HOME IS A CASTLE OF STORIES

HONEY, IT'S RAINING.

So here I am in a petrol station. It's raining heavily. The one we referred to as cats and dogs back in our composition writing days. I wonder why forefathers of the language settled on cats and dogs. It's lousy and downright boring. Why couldn't be lions and tigers or mice and rats.Anyway ,It's 8pm, and darkness is so profound ,that if one could grasp the air. His arms would certainly be painted black. All around me everyone is on phone, speaking to their dears, their honeys and sweeties. I have no dear, no sweetie and surely no honey to call . So all I can do is listen as lovers exchange love bites and everything. In any case I like eavesdropping on people's conversations, So I listen. My ears turning like an antenna in a place with poor connection, I must listen. I have no choice, it's my favourite past time. In any case,curiosity has already killed many cats. As such I am safe.

On one side a man is negotiating a cement deal. Using weird terms such as bamburi, blue triangle. I soon lose interest, business is just not in my veins. And all this is because of the unwarranted actions of a certain pea-headed teacher from my primary school years. Alright, let me digress a little bit. In those times, survival in such a hellhole was only for the toughest and smartest. Toughness is not in me, only smartness, in its raw form. I used to fancy myself a successful, self made business man. Mark you, I was just in class four. To offset this business empire, I began peddling "kangumu",this days it's called "KDF".Who cares about names though, at the end the stuff will rest,digested. Where was I, