CHAPTER ONE – SING A LOVE SONG – 1995
Kamau stood at the edge of the shamba waiting for Nyokabi. He was so excited and he could hardly contain himself. He whistled as in his mind he formulated his life ahead.
When Nyokabi came into view he stopped whistling and watched her walking towards him. He thought to himself that he had never seen a more beautiful woman in his life. Nyokabi had a round beautiful face, with bewitching black eyes, with full lips and spackling white teeth with a gap in the front teeth. She had long black hair and a beautiful figure. When Nyokabi saw him, she smiled. Her smile was as blinding as the sun as when she smiled her dimples came out and her eyes twinkled.
When Nyokabi reached him she asked “well?”
“I Got an A.” said Kamau. Nyokabi squealed and jumped to hug him. Kamau held her for a moment or two then reluctantly released her. Nyokabi pulled him to her and kissed him. Kamau was surprised he had not expected this. The kiss was sweet, Nyokabi tasted like nectar and Kamau could have kissed her the whole day.
Then Nyokabi stepped away from him. She said, “I always wanted to try that. I loved it.”
Kamau didn’t know what to say. He had been in love with Nyokabi for years but he knew that they had class differences that were too wide to breach and so he had dared not dream about her least he got a broken heart.
Kamau and Nyokabi had grown up together in the same village in the rural area. Their parents had farms on adjacent properties. Nyokabi’s father also did business and had increased his wealth. This had not really changed the strong relationship between the families. It was when Nyokabi’s dad was made into an MP that things changed.
Nyokabi and her sisters were removed from the local primary school and taken to private schools. Nyokabi’s dad Mr. Mbaya started letting the power get to his head. He stopped associating with the people in the village and started spending all his time in Nairobi. Mr. Mbaya then moved his family away from the village to Nairobi. The gals would only come to the village doing the holidays when they had closed school to spend time with their mother who had moved back saying that the city was too crowded and crazy for her.
Mr. Mbaya started acquiring new friends in the city, influential politicians, and businessmen. He now had no time for small time farmers like Kamau’s father. They stopped visiting each other and their families slowly drifted apart.
Kamau and Nyokabi remained friends though. They were the same age and had gone to primary school together. Nyokabi had been taken to a British curriculum school and so she had finished earlier then Kamau and already had her results.
Nyokabi had told Kamau that if he passed very well her dad would give him a job and pay his fees at university. Kamau and Nyokabi cheerfully discussed their dreams. Kamau wanted to do architecture and design and build houses. Nyokabi wanted to be a lawyer. After around 2 hours they left the shamba chatting happily unaware that they were being watched.
Nyokabi went home a happy girl. She had wanted to kiss Kamau for ages but had never had the courage. She put her fingers to her lips as she thought about the sweet kiss, her very first. She had never felt the way she felt about anyone else. She had always had a crush on Kamau. He was a great guy but abit shy. Kamau also had a great body like one of those stars you saw in the movies.
Kamau was around 6 feet tall and had broad strong shoulders from working on the farm. He was actually nicely muscular. The most arresting thing was his eyes. He had black eyes with a ring of brown in them. He was dark, very dark but he had a handsome face. the thing that people liked about Kamau the most was the fact that he had a good heart. He was always good to people.
Nyokabi went to their house and went to look for her father who had come home the night before. He was sitting in the sitting room watching TV.
Nyokabi said, “Dad, Kamau got an A. You had promised that if he did well you would give him a job and pay for his university.”
Mr. Mbaya looked at Nyokabi and said, “Nyokabi I thought you were taught better manners then that. First greet me then you can tell me what it is you want. Kamau got an A. well that’s good. He can come work in my office until he’s to start university then he will get money to pay his fees.”
“Dad I thought you said you will pay for him university?’ Nyokabi said.
“Young lady do I look like a charity? I have to look for money to pay for your degree in the UK. I don’t have money to waste on Kamau. He is not my son. If his parents had been hard working like me they would be able to afford to send him to university.”
“Dad, I told you I don’t want to study abroad. I want to go to university in Kenya. I want to study here!” cried Nyokabi.
“I have already paid the fees for the first term. You will leave in two weeks with the daughter of Njenga, the MP of Nyeri. You are going to be a great lawyer when you come back. That subject is closed!”
With those words Nyokabi’s heart sunk.
Kamau went home to tell his family the good news. His family was very happy for him and started making plans to have a family celebration.
That night when he went to bed he started thinking about Nyokabi. He could not believe Nyokabi had kissed him. It was strange. Kamau had started having feelings for her when he became a teenager but he had never told her. One because he was shy and two because her dad had become an mp when they were in standard eight and the social divide between them had grown.
As he lay in bed he thought about going to university and how becoming an architect would make it possible to afford the lifestyle that Nyokabi had gotten used to. He fell asleep dreaming about him and Nyokabi getting married and having 3 children.
Nyokabi wept as she lay in her bed. She could not believe that her dad could be so cruel and inconsiderate. She had all this plans in her head about going to university and convincing Kamau that they belonged together. During high school when the other girls had many boyfriends she had remained alone thinking only of Kamau.
She was not naïve. She knew that since her father became an MP and got rich they had a lot of money. There were now class differences between her and Kamau. But that didn’t matter. What matters is how I feel about him.
Nyokabi fell asleep trying to think of a way to make sure that her dad did not send her to UK.
CHAPTER 2 – HEARTBREAKS AND GOODBYES
The next morning was a very gloomy looking morning. The clouds were grey and dark and it looked like it would rain during the day.
Nyokabi woke up late because she had been tossing and turning because she couldn’t sleep well. She woke up tired. She went downstairs to have breakfast. Looking outside the main window she saw mama Nyambura standing outside.
Nyokabi frowned wondering what the old lady was doing there. Mama Nyambura was the village gossip and trouble maker. She seemed to like spreading trouble and gossiping about people. Nyokabi did not like her at all. “I guess the old witch wants to see my dad to ask him for money or something.”
She shrugged her sense of unease and went to the dinning room to eat breakfast. She sat nursing her tea and bread as she tried to think of what she could do to change her father’s mind.
She was just finishing her tea when she heard her dad bellowing “Nyokabi, Nyokabi!”
Nyokabi ran to her father’s office. “Yes, dad here I am”
Mr. Mbaya looked spitting mad. “Nyokabi is what I hear true? Where were you yesterday? What were you doing with Kamau?
Nyokabi was taken aback. “Dad I was just taking to Kamau in the shamba. We were discussing his results.”
