Would you travel hundreds of kilometres in the middle of the night in a matatu just to be with your person? Most people would and so I didn’t think much of it when my boyfriend asked me to join him in Mombasa. He had gone for a work trip but two days later, he was already missing his baby. I thought it was so sweet that he couldn’t stay more than two days away from me. However, it wasn’t sweet when we ended up at the police station.
We were young and wildly in love. That’s my excuse. Our relationship was straight out of a soap opera. I hated him at first but he pursued me relentlessly and I fell head over heels for him. Though it was cheesy, the love was real which is why I would have done anything for him and vice versa.
Ironically, my friends didn’t like him yet they liked all my other toxic exes. This made me love him even more.
“He has a funny accent.” My best friend commented.
“Don’t say that,” I warned him.
He did have a slight Kikuyu accent but I didn’t care as long as he loved me. However, what he lacked in physical looks, he made up for in personality. He had a really nice sports bike which he used to take me on road trips with. It took a lot of convincing but eventually, I gave in to make him happy and it was the best decision of my life.
We travelled all over the country with his bike. It got to a point that it was another part of my life and it felt awkward if we didn’t go for a trip during the weekend. Naturally, we had a few encounters with the police but most of them just took bribes and let us go.
A few months into our relationship, he got to travel to Mombasa to attend a work conference. Naturally, he went on his bike but I couldn’t accompany him since I had some family matters to attend to.
“I’ll be there for a week.” He said.
“Okay. I’ll come after the family event.”
“Awesome. Do you need transport money?”
“Of course,” I answered jokingly but he sent me Ksh 3000 after we ended the call.
I went to the family event and that same night, I rushed back home, packed a small bag and headed to town to board a night bus to Mombasa. The trip was smooth and we got there on time. I found my boyfriend waiting for me at the bus stop and he took me to the hotel.
“I have to go to the conference in a few minutes but there’s a restaurant in the hotel you can go and eat if you’re hungry.” He then gave me some money.
I slept for most of the day and only woke up in the afternoon to go and have lunch. After lunch, I took a walk to the beach to kill some time and check out the place. It was my first time in Mombasa and I wanted to make the most of the visit before going back.
My boyfriend came back in the evening and after dinner, we decided to go for a night ride on his bike.
“I hope the police won’t spoil the fun,” I said.
We never went on night rides, especially in places where we didn’t know very well. However, Mombasa was a vibrant place even at night so we knew that we would be safe. We had so much fun riding through those Mombasa streets with views of the ocean. We ended up in Nyali where we stopped for a quick ice cream date.
My boyfriend had left the bike in the parking lot and when we came back we found 5 police officers surrounding it.
“What’s going on?” My boyfriend asked.
“Are you the one with this bike?” They asked.
He said yea and that was when chaos ensued.
“This is a stolen bike.” One of the police said.
We were both confused since my boyfriend had that bike for 3 years and no one ever told him that it was stolen. We thought that it was the usual police harassment so my boyfriend tried to pay a bribe.
“You need to come with us to the police station.” One of them barked as they bundled us into the police car.
It was only when we got to the police station that we realized how serious things were. The police weren’t even talking to us. We kept being moved from one room to another until one of the police came to question us.
“Madam, how are you involved with this man?”
“He’s my boyfriend.”
“And what do you know about the bike?”
“He has had it since I met him.”
After answering a few more questions, they asked me to leave but I stayed at the station waiting for my boyfriend. Hours passed and he was still in the room. Anytime I tried to find out what was going on, the police would tell me to go home. I even called a lawyer friend to help me out but since he wasn’t there in person there wasn’t much he could do.
The police started threatening to put me in the cell and that was when I finally left. I didn’t even know how I would get to the hotel since it was so late and there were no matatus. After walking a short distance, I saw some cabs and asked one to take me to the hotel.
I went back to the police station the next day with some food to see my boyfriend. Just as I suspected, the police just wanted a bribe. However, they wanted a lot of money since they said that the bike was indeed stolen. My boyfriend had to raise Ksh 50,000 to get out.
He managed to do it after a whole day of calling all his friends and relatives. Thankfully, the conference had finished the previous day so nobody from his work found out what had happened. Immediately he got out, we went to the hotel, got our things, left Mombasa and swore never to go back.
Our relationship ended a couple of months later due to unrelated reasons. However, we remained friends and every now and then, we recall that Mombasa trip and have a good laugh.
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