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The meeting

It was during one of my travels home. I preferred arriving at my Mbeere South village at dusk. It usually ranged from 8 pm to 9. I wasn’t a fan of sunlight when heading home. I liked it that way. Anonymity was part of my job description, so every opportunity I had of hiding my manifestation in any place I went to was maximized. Including going home. This time was no different.

I had to take ‘one for the road’ so I entered the Nameless and sat at the far end of the establishment. I had civilian clothes so nobody recognized me. On, I had a black baseball cap, a black t-shirt, blue denim jeans and black timberland boots. As such, I looked just like every other patron in the establishment.

I was a little bit refined though. The place was deserted. The few guys present were either chewing cud or drinking sprite. If not that, there were almost empty Kenya Cane Bottles on their tables. No

The waitress approached my table. She looked unkempt but professional. She was 35 with two kids. She wasn’t in any kind of uniform but I recognized her nonetheless.

“Mambo madam, nipe whitecap mbili baridi na litre moja ya Keringet” I asked as she wrote down my order.

“Sawa… Do you need anything else?” She had a Ugandan accent. She obviously understood what I was saying but she couldn’t speak Swahili.

After a few minutes, she reappeared with my order and opened the whitecap for me. One sip of the cold drink felt so invigorating. On the television screen was a game between Manchester City and Tottenham. Tottenham didn’t stand a chance. The score was at 4 – 2 for Manchester.

Being dark meant that mosquitoes from the padis some few kilometers from the place I was were on a rampage. I had to slap a few away. They sensed new blood. As I scrolled through my TL to check for the latest ‘Hessi’s’ victims, I smelt something in front of me.

I looked up to find an 18-year-old girl looking down at me. She was staring at my phone’s screen. She didn’t look fully formed. Her cheeks were chubby and I could make baby fat from every feature on her. As I looked at her from top to bottom she didn’t flinch. The breasts were pointy, yes but they were untouched. The only hands that could possibly have gone through them were hers during a shower. Don’t ask how I know that.

Hello”

“Hi”

“How may I help you?”

“My name is Carol, nauza hapa, unataka anything else?”

“Hapana. Niko poa. When I do nitakuita

She smiled and walked off. For an 18-year-old, her behind was beyond her years. It was firm and confident. I love watching ladies walk away. The blue dress she was wearing hid a lot. There was something about her that was mature. Maybe it was the fact that she was selling alcohol to people her father’s age. As she was headed back to the counter she passed by a table asking for an order and someone grabbed that beautiful ass.

As she was headed back to the counter, she passed by a table asking for an order and someone grabbed that beautiful ass.

I expected her to slap the hand away but she let it stay. That simple act of defiance got to me. I hated it. I don’t know why. As the hand kept caressing her ass, she turned, looked towards my direction and smiled. That’s when I noticed that the hand belonged to a female. I raised my glass and smiled back.

That was the beginning of a path that would lead to her date with destiny.

Small Bio

Caroline was raised by a single mum. She had a small brother in class six at our time of the meeting. They stayed in a single room apartment within Karaba market. Her mum is originally from Machakos. She moved to Mbeere south in search of a better life for her two children. That didn’t materialize. She worked menial jobs key being washing other people’s clothes to at least sustain the family.

With Carol’s meager income from the club, they could now manage three meals a day and keep the youngest in the family in school. Kim, Carol’s younger brother was a smart kid, whose only hindrance to success was being brought up in a struggling family. I liked the kid but I liked the sister more.

My Stupidity

I fell for Carol’s charm hands down. Having a soft spot for broken souls, I didn’t expect to fall for this girl who was barely an adult. The only broken thing about her was her future in education. I saw something to fix. So I sponsored her to go to Kenya Institute of Management to pursue a diploma in IT. That was after 6 months of ‘seeing’ her.

We hadn’t even become intimate.

I became so close to the family that even the frequency of my visits home increased from one in a month to three or four times when work wasn’t too much. I tried to spend as much time with her whenever I went home; at times even offering to help some customers when she had a busy night.