Oh ok. So it’s not true what mama Nyambura is telling me. That you let that boy kiss you. That you let that filthy boy touch you.”
Nyokabi was left speechless for a minute. Mama Nyambura looked very satisfied. Her mischief was done and now she had gossip for the whole village. The MP’s daughter with the neighbor’s son. She wondered how much chumvi she could add to the story.
“Nyokabi answer me. Tell me you did not let that boy touch you. I am going to have that boy thrown in jail. How dare he touch you?”
Nyokabi tried to protest. “Dad it wasn’t like that. It was me ………”
That seemed to inflame her father further. “Oh it was you. Is that the girl you have become? Throwing yourself at any man. Is that what they teach you in school? What the hell were you thinking? I blame your mother. She is not watching over you. This boy will see who he is dealing with.”
Mr. Mbaya turned to Mama Nyambura. “Please go. I will deal with this matter. I will give you some money later. Don’t tell anyone what happened. If I hear this story will know it is you who has spread the story and you will be sorry!”
Mama Nyambura left.
Mr. Mbaya told Nyokabi. “After all I have done for you, you still think like a villager. I am very disappointed in you. You will never see that boy again. Go pack your things. I am taking you to Nairobi today. I will change the flight. You will leave for the UK today.”
Nyokabi was crying at this point. “Dad don’t…….’
“I don’t want to hear anything from you. Go get packed now. Let me deal with that villager. He will know who is playing with. I am going to have him arrested right now. No one touches my daughter. No one.’’ After saying that Mr. Mbaya stormed out.
Nyokabi was left in the office crying. Oh what a mess, she thought. She knew her dad was not joking when he said he would have Kamau arrested. What can I do?
She ran outside and went to the shamba behind the house. Kariuki a childhood friend of hers worked in the shamba for them. He had never finished high school and had gone to work for the Mbaya family to feed his family.
“Kariuki, Kariuki” she called. Kariuki came running.
“What is it Nyokabi?” he said.
Kariuki please do me a favor, run to Kamau’s house. Kamau should be in the shamba. Tell him he needs to go away. My father has gone to get the police to arrest him because he kissed me and Mama Nyambura told dad. Here, I have 200 shillings. Tell him to go hide in Nairobi because my father will hurt him.
Kamau was working in the shamba with his parents. His siblings were all in school but since he had finished high school he was now working to earn his keep.
Kamau was singing as he raised the jembe up and down to till the land. He had a deep melodious voice, the type of voice that would make the gals swoon. He had a Barry white sort of voice and in high school he had been very popular at the music festivals. All the high school girls would run to hear him sing and imagine that he was singing to them.
Kamau was happy. He felt like things were finally going right for him. He was formulating plans in his head about the things he would buy when Mr. Mbaya gave him a job.
“Kamau, Kamau” in the middle of his daydream he heard his name being called.
Kamau turned from where he was tilling to look up. He was at the bottom of the shamba near the river. He saw Kariuki running towards him. Kariuki was a childhood friend of his and he was wondering why Kariuki was looking for him at this time when he should also be working.
Kariuki ran down to him. He looked frightened. Kamau’s first thought was that something had happened to Nyokabi. Kamau asked, ‘what’s the matter? Is there something wrong with Nyokabi?’
Kariuki took a deep breath then said “Kamau there’s trouble. Mama Nyambura told Mr. Mbaya that she saw you kissing Nyokabi now he is mad. He is going to get the police to come and arrest you. Nyokabi says that you should go hide for a while.”
“What?” Kamau said.
Kariuki continued, “Nyokabi has given me two hundred shillings to give you. She said you should go to Nairobi until things calm down.”
By this time Kamau’s parents had come to hear what the commotion was about. When Kamau’s mum heard that Mr. Mbaya had gone for the police she started weeping. Everyone knew the police were not to be trusted and that they sold their services to the person who could pay the most money. Efficiency and effectiveness was based on how much you could part with from your pocket.
Kamau’s father took charge. “Kamau go pack your clothes. You can go live with your cousin in Mathare valley in Nairobi until things cool down. Mama Kamau go and wrap some sweet potatoes for Kamau.”
The family hurried to the house. Kariuki went back to tell Nyokabi that he had passed the message. Kamau did not have many clothes so he was packed in a few minutes. He hugged his mother then his father walked him to the matatu stage so that he could get a matatu to the center from where he would get a bus connection to Nairobi.
Kamau’s father told him, ‘my son don’t worry. We will resolve this issue. I will send a letter when it is safe to come back. Be good and don’t get into trouble.”
A matatu came right then and Kamau entered to start his journey to Nairobi. Kamau looked out of the window looking at his dad whose figure got smaller and smaller. Kamau was in shock, things had happened so fast that he had not internalized anything. Kamau had no way of knowing it but it would be very many years before it would be safe to come home again.
Mr. Mbaya entered the police station and asked to speak to the policeman in charge. The police station in the area was not as big as the ones with the city and so there were no senior policemen stationed there. You had to go down to the center to get the big guns.
As he waited for the sergeant to come and see him Mr. Mbaya was formulating his plan. He intended to have Kamau throw in jail and given a thorough beating for what he had done. He knew he had to spin the story so that Kamau looked really guilty. ‘I will make you pay for touching my daughter.’
When the sergeant came Mr. Mbaya told him that Kamau had forcefully kissed his daughter and had been about to do far worse things when a neighbor came and saved his daughter. He wanted Kamau to be arrested.
The sergeant got a couple of policemen together and he briefed them. He them told mweshimiwa that they had no fuel for the police car. Mr. Mbaya removed 1000 from his pocket and gave it to the sergeant.
Mr. Mbaya led the way in his car to where Kamau’s parents lived. The policemen went to the door and knocked. Mama Kamau opened the door.
The sergeant said, ‘mama where is Kamau? We are here to arrest him. He has committed a grave offence.’
Kamau’s mother said he was not there and said he had gone to take for the cows grazing which is what her husband had told her to say.
By this time Kamau’s father was walking back to the house. When he reached the house he greeted the mweshimiwa and the police like there was nothing wrong. He asked with a smile, Mr. Mbaya, what brings you here. It was been a long time since you visited our house. Mama Kamau please make for mweshimiwa and his escorts some tea,
Mr. Mbaya said, ‘I am not here for the tea. Your son assaulted my daughter Nyokabi. The police are here to arrest him.”
Baba Kamau looked shocked and then he said, “Mr. Mbaya are you sure. My son would never hurt your daughter. They are childhood friends and he would never ever hurt a woman.”
