The Wife The Bad and The Rowdy

drama

I watched Sospeter as he tried to fix the Polythene paper to the roof.. It was leaking and the only pail that we had for trapping the water was broken.. Sospeter had accidentally kicked it.

‘So this is where we are…’ I thought. ‘The invisible line that the world suddenly draws and people are divided into.. young mothers and mature mothers. The poor and the rich.. The terminally ill and the healthy. The mad, depressed ones and the happy ones. The ones who’ve been disabled by accidents, and the lucky ones’.

My line was drawn. I was the poor young mother and wife. Since I started living with Sospeter there was no help. I had cut each of my lesos into four pieces to use as Napkins. The pampers were over. The little ones that my relatives were sending from town stopped coming. That is how it is. Once you start living with a man a magic wand is placed in your hand and walah! Aladdin’s lamp! Your problems are over, the world concludes, even when the man walks around in worn out clothes.

I finished wrapping the baby and turned to watch my husband. He had finished fixing the roof.

“I got another house.” he said picking the tools from the stool, “we are moving.”

I felt my blood rush from my hands to my legs. The baby slipped from my hands and down she went. Sospeter dropped the tools and dived to the floor stretched his hands forward and catch!!! The baby was safe.

Yes. That is my Sospeter. He saves everything. Do you remember seeing a whale on TV that had been swept by the waves to the shore? Sospeter boarded a plane all the way to that country to help push it back into the ocean. [ The last sentence is a lie]

So that is why this seventeen year old, tall, slim, size 12 girl, from the other side of the village wanted to stay with Sospeter. To save her. “My parents are boring and old,” she had complained to my Sospeter.

I was silent as I sat on the bed. Sospeter handed the baby over to me. “We are moving to the new house tomorrow” he went on, “The girl has refused to go…. if she sees you with my baby she will believe what I have been telling her…..” he moved closer to me, bent, placed his hands on my knees, looked into my eyes and added “…that I am married.”

I caressed his arm lightly, “I am okay.” I assured him.

The next day we packed our belongings on a cart fastened to a bull. I came out of the house and spread a bed sheet on the bull’s back, picked the baby and waited for Sospeter to come and help push me up onto the bull.

“Berina…” I turned to look at Sospeter who was climbing onto the cart, “….come. This is where you are supposed to sit.” I could see he was trying very hard not to laugh, “you can not ride that. It will kill you.” I handed the baby over to him. “You may laugh,” I said smiling.

We arrived at our new house. Miss universe, in a very short skirt, was sitting on the steps of the house. She went in when she saw us. Sospeter left us and followed her. I climbed down the cart and stood under a tree a few metres away from the house.

‘I am dying today,’ I thought, ‘she might come out of that house with anything. Hot water, a metal rod, a knife, a bottle, a stone, a spear. The farther I stand the safer.’

“What are you still doing here?” I could hear the anger in Sospeter’s voice. The girl’s voice was low. I could not understand what she was saying. “We can’t all stay here. That is my family. I respect that.” Sospeter shouted.

He pushed the lady out of the house. She staggered, almost fell. She gained balance and looked at me. I was afraid. I held my baby tight. She turned to look at Sospeter.

“You stupid dog!” she shouted, “you will not stay in that house. I am the one who chose the colour on those walls!” she screamed. “The design on those windows is mine! That house would not have been a house if I did not help you!”

She rushed to the cart, picked a Jembe, ran towards the house and threw it at Sospeter. Sospeter shut the door. The Jembe hit the door and fell down. A crack formed on the door from top to bottom. She picked up the Jembe and started hitting the door..

Opeeeen!” She screamed, “Open this door or I’ll kill your wife!” She turned to face me.

‘Jesus!’ I thought, ‘I am dead now.’

She dropped the Jembe. I tightened my grip around the baby. “He is choosing you over me because you have his baby.” She rushed towards me.

I don’t know how Sospeter reached where I was before this girl. He pushed her away from me and she fell backwards.