To cushion her mother from her daily struggles, I gave her 30,000 KES to at least open a shop to sell second-hand wares. I was determined to build a future for this girl and her family. The business picked up fast and soon after Carol stopped working at Nameless. She had time to concentrate on her studies at KIM.

Having scored a C in KCSE, she didn’t struggle a lot with what had been covered in the three months she was juggling between work and classes. She now had an opportunity to behave, and enjoy the little pleasures kids her age were enjoying.

KIM, being in Embu meant that I traveled from Nairobi almost every other weekend. We had started building a life together and it was only normal for us to spend as much time as we could together. Everything was rosy. I had rented a bedsitter for her in Dallas and as such, she didn’t have to commute daily from Karaba. It was quite a hustle and a distance too.

Every time I was in Embu we shared the bed, our feelings, and fluids.

Fast forward and three years later she was done with school and her graduation was just three months away. That was in 2016. The graduation was for December of 2016.

For the whole of 2016, I was outside the country for an intelligence exchange programme with Fiji. As such, I didn’t see as much of Carol as I would have wanted. However, her needs and those of her family were well catered for since I always sent some upkeep money through the Western Union.

I longed for her and everything she represented. She was a symbol of stability, a future and probably a family in future. I wanted that. I thought she did too.

The Cracks

On November 17th I arrived back in Kenya after almost a year away. I expected to be met by Carol and some of my family members but the only person who was there to pick me up was my best friend Omolo. My heart sunk but I was elated to finally be home. I couldn’t wait to see her.

The two weeks that followed my arrival were busy. Meetings, reports and a backlog of files ensured that I worked almost 18 hours a day and as such, I didn’t lay my eyes on Carol. I was becoming desperate. I had marked the date of her graduation on my phone’s calendar and I couldn’t wait to see her in that graduation gown.

I would be her surprise gift on her graduation. What I didn’t notice was that our communication had reduced to two strained texts every day but I comforted myself with the assumption that it was because I was too busy. Besides, we had such a rich past to be concerned about mere texts.

Sometimes I called and she didn’t pick up. Other times she just hangs up, in the middle of conversations. I hated it.

Maybe it’s because of the strain involved in the preparation of her graduation’ I told myself as I let it slide. My family, being well-off, was the least of my worries, lest you wonder why they never came up. All my attention was shuffled between my career and my relationship.

Graduation Day

I didn’t even receive a call giving me directions. I tried to call Carol or the family but I couldn’t get through to either. Carol’s phone was ever busy but no call was coming to my phone from her. I felt bad. Using a family friend’s number I was able to get to their location. As I arrived everything was almost getting wrapped up and they were leaving.

On her arm was a man. A guy almost her age. He looked fluffy but young nonetheless. She was smiling until she saw me. She froze. From the look of things, she didn’t expect to see me there. After getting over her initial shock, she introduced him as a classmate.

I wasn’t convinced but it was her day so I wasn’t intent on creating a scene. I spent the day just observing everyone else including Caroline – someone who was supposed to be my girlfriend. I was writhing in hurt but I couldn’t let it show.

I was not blind to the fact that my time outside the country had caused some strain to our young, budding relationship but I didn’t at any one time consider things to be as bad as they appeared during the entire duration of the graduation.

As everyone was leaving for the reception at Blue Post, I called Carol to the side to excuse myself:

Me: Hey (hugging her) congratulations once more

Carol: Thank you.

I could feel the indifference in her voice. The utterance of gratitude was as distant as it was forced. She was cold and her hands were on her side as I strained to pull her to me.

Me: What’s the matter? Have I done anything to upset you?

Her: Hakuna shida. Niko poa.

Me: Nimedo? You’re very cold towards me.

Her: Nothing is wrong Ken. I am okay. I need to get going. Sitaki kuachwa na gari ya uncle yangu. Gari zinaeza jaa. I have to go.

The fact that she didn’t even bother to indulge my concerns really got to me. A lump started forming in my throat but I let it go.

Me: Poa. You go. I am sorry I won’t be joining you for the after party. I wanted to be part of this great event but I feel like I am not even welcome.

Her: Poa. Let me go. Tutaongea baadaye.

With that, she sprinted off.

