Alice had two goals when she went to campus; get a degree and get a husband. At least, that’s what her parents told her. Since she studied far from home, she mostly dated men from different tribes. Even though she enjoyed their company, she knew her parents would never approve of anyone from a different tribe. This was one of the reasons she felt she could introduce Tony to her parents.
Four months after she started dating Tony, she took him home. Or rather, he dropped her home, and Alice’s mother insisted he comes in for tea. He checked her boxes; he seemed like he was doing well in life, he came from the right tribe, and the daughter looked happy.
Alice met Tony during a long holiday break in her second campus year. She went to university in the western part of the country. She got a job in Nairobi for the break while staying with one of her cousins. That’s how she met Tony, who was a businessman.
He was charming and knew how to use his resources to get what he wanted. Alice was the object of his desire. He took her to exquisite hotels in and out of town. It was a different experience feeling for Alice. He cared for her, checked on her regularly and even provided financial support.
When Alice introduced Tony to her parents, they were delighted. Since the first meeting was unplanned, he gave Alice’s mother some money for shopping and promised to come again. Soon Alice would spend over at Tony’s with her parent’s blessings. When schools reopened, Alice returned to campus and couldn’t get a hostel room, so she needed to rent a house off campus. Tony paid for it. Gradually, Tony took over all her bills.
While there was no talk of marriage, Alice was encouraged to play her cards right with Tony. Additionally, Tony would send Alice’s parents money occasionally. Everything seemed perfect, so when the first red flag popped, Alice couldn’t see it.
She was on campus on the weekend. By now, she was in her third year of campus and was more focused, so she frequently had group discussions. She put her phone on silent mode for concentration and missed Tony’s calls. After the discussion, one of the guys escorted her home. She found an angry Tony in his car.
“Who is this?” Tony asked her.
“This is Charlie, we just had a group discussion,” she responded.
“So this small boy is the reason you’re not picking up my calls?” Tony asked.
“Babe, I was avoiding distractions. I didn’t know you were coming.”
“Oh please, I know how campus girls behave. Open the door I need to sleep,” Tony ordered her.
Alice had prepared extra food earlier, so she didn’t have to cook at night. She offered Tony ugali and greens.
“With all the money I send you, why are you eating like this? Why is there no meat in this food?” He asked, looking disgusted and pushed the plate. He pushed it with too much force because it fell and broke.
Alice broke down in tears. She didn’t understand what was going on.
“Why are you crying? Clean it up,” Tony shouted.
He went out and drove off. Three hours later, he returned smelling of meat but didn’t bring any for Alice. He came back still angry at Alice and insulted her, accusing her of infidelity. Alice cried for most of the night.
In the morning, Tony asked Alice to delete and block Charlie’s number, and all would be forgiven. She didn’t try to explain anything again; she just did as she was told. Once she did it, he went back to show her affection. He took her out and told her it was her fault he had gotten so angry.
Weeks later, Alice went to see Tony in Nairobi. She didn’t have classes, so she decided to stay for a week. One evening as she opened for Tony, her neighbour said hello. Tony also greeted the neighbour, but things took a turn once they got inside the house.
“How do you know the neighbour?” Tony asked Alice.
“I don’t know him besides bumping into him on the stairs,” Alice responded.
“Don’t lie to me! Is this what you do all day long when I live you in the house?” Tony asked and slapped her.
Alice ran into one of the bedrooms. She called her mother, crying.
“Mum, he hit me,” Alice cried.
“What did you do to provoke him?” Her mother asked.
“Nothing, the neighbour said hi and he accused me of cheating with him,” Alice cried.
“Men can be like that sometimes. Is he doing everything else for you?” She asked.
“Then you pick the good and tolerate the bad,” her mother advised.
“But mum, I didn’t do anything.”
“Wait for him to cool down then talk to him and don’t provoke him again,” the mother said.
Tony came to apologize. He claimed he loved her so much, but she kept provoking him by flirting with other men. She tried to tell him that she was innocent, but he insisted that it must have been the way she looked at the neighbour that gave the wrong impression. Tired of arguing, Alice let it go.
The rest of the stay wasn’t any better. Suddenly Tony had a problem with her short clothes. He started picking out outfits for her. When she protested, he would slut shame her. They had a huge fight, and Tony left her in the house. He came back in the wee hours of the morning drunk and with lipstick stains on his t-shirt. Alice tried to ask about the lipstick, but she got blows and kicks as answers.
“How dare you question me!” Tony yelled.
She locked herself in the bathroom until morning.
Alice decided to go back to school. Tony woke up and saw the bruises on her. He tried begging her not to leave, but she had made up her mind. On the way back to campus, Alice got a call from her mother. She told her that Tony had called and apologized. He had also promised that he would never do that to her again. Tony had also sent some shopping money to her parents.
The physical pain she felt was a reminder of what Tony had done. She refused to forgive him for a few weeks. She didn’t even pick up his calls. The end of the month came, and she needed to pay rent. She asked her parents, but they told her she needed to make up with Tony because he took good care of her. Feeling trapped, Alice looked for Tony.
He sounded excited to hear from her. They decided he would see her. Alice also realized she had missed her period, so she took a pregnancy test. It was positive. She couldn’t cry enough. The only silver lining was that she had reconciled with Tony, and she hoped the news would motivate him to treat her better.
“Babe, I have missed you. I’m so glad you decided to let the past go,” Tony said, embracing her.
The evening went well; they had lots of fun. For a moment, Alice saw the ‘old’ Tony, the man she had fallen in love with, and she decided that was the perfect time to tell him about the pregnancy.
“Tony, I need to tell you something.”
“Is anything the matter?” Tony asked.
“Not quite but I found out that I am pregnant.”
“What? Whose child is that? Who were you with after you abandoned me?” Tony asked as he moved a step back from her.
“Nobody. I should be slightly over a month pregnant which ties in with the last time we were together,” Alice said in tears. She was shocked by his reaction.
“You slut! You’re lying!” He started beating her. Alice’s screams attracted the neighbours’ attention, and they knocked on the door.
Tony had to stop beating her, but by then, she was bleeding. It was no surprise when the doctor told her she had lost the pregnancy. She called her mother, who cried with her but didn’t mention Tony.
Alice knew she wouldn’t get back with Tony, but she needed a solution for her bills because it was clear that her parents would not foot them. Luckily, one of her friends who helped her recuperate knew of a girl looking for a roommate, so she linked them up. Alice learned how to do online freelance work, which was how she got through the rest of campus.
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