Mr. Mbaya by this time was spitting mad that he had not caught Kamau. He had wanted to be the first to take out his whip and beat the boy until he learnt about respect. He was not here to be told about Kamau’s good qualities. He said, “Your son assaulted my daughter. He was about to rape her when one of my workers came in and saved her. Since your son is not here we are going with you to the police station. When your son comes he will come find us at the police station. I am not stupid. You are hiding that boy. You are hiding that rapist.”
With that the police took baba Kamau to the land rover and drove off with him to the police station. Mama Kamau was left in the house not knowing what to do.
Back at Mr. Mbaya’s house Nyokabi was so scared she could not think. She decided to go talk to her mother hoping that she would talk sense into her dad. Her mother was in the kitchen boiling some maize. She told her mum the whole story as it had happened and told her mum to talk to her dad. “It wasn’t Kamau’s fault. It was mine. I am the one who put him into problems. Mum please talk to dad, please.”
Nyokabi’s mum promised to talk to her dad. Then she said, “We don’t want your dad to be angrier when he comes. Pack your things so that when he comes you can go to Nairobi. In the light of what has happened I think its best you go away for a while.” Seeing that Nyokabi was upset she said, ‘Nyokabi you are no longer a child and you have to stop acting like you are. This situation will not be easy to resolve and you refusing to go will make things worse. Or is there something else that you’re not telling me.” She said this looking at Nyokabi’s belly.
Nyokabi said, “Mum we didn’t do anything apart from kiss.” After saying that she burst into tears and ran to her room.
CHAPTER THREE – TRIBULATIONS
Kamau reached the city quite late. The roads were bad and it had taken a couple of hours to reach Nairobi. Because he didn’t know how to get to Mathare valley at night he had only gone there during the day he slept at the bus station. It seemed there were a lot of other stranded people who had to sleep there.
At that time there were no mobile phones so he could not call his cousin and his cousin lived in a slum with no telephone in his house. He was very careful with his money because he had heard people in Nairobi were bad. They could steal your shoes even as you watched.
In the morning Kamau woke up to the sound of bus conductors calling for customers to different destinations. Kamau stretched trying to make sense of where he was. He saw a man selling some mandazi’s and went to get some. He was very hungry. When he came back to where he had been sitting he found his bag was gone! When he had gone to get some food someone had stolen his bag.
Mr. Mbaya went back to the house in the evening a very disappointed man. The police had looked for Kamau around the village but had not found him. Kamau’s father was still in police custody being used as bait to get Kamau out of hiding.
When he got to the house he went looking for Nyokabi’s mother. “Mama Nyokabi,” he said, where is your daughter? We are leaving for Nairobi today. I hope she told you what she was doing with Kamau. This is all your fault! You should have taken care more about your daughter. Tell her to come downstairs now!” with that statement Mr. Mbaya stormed off to the bedroom.
Mama Nyambura went to get Nyokabi ready and to also collect her things as she was also going to Nairobi to see Nyokabi off.
Kamau was so shocked to find that his bag with his clothes was gone. He was so stunned that for about ten minutes he stood staring at the spot where he had spent the night. He was wondering what he would do now that his clothes and the map to his cousin’s house in Mathare valley were gone. At least he had put his money in his shirt pocket so that it could not disappear.
He sat down on the hard bench to think, his appetite had disappeared, and he could not even think about eating the mandazis in his hand which now seemed unpalatable. He calculated in his head what he needed for the journey to mathare valley. He had used most of the money for the trip but he had around 60 shillings left. “I hope its enough to get me where am going? The first thing is to get to Mathare valley to my cousin’s house.”
Kamau went to a conductor of a bus whose passengers had just alighted. He asked in Kiswahili “where can I get the matatu to Mathare?” the conductor gave him directions to another part of the city.
Kamau walked towards the direction he had been shown. He was looking at the buildings and the seemingly busy people who seemed like ants running around, everyone seemed to be in a hurry. In his mind he thought that it was a shame that he had come to the city under such bad circumstances. He had always liked coming to the city when his school used to come for music and drama festivals and also when he came to visit his cousins.
In an hour’s time after making many twists and turns in Mathare slums he found his cousin’s house. On knocking there was no reply. A neighbor came and said that his cousin Njoroge had left for the day to go to work in the construction site where he worked. He would have to wait for evening. The neighbor went back into his house not even bothered to invite Kamau in to wait for him.
Kamau sat outside the doorstep and wondered how rude and uncaring these Nairobians were that they would not watch out for their neighbors guests.
2 days later.
Nyokabi had landed at the airport in the UK. She was jet lagged, fatigued but the worst thing she was broken hearted. She could not believe things had turned out this way. Her father had taken the family back to Nairobi and changed her flight to leave the next day. She was to stay with her relatives in north London before she started school in 6 weeks. She had already done the interview for the British High Commission but she had been hoping that she could change her dad’s mind about studying abroad.
As she left the airport with her relatives she looked out at the surroundings. It was snowing and there was mist everywhere. She could not believe her father had banished her to this cold, strange place. She was trying to keep her emotions under wrap. Her relatives were excited to see her. They assumed that she was excited to be there. After all every Kenyan fantasized about the chance to go abroad and study or visit.
Nyokabi had cried during the flight. She had gone to the bathroom numerous times to cry. She had wished for her bed so that she could cry to her heart’s content but here she was stuck in a plane full of strangers so she could not give in to her misery in the open. She already missed Kamau and wondered what he was doing and how he was coping in Nairobi.
Nyokabi promised herself that she would not forget Kamau. I don’t know how but one day Kamau we will meet and we will be together and no one will separate us not even my father, she thought.
Kamau was wearing his cousin’s clothes. Since he had been robbed he had only the clothes he had been wearing. His cousin had come home in the evening and Kamau had told him what had transpired.
Njoroge had felt pity for Kamau. “You can stay here for as long as you like. That mp of ours has grown too big for his boots forgetting where he came from and that just the other day he was just like us.” Kamau had not eaten the whole day so he prepared for them a meal.
Njoroge suggested that Kamau should get a job at the construction site while he waited for the problem at home to cool down. It would also give Kamau a chance to make some money to buy clothes and some food while he was there.
Kamau agreed with the idea. The next day Njoroge went to the construction site to talk his supervisor about getting Kamau a job. Njoroge’s boss got him a job carrying stones with a wheelbarrow to the construction site.
Kamau had started work and found the work hard. The stones were very heavy and pushing them in the wheelbarrow was not an easy task. Kamau welcomed the work though because it kept him busy from thinking too much about what was going on at home.