I waited until the convoy was gone then started walking back towards Thika Road. I had so much on my mind. I kept going back to the day we had met, all I had done and that served to make me angrier.

I felt used. I felt stupid and worthless. Some minutes ago, a girl I had laid down everything for had walked off in another man’s arms. I couldn’t entirely blame her. I had a role to play in her being distant.

I had traveled overseas leaving her all by herself. All along, I had convinced myself it was all meant to make our lives more bearable, by looking for an extra buck but deep down I enjoyed the adventure, reading John Grisham at 60,000ft, the shooting range, the different cultures and my job.

Before I met her, I had lived for all those moments but I had put much of that on hold so as to be there for her in every way I could.

Honestly, I hadn’t thought I would ever fall for her. But it had happened. I had lost my head in everything Caroline.

Now, here I was alone and devastated as she sang merrily in a graduation I had paid for. An education I had supported in every way from the word go. Don’t get me wrong, I was interested in helping her. It wasn’t about the money but I felt used all the same. In the past few years, I had sacrificed a lot to help her. The least she could have done is invite me for her graduation. She hadn’t.

Just before reaching the road I dialed an Uber which took me to Bistro. It was some minutes past five when the lift doors opened on the 20th floor of the Westland’s Fortis tower. I took the stairs to the 11th floor and took a stool by the Southside of the lounge overlooking the city.

I ordered 2 liters of Temstout and waited as I checked out the latest piece from Boy Flani. I am a lover of sensible poetry… Simple poetry that doesn’t need much to understand… Poetry that’s accentuated by emotion and one that doesn’t mince words…

After exactly three minutes the beautiful waitress showed up with four liters of my order. It was happy hour. The crowd was smooth, the music was fluid and the ladies… Damn… They were breathtaking…

This was the first time I had gone out alone since Carol and I started seeing each other. Heck, it was the first time I had really noticed another woman’s beauty. All along my eyes had been for her until today.

As I was deep into some autobiography I was reading, I felt a hand on my back. I turned around to find a lady in white who looked quite stranded. The dress was overflowing with her hair neatly braided black. She was holding her small white purse on her front on one hand and an iPhone 7 on the other.

Her: (Smiling while stretching her hand) Are you waiting for someone?

Me: (Shaking her stretched hand) Hello, Why would you ask that?

Her: The seat next to you is unoccupied for one. Two, you don’t seem to be interested in anyone else here.

Me: (Laughing softly)Have you been stalking me?

Her: Stalking is such a strong word. I prefer observing

Me: And how long have you been ‘observing’ me?

Her: Since I came in.

Me: Hehe and how long ago was that?

Her: Don’t get ahead of yourself… some thirty seconds ago.

Me: No

Her: No what?

Me: I am not waiting for anyone. But now that you are finally here, maybe I was waiting for you all along.

Her: May I?

Me: Sure. Have a seat.

Her name was Eva. She was an auditor for an international audit firm located along UN Avenue. She was Ugandan but with a Kenyan mother. Her time here flipped from the office to her apartment in Kilimani. In her own words ‘She didn’t have much of a social life”. Fridays always found her at Bistro.

Me: How come I haven’t seen you around much?

Her: You might not have seen me but I have noticed you a few times. You always arrive in the company of two male friends and a lady. She usually takes frozen Basil margarita shaken with Cointreau & fresh lime juice. The three of you on the other hand order for 4 liters of Temstout every time. You don’t interact much with anyone else. You are home in your own company.

She is almost standing next to her stool and I have turned mine to face her. Her dress has tightened around her hips and I can tell they are well formed.

She was a great company. As it approached midnight she announced her departure after not so few dances. Eva knew her way around the dance floor. By the time she was leaving, she and I had taken more than 6 tequila shots making us as high as kites. I held her waist during one of the slow dances and kissed her.

Those lips were soft. The taste of tequila made them more alluring. I was hooked to them. Nobody seemed to care about our longings for each other. Some looked at us in amazement and admiration. Others just danced the night away as if we didn’t exist.

Before I said ‘f*ck it’, I had texted Carol more than 5 times but she hadn’t responded to any of those texts. I had even tried to call her but she had hung up on me three times.

