My people, do you remember Joel? We talked about him here. The tall black guy I met in a matatu that evening the rains flooded the streets of Nairobi…Remember now? Well I needed a saviour and the shoe fit him perfectly. Because a bunch of notorious folk have broken the trustworthness of Mpesa payments. Y’all be sending money to these dondas then proceed to reverse. Ah! That’s how Joel ended up paying my fare then I Mpesad him instead. Naah! I didn’t. He insisted it was okay. Naturally, I don’t warm up around people instantly. But if they warm up around me, I give them audience. So we talked about his life. About how he ended up in possession of this whopping huge phone that looked like a woki toki. How he lost his smartphone over weekend on his way to Nyahururu, his shagz. So he borrowed his old man’s phone for a week before he could replace.
Wanjiku, I find a shedload of peace at the foot of Thompson Falls. That’s the crème de la crème of life in Nyahururu. It’s beautiful and pure tranquilty. That smell those wet rocks give off is therapy. You release all anxiety.
What are you troubled about? Just so you know though, whatever you choose to tell me could end up in my blog eh…
Okay, what’s your blog? What do you write about?
About life. About whatever is troubling you right now.
Well… I’m struggling to father my son.
Aha! Such stories are my bread my butter. Ehe! How so?
Lemmi tell you about his mother first.
Okay, I’m all ears. By now we were stuck in traffic along University Way.
Our relationship was not too far-reaching at the time. We were both in campus. It’s never that serious up there. It’s like the union of the ant and the grasshopper; scratch mine I scratch yours. If you know what I mean. I met Christine through my best friend Darwa. She had this picture face. Dark chocolate complexion. Her hair was a glorious tuft full of body. She has fine curves and she loves her dresses short, hugging her hips tight. I like that too. We got a long quite well but I don’t know if I can call it a relationship. I was fond of her. She’s those girls who just know how to stir a conversation no matter what’s about. I lost interest though, when I found out she was seeing my best friend at the same time she was seeing me.
How did you find out?
Okay, this one morning in July 2019, I was chilling with my boy in my room watching Game of Thrones. I remember because now GOT brings back bad memories. I was sitted in bed while Darwa took the floor with his back against the bed. He received a message. From where I sat, I could make out the name on the screen. I moved my head closer to see the content. She had sent him a message that read; “Babe I’m done with classes. Are we still meeting?” He responded with a yes then proceeded to explain that he was with me and he needed a few minutes to figure out how to ditch me. I took out my phone to text her. I asked her if she was okay to hook up and of course… She said she was planning on going home to Thika after class. She was going to Thika yes, but not home. Darwa’s home is also in Thika. That’s how they know each other in the first place. To get rid of me, Darwa mentioned he was hooking up with his mates for a class project. Later that evening, I called one of his mates to ask after him. I was told he left for Thika an hour before I called. I was being played. My heart was shattered. I felt betrayed.
A conflict of emotions robbed me off sleep that night. To gain advantage, I decided to play along. I never questioned either of them. Big mistake that one. In the course of the play, Christine conceived. Pangs of conscience hang on me for days, weeks, months, like grim death.
That evening, she came to my room with the news. Somehow I had a conviction that the pregnancy was mine but the the problem therein, was the thought that she had been comfortably fooling around with my best friend. That hampered my judgement. Suddenly, it became a bother. It’s fun and games until…. Kwanza the way she said it, “Joel I’m pregnant and I’m not going home to my parents.” Like it was something I had asked her into. I was disturbed. I subconsciously summoned my countermeasures for this desperate moment to defend myself from my predator. So I asked her whether she was certain the pregnancy was mine and not Darwa’s. She looked like she had been thunder stricken. “Com’on Christine! I said. “Don’t act like I said something you weren’t already considering. I know you having playing me with your homie. You’ll have to be a first rate actress or some typa schizo to act like you don’t know what I mean. You better take your pregnant ass to your boyfriend because I wouldn’t give two shakes whether it was mine or not.” I was shouting now.