‘I wonder how Nyokabi is doing? I hope Mr. Mbaya did not lock her up. And my parents I hope them are ok. Mr. Mbaya is capable of doing anything. But I will go home soon and then I will find out what happened.’
CHAPTER FOUR – FROM THE ASHES
FOUR YEARS LATER.
Nyokabi sat at the head table as she looked at the people in the room, her guests as it were to her graduation party. She had graduated from the University of London with a degree in law. After what had happened to her and Kamau she had felt helpless. She had wanted to help people be able to fight for her rights.
She wondered what had happened to Kamau. She had no one to give her the information. She had never come for holiday visits to Kenya, her father preferring to keep her away. Her parents and siblings had moved to Nairobi after the incident because of what had happened to Kamau.
From what she had gathered from her sisters, Kamau’s dad had been kept in jail for two months under orders from her father. He had said that Kamau’s dad would stay there until Kamau returned as it had been determined that the dad had taken his son to the bus stop and thus allowed his escape.
It is only after the village elders and Nyokabi’s mother’s intervention that kame’s dad was released. But during that time bad blood had developed between the villagers and the Mbaya’s family. Mr. Mbaya had been forced to take his family to Nairobi.
Since they did not have any friends in the village anymore, no one seemed to know what had happened to Kamau.
“So much for the dream that Kamau and I will find each other and live happily ever after. I know that after what my father did, Kamau will never want to talk to me again. I wish I could see him and tell him how sorry I am. I wish I had never kissed him not for my sake but for his. Maybe things would have turned out different.’ Nyokabi thought to herself.
Kamau sat in his office at Nyaga Construction Company. He was trying to finish doing the payroll for the construction workers. Kamau was the cashier for the construction company that had hired him four years ago. He had worked in construction rising up the ranks from carrying stones to being a fundi.
Two years ago the cashier had quit running away with some of the money for payroll. The boss was looking for someone to hire and was waiting to interview some candidates.
Kamau had seen this as his opportunity to get a better job. He had been tired of being a fundi. It was not something that required him to think. It was a routine job that was very repetitive and boring. He also needed money for university. His letter had come for the university and his parents had sent it to him.
He knew he could not apply for HELB because it would mean that Mr. Mbaya could track him down. He needed money to pay for his exams. So he went to talk to the boss.
“Sir, in high school I did accounts and got an A. I would like to apply for the position of cashier.” Kamau had said to the boss.
The boss was surprised. “If you got an A in accounts, what are you doing working as a laborer. Bring your papers and I will think about giving you a job on probation”
Kamau had already carried a copy of his KCSE certificate plus the original. He gave them to the boss.
The boss was shocked. “Son, you have an A. Shouldn’t you be university right now?”
Kamau explained that circumstances had forced him to look for a job just after high school. He now needed to pay for his university education and so that’s why he needed the job.
The boss agreed to hire Kamau as the cashier on probation for 3 months and if things worked out he would hire him permanently. The boss had been so impressed with Kamau’s good and hard work that he had even increased his salary so he could pay for his university education.
Kamau had given up the idea of doing architecture. It was a full time course with no classes in the evening. Kamau was heartbroken to give up his dream but he knew that in life sometimes you have to take the lemons and make lemonade. A year ago he had started his degree in the parallel programme. He was studying accounts and business. He was enjoying the course and the things he was learning.
As he sat in his chair he thought about his life. It had not turned out the way he expected or dreamed. He thought about Nyokabi a lot. He wondered what had happened to her. He knew that she had been forced to go to the UK. But since the parents had moved to Nairobi no one seemed to know what had happened to her.
Kamau had written a song in Kikuyu about her which he would play on his guitar. Some of it went something like this.
Nyokabi my beautiful one,
Your face haunts my dreams,
I wonder where you are.
Your beautiful face and your smile,
I hold in my heart.
You were my one true love,
I wish I could see you honey
And tell you how I feel.
My beautiful one,
I love you, come home to me.
Kamau played in a band called “the kikuyu calabashes.” He was actually the lead singer although he had come into the group as the last member. The group was composed of four guys and a girl.
It had all come about a year ago. Sometimes Kamau’s classmates from university parallel program would invite him out for a drink. It was at one of these nightclubs that he met Angela. He had no idea how that encounter would change his life.
Angela was the female singer and dancer for the band. She had moves like Shakira and had a full African figure. Big breasts and big hips. She was not what you would call beautiful. More like very pretty. But when she was up with the band she was sensational. No man could take his eyes off her. It’s like she spun a spell with her sexy voice and sensual seductive moves.
Kamau as was still naïve and sweet when he met her. When she finished her set Kamau went to congratulate her on her performance, telling her that she had a great voice but the man playing the guitar did not do justice to her voice.
Angela was a woman of the world, loved the sincere flattery that she heard from Kamau but she was not interested in his opinion. He looked like a simple guy. From his dressing you could tell that he didn’t make much and he had that cheap look that said he was probably a student. He was handsome, she thought and he had a deep voice that for a weaker woman would have made her tremble. But she was not a weaker woman.
She dismissed him as a bother. Angela looked out for number one. Herself. She was not interested in admirer’s who could do nothing for her. She had rent to pay and other things that needed money. But somehow that comment about the guitar player not doing her voice justice stuck in her mind.
The next night she invited her boyfriend over to hear her play. He was a record producer who had been telling her for ages that he would get her a demo tape. That had never materialized. Angela didn’t let it bother her. She knew he was using her and she was using him. Angela made sure that at any event she attended with her boyfriend she would attach herself to an important musician. Sometimes she would find herself going back to the musician’s house for a little fun. She didn’t mind. That’s how things were done. Some might have called her a groupie but she didn’t go by that. You would never find her following those musicians around begging for scraps of time or a photo opportunity. Angela was smart. She was not one of those women as she would tell herself. I am going to make it and make it big. Everyone will remember my name.
When it was time for her break she asked her boyfriend casually ‘baby you think the group is playing well. I thought the guitar wasn’t quite right?”
Her boyfriend replied “actually he is not that great. He is off key sometimes but unless you listen closely you can’t tell.’
Now this was interesting. Her boyfriend had never told her the guitar was off. Clearly he did not have her best interests at heart. Clearly it was time to let him go. He couldn’t help her anyway and she had heard that his studio was having money problems. “I don’t hang out with losers. Its time for you to hit the road,” she thought.
She thought about her problems. She tried to tell the guitar player to work on his skills but it seemed he thought he knew better. After all what did she know about guitar?
Two weeks later Kamau was back with his friends. Even though he had never quite gotten over Nyokabi, Angela was on his mind. He was infatuated with her. He had not really had time to socialize much in the city. With his busy job and university he was so swamped and tired at the end of the day all he wanted was his bed.
Kamau was no fool however. He understood signals and he had gotten the signs that Angela was just not interested. But it didn’t stop him from thinking about her. Her music drew him to her. She was like a flame that moths gravitated towards not knowing that their death might be imminent.
So when Angela came to his table at the break to say hi, Kamau’s heart almost stopped. He did not stop to think what could have brought about the change of heart.
Angela on that day was wearing a blue dress that clung to her like a second skin and left nothing to the imagination. It was a good thing Kamau had not watched the movie the devil in a blue dress otherwise he might have been more weary of Angela.
“Sweetie,” she said, how are you. I haven’t seen you for a while. I thought you liked my singing. I was sad when you didn’t come back!” as she sat at an empty seat that one of Kamau’s friends had just vacated to create room for her
Kamau could not believe that she had remembered him. He was mesmerized by her lips that had some shiny red lipstick that seemed to glitter. As if to heighten the effect she took a cigarette out of her stocking.
‘Sweetie, please light this cigarette for me,” Angela said. Kamau looked around to his friends to see who had a lighter. One of his friends who smoked gave Kamau his lighter. Kamau leaned in to light Angela’s cigarette which was now on her lips. He could smell her perfume, something light and fresh. It smelt heavenly.
Angela took a puff and then said, ‘honey I have been thinking about what you said about the guitar player. I think that it may be true that he is not so good. Would you happen to know how to play? I would like to see if there is a difference. Would you play with me one set? Please baby!” and with that she leaned forward and showed Kamau a glimpse of her cleavage.
Poor Kamau. He wasn’t thinking properly. Actually at that moment if she had told him to go to the moon he would probably have found a way there.
Kamau agreed. Angela went to the guitar player whose name was Michael and told him to go get a drink. She had gotten a friend of hers to do the next set. Michael went off, glad for a chance to get some beer and some rest. That gal is so pretty but she is such a bitch, he thought as he went to the bar to get himself a drink or two.
Kamau took the guitar and tuned it. It felt right in his hands. He did not have a guitar to play with at home. He had left his guitar when he had fled the village. But sometimes in the youth service he attended he was called to play and sing whenever there was a special guest coming in.
The music was flowing. Kamau had a gift for musical instruments. He could play and had played most instruments including the Isikuti while in high school. The only thing he had not learnt to play was the piano because his school could not afford one let alone hire a teacher to teach it.
At some point Angela asked Kamau whether he could sing and when he said yes, Angela asked him to join her in a song. The chemistry was amazing. The music sounded good to the ears. It was like collaboration between Barry White and Mariah Carey. At the end of the performance the audience clapped and cheered asking them to play another number together. They seemed to have real appreciation for the duet.
When Angela saw how people were appreciating the music more and seemed to be focused on her, she realized something. She had to get Kamau into the band and under her thumb. He was going to be her ticket to fame.
And that is how Kamau started playing in the band “the kikuyu calashes” as the lead singer and guitarist. Kamau had no way of knowing it at the time but this band would change his life and fortunes.
Nyokabi sat on her bed and wept. The party for her graduation and homecoming had taken place hours ago. The party had wound up at around 2 o’clock with people going off to various spots to enjoy themselves. But Nyokabi had not felt like celebrating. Her degree seemed to her an empty trophy. She could swing it around yes and show everyone but somehow to her it meant nothing.
The past four years that she had spent in UK doing her degree and pupilage had seemed to have dragged on. She had hated the winter. The place was so bloody cold. She wondered how anyone would survive and thrive in such an environment. She had wanted the sun, its warmth on her face as she woke up and went through her day. The weather had just made more depressing a situation she had not wanted to be.
She had not wanted to go to the UK. She planned to hate it with all her heart and grudgingly do her degree. Eventually though she found that the city had cast a spell on her and she started to love it. There was nothing to go home to. No one knew where Kamau was and she hated her father with all her heart for what he had done.
Nyokabi chatted with her mum every week. On Saturday night she would call her and they would catch up. She had tried to tell her mum about email but her mother just didn’t seem to get the concept so they were forced to write each other letters. She would get so excited to get letters from her mum and sisters. Her dad wrote too but she didn’t care about that. Nyokabi largely ignored him unless she was asking for money for allowance and expenses.
Nyokabi had a social one through a screwed one. She had made friends with a couple of girls and they had become close. But men, she stayed away from them. The experience with Kamau had scarred her. It was partly because she was in love with him and was sorry for ruining his life and also the guilty at what her dad had done ate at her. She did not want to be distracted from her studies by men who were just passing time with her.
She would think, “one day I will go back to Kenya and find Kamau. Maybe there is still a chance for us to be together, to be happy.”
But as the years past Nyokabi gave up on the illusion of love and of finding Kamau. “He probably has a girlfriend or two. He is so handsome and his voice…..” she would think.
By second year she had mellowed at least a bit. Nyokabi started going out with the girls out on the town to have a great time. She did not drink much though. She was scared of what might happen if she set herself loose. Nyokabi had seen what happened to some girls when they got drunk. They would strip their clothes or start singing at the top of their voices. Sometimes they would let a man take them home.
“That life is not for me. I want to get my degree and go home. I don’t want attachments or one night stands.” Nyokabi had not let go of her old fashioned values. She did sometimes though wish she had a boyfriend who loved her and cherished her like some of her friends had.
Nyokabi put all her energy into school. She always ended up in the dean’s list. She was an outstanding student but a D average in social skills.
Some campus guys were fascinated by her. She was very beautiful even by standards outside of Kenya. They kept trying to woo her and were not rebuffed when she said no. they tried again and again. Eventually they got the message that “Nyokabi was not available”
So here was Nyokabi back in Nairobi. She had her degree in law but she had no love. The worst thing was Nyokabi felt lost. She felt like she was caught in a time warp. Things had changed and no one had time for her. Her sisters were close probably because they had not been banished abroad although they went to expensive schools in the city and one was in 1st year at university.
Nyokabi had tried asking her mum about Kamau. Mrs. Mbaya had looked at her daughter with a sad look in her eyes and said, “Kamau’s mum no longer speaks to me and no one from the village has told me anything. They all despise us for what your father did. But I heard I don’t know if it is true that Kamau is working as a clerk somewhere in the city.’