Eva was here to help me melt the night away. She had done exactly that. We had proceeded to the parking lot hand in hand, fingers interlocked between each other’s. As she started the 725i, I turned her face towards mine and kissed her lips one more time.

Only that this time it was more passionate and engaging. It was a messy kiss; one which had my lips all over her as I felt her body with my hands. We spent more than thirty minutes making out, after which I abruptly walked out without even taking her number. I could feel her smile as she drove away towards Ring Road.

I don’t know how I got home but I eventually did. Guilt started eating away at me and I called Carol. She picked up after which we arranged to meet the following week on a Wednesday.

During the meeting, we finally reconciled after a lot of tears and agreed that she would move to Nairobi from Embu. This would make looking for a job much easier. I rented an apartment for her in 44 and bought everything so as to ensure she was as comfortable as possible.

After three months of desperation during the job search, I finally decided to open a cyber café in town to keep her busy. I took an 800,000 loan and opened the café which would also act as a way of supplementing my income. I was determined to build something that would bring us closer.

She had a background in IT and as such, I knew operating the business would be fluid. I opened a bank account with both of us as signatories and in two months the café opened to the public. Customers started coming in and with some social media marketing, the business broke even in the 6th month of operation and life changed. I then decided to employ two other guys to help her in the day to day operations of the business. They would answer to her.

I dropped in once in a while to see how everything was going and at face value, all was going on great. Then I started noticing substantial withdrawals from the bank account in the sum of 80-100,000. I inquired what the money was used for and Carol answered by saying that ‘a girl gotta take care of herself’.

I let it slide.

Her behaviour started to change after I confronted her about the money. I had not even finished repaying the loan and as such we couldn’t afford to misappropriate money that was coming in through the cyber.

She started going out more and staying in less. When I met her, she wasn’t drinking. Now she could take a whole 750Ml bottle of Red Label.

In the instances we went out together, she was all over fooling around and dancing with men, inconsiderate of whether I was present. These acts of defiance made me angry. On numerous occasions, I knocked guys out who became too touchy. She would then cause so much drama that I would end up driving her home before midnight.

Before reaching 44, I would stop twice or thrice to give her time to throw up. She had been an innocent girl, uncorrupted by vices of the world but the city pleasures had swallowed her completely. The need to feel alive, the desire to belong, the craving to be among peers had robbed me of the hardworking self-conscious girl I had uprooted from a dusty village in Mbeere.

During these drunk instances, we would have some fierce lovemaking. A lovemaking that was equitable to a sexual between demons. We were, in these moments, consumed by a want to be damaged in each other, obsessed by fears of our crumbling relationship and the unavoidable crush that was just around the corner.

We would kiss for hours, struggling, in between sniffing coke and smoking weed and end up screwing anywhere; from the kitchen to the balcony I broad daylight.

There was always alcohol in her house. Since she never worked on Sundays, we would spend Saturday nights out and bang ourselves to a coma the whole of Sunday.

I started missing shifts at work as I was consumed by this self-destructive behavior. My reasoning was that I was nothing without her. I knew the love had dissipated over time and in its place was self-destruction, desire, and lust.

We started spending more than we made meaning the business started struggling. We came back to our senses for a brief moment and decided to concentrate on our different responsibilities. I had since finished paying off the initial loan, so I took another one of a similar amount, pumped half of the amount into the business and gave the rest to Carol to start building her mum a permanent house back in the village.

My renewed concentration at work attracted admiration from my supervisors and saw me promoted. This meant more money for us. I started saving for Carol’s undergrad.

The business picked up fast and we were able to start a design shop along Kenyatta Avenue. Carol brought along a cousin who was a graphic designer to help with the designs as she took care of the management of both businesses. I imported some super-efficient plotters from Japan to help in HD printing, three Mac Book Laptops, 4 Wacom Cintiq 13HD tablets for drawing among other equipment and the business was a go.

Things were looking up for us. The future couldn’t have been more promising. Our relationship started picking up and I was overjoyed

It was time to get married to this girl who brought me so much emotion. She at times made me so angry but at the end of the day, she was everything to me. She was the breath that accentuated my morning gasp and the breeze that calmed me down. She held me down in instances a bullet wouldn’t.

