kukuhoa”he shouted pointing mum.Never had I heard dad insulting mum,in fact he loved her so much.They were now happily married for almost 18 years.
Things happened so fast and dad was throwing several blows.I tried to save mum from the beating.Dad overpowered the both of us.He was now like an angry lioness.He was beating the both of us.Paap paap gong gong,we received several blows and kicks.”Wuiui wuiiui majirani saidia”we loudly screamed.We lived in a two bedroom house,my brother who was sleeping in my parents bedroom was now standing in front of us crying out loudly “Daddy daddy nachapa mama” he was still poor in speech and couldn’t utter words correctly. The living room was our kitchen as well as my bedroom since we moved from our 2 bedroom house in the neighbouring estate.This place was a servant quarters for a certain company which was no longer functional. The county council had taken over and made the quarters their business.They were charging rent at a low cost though,five hundred a month was at least affordable.
Our kitchen was in the furthest corner of the room.Father had picked a knife and was pointing it on mum.”Nitakuhua unaskia,I will kill you stupid woman”.He shouted.Nobody had come to rescue us and father was now losing control.”Baba msamehe hatarudia”I begged.I don’t know how I found myself on the sofa,I guess I was pushed so hard.For a moment I thought I had lost consciousness.
“Mummy damuu mingi” my brother was pushing me crying. Noo,please no!!it can’t be happening. My mother was lying on the floor helpless.Blood was all over her body.What had dad done?clearly he had stubbed her severally not even once.”Mum amka amka”I pleaded shaking mother so hard.She was no longer moving.I watched her still cold body as tears rolled down my eyes.My brother was still trying to wake mum up.There was no way I could stop him. He was so innocent .
And where is father? I thought maybe he was in the other room.I quickly grabbed my brother.There was no other way to save mum so we had to run away with my brother since dad might also attack us.I never noticed that the door was wide open.Apparently dad had realized what he had done and ran away.
We were new in the neighborhood.No one bothered its as if they had their own troubles and wouldn’t mind other peoples business. Outside in the cold night I held my brother so tightly in my arms.He was now my responsibility. “Wuiwui mum Amekufa wui wui kujeni mtusaidie” I screamed begging for help.
“Msichana nini mbaya” one of the two men asked.”Daddy amedunga mum na kisu”I told them.Were this people numb or something??It was broad moonlight on the full mmon of the month of July.My clothes were covered with blood couldn’t they see?They were careful not to touch anything as it was already I crime scene.One after another they entered our house looking at mum’s body.In twenty minutes time a crowd was already there.They gathered in groups trying to get wind of the situation. The world has changed and people have also changed. Where is humanity?Where were this people when we were crying for help.I was asked several questions by the two men who came earlier. I gave short replies since I was breaking down.My brother had not stopped crying neither.He was very scared.In the break of dawn,the police arrived. They interrogated us and several other people.I watched as my mums body (was taken)This was the end.Have you ever wished the world has stopped for a moment?
We had nowhere to go. We had no relatives in the city.Further more there was cessation of movement. On the other hand father had escaped and he was now a wanted criminal.
I later learnt that the two men were head of ‘Nyumba kumi’ they introduced us to a woman who offered us shelter for the remaining part of the night rather morning as we waited for sun to rise.It was 5oclock my brother had now slept that was a sigh of relief for me.Personally I couldn’t get any sleep,I was still trying to get in terms with what had just happened.
We were the happiest family I knew.How can this happen to us,what bad had we done to deserve such life’s cruelity? The man I used to love I now despise the most.I hate my father,I hate him with all my being.
“Karibu” the woman said,as she ushered in kameme,one of the two men.He was accompanied by two police officers. It seems the other dark day didn’t just end but a dark morning is here.They explain to me how the found my father dead in one of the ditches he had committed suicide.”Pole sana msichana baba amewaacha pia”said the tall darkskinned police officer. “World please open your jaws and swallow me” pleaded a voice inside me.Orphaned in less than ten hoirs .How can life be so heartless?
Though I hated my dad for what he had done,my last wish was to see him dead.But what else can be done,who can be blamed?Is it corona that changed everything? Is it joblessness?Is it alcohol that made dad act that way?Certainly corona has killed my family indirectly.
