Celebrating East African Writing!
Twenty years ago View Park Estate was born and how I do not know. Some Indians came and whoosh! Just like that, the place was changed into an expensive housing estate. Sir John had just been appointed the minister for Home Affairs. He invested in the estate business and that is how he met Njoki. He married her and they had two kids; Lloyd and Eve. Five years down the line Njoki filed for divorce, and with activists behind her she got custody of the kids, and much of his estate to support them until they finished university. Then the devil of prostate cancer chose the old man in his dying moments.
‘Peak of a Needle’ was the headline a garter press paper used to describe the sickness of Sir John Marko secret sickness. ‘The Other Woman’ was the headline that followed, and the story kept on and on. ‘The Other Son’, ‘Beetle-sized Millionaire’ and the subs of national papers went crazy. ‘Get the damned story!’
Marko was dead and it was out in the open.
Lloyd Marko looked at the lady he had known for five years, and then at the thousands he was going to control.
‘Oh! She is a gold digger.’ He thought.
“Get the hell out of my house!” he yelled at her.
“Lloyd, are you telling me to leave?”
“Precisely I am throwing you out of my house.”
“Why do this, Lloyd?”
“You are a whore I am not giving another dime.”
“Don’t call me now, out you go.”
Lloyd was a fascist and could do anything, anytime, anywhere and to throw a beautiful woman like Emmy in the middle of the darkest night was nothing to him. He did not care about the evil that happened in the streets; rapes, neck breaking, assaults and everything bad you could think of. Emmy was his girl for the past five years and Emmy must have been strong enough to tolerate the arrogant moron that long. She hanged because she really loved him but Lloyd did not see it. He missed the sugar served on top of the luscious cake of passion.
Emmy walked out, looked right and left and then the noises of this town at 10.00pm made her freeze and fear ran down her spine.
‘I call that supremacy.’ Lloyd applauded and dialed the sugar mummy.
‘Gosh! Where will I go?’ A lonely drop of tear run down her cheek to her bust and got soaked in her blue tight blouse. It was going to be a long night.
‘Hallo,’ it was a man’s voice. She turned and looked at him but she saw nothing. The hate she felt towards men now exceeded reality and filled with this down trotting feeling, she did not care to answer. The fear kept on rolling.
‘And …and, you crying, what is the matter?’
‘Gosh! Can’t you see? West lands is spinning fast, I feel dizzy.’
‘What would make an angel cry?’
‘Men! Men! Men! All the same man! Men!’ She yelled.
‘Tell me your problem and I might be able to help.’
‘East lands, I want to get there. I have no money and no one.’
‘What about my place, would you mind? I can spare my couch tonight if you don’t mind.’
‘What do you want, man?’
‘Nothing, in fact I am leaving now.’ He began to pace off.
‘Wait don’t leave me here.’ she called, ‘Oh God.’ she whined.
They boarded Matatu number 58 and headed to Buruburu on a sheer damning silence until they got to his house. The house was a simple single room, which seemed so well arranged and every piece fitted so perfect. She kept on waiting for this guy to ask her name but he did not.
She sat down on the sofa and switched on the television and the radio played a soothing gospel song, You are not forgotten.
He prepared spaghetti.
‘You are very lucky.’
‘This Nairobi’s got bad things and …’
‘Angels, too.’ she cut in.
‘I’m going for an all night party at my friend’s, you got all the room for yourself then… ‘
He did not ask her name, he just left. Emmy had a long night trying to figure out the difference between Lloyd and this man who did not care to know her name.
‘I hope three months are over’. The will read on.
To my 1st wife who double dealt me so much, I leave nothing. To my daughter Eve, I leave 2 million and the estate in Buruburu.
To my son Lloyd, I leave all my shares in K.B.L. Although he disgraced me in the last days; he did not care to come and see me, I give him on top of the shares, 5 million and the estate in Ruai as well as my Chevrolet car.
Ten million plus my estate in Kileleshwa to my brother Roi.
Lastly ten million to my adopted daughter Emmy and all other assets I give to her mother Mrs. Ami and my four year old son whom I had with her summing up to 100 million. Mrs. Ami gave me comfort and solace in my dying days.
‘Gosh! Holy Moses! He can’t do this to me.’ Lloyd yelled.
‘No one whosoever should question the content of this will. It is final.’
‘Who is this Mrs – ?’
‘Ami. She is on her way here.’ the lawyer said.
Sir John Marko retired from politics a sad, lonely man and shortly after he was diagnosed as having prostate cancer. He knew one thing. He was not going to die a lonely man. So on September 5th 1997, he took his walking stick and decided to have a walk. He headed to the Kibera slums. He wanted to get as far as his old weary legs could. That day he left his cars behind. The wilderness got too vast so lions grazed in the outskirts. He walked a few meters then fell. People thought he was another street vagabond but a woman in a Kibanda came to rescue him from the sun. She laid him under the shade and watched until he woke.