I couldn’t wait any longer.

I had since moved to Juja where my two-storey house was almost complete. I drove to Woodvale Grove and bought a Stunning Cushion Cut Tanzanite engagement Ring from Zaveris Jewellers and drove back to her workplace. Being a Saturday, I knew there weren’t many people in the shop so I knew we could have some privacy when I proposed to her.

I drove to the basement parking of Uchumi House where the business was located and took an elevator to the second floor. Jimmy and Uche were serving some clients as I walked in and upon inquiry of the whereabouts of Carol, they said she had gone out some two hours ago but hadn’t walked back.

Me: When do you presume she will be back? I asked as I tried dialing her number. It went unanswered.

Uche: In the next two hours am sure she will be back.

Me: Why do you sound so sure?

Uche: Because it happens every Saturday. She usually goes out for 4 hours without informing where she is headed but always comes back.

Me: Is that so Jimmy?

Jimmy: Yes sir.

Me: How long has this been happening?

Uche: For the past 2 months or so.

Me: Thank you, guys.

I took out my phone and using the tracker I had installed in her car, I realized she was home. I asked how business was doing and walked out.

I felt something was off. It wasn’t like Carol to leave the office just like that without saying where she had gone. What made issues more complex was the fact that this happened every week, for the past two months.

I drove over to Kileleshwa and upon reaching her gate, I hooted and the guard opened.

Guard: Habari ya mkubwa?

Me: Salama asana soldier. Habari ya kazi?

Guard: Kazi iko poa kabisaa. Naona umekuja kututembelea?

Me: Eeeeh. Nimeona nikuje kuwatembelea leo. Madam yuko?

Guard: Eeeh ameingia some two or so hour ago. Wako na mgeni wake huko juu.

Me: Saasawa. Acha niende nikawaone.

The mention of a visitor filled my stomach with butterflies. I don’t know why but my heart started aching.

I parked the car on one of the three parking slots reserved for Carol and walked up the stairs to her apartment. I knocked on the door but no one answered. I then tried the lock and found it was locked. I took my keys and opened the door.

There was a pizza box on the table with two slices of the pie missing. The tv was on and on the radio, some soft Lingala music was playing. Carol was nowhere to be seen. I called out her name but no one answered.

I proceeded to the kitchen poured myself a glass of lemon juice while supporting myself with the fridge door.

There was a visitor in the house, but they were neither in the kitchen nor in the living room. Something shady was happening. I dipped my hand in my jacket pocket and felt the box harboring the ring well in place.

I wanted to see her.

I proceeded to her bedroom and found the door closed. I held the knob and before turning it to open the door hesitated. Everything was deathly still. The only noise in the house was coming from the Lingala music playing in the living room.

I placed my ear on the door and listened.

Still nothing.

Maybe I should just go and come back later… My conscience started telling me.

I then turned the knob and there was Carol! She was naked on the bed and her eyes were somewhat closed. I could make out beads of sweat on her forehead and her back. On the floor were her dress, black trousers, and a blue t-shirt. Those didn’t belong to her. They didn’t belong to me either.

On the bedside table were two condoms. A third, opened condom wrapper was next to the two. It was torn by the side and there was no condom inside.

I think she heard me open the door because she opened her eyes. The toilet flushed and I heard some footsteps approaching the bedroom. It’s like everything came to a standstill.

The bedroom door opened and a man walked in. His face looked familiar. He was bare-chested; just in his briefs. I turned back to look at Carol who was now hurriedly putting on her clothes.

Me: Carol, what’s happening here? Who is this guy? (I asked angrily pointing to the man who had just entered)

The guy: (Talking to Carol) What’s happening, babe?

Carol just kept quiet and continued dressing. I was now too angry to even look at her.

Me: (Talking to the guy) Young man listen, take your clothes and get the f*ck out of my house.

The guy: Your house? This is my house. Carol is my fiancé and as such, this is my place.

Carol: (Talking to me) This is not what it looks like Ken.