She broke down. She touched her tongue with her finger then marked out a cross on her forehead swearing she knew her dates. On counting back, it could only be mine. I wasn’t taking it. There was no way I was taking it. I made it clear. I’m still not sure whether she ever told Darwa about the pregnancy. I never cared to ask. Somewhere in my soul, wherever that is in the body, I felt some certainty that the baby was mine. I wasn’t ready nonetheless. Neither financially nor psychologically. I wasn’t ready for fatherhood. Whoever is anyway? Those thoughts freak out men by nature of just being male. I wasn’t ready man!
So you showed her the door huh?
Haha! Well, she had to man up and woman up at the same time.
uumm! On a light one that one. Oops! Bad joke! Okay, in my defense, I was taken by the moment and so was she. Eventually she moved back home and I never spoke to her again until mid last year. By then I was doing my internship at same company I’m at. It’s along Mombasa Road. I called her one evening and asked to see the boy. She was amicable. We set up a meeting for the weekend that followed.
I took my time in the shower that morning. Put on my best black jeans, a black t-shirt and a red hoodie. Also, I made sure I smelt nice so that if at all he didn’t like my egg-shaped face, he would at least fall for my fragrance. I boarded a matatu to Makongeni a few minutes after noon. When I saw her, I was moved to tears. Within.
Meaning I cried without tearing. The elemental rule about men crying in public is that you are not allowed to let your tears flow over your cheeks. You do so from inside letting them flow through the bloodstream. It is a generational patrimony passed down to us by men who came before us and that’s how we preserve it.
She looked very feeble and totally blown out of the water. She had on these defeated eyes and she no longer had hips to be hugged by her dress. The boy too. I felt empty and a thrash of sadness threatened to overrun my heart. That was one moment I ever felt so vulnerable. On my way there, I was overly anxious. I was afraid he would reject me. You know how kids are in the face of a stranger right? I had prepared myself psychologically for it but them I was nervous. I didn’t how I would carry on. Thankfully, he warmed up around me so fast. I was tickled. We spent the afternoon playing and giggling. It was wonderful even though I could feel Christine’s cold heart. She never at any point let our eyes meet.
Later that evening after seeing them off and promising to see them more often, I felt she wanted to talk and I was curious to know what she wanted to say. But the awkwardness of who to cut the first turf lingered a while. I wanted to be the bigger person but then I couldn’t bring myself to take unpleasant sentiments so I left hurriedly.
She had detached from me and I bet my last coin by accepting to meet me, she must have been after closure. Because after that day, she avoid meeting me. She always had other plans whenever I asked to see my son. One month, another, another… without seeing each other but always sending upkeep money. I sent it because I felt they could do with a little help there. Eventually I got fed up. I was constantly sending money with no confirmation of reception and not even a thank you text. So I stopped. She’s proud that one. She never reacted. She acted like nothing had happened. Like she hadn’t noticed I was sending money and now I had stopped. Yani it’s like I was doing nothing at all.
Early December last year, I learnt from Darwa that she had gotten married and my son had a new dad. That broke my heart honestly. I couldn’t bare the thought of another man fathering my son. I still can’t. It’s one thing for her not to want me in her life and another to deny me my son. Whatever her reasons.
Today over lunch, I took advise from one of my friends at work to scare her with persuit over custody. So I sent her a message advising her of the same. Man! That was the ultimate. She called. I picked. “Joel, why all over sudden? Why now? Where were you when I was struggling to scrape a living with a stiff neck and severe back pains? Where were you when I was trekking miles with a new born, on my own, for postpartum check ups? Where were you when I slept hungry for days yet still breastfeeding? Where were you when your son gave me sleepless night and restless days? Where were you Joel? You were very clear when you said you didn’t want it and just so you know, I took that seriously. I honestly wouldn’t care less whatever you were battling then. I only let you see him for you to ascertain that he was your blood. You made your bed prince. So lie on it.” By the way I’m not even exaggerating. She called me prince. And with such bitterness that I felt her swallow the lemon. She went ahead to tell me that they are now doing well. “I have put in so much work to be where I am now, both mentally and physically and I won’t let you ruin this. If it’s war you want, then brace.” Then she hung up before I could say anything. She hates me.
I’m sorry Joel. Honestly I am.
It’s fine. I will be okay.
So, are you suing?
Naaah!! Of what good?
Well, as I keep saying, It’s life man!
Uumh! Joel, I’m headed this way, it was a pleasure.
Likewise. Have a good one.
Till next week Com’s Cheers!