“You!” she shouted, “You rapist! You raped me! You raped me many times!” Of course this was free cinema for the villagers, “…and now you are throwing me out! For what?” she paused, stood up and wiped the tears off her eyes, “For this.” she said pointing at me over Sospeter’s shoulder.

“All the time you talked about this garbage!!” she went on, “I thought she was an angel. So you were marrying your grandmother!” The villagers turned to look at me. I almost believed I had wrinkles. I wanted to touch my face but I had to protect my baby.

Sospeter turned, grabbed the baby and ran into the house. I followed him closing the cracked door behind me.

I peeped through the crack. Miss Universe was scattering our property everywhere. I could see a few of our underwear on the trees. Then she started giving a speech bending slightly forward now and then to slap the side of her thighs, stamp her feet, lift up her dress in anger, turn around, face the crowd, then continue with the speech.

‘Our future “governor”..’ I thought, ‘I wonder what the speech is about..’.

What she did next made me call Sospeter. She was kicking the bull. [Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned] She stopped when she heard me and ran towards our door. Sospeter emerged from the bedroom with a bag full of her belongings including some tablecloths.

He opened the door and threw the bag out. It landed on the Giraffe’s….sorry….the girl’s mid section knocking her to the ground. The bag burst open, the squeezed items ‘escaping’ in all directions.

There was “Oooooh” and murmuring from the crowd. An elderly man walked towards the girl and pulled her up.

“I told you…” the gentleman told the girl, “I have told you many times. Look at how polite that woman is…” the girl was trying to wipe the mud off her dress, “A man will never leave a good woman. You embarrass me.” He held her hand. “Let us go home.”

He turned and looked at us. He nodded at Sospeter. Sospeter nodded back and closed the door.

The baby was crying, she was hungry.

Advertisements

African Grace

maxresdefault

My husband does not drink water before getting to bed. He says that the people who take alcohol and roast meat are the ones who are attacked by the heart. I am afraid of having a heart attack so I make sure to take a glass of water before getting to bed. That is why I have these nightmares quite often, of looking for a toilet  which I never find. Last night I found the toilet in my dream, and as I was about to…

I suddenly woke up to find myself squatting on the bed, a few more seconds, and I would be over with my business. Thank goodness! Everyone has an angel who wakes them up. “Berina! Berina! You are almost wetting the bed. Wake up!” I turned to look at my husband Sospeter who was fast asleep. He was lucky, I thought, there is no time he has ever stood on the bed in his sleep because he dreamt that he was about to…

I got out of bed to warm some water for milking the cow [it has to be milking the cow, that is how we are taught in school, we cannot say milking and stop there, we must add, the cow, which makes me wonder if there are other animals that are milked] I carried the little pail with warm water to our milkman, Nebuchadnezzar.

Nebby! Nebby!”I called out.. “Nebby! Where are you?” I could not enter the milkman’s house, you know what would happen if Sospeter found me coming out of there. I turned to get Sospeter, but he was standing there, two metres away from me. His right hand on his waist, moving his hips from the left to the right and back again, his head slightly bent to the left, sneering. He mimicked, “NebbyNebby…” sounding like a cat. “When did you start calling him Nebby! Why was I not called to the baptism ceremony?”

“Aaaaah.. my darling, it means nothing,” I said, “dont I call you Nebb.. sorry, Schwarz sometimes?” He clicked his tongue grabbed the bucket and rushed to Nebby’s house..

Ondieki! Ondieki!” Sospeter shouted as he entered Nebby’s wooden house. I followed him. Ondieki was not in. He walked to the latrine, me following him closely. No one was there. Sospeter gave up on the search, walked towards the cowshed and started milking the cow.

I watched Sospeter milk, his face filled with anger. I felt sorry for the cow because I could imagine all the anger directed at the tits. There was a time I thought they would be pulled to the ground. Poor cow.