‘Sir, you fainted.’ She told him when he awoke. He looked at them; the woman, her child and the Kibanda.
‘What a lucky day. Where am I?’
‘Why say lucky, sir?’
‘I know I going to last some days, more days.’
After the divorce was finalised on 26th November 1997, the court gave Njoki the custody of Lloyd and Eve. Being a business woman, Njoki had little time for the kids. Lloyd grew care free in luxury at the price of his father’s tears. The effect of his father could not last the first two years. Half of his life, Lloyd would be on the internet just browsing, the other half of his life he would chasing girls. When he turned eighteen his mother sat him down and tried to remind him of his rightful place, his rights and a father he had not seen for a dozen good years.
‘Your father owns a big multi-million estate in this country.’
‘I don’t need that mother. Father can’t even remember me.’
‘You have to remind him, fight for your right, son.’
‘Mom, stop it…it is worthless.’
‘Really…? Alright tell me-’ It took three hours to explain and to make him ‘see’ as she kept on putting it. ‘Get to your senses, son, don’t be blind. Your father is dying. You got the right to everything he owns.’
‘Mother, that possibility is…’ he went silent.
‘Jeanie, who is this man?’ Emmy asked. She was used to calling her mother by her name.
‘Sir John, I don’t know but it seems, he is a big man.’
That was a question she asked sixteen years ago when she was two. Later, he would be her step father. He loved her mom and that is what mattered most.
Sir John Marko spent most of his last weekends of his life in a single room house, Mrs. Ami place. His mansion could not grant him the peace he so desperately needed. Thirteen days before he died, Sir John took Ami to Attorney General Chambers to sign some papers. She never took it seriously that she had delivered a bouncing baby boy for an old geezer like Sir John two years ago. There had been no happy moments like the last days with Ami.
Sir Marko was paying Emmy’s college fees and that was enough but the sickness got worse and slowly he began to varnish. Jeanie nursed him to the last minute. He died surrounded by a street woman holding a daughter he found in the streets and his four year old son still gurgling and toying unknowingly. He never told them about the ‘Will’.
The call came and Mrs. Ami thought it was just another call.
Lloyd saw the door open and Emmy walked in holding a small boy. Then Roi, Sir Marko’s brother and lastly, Mrs. Ami dressed in a second hand shrinked dress.
‘Holy…, it’s that the woman!’ Njoki gasped.
‘Precisely, Ma’am.’ the lawyer said.
‘I wonder what John saw in her.’
‘Comfort, Mom. The solace you could not offer dad.’ Lloyd said mesmerized by Emmy’s beauty.
‘And that is the heir….the boy.’ The lawyer said.
Lloyd turned and watched Emmy walking, one, the eyes, two, the face, three, the waist, four, the bust, five, the legs, six, the hands, seven, the dress, eight, the hair style and ten…the millions…
‘Gosh Mom, I know that lady.’
He tried to rise to his feet and for the first time he noticed and cried how foolish he was. He was sandwiched between his mother and Eve watching in pain as the other woman got the papers and all the rights bestowed to the boy who was a copyright of Lloyd at four.
‘That woman must die, Lloyd, you got to get to those papers’ Njoki fumed. ‘The gun, Lloyd, go bring it, this is for you son and us.’
Some days get sluggish, some moments too fast, and some devils too evil. He placed the gun on the table and started thinking.
‘You will clear that mess with Muchoki and…’
‘Mom, believe me, I’m getting stupid.’
‘Lloyd, you are getting what is yours.’ she did not hear him, in anger.
‘You taught me to appreciate no one, not even my own dad, my own blood, my own people.’
‘Don’t be stupid, Lloyd.’
‘I’m already stupid. Foolish, Mom. I am losing but it is fine.’ he took the gun and pointed it towards his mother.
‘Son, be careful, that thing is loaded.’
‘I know, believe me, Mom. It is not easy to die and…’
The eye of the gun was fierce, she lifted her rosary to kiss it unbelieving, and then he pulled the trigger. The Mexican machine coughed its content, a sausage sized bullet. It whizzed between Njoki’s left ear and shoulder and hit the wall.
‘Mom some devils are so strong and stubborn they need fire to exorcise them, get to your senses. We lost and it is over. From now on, I do it my way, I am walking away.’
Eve heard the blast and came down, her mother, the great Njoki stood frozen like the integrity statue of America.
‘Gosh that was close’
Eve looked at the gun on the table, and the rosary 20 millimeters from her mom’s mouth, the hole on the wall the size of a Volkswagen beetle head light and the slamming door then back to her frightened sweating mother.
‘Gosh! The devil evil must have been here.’ she said in a whisper.
‘I created that devil.’
©Alex Mutua 2010
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