Nyokabi’s heart had sunk at that news. Kamau with all his potential was a clerk. She thought Kamau must hate her and curse her every day for that kiss. She had no doubt at all that Kamau was in that situation because of her and her dad.
“I am going back to UK. There is nothing for me here. At least there I have friends and I have a purpose. I don’t want to stay here,” she thought as she buried her face in her pillow and tried to get some sleep.
Mr. Mbaya relaxed in the tent outside his house. He took a sip of his expensive whiskey as his friends chatted all around him. “This was all worth it. My daughter is a graduate of a prestigious university with a law degree.”
Mr. Mbaya frowned as he thought of how that imbecile boy had almost ruined his daughter’s future. Mr. Mbaya had no apologies what so ever for what he had done. He felt he had been justified in what he had done. Given a chance he would have done it all over again.
As he looked as his beautiful expensive house in Karen with a view of the Ngong hills he thought, “Look how far I have come. With my brains and sweat I have gotten myself here. Who would imagine a simple poor village boy would get this far.”
Mr. Mbaya had been born Jon Mbaya Mburu. He had been the last born of a family of six children. His father had been a teacher and his mother a stay home mother and farmer. When he was two his father abandoned them and went to the city to look for better fortunes. He had never returned. His mother had been forced to raise him and his siblings out of her earnings from the farm. Before his father left Mbaya and the family had not exactly been staving but they had gotten by. When his dad left there was no money.
Eventually to make money maze’s mum started brewing traditional changaa. There were always men, drunk men around their house. Sometimes one of them would become a temporary occupant of his mother’s bed.
Mbaya grew up hating his circumstances. “I will get out of here. I promise. One day I will get out of here and I will never look back. I will not be poor like this forever. I will make it no matter what it takes.”
Mbaya would go to school in the mornings. Well, when there was no work in the shamba or helping his mum get the ingredients for the changaa. Making changaa wasn’t easy. The police were always coming around for a bribe or sometimes for a drink. Sometimes especially when there was a new boss at the station there would be harsh measures. The police would come and carry away the drums of changaa and his mother to boot. She would end up spending a couple of days in the cell while she negotiated her release.
During those times the family would go hungry. Everyone around them was also poor. They did not have money to feed 8 empty mouths, the two extra being children Mbaya’s mum had gotten with different men who had stayed over for a couple of months before moving on.
By the time Mbaya was ten all of his siblings had left. His two sisters had gotten pregnant and married the losers who had gotten them that way. Their lives were pretty much what their mother’s had been. Suffering and more suffering. Mbaya’s brothers had all gone to the city to look for money and their father. They promised to return and save the family. None did. It’s like they left the filthy hut with the fermented smell and the black cockroaches and say au revoir.
So by the age of ten Mbaya was the defunct head of the family. Mbaya was clever. He found ways to hide mtungi’s of changaa far away from the house where the cops even if they came would never find them. He also found a way to distribute the changaa so as to make maximum profits. He would borrow a bicycle sometimes and cycle with some of the changaa and distribute it. Soon people started sending him to other areas to buy and sell for them things. He would charge them a commission.
By the time Mbaya was seventeen he had bought two bicycles of his own. He used them for transporting goods throughout the region and he had expanded his area of operation. He had even made friends with the police. Paying the police a monthly bribe to stay away from the operations. He even distributed changaa at the police station. The changaa he made was very good, he had taken over from his mum who had succumbed to the lure of alcohol and started consuming her own brew.
By the time Mbaya was 22 he had one of those Peugeot matatu’s to ply people along the route from his home area to other areas. Mbaya kept expanding his operations until by the time he was 25 he was very well off.
After that he moved his base of operations to river road. He had stopped dealing in changaa when his mum died when he was 18. But he had learnt lessons from doing that business that he brought to the city. Including how to put the police into his pocket.
Mbaya had met his wife in the city and they got married. He had never told her where he had come from, telling her that he was an orphan who had siblings but they did not talk. He had bought land where his wife’s family came from and that’s where they had settled.
Now as Mr. Mbaya looked at his house and laughed with his wealthy friends he was content. “Look at me now. I have made it. And I have plans for Nyokabi. She doesn’t know it but she is going to make me an extremely wealthy and influential man.”
CHAPTER FIVE –THE UGLY DUCKLING BECOMES A SWAN
Five years Later.
“Ebony and the calabashes playing at 7.30 pm Friday” flashed in neon lights at the prestigious Playful Kittens nightclub in London.
Kamau looked up at the sign as he got out of the cab which had brought him from the hotel. He smiled. He had come from very far to get here. He was the Ebony in the band. It had taken him five years to get to this moment. This gig in London.
Five years ago he had started playing with the kikuyu calabashes as a guitarist. He had composed a couple of songs for them to play and then he became the lead singer as well. His voice had attracted many fans. Because of his fame he got a recording contract as a solo artist. He started going by the name Ebony. Eventually the band started working for him as his backup band. The band changed to Ebony and the Kikuyu calabashes.
He hadn’t neglected his studies though. He had finished his degree in accounting and graduated with highest honours. This had helped him in knowledge of how to manage his money and invest his money. He had made a lot of investments which had made him wealthy.
In the last five years he had gotten many recording contracts. His voice had made him famous and rich too. He had sung in front of many crowds and VIPS. As his fame grew he got more gigs playing outside the country. In the last three years he had been playing all over Africa, in the states and in Europe.
Kamau was in London to play at the Playful Kittens nightclub. But that wasn’t his main gig. He had been hired 3 months before to play at the engagement party of some big shot Kenyan lawyer working in the UK.
Kamau entered the club and went to check on the sound equipment. He always had made sure that the equipment was working. The band was already there doing a sound check. Angela was there as well looking sexy as usual.
“Ah Angela,” thought Kamau, “my sweet Angela. The poisoned apple”
Angela had introduced him to the band. She had seduced him to get him to join but just fell short of sleeping with him. Later when he had become famous and his fame overshadowed hers she realized how the winds were blowing and she tried to jump on the ship that was sailing faster than hers. She had tried to seduce him to her bed but by this time Kamau was wise to her. He realized when working with her that she was a woman who liked to use men. Kamau did not intend to be a victim. One woman had already cost him a lot. He didn’t intend for another to mess him up again.
His new motto was, “keep your money close, and your heart closer.”
Kamau never got rid of Angela. Part of it was gratitude for getting him into the band as an unknown. Part of it was because Angela had a great voice and an even better body. She knew how to dance and move and keep the audience captivated. It would be a foolish thing to get rid of her though sometimes Kamau wondered at the wisdom of keeping her as well.