Milking was over with four liters in the pail. Sospeter stood up and attempted to move backwards, only to trip over the stone he was sitting on, and backward, he fell.. “Uuuu! Chini![Down]” I exclaimed as I rushed to save the milk, a quarter of a liter, the soil and the cow-dung drank the rest faithfully. The ground was thirsty. The thought of taking black tea, suppressed my laughter as I helped Sospeter up. I knew only two people were going to take white tea that morning, Sospeter and the mother.

Breakfast was served. Every cup had tea. Just as I was about to take a sip, I heard, “Let us pray.” My mother-in-law, decided to pray. I raised my head up, and looked at her, my eyes wide open, I turned my head to look at Sospeter, my eyes even wider. If eyes could pop out of the socket mine would have been on the table. I waited for Sospeter to say something… nothing!

The mother started praying… For Nebby.. For the cow.. For the fire that cooked the tea.. For the tea.. For Sospeter’s Ugali and beans.. For the kids bread and beans..

The children and I quietly started taking our breakfast. Sospeter opened his eyes, looked at us and closed them again..

She went on, for all her children, and finally Sospeter.. Blessings for Stavros, another name for Sospeter that she loved to use. She prayed for Stavros’ health, property and manners. Finally the prayer was over and we all said “Amen!” as I thought how awesomely patient God was.

Sospeter’s tea was cold, his mother’s too. He stood up, picked the two cups of tea, walked to the kitchen and placed the tea on the stove. His mother stood at the door. “What are you doing?” she inquired. We all stared at her, “we are supposed to eat immediately after the prayers. Now see all the blessings are gone.”

“But mong’ina, [a name used while speaking to elderly women to show respect] we cannot eat cold food.” Sospeter answered as he walked to the table to get the food. The chairs were empty, except mine. Curiosity almost killed me.

The food and tea was warm. Sospeter carried it to the table. Mother followed. They sat, ready to eat. Before Sospeter could sip his tea, the mother asked, “Stavros, are you fed well? Do you get enough food in this house?” “Yes.” Sospeter answered. He had gained weight so much that he added the name Schwarzenegger to his birth certificate, that is why I called him Schwarz, sometimes.

He raised his cup, as it touched his lips, he heard, “Let us pray.” The prayer started with an apology for burning the blessings from the first prayer, Nebby

I placed my hand under my chin to support my head and watched mother and her son, Sospeter, Stavros, Schwarzenegger, pray.

1+1=3

pregnant-couple

After the meal in the kiosk, Sospeter went home with my headscarf around his neck, and I wearing his shirt. I was in love, I was happy, I skipped all the way home. Mama had arrived home from the shamba earlier than usual. She looked up from the porridge she was stirring. I was a little afraid.

“Whose shirt is that?” mama asked, I did not answer. She looked at the Sufuria and continued to stir. I removed the shirt, placed it on my bed, walked to the kitchen, picked up the clay pot and walked to the river.

From then on I met Sospeter many times. He was my life. If the maize and the bananas plants could speak, they would tell many stories. Life was a little garden of sweet smelling flowers until my clothes stopped fitting.

I tried to spend as much time away from my parents as possible. I walked around in an unzipped skirt and unbuttoned blouse. I walked with a leso around my chest all the time.

A time came when the leso could not hide it anymore. Suddenly I was big. It was the seventh month… I stayed away from everybody most of the time. This got worse when a woman on a path to the river stopped to look at me..

“This can’t be your first pregnancy, is it?” the woman asked.

I was surprised…… it was none of her business.

“Why do you ask?” I inquired, attempting to walk past her, but the path was too narrow.

“Because first pregnancies are not usually this big,” the professor with a degree in ‘pregnancy and their sizes’ continued to inform me.

Hebu, let me see if you have any stretch marks at the back of your legs,”

I had.

“have you ever had an abortion?” the self appointed FBI agent continued to investigate.

