Celebrating East African Writing!
After, at the age of nineteen she saw her life, all she wanted, and she knew she was going to be no wife to no man. She had created a dreamscape of a single simple family of three, her, her baby boy and a daughter atleast. But how, was the question that kept on haunting her day and night, and for six years, through the University she had had sleepless nights. Then she learnt she could pay a man for little illicit services.
It was a stupid thought planted in her mind in those peer group come together but she was ready to try it, and trade with a man to get pregnant. That would make a lost purpose I believe, and our faces minted in an image of money is a generation that is losing a bunch of ladies and gentlemen to an alien traditions, but she cared less.
It all began like a petite dark cloud, it grew and then became an obsession, in fact darker as the twenty fifth years began to draw to close, the wanton need. Njoki sought advice and before she could get the right cog, she was already in one passionate bargain that was going to cost her a thousand dollars. So, Adriano, Njoki’s bouncing baby boy with round eyes and curly hair, light brown complexion, beautiful hand and a black stubborn birth mark on his belly was not born out of love but a business deal and his mother was overjoyed. His father was a desperate Ethiopian immigrant who could not describe the face of a woman who bore him a son.
‘You have a bouncing baby boy…’ and that was an end of a business pact, Njoki and the Ethiopian went different way having kept each other part of bargain. Generously, in addition to one thousand dollar, Njoki helped in the disappearance of the Ethiopian immigrant, by ensuring his legal deportation to somewhere in South Africa’s reputable sub-urb, with a different name.
This are the defiled corners inside us that we do not want to see or clean, and there I eye little breakthroughs that empower some women and make ‘them the streets’, igniting a forceful desire to conquer all. They can kick a man at their will or decide their fate but the same doom ends up creating some cycle that bounces back and face one’s life. It haunts them, like ghost gust from the precedent. For Months, Njoki had to go on holidays with a small purchased boy hidden in her private life just like a piece of shameful pity which she could not admit to her family and all the expenses were on her that made her despise her action. She was out to pursue an ambition to have a son to herself and if need be a daughter would do no harm to her. Njoki a resident in Lavington was a woman ready to tread the jungles of life solo, tied to no man like a free spirit.
Twelve years down the line all alone, many suitors had given her up but the boy, Adriano on her twelve birthdays came home and went direct to bed, without uttering a word, giving his mama a spinal fright. Twelve is the year when motherhood faces the first challenge, and drunk of prominence she thought it was boyish affects and ignored the.
‘Adriano, son what is the matter?’
‘I just had a bad day.’
‘Supper is ready, and we are going out for your birthday celebration’
‘No mo, I do not feel like going out.’
‘Why?’ he looked at his mother at twelve and in a small man mind felt that his mother could not understand so he kept quiet. And that would go on for another eight years.
The problem with Adriano was a very simple puzzle but he took it personal at twelve and to him no one could understand him. One of his beautiful girl classmates whom he was pursuing to befriend innocently had called him a fatherless Cushitic mess who could not be her boyfriend. Adriano looked at himself differently and a seed of self sentence was planted in him. He shut himself from the reality, never joined in school break time games and took to book. Amazingly he hid the darkness in him beneath good performance; good grade and annual topping in his class. So nobody knew and no one asked question.
At twenty, the same chick who caused him this heartache tried to reconcile with Adriano but innocently he nodded and walked away leaving the estate beauty perturbed. No man had ever walked away from her. She kept on pursuing Adriano until he reminded him of the fateful date eight years ago.
Some women always dream of a wedding day in a beige dress full of laces, high heeled shoes, and a white trailing tail of a magnificent gown. Those are the tender years of womanhood dreaming of a convoy of about twenty big cars in her big day. Some, when Moons become days and the dawn of the thirtieth year shows up quietly, they begin to worry. But there is the care free woman who needs nothing from a relation, only a hang out.
I have heard that fate works miracles and wickedness. And that life is a succession of lesson which must be lived to be understood. Also I have seen this ensue with people in contaminated relationship. They get very hurt in the relationship and shed buckets of tears. But soon, they just jump back right in—only to get hurt again. Sadly I have sat and watched single mothers raise children and what bothers me is what they tell their grown son.
When Adriano sat for his fourth form exam, he realized that he needed to follow his father. He had investigated alone in quietness about who and where-about of his father. What made him mad was the truth, which she learned through perusing in his mothers documents. His father was a Menesi guy from Ethiopia and as Adriano read more he came to the realization that he was not born of love but a deal, a contract that was to keep him away from his root.
When the result came Adriano mother was the first to go to the institution, but Njoki woke to a thundering reality. His son was registered as Andriano Menesi, and he was on his way to South Africa for his degree education. Njoki drove home furious but when she got home he came face to face with a grown up man. This was not Adriano the child.
‘Adriano why are you doing this to me’
‘Mother, I fell in love at twelve,…
‘And, that is normal!
‘She called me, Adriano a Cushitic mess who couldn’t love her…
‘Who ? When
‘My twelveth… birthday mother, that day as a young boy I spend night out and my mother did not know until two days later.
‘But I am your mother you should have said a thing child’
‘But mother you couldn’t tell me about my miserable father.
‘You registered exam in his name?
‘Yes, that my shame which I will carry for eternity.’ Njoki looked at her son and wished she was married. Her son was the free spirit she wanted madly to be.
Men got will, but women they have their ways, they can read both mind and news papers. Njoki sat baby sitting and entangled in trying to make it up for a miserable past blunder. The woman she was, lacked peace but she hid behind the façade of prominence and her nights, were extra longer. She sedated herself to enjoy painless sleep that God gave freely to His beloveds for some years and at thirty five Njoki flew to South Africa for her son’s graduation and Menesi was one of the guests. When Adriano parent were called to bless his degree, Menesi walked toward Njoki, took her arm helping her to the podium.
‘Am sorry Menesi
‘You changed my life I haven’t forgotten
‘Mhhhh. I am….
‘Will you marry me…’ she looked at her son’s hardened eyes then looked down doing footless piddling like a twelve years old girl.
© Alex Mutua
If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Sunday 3rd of April 2011 and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week on Monday 4th April. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.