Kamau dated when he had time. He had never forgotten Nyokabi but he realized he had to move on. Unfortunately no one touched his heart enough for him to settle.
Nyokabi looked out of her penthouse apartment in the middle of London. It was snowing outside. Inside the gas heater was turned up and it kept the room warm. Her heart was cold though. It felt like ice.
Nyokabi’s fiancé David Mureithi was due to pick her up for dinner. She didn’t feel like eating. Actually she didn’t feel like seeing David at all but she had to and that was that.
“What was I thinking, getting engaged to David? I don’t love him! He is a really nice guy. I have known him for ages and his ideal husband material. Why can’t I love him? What’s wrong with me?”
Nyokabi’s father had introduced her to David at a party when she had come back to Kenya during one of her undergraduate years. He was the son of a Minister. David worked as a lawyer for a big financial firm in UK. He was in Kenya on holiday. Nyokabi and David hit it off and became friends.
David was interested in Nyokabi. He tried to ask her out but she kept refusing when they were back in London. When they came down for a wedding to Kenya for a mutual acquaintance he tried again to ask her out. Mr. Mbaya noticed his interest and asked him to join him for a golf game. After playing golf Mr. Mbaya and David went for drinks.
After a few drinks Mr. Mbaya got down to business. “I have noticed that you seem interested in my daughter. What are your intentions?”
David said ‘well sir, I like your daughter and I would really like to know her better. But she rejects any attempts I make. I have asked around but she’s not dating anybody. I don’t understand it. She says she likes me but she’s not interested in dating”
Mr. Mbaya took a sip of his beer. He thought of how he would approach this. He saw David as his ticket to bigger things. If Nyokabi married David he would have access to the big time and those stupid villagers who were trying to sabotage his plans would be like insects to him.
Mr. Mbaya did what he does best. He lied. “I told Nyokabi to concentrate on her studies and not be distracted by relationships. I think she took my advice too seriously.” He laughed.
Mr. Mbaya continued “I think she likes you a lot. But of course her studies come first. If you are serious about her. You will wait. She is almost through with her degree and she wants to do her masters in International Law. After that she will be free. I have no objection with you dating her. Let her finish her studies.” What he didn’t add was it would give him more time to work on Nyokabi to get her to go out with David.
David said “am serious about Nyokabi. She is a great woman. I will wait.”
David had kept his word. He didn’t disturb Nyokabi any more about dating her. He went out with other women in the meantime. He was a man after all and he had needs. He was not an angel to wait for a woman who would not be available for three years.
In the meantime Mr. Mbaya was working his magic on Nyokabi. Trying to convince her to give David a chance. When she finished her masters in law she came back to Kenya.
Mr. Mbaya called her in for a meeting in his office.
“Nyokabi now that you have finished your masters, what are you planning to do?”
Nyokabi replied. “I was planning to get a job here. I am planning to apply for some jobs after a short holiday.”
Mr. Mbaya said “I have gotten you a job with a London firm. I have pulled some stings and you will report there after your holiday.”
Nyokabi said “but dad I was planning…..”
Mr. Mbaya said, “I know what you were thinking. But no, I did not pay all of that money for you to do your degree and masters for you to waste it in Kenya! International exposure will help you in your future. I am only trying to help you.”
Nyokabi sighed and said “if you say so dad.”
“Another thing, David works in the firm where you’re going to be working. Look him up! I know you’re not going out with anybody and he is a good man,” Mr. Mbaya said.
Nyokabi said, “Dad?”
Mr. Mbaya said, “No am not trying to set you up but David is a good man. He acted very interested in you a couple of years ago. You’re not getting any younger Mr. Mbaya said.
Nyokabi said, “Dad?”
Mr. Mbaya said, “No am not trying to set you up but David is a good man. He acted very interested in you a couple of years ago. Your not getting any younger you know. Now that you’re done with your masters you should settle down at a job and get married. I want grandkids. You should give David a chance.”
Nyokabi said, “I will think about it.”
Nyokabi shook her head to clear the memories of the past. “Yap,” she thought bitterly, “that’s what brought me to this moment.”
Between her father and David they had worn down her resistance until she ended up going out with Dennis. Eventually she agreed to marry him.
I don’t love David. But then again I don’t love anybody else right now. Let me just get over with this,” Nyokabi thought.
Nyokabi engagement party was the next day. They had waited four months to throw their engagement party because of their work schedules and the availability of all the members of their families. David had gotten a famous band from Kenya to play. Nyokabi didn’t know them. She didn’t much listen to Kenyan music.
Nyokabi decided to get ready. It wouldn’t do to be late. She and David were having dinner with the Lead partner at their firm and his wife. David was a senior partner but she wasn’t. David and some of his friends had decided to go into business for themselves and formed a new firm two years ago. Nyokabi had naturally moved to the new firm. Actually she hadn’t wanted to move but her father told her to launch herself on David’s star which would be shinning for a very long time.
‘Why do I let my dad and David bully me? Am a grown woman. I can make decisions for myself,” Nyokabi thought angrily.
CHAPTER SIX – BITTERSWEET REUNION
The next day
Kamau and the band went to set up. The address for the engagement party they were playing at was very posh. There were beautiful mansions, with huge lawns, flowering trees, and green fences fortified with electric fences. They made houses in Lavington, Runda, or Kitisuru look like they were middle class houses.
The engagement party was at 7 pm. It was 2pm. Events in people’s house’s usually involved a lot of issues so it was important to get there early, set up, do sound checks etc.
Kamau looked at the houses. He wondered what kind of people lived there. He didn’t envy them. He had seen what money did to people and he always wondered what people did to get big mansions and expensive apartments. He had money, yes, actually now with careful investments he was rich but he didn’t let it get to his head.
By 6 ‘clock they had finished all their preparations. The maid had called them to a separate room where they were served with food and drinks so that they could play throughout the session. They were to play from 7 to 10 pm.
By 6:30pm they were back in the ballroom. They started performing some melodies to get in tune. Ebony and the Calabashes played a mixture of kikuyu, Kiswahili and English songs but they mostly did kikuyu music.
At 7 pm the function started. Most of the guests hadn’t arrived by 8 pm. It was a Kenyan habit to be late to functions. The Host, a David mureithi, had already come and told Kamau to play the song “Nyokabi” when he went to the door.
“My fiancée is called Nyokabi and she is very beautiful. I want it to be a surprise for her. When I walk in with her please play the song,” said David.