Local arrangements were made since its now a rule that bodies be buried in the next 24hrs.Our relatives cannot attend the burial,few friends from the city join us bury our parents in the nearby cemetery. Our culture had several requirements and my parent were to be buried at home in a certain manner but too bad that’s impossible.
I have my brother to take care of,he is now my responsibility. We are staying with one of our family friends until I don’t know when.God’s willing schols will open what will I do? Who will look after little Kim?where do we even start?
All in whole there is a God who sees all.He is loving and merciful.We shall overcome.
“Hey miss,hellloo,madaam” I wasn’t aware he was talking to me.”Madam yule jamaa anakuita”I was sitted on one of the benches in a matatu stage with my carrier bag full of shopping. I had just received my helb loan and clearly I was among the richest student in campus.I was so busy fantasizing about a dress had bought.it was black and body fitting it clearly displayed every detail of my curvaceous body.But who’s this guy?Do I know him have we met somewhere maybe?I slowly walked towards the v8.The window was already open.”Hello”sorry to bother you said the man as he removed his expensive sunglasses. He was lightskinned,with beards all over his face.His hair and beards were well shaved,and they were so soft.Woow such an handsome guy,I thought.”My name is Jeff I saw you in the supermarket and I couldn’t help but follow you.The first time I saw you my heart skipped a beat.Honestly i felt like have met the woman of my dreams.And what’s your name please?”
I was short of words I mean not in a life time have I met a man so straight to the point.Most of them would tease you and try sending signals for sometime until they open their hearts.But this one who is he??I kept asking myself.I felt a cold drop of sweat and my heart was beating so fast.”My name is Valarie you can call me Val and please allow me to leave have already paid the ticket of that matatu””No please don’t leave I can take you wherever you are going if you don’t mind or you don’t trust strangers” Yes he was damn right how can you meet someone few minutes ago and just trust him.Have heard stories of even my closest friends being kidnapped by strangers. “No thanks” I said as I took my first step towards the matatu.It was already full and apparently I was the last passenger. “Twende dere ” the makanga guy said.I never bothered to look back clearly I was not interested with the guy but rather I was scared.If he had followed me earlier, he can do it again.I didn’t know exactly what he wanted from me but I was all aware that whatever he told me earlier was pure nonsense leave alone lies.
The next morning is a Monday morning and am having trouble waking up.I had to go to class. I had snoozed my alarm since 8o’clock. It was now 9 o’clock .My first class was at ten O’Clock. Calculus four was the first class that Monday and was also the first class to start off the first semester of my fourth year of study.
I leaved off campus and it was a bit far from school it would take me thirty minutes if I increase my pace.Previously (other semesters) mathematics lectures were so strict and wouldn’t allow you enter the class if you’re a minute late.
I was already ten minutes late but luckily enough I wasn’t alone(that’s how we always console ourselves whenever we find ourselves in a mess).
We entered the class,it was already full there were no more sits.We had to go to the next class for sits.Clearly we had disturbed the class and due to the noise caused the lecturer had stopped talking.
I removed my new book and pen placed them on the table trying to settle.I was now ready to listen.No sooner had I raised my head to see the new lecturer than I received the shock of the year.Boom its Jeff.
What would my semester be like?I know lectures who have seduced lady students and even threatened to fail them if they don’t date them.
I was no longer comfortable.Jeff was kinda funny and he made people laugh.Not one of his joke made me laugh.I was too busy thinking that I couldn’t any relevance of his jokes.
This is only the first class.Whatever awaits me this semester I don’t know but right now let me focus on the new things I bought.It’s so unfortunate that I’m the classrep and I have to share my number with the lecturer. I have no other option since the other classrep is absent.So that’s how Jeff gets my number. The next calculus class is on Wednesday one day after.