Me: (Talking to the guy) I said get out of my house motherf*cker.

The guy: (Coming really close to me) I said am not leaving. This is my place.

Me: Carol, tell him to get the f*ck out.

Carol: Please John go. Please leave.

The guy: I am not afraid of him babe. I am here for you. Don’t be afraid.

Carol was now sitting on the bed crying.

Carol: (Speaking amid sobs) Please John, leave.

The Guy: I am not leaving until he does.

I didn’t know who threw the first punch, but suddenly my fist was slamming into his face while he sunk into my stomach. He wasn’t expecting that. Blood pooled in his mouth as I stepped back to find balance. He staggered for a brief second to catch his breath before diving back at me, eyes narrowed in determination.

I dodged his fist and came up with my own; for a brief instant, catching his nose and tearing it apart. My other fist found his left jaw and slammed it as I would slam a punching bag in the gym. His mouth was all bloody and as he tried to come up at me, I withdrew my standard issued Ceska pistol and place it on his forehead.

Carol was by this time screaming at me to stop.

Me: I said leave before I blow your brains all over these walls.

He didn’t need much more persuasion. He staggered as he took his clothes and ran out. He kept spitting blood and I wasn’t sorry for him. I was not the violent type but I couldn’t tolerate anyone disrespecting me in my own house.

I was still holding the Ceska pistol when I approached Carol. She looked scared. She had never seen me this angry. I was writhing in anger, pain, and embarrassment. I had never felt that stupid. Carol had made a fool of me after everything I had done for her.

I stepped closer one foot at a time until my face was just an inch from hers. I cupped her right cheek with my free hand and rolled the barrel of the gun on her other cheek using the other hand. Her breathing was shallow and afraid.

My face was tight with suppressed rage. My teeth were gritted from an effort to remain silent; my hunched form exuded an animosity that was like acid – burning, slicing, potent, almost boiling. As I stared directly into her teary eyes, I felt an anger I hadn’t felt before.

I smacked her hard on the face and walked out raging with fury.

I walked to my car without even hoisting my weapon. I could hear her calling my name as she ran after me.

I placed the gun on the passenger’s seat and drove out of the compound. I then drove to Nakumatt Lifestyle, bought a bottle of Johnie Walker Black and sat in my car. I opened the bottle and gulped down half of the sweet liquid nonstop.

I thought about her and my insides curdled like milk with lemon. She was the acid that had been so heavenly. I blamed myself for ignoring the symptoms when they had been so clear. She had been f*cking some other guy while at the same time, on the same day sleeping with me.

The thought of her revolted me. I would never look at her again. I would never face her again. I had done too much to deserve such kind of treatment and abhoration. She had betrayed me so many times and I couldn’t stomach the embarrassment anymore. What hurt me more was the fact that she did it under my nose.

I checked the gun, corked it and drove back to Kileleshwa.

Fifteen minutes later, a single gunshot was heard from Carol’s apartment and soon thereafter her body was lying on the bed with a single bullet hole in her stomach. The dark red blood made its way out of her body. It oozed between the spaces between her fingers as she struggled to cover her wound with a shaky hand.

Her vision becomes blurrier as the white dress she was wearing turned darker and all she could see was the scarlet blood that once flowed through her veins. Each drop of blood slowly took away the life in her, leaving her pale and weak, yet defying death.

I could still read the shock from her face. As the life fluid drained out of her in its bright red, her skin took on the paleness of a corpse. Her stomach felt sick and then slowly she lost control of her limbs until finally, her head slumped. Her breathing was slow and she could still hear me rumble and cry and blame her, but she could control none of her body. Then, like a ghost, she slipped into a coma with death not far away.

I slumped on the chair just next to the door, took out my phone, and dialed my commanding officer’s number. At that particular moment, I wasn’t feeling a thing. The anger wasn’t there… I was just numb, unafraid and carefree. Nothing seemed to exist.

Then he picked up the phone…

Me: I have killed her sir.

 

Ken

The authorKen

10 Comments

  1. You are such a writter and an amazing narrator…this is the first article am reading from you and its incredible…looking forward for more from you

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