Nyokabi was running late. Her family was staying at her house and they had delayed her. Having four women in the same house going for the same event was a disaster. They were running late by an hour. Nyokabi could have done without attending the event at all but you can’t miss your own engagement party.
Nyokabi thought to herself “I feel like a lamb going to the slaughter.”
Eventually they arrived at David’s mansion. It has been a present given to him by his father who was a very wealthy Kenyan minister. He had told his son David that since he didn’t plan to go back to Kenya then he could keep the house permanently.
There were Mercedes, limousines parked in the driveway with an occasional Japanese car. The limousine they were in was cleared to drive in to the front.
Nyokabi called David to tell them her and her family had arrived. David and his family came to the door to receive them.
When Nyokabi walked in the door she heard a song playing in Kikuyu. It was something about a beautiful girl called Nyokabi. The voice singing the song was so rich and deep. She looked immediately to the stage at the front and gasped.
Kamau was playing the song Nyokabi when the most lovely angel walked in on David’s arm. She was dressed in a red satin dress that clung to her curves. He thought “damn that woman is hot. David was right. His fiancée is very beautiful”
When the woman saw him it was like she was struck by lighting. She stopped, gasped, and looked at Kamau straight in the eye across the room.
Kamau got stunned for a few seconds and lost his voice. Luckily the band was covering him so it didn’t become apparent.
Kamau felt like his eyes were deceiving him. It couldn’t be yet it was. It was Nyokabi. A very beautiful, grown up Nyokabi. And she was engaged to David.
Nyokabi froze. She thought she was in a dream or something. It was Kamau, standing there playing the guitar, singing a song about her.
David didn’t seem to notice her fascination with the tall, handsome man on the stage. He thought she was talking time to appreciate the song about her.
“I thought it would be a surprise. I can tell from your face that you’re surprised. A song about a woman called Nyokabi. It’s like he wrote the song about you, “David said and chuckled.
David continued, “It’s a very popular song in Kenya. The singer Ebony wrote it a couple of years ago. Maybe later I’ll introduce you and you can get a signed autograph. Beautiful song. I love it. Every time I hear it I think of you!”
Nyokabi was speechless. She didn’t know what to say. Anyway what could she say? ‘David that’s the boy I fell in love with many years ago. The boy I shared my first kiss with. The boy whose family my father destroyed. The boy who has now become a man.”
Nyokabi didn’t like to drink. She usually had one glass of wine but that time she needed courage to endure the night.
CHAPTER SEVEN – LOVE REKINDLED.
Kamau could not believe it. He continued playing. His mind was in turmoil. He was thinking about Nyokabi being in London at the event he was playing at and being the bride to be.
At ten when the guests were leaving David brought Nyokabi to say hallo.
“My dear fiancée was impressed by your song. I think she wants an autograph. Let me leave her here to find out how you wrote a song about a girl just like her. Your band was amazing. Well worth the money I paid.”
Kamau and Nyokabi stared at each other. For a few minutes they stood there just looking at each other, saying nothing.
Nyokabi said finally, “I am sorry!”
“For what?” asked Kamau.
Nyokabi said with a shaky voice, “for everything my father did to your family. For everything that happened to you. I am so sorry. Please forgive me”
Kamau smiled and said “you have nothing to be forgiven. It’s your father who did all those things. Anyway I let it go. It would have made me a very bitter man. Anyway I have left your father to God’s judgment. He will get his just reward.”
They stood in silence for a few minutes.
Kamau asked “so what do you do now?”
“I am a lawyer,’ replied Nyokabi, “I work for David.”.
“Oh okay.” Kamau said.
“So you’re a singer. You’re very good. I loved your voice even when we were young,” said Nyokabi.
Kamau said “thank you. I see your doing well. A lawyer now and marrying into a rich family. Your father must be proud.”
Nyokabi winced then said “it’s not like that.” Then she said, “Actually it is like that. But what was I supposed to do. I know my dad is not a good man but he does love me. He thinks David will make a great husband.”
Kamau laughed and asked, “Nyokabi your still very naïve even if you’re a lawyer. Is marrying David going to be what’s best for you or best for your father? Your father is not a good man. He has known criminal connections in Kenya. Wake up and smell the coffee.”
Kamau picked his guitar, put his hand in his pocket, and brought out a card. “Here’s my card. If you ever decide to out from under your father’s thumb call me. But know I will not wait forever. Now that I have met you again I don’t want to lose you but you have to make a decision about what you want.”
2 weeks later.
Nyokabi sat on her bed with her suitcases. The last two weeks she had been contemplating what to do. To stay with David or to go look for Kamau. She was torn between the loyalty she felt to her father, her family and her heart, which told her that Kamau was the man for her. One look at him and all the feelings she had felt as a young girl had come rushing back.
Nyokabi was supposed to be flying to Kenya in the morning. Her wedding was in two months. The firm had given her three months off for her wedding preparations and honeymoon.
Nyokabi had spent the last two weeks walking around like a zombie and thinking about what she should do. She couldn’t believe what Kamau had said about her father. She decided to call a friend of hers who was practicing law in Kenya to ask.
The news was not good. When her friend called back after investigating she told her that apparently it was true that her father had criminal businesses and connections.
Nyokabi was devastated. In a span of two weeks she had found the love of her life again and discovered that her father was not the man she had thought he was.
Nyokabi confided in no one these things. She didn’t even confront her father. So much made sense to her now. Why her father wanted her to study law. Why he had pushed her to go out with David.
“I am just a pawn to my father. A pawn to be protected and then sacrificed when needed. I can’t believe this. I think mum tried to tell me not to trust dad but I refused to listen. I was so blind.”
Nyokabi stared at her mobile phone debating on who to call. Her father or Kamau.
Finally she picked up a card and called the number of Kamau. They talked for a few minutes. She wrote a letter, put her engagement ring in it, sealed it and but it on her coffee table. Then she picked up her suitcases, paused at the door and walked out of the house she never intended to ever return to.
Six months later.
(On a beach at an undisclosed location)
Nyokabi lay on her back on a beach chair in a red bikini. She was enjoying the warmth of the sun. Her body glistened with the sunscreen and baby oil she had applied to it.
Suddenly she felt warm hands on her back and a voice saying “hey beautiful lady. Want me to apply some sunscreen on your back. You missed a spot. Am ready and willing to be your slave each and every day to oil that beautiful body.”
Nyokabi laughed and turned. She gave Kamau a beautiful smile and pulled his face down to hers for a passionate kiss. Her wedding ring sparkled in the sun.