I did not speak. I went round a small bush and down to the river. Before the pregnancy, taking a bath at the river was not a problem, but when the pregnancy started showing, everyone would pretend to continue what they were doing but I could see every head was slightly turned towards my direction. I started carrying water home for bathing. Those were two trips. I met more people who wasted their talent as detectives and counselors on me.

“Who is the father of the baby?” they would ask, “Are you getting married?….You know this baby will be a problem to your mother….Your mother should be resting now, not taking care of babies at her age…See all your sisters are married…. you should also get a husband…” To avoid argument, my answer was always ‘yes’ to everything.

The pregnancy was getting heavier and the pots were feeling bigger than usual. When Sospeter learn’t that I was getting tired he would meet me a few metres from our house, pick the pot and fetch the water for me. This went on, for quite a while.

When I had our girl, Sospeter made sure to see me after visiting hours when I was alone, because we knew that, if our parents saw him, they would marry us there and then, with or without a priest and Sospeter would be forced to take me with him.

Most of Sospeter’s little money was spent on me and my baby. “You should be healthy” he would say lovingly as he handed me a few coins. “This is for millet flour and bananas, you must have enough milk, in there, for the baby.” he would say pointing at my chest.

I was happy. It did not matter that Sospeter had very little to offer. He loved me, he cared. That was everything to me, nothing else mattered.

His clothes were worn out with time. With the baby, he could not afford to buy more. This world can turn your life upside down in just a few seconds. I learn’t this the hard way.

Mama had decided she was not going to the shamba because the housework had been neglected for sometime.

I heard a whistle outside, then a small stone hit the window, at the exact time mama walked in to check on the baby.

She opened the window, my heart was beating fast.

“You” she shouted,

“so it is you, mango tree boy!?”

I was shocked.

“Mama knew all the time Sospeter Pssss Pssssed me from the mango tree?” I thought.

“You are leaving with her” Mama said pointing at me. She rushed out of the room to the front door. Sospeter came to the window.. “My shirt! My shirt!” he whispered. I placed the baby on the bed and got the shirt. As he turned to leaved he bumped into mama. “Sorry, sorry, sorry,” he murmured, as he stepped back and walked away.

“Come for her tomorrow!” mama shouted.

The next day, mama made it clear to me that she did wish to find me home when she came back. As Sospeter’s time for visiting approached, I packed my bag, wrapped the baby, carried her and sat on a stool outside the house.

“You are making sure the baby is getting vitamin D?” my ‘know it all’ neighbor shouted from across the dusty road.

“Yes!” I shouted back.

I saw Sospeter walking towards me. Then I felt more love. He touched my head lightly and pushed my hair back.

“This is going to work out Berina,” there was no anxiety in his voice. “Do not worry”.

For the first time he held our baby in his arms. I placed the bag on my head and we walked to the other side of the village.

I was calm.

African Daycare

I stepped out of the gate to find my four year old neighbor almost finishing the dry bread he was chewing..
Hi, Trevor! Where’s mama? I asked.
Still chewing, he shrugged..
Silent for a few minutes, with his mouth full he answered,
“I don’t know”
I held the hand without bread and walked with him to the shops.
“Why do people take trouble to leave Kenya, go around the world, reading books, googling, consulting friends and praying to get a beautiful name like Trevor…
Only not to be around to call it out often?
Why not a simple name like Sospeter?”
I thought.
We reached the shop, I bought milk and three medium sized cakes.
I added two lollipops..
One for Trevor and another for my 5 year old son.
Trevor offered to help me carry two cakes.
I prepared breakfast with Trevor watching me, while my four lazy children slept.
That was Friday..
A few minutes to one o’clock, when our lunch was almost ready,
abracadabra!
Trevor’s mama appeared at the door..
Trying to balance on her heels. She was drunk.
“Here comes trouble in a Lorry.” I thought.
“Is Trevor here?” I got up to get him, “No no no no, don’t,” she said as she handed over a packet of chips and chicken to me, “this is for Trevor’s lunch,” and this is for supper,” I took the neatly packed pizza.
“I am off to sleep.” she left.
I took the two delicacies and placed them on the kitchen counter as I said a little prayer.
“Do not lead me into temptation Lord”
To help me not take a bite of Trevor’s food.
“Deliver me from evil,”
That my children will never hate me for not buying things like these for them.
I called my children and gave each of them a plate of fried bananas and beef stew.
I stayed in the kitchen with Trevor.
“Mama is here?” he asked, excited.
“Yes she is”, I answered, “she is asleep.”
Trevor continued to eat. He knew Mama was never to be disturbed.
“What is better?” I thought,
A parent who is always there for her child, earns money honestly, which is never enough,
hardly buys the children good clothes, or pizza from Galito’s [sp] or chips and chicken from Steers.
Or
A parent who neglects her children, to go look for money in ways that are not acceptable and comes back home with nice, mouth luring food, and nice clothes for the children?
“Good Lord” I sighed.

