Celebrating East African Writing!
Written by Andrew Moffat Mulehi
With no mercy the killer attacked, unleashing its deadly poisonous venom on him. This would then paralyze his movements and permanently change his life style forever. After which I asked myself a hundred and one questions, which only led to my further getting confused! I didn’t know what else to think about for that moment as the grim reaper kept flashing on my thoughts. Then unintentionally I murmured.., “Aids, you are such a ruthless creature in the world of disease!”
I just stood there, on the right side of his hospital bed. Still trying to mince the fact that my friend ‘Kwekwe’, as his nick-name suggested; was for sure dying from the killer disease A.I.D’s! I torched my eyes across the ward amidst everyone’s quietness. No one uttered a single word except for the gestures they produced timely at each other.
We had gone to pay him a visit in a company of seven. The ambience in that room was a mixed feeling of anger, confusion and grief altogether at that same moment. This became so to the fact that he was one of us consumed by the killer disease. Something which no one dared talk about publicly for fear of the embarrassment it resulted to.
“Why did it have to be Fred?”… It was as if everyone present was asking themselves. It was really hard to believe that he was infected. It was at that juncture that I concluded to myself that we all had been affected…, which was indeed a fact! That thought instantly led to my change of attitude towards life. I also feel that most of my friends shifted their thinking to reformat what otherwise used to be ‘a life without direction’.
Fred was sleeping therr, alive but motionless due to weakness. He couldn’t eat nor drink. He reversed the food we tried forcing through his food pipe. That situation made it look as though we were watching wet paint getting dry. He had to be fitted with water and vitamin drips for nutrients to get into his blood system. That was the only way for his survival!
I felt pity for him. He was weaker than a newborn chick. His body became malnourished with cheek bones that deformed to a shape similar to that of an aged ape. Looking as if he had lived for more than ten decades when it was only two and a half! He had transformed from otherwise a healthy human being into an alien of some sort. In fact his skin was turning color. Drugs were now submitting their duty after playing a vital role in adding his life span. It was clearly a time to say goodbye to him. We had lost our Fred for real!
What hurt me most is the fact that there wasn’t anybody else to fill his void. His joking nature was like a human who was brain damaged with a tumor of sense of humor. But that became jokingly drained off by the grim reaper. He was now to be remembered as a joker who joked and jerked his life!
As I tried coming into terms with the unfolding realities…, Fred’s eyes came into contact with mine. He was crying from within. That I noticed when a tear drop rolled down his cheek. I felt deeply sorry knowing that he couldn’t communicate what was in his mind like he used to do before. He regularly updated his face book status with jolly updates! He was ever in a jovial mood and seldom listed in a sad mood.
He knew we were unhappy about his current situations. But the saddest thing was the fact that no one could reverse that situation into a suitable suit!
Fred was my best friend but also a work-mate. We used to work together in the matatu. In these harsh times with scarcity in jobs and occupation, most education qualifications seem useless unless one has an approved mark accompanied with funds to meet a persuasion to their wants. It becomes difficult mainly for ghetto dwellers. Making us look for alternatives that can provide us with a living. In simpler terms that’s how we found ourselves in the streets. Fred and I shared the same level of education; and thus possessed even thinking capacity which made us tight buddies!
By then I was no ‘spring chicken’, but fresh from High school. My body underwent sudden changes that made me grow very emotional. Fred was my side kick and we were out to sell our ‘swag’, as we used to tag our lifestyle! That’s where we met the misfortunes that led him six feet deep.
Our swag involved women and flashy lifestyle. We used to care less about our future and most of the times got into relationships with multiple partners. Mindless about the thunder strikes. But I was kind of cautious because I took heed with what I learnt about H.I.V and A.I.D’s. And so I’ve never wished to become a victim! In fact ever since Fred’s death, I despise anyone promoting immorality. I would rather eat chips with chicken on a date rather than book take away (Chips funga) which I won’t enjoy.
We never used to ponder upon these small blunders which later became ribbons that proved difficult to mend… And within a nick of time, Fred’s life became history just because of recklessness. The young lady who infected him also drowned in that same sea.
It all happened on a Sunday afternoon. We had gone to a Jam session in town for some music and alcohol. The club was lively and full of activity as though people were in a competition to outsmart each other. Meanwhile, outside it was raining cats and dogs. It was a merciless downpour…, and leaving the club at that time became a problem. We opted to prolong our presence until late night in the evening.
Fred got hooked to a certain girl and getting him to make up decisions to go home proved a hard task for me. He turned me off at some point citing that I was jealous for him because I didn’t have a catch…! I took everything easy and decided to chill off only to look at them getting cozy from a far. They got more and closer; and while Fred kept caressing, she evenly weakened herself to his masculine body.
The lady was a nymphet, full of sexual appeal. She even got me aroused from her dress code and nice looks. Her smile would make someone’s heart to pump thunder beats. I can testify to mine releasing ones which followed a rhythm likened by the tom-tom drums of West Africa. But my lust was cut short when my mind swayed a bit, and I woke up to the reality that I was in a Club!
Never trust people you find in clubs. Fred did that fateful day, and came out with rude results. The only thing he later told us in regression was, “It all happened – After I Did Sex!”
I suggest that it is better that you attend Church and be safe than Jam with the devils in Hell. By this I mean that we should spread the gospel to kill this vice. We ought to mend the ribbon.
© Andrew Moffat Mulehi 2010
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