Fifteen minutes into the lecture but the lecturer hasn’t arrive.”Hey Val,please confirm if Jeff is coming or not”.The last thing I wanted to do was to call him even if it was on official matters. “Wee sina credo” I answered. “Rada yako ni gani si umepata helb juzi ama si wewe niliona akitoka tao na tushopping bags” Omollo my coursemate said.”Haha mtu hawezi ishi maisha yake uku inaonekana”I answered laughing. Left with no option I had to call Jeff.”Hello sir,I wanted to confirm if you are attending today’s lecture”I ran out of credit so I hanged up.He called back immediately.”Hello gorgeous am a bit far and it seems I will be late,tell your coursemates am sorry will meet next week”.As soon as I entered the class my coursemates were all ears as if waiting for their names to be read on the judgement book.”Class imebounce lec amesema hayuko karibu”I broke the good news.We had no other confirmed class that day.We all left the lecture room.
I had no pending assignment nor any other school work since the semester had just started. Watching tv programs, movies,series and sleeping was the order of the day.I had taken a nap when my phone rung.Now who is this waking me up.It was Jeff calling. “Hey miss,how you doing,am still around campus and was asking maybe can we meet for a cup of coffee?”. It was 6p.m in the evening.I considered it late so I turned down the offer. “No sir I’m somehow tired and I have I mild headache am sorry I can’t”. With my very lowest voice I answered.” Its okay will schedule for another day I really want to know you better and please Val stop calling me sir,you know my name now Jeff.It seems you were sleeping let me call you tomorrow. Goodbye lady with beautiful eyes”.he said with a gentle voice.”Bye”I answered.I am poor in maths and am having this stupid thought.”Val we ni mjinga uko na opportunity take advantage ” I was careful not to talk to anyone about Jeff.It would lead me to some serious trouble with the university. We met with Jeff on several occasions.I was a party girl somehow and every Friday he would spoil me.Before Jeff, I used to party with several other friends that was occasionally since we depended on our parents and evidently couldn’t afford every time. Jeff and I were now a thing and I was growing fond of him.He showered me with love and money.This was all different from my previous relationship because my ex was a student like me only that he was a year ahead of me.He loved me yeah but he had no money.We had a terrible break up from a three year relationship.I disguised men from then and vow not to date unless its for marriage (The reason we broke up is a very long story we will talk about it some other day maybe)
That doesn’t matter am now in a very healthy relationship sadly that’s what I was thinking. There was something weird with Jeff phone calls at night.That’s whenever we would spend a night together. “We wacha kunisumbuasumbua nimekua busy siwezi kuja leo tupatane kesho” I overheard him on the phone one night.Who might that be?is he married or something?. The last thing I wanted to do was to date a married man leave alone my own lecturer. That would be terrible.Jeff acted very normal.”Huyo alikua kijana wa kazi nilisahua kumtumia pesa” He called his wife ‘kijana wa kazi’ seriously men are all thrush(I mean stupid men like Jeff who dispise their wives)Jeff was in his thirties but he looked a bit young.He was strikingly handsome.
We were just about to start our end semester exams and we were all busy studying. I explained to Jeff that we won’t be meeting more frequently like before since I had to study.I had other reasons.Jeff was clearly not honest with me,he was a married man.
Then one day I received a call from a new number.The lady was crying.Oops! Have made someone cry so bitterly. “Hello Vararie she said in her Kikuyu ascent,mimi ni bibi ya Jeff.Tafadhali najua we ni mrembo kunishinda nimezeeka mimi.Wachana na bwanangu tafadhali najua anakupenda sana lakini nione huruma.Nko na mtoto mdogo wa miezi tatu sina kazi Jeff hanisaidii tafadhali” I couldn’t take it anymore,I quickly hang up and started crying.Why ?Why could men be this heartless I mean Jeff drove one of the most expensive vehicle,were the most expensive clothes,dined in the most expensive restaurant but his wife at home suffering. I was so engulfed with guilt. I immediately ended things with Jeff, at least I had already done the mathematics exam.But the results, still awaiting,and who’s going to mark ‘Jeff’.
He had promised me a straight A.Things have now changed,my fate lies on a broken branch.I later learnt that he was going out with several other campus girls for grades.So the next time am going to date, is never.I despise the other gender.I don’t know how to get over this hatred but maybe someday al meet the Mr.Right who will be perfect in all imperfections. Till then not again!!