When evening came, I knew mama Trevor was sober, but would not dare get Trevor.
The night before, I had asked her,
“Mama Trevor, if you cannot find a good job, why don’t you and Trevor go home to your mother?”
“I can’t” she said, “There is a lot of work in house and shamba, and look at this hands,” she showed me her neatly manicured hands, “Can these hands work in the kitchen and shamba?”
“You can take Trevor to your mother, then.”
I advised.
“No” she appeared protective, “People will think I am irresponsible.”
I could not hold my laughter. I laughed so loud, I laughed again, held my chest, bent over and continued laughing to tears.
“This woman does not think beyond her nose.” I thought.
“They are finished talking, they have said everything that can be said” I informed her.
She clicked her tongue, stormed into the house, got her Trevor and left.
That is why Trevor was standing on the road very early in the morning eating dry bread.
Mama Trevor had nowhere to leave him.
Trevor had his pizza for supper, I gave him a cup of cocoa and took him to bed.
Mama did not come for Trevor on Friday night, she went missing on Saturday, day and night as usual.
I tried not to worry much when Sunday passed.
I was woken up rudely by a phone call.
“Hallo!” It was mama Trevor’s voice on the other side.
I did not answer.
I could hear her sipping a drink.
“Please, please, please, I beg you, Trevor’s uniform is not clean, can I borrow your son’s?”
I placed my head on the bed and looked at the phone for about a minute.
Then placed it on my ear.
“What are you drinking mama Trevor? I asked.
“Nothing,” she answered.
“Then why can’t you remember that my son’s shirt is not the same color as your son’s?”
“Sorry, sorry,” she spoke softly.
“Please ask Mama Henry for me, if we could borrow hers”
“You and who?” I shouted into the phone.
My husband Sospeter opened one eye and looked at me.
“I told you, did I not. The moment you allowed her to leave that boy here, there would be trouble.”
I also closed one eye, looked at him and said,
“Yes, that was after she stopped bringing you roast meat”
“Take your big mouth to the living room.” he said
The second eye was now open, “and let me sleep.”
He turned to face the wall and continued snoring.
I got out of bed and went to Mama Henry’s house. I borrowed a very understanding Mama Henry, the whole set of school uniform, got shoes from Trevor’s home, dressed him up, gave him porridge and eggs. Packed some biscuits in a plastic container and milk in a bottle.
The school bus came, I kissed him on the forehead, helped him get into the bus and off he went.
My second daughter and second son, stepped out of the house, hugged me, and walked to school.
I was happy.

Cycle, Jump, Run

Gilbert Kiptoo copy

I participated in races in my primary school and I won all the time. The teachers encouraged me to run, especially the male teachers, and I ran with all my might, before I realized what they were staring at as I ran..

So when my husband Sospeter asked me, “Can you run fast my darlin’ baby?” I answered, “I am not sure, but I’ll try”.

I had this look on my bruised face, that said, “Please feel sorry for me”. And Sospeter had this look that said, “Sorry”.  My body was aching, especially my thighs and face.. We were comfortably sitting in a bus, my arm caressing Sospeter’s when someone came in carrying a hen. Suddenly Sospeter jumped onto my lap, the sole of his shoes digging into my thighs, one hand placed on the seat in front of us and the other hand pressing my forehead, then my nose, my mouth, back to my forehead..

Now that Sospeter’s seat was empty.. The man with the hen, and a grin on his face, sat next to us. “Ah!” I shouted at Sospeter, “Cant you see the legs and wings of the hen are tied, you are hurting me”. I pushed his hand off my face.

Sospeter jumped off my lap, over the hen and ran out of the bus at the next stop. I followed him embarrassed. My body was aching from carrying a man who was more that 80 kg in the wrong way.

“Now our journey home will be delayed” Sospeter complained. “and I am hungry” he added.

I turned slowly and looked at Sospeter. “We can call home and ask our children to cook” I tried to look concerned, but the pain was too much for me to concentrate on Sospeter’s complaint.

Nooooo!” he shouted.. “What did you say? Are you trying to agonize me? No I do not want their food.”

I had asked our children to cook for us the last time we were late… They had never been to the shamba.. So they picked potato leaves, thinking they were managu.. Carrot sprouts was their dhania and apples were their tomatoes.. The only thing that was correct was the onion.. One bite of the food and we felt like crying out of torture then went to bed hungry.

We took the children around the shamba the next day, introducing them to every vegetable and fruit, told them that our shamba did not have tomatoes and explained that they were bright red. So our next food was cooked with the bright red vegetables or do I call them fruits, known as plums…

“Is that why your husband sent you away” Sospeter asked our first daughter.. “No.” she answered, “He sent me away because I shaved his beard in his sleep, I never cooked for him” I touched Sospeter hand and asked him to lower his voice.

“Now we will never get any cows” he murmured.. “And our son will never marry because we will never get any cows. Why do we have children if they will never benefit us” Then he turned to our second daughter.. Pointing at her he said, “Please grow up quickly and bring us cows, your brother needs a wife. Your older sister has failed”

Angry, Sospeter rushed to the toilet but, thank goodness, there was no paper. He had this habit of unrolling the whole tissue paper when he was angry, so I stopped placing it in the toilet and gave each member of the family to keep one for themselves..

We stood on the road for another two minutes when Sospeter turned to look at a carpenter who was working nearby.. “Do you think you can sit comfortably in a bus?” he asked “My thighs are still aching.”I answered.. He grinned, turned to look at me and asked, “Can you run fast my darling baby.” “I am not sure,”I answered, “but I’ll try” Sospeter went down on one knee, rubbing his hands together, he said, “Follow me! On your mark, get set go.” He rushed forward like a lion that had seen an antelope. I followed closely. hop, step and run because of my pain.

He entered the carpenter’s shop. I did the same. he grabbed a stool. I grabbed one too. He ran out. I rushed out. He placed the stool on the head. I did that too. He grabbed the carpenter’s bicycle and rode off.

I looked for a bicycle to grab but there was only one and Sospeter was on it. I was afraid, and forgot about the pain… and ran after Sospeter as fast as I could.

“Come on baby, come on baby.” he kept shouting to encourage me on while all the time I asked myself if my husband’s brain functioned well.. Just when I was about to give up, Sospeter managed to catch up with one slow moving bus, threw the stool inside knocking the conductor who was standing at the door, down onto the floor of the bus. I increased speed to the door of the bus, and threw my stool inside..

I walked upto where Sospeter was, he asked me to sit down, took the stool and placed both my feet on it.. He also sat and placed his feet on his stool. “I am sorry that I hurt you. Now we can travel like king and queen.”

Silence.

I did not like the way the conductor looked at us. “What is wrong with you two?” he asked..

Silence.

The next day we hired a taxi.. in the middle of the night, we drove to the carpenter’s shop and threw the stools at the watchman.. And sped off.. We decided never to mention or think about the bicycle.

Soul 2 Soul

kindness-iv

I am not sure if we had a bell in college. I think we followed our lessons by looking at the time. I had a watch, it must be the time. I packed my books one evening to go home. My friend, Mercy, approached me and said, “You should visit the hostel today, come, lets go”

It was around 2 kilometers from college. We entered the hostel and she introduced me to her friends. Then Mercy called out to one, “Mary come, there is someone I want you to meet.” Mary walked towards us, she was glowing and had a radiating smile. Mercy said, “Mary, this is Berina….Berina, this is Mary, she is saved. That is why she is always happy.” It was a casual introduction. We did not say more. As Mary left we entered one of the cubicles and continued chatting.

Three years later, I met a nurse at Nairobi hospital called Gladys. She was very active and kind, always wanting to help out with a smile on her face. That time, my mind was more settled than when I was in college and I noticed the glow on her face. A week later there was a note in the newspaper thanking her for being kind. I had it posted.

The next time I met such a person with so much kindness was seven years later, her name was Esther, she was my workmate. She had kind beautiful eyes and a beautiful smile. A gentle voice too. I worked with her for about three months, not once did she lose her temper. She became sad when she was wronged, but never angry. I met her about a year ago but she was different. There was this hard look in her eyes. I knew something happened somewhere in the years we were apart that caused that look. This is a cruel world.

Four years later, I worked for this humble gentleman. His eyes very kind white eyes, his English perfect. His voice firm, but gentle. He never scolded me at any one time. There were not many mistakes to be made, because he never looked for them. [Few people realize that when there is no fear in the workplace, there are very few mistakes made.].

I remember one time, it was raining. He arrived at our place of work earlier than me. He called to ask how far away I was. Nothing more. I found him standing outside the office holding his umbrella. He smiled, said hallo, and that was it, he did not scold me, he did not ask where I was. We continued working as usual.

The pleasant qualities and kindness I saw in these people can only be described as the Grace of God. It is now eleven years later, I have been reflecting back on my life, wondering how many kind people I have met since then. None. People who have been willing to do good, expecting nothing back. People who are kind, who speak softly with many words of encouragement. Every time I hold conversations people are loud and fast. There is a competition for being heard. Few listen these days.

What happened to the fear of God? At which point does a human being, begin to think he or she has become god, that they start telling you what to do instead of advising you to seek Guidance from God.

What happened to statements like, “God bless you.. – Pray and all shall be well.. – Do not worry, God has plans for you.. – Be patient, with God everything is possible.. – Do not revenge, leave everything to God.”

We go to church every Sunday. Sometimes you will see us in a group, before and after church. What do we talk about. Not God, but gossip. Our business. The man, the woman next door. Harambees, contributions, financial meetings. Sunday is not a day to sit back and reflect on your life and your relationship with God anymore.

It is only in peace, that you can truly deliver your prayers to God. I think I have met two people recently, who I can live with peacefully. I have not spent continuous time with them, to confidently conclude that they are the ones. The few moments I have spent with them, have been full of encouragement. I have gone back home better.

They have reminded me about my God and faith many times. Telling me that there is hope when I am about to give up. Everyone needs a person like that in their life, and to get a person like that, you have to strive to be kind, humble, and pleasant. Everyone needs someone to spend time with. Choose your friends carefully.

Think about yourself. Does what you do and say make someone else say, “For sure there is a God” or does that someone say, “And you say there is a God”. How much have you made others want to see tomorrow? Have you made people suffer? Have you helped someone and thought you were that person’s god? Have you forgotten how you became what you are? How you reached where you are? That it is not you who causes your heart to beat?

We make this world, all of us do. And there is always a higher Power, do not forget that.

The Other Family

black-man-cheating-tn

The world has a way of making you discover the things you have never thought of looking for. I knew this when I stretched my hand, absent minded to pick two receipts the waiter had placed on our table. I would not have noticed anything strange if my husband had not stretched his hand in an attempt to snatch them from me.

