Celebrating East African Writing!
No one had come. It was on purpose. Linda’s idea he was sure. She wanted him to find his way back. Not because it would be a character building feat or a fun way to test his memory but a punishment. A well thought out penitential rite meant to facilitate a much deserved guilt trip. “Halo I have just alighted and am at the stage”. He feverishly gripped his Blackberry tightly covering its entire breadth with his palm in an attempt to keep its identity hidden from searching eyes. He had heard tales on Facebook of how his cousins had gotten mugged and he was not too keen on having a story of his own to tell.
“Kam tu si unakumbuka njia. Niko peke yangu kwa nyumba na siezi toka”. Yeah right. He could make out the familiar hint of derision in her voice. He had become accustomed to it. Like the way she always replied in Sheng whenever he spoke to her in English.
Seven years is not a very long time in this part of the country. Sure the road now had tarmac and Elimu Bora Primary School now had iron-sheet roofing and a new water tank. The place was otherwise pretty much the way he had left it. Left. Surprisingly it dint feel like he had ever left. After a short motorcycle ride he reached his destination.
Linda was at hand to meet him. “Umechelewa.”
“There was a slight delay at Amsterdam” he explained as he searched for an appropriate note to pay the Boda Boda man.
“Wacha tu ntamlipa”. She said and proceeded to fish a sh20 coin for the man. The man gave him a look of scorn that sounded very much like Linda’s voice and turned his dilapidated machine around and sped off to pick up another fare.
“I thought you said you were alone” he said, looking at the faces peering at him from the window, their attention attracted by the drone of the Boda Boda.
“Umechelewa”. They stood briefly looking at one another.
“I told you my flight got delayed.”
“Your Flight?” She asked. More derision.
“You know what I mean”
“Where is dad?”
She pointed to the large mound of red earth. He was surprised he hadn’t seen it when he entered the compound.
“What happened? I thought his condition had stabilized?”
His voice sounded strange to him. High pitched.
“His flight was on time,” she said. She turned around and went back into the house. He stood rooted to the spot. Shifting his gaze from Linda’s retreating back and the fresh grave.
© Frankline Sunday
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