There were two receipts, one for our table and the other for another table, which we all turned to look at. My first born daughter, who is in secondary, school asked my husband, in surprise, “Is that not the lady you came with on visiting day? The one you work with?”

The ground rotated beneath me… My mind stopped. My knees were weak and my hands were trembling. With much effort, I stood up and walked slowly to the other table. Before I handed over the receipt, I thought my husband had shrunk. There in front of me was a mini version of my husband, only this one was clean shaven.

More strength drained from my body. I leaned forward slowly, supported my weight on a chair at the table, and sat down next to the woman and boy. I looked into the woman’s eyes, then at my husband who was standing right behind me, and asked, “Is this your son?”

I got no answer.

He placed his hand under my upper arm and helped me stand. He walked me to the car. Once I was comfortably seated he went back to the hotel, I think to pay the bill.

Tears welled up in my eyes.. I placed my head on my hands and sobbed.. Thoughts ran through my mind. My husband and I almost never had any problems. If there was any, we solved them quietly. Every time our eyes met, we smiled. We cuddled in bed, we kissed in the evening, we kissed in the morning. I waited up for him at night, I served him hot food. I thought this would replace his desire to sire a baby boy.

He was a good husband and father. We had everything. We went out every Sunday. He saw our children every school visiting day with bags and bags of sweet food and drinks. My daughters adored him. He is their hero.

The doors of the car opened. My husband and daughters entered. I wiped the tears away and stared into the rear view mirror. Our first born daughter, my dad’s favorite, was staring into her phone, harder than usual trying to avoid looking up at us. The second girl placed her earphones in her ears and stared out of the window. The third stared at me, the fourth, my favorite, looked at me, worried, and asked, “Mama, why are your eyes red?” I turned stretched my arms, picked her up and placed her on my lap. I kissed her lightly on the forehead and stared straight ahead.

My mind rushed to three years ago, when we visited this woman in hospital.. as my husband’s workmate. My husband brought a friend, so I did not ask many questions. I remember how excited my husband was when holding this baby, I thought it was because we did not have any sons, and was excited to hold a boy.

Every hotel we visited, I noticed the lady visited too. One day, I mentioned it to my husband and he said casually. “Our firm recommends these hotels.” Tears welled up in my eyes again. I tried very hard not to let them run down my cheeks. I looked down, trying to avoid the rear view mirror. I involuntarily closed my eyes, the tears ran down my cheeks on to my little sweethearts forehead. I wiped them, and whispered into her ear that my eyes were sick. There was a stubborn knot in my throat as I tried very hard not to sob.

My heart felt heavy, I cannot begin to explain how many invisible knives were cutting through my stomach, when I tried to figure out how many people knew about my husband’s affair. His office, his friends, the waiters, the hospital, my friends, maybe my neighbors, and now our children. My heart sank deeper. I am always smart, hair well made, I speak politely, I smile at everyone and I feel okay.

That day, I felt like nothing mattered anymore. All the time I thought I was okay, my husband and everybody else knew my world was falling apart.

Then I remembered the frequent business trips. The beautiful gifts, well selected, and the money that I received from my husband after every trip. My daughters were showered with more love everyday. I suspected nothing.

My mind came back to present just as we arrived home. My husband opened the door, stepped aside and let us in. The older girls went to their rooms.. One of the younger ones switched on the TV, and joined the youngest beside me, on the sofa. My husband went to the kitchen and came back holding a cup of warm drinking chocolate and handed it to me. I sipped.

“If my husband was cruel”, I thought, “if he assaulted and insulted me…. would I hurt less?”, I sighed. The baby in my womb moved gently and stretched. I placed my hand on my tummy, and caressed it slowly. A limb gently touched the place where my hand rested.

“I loved the girl in there”, nothing else mattered.

I could not explain what I felt for my husband then. But I knew, I did not want him to touch me at all. I switched my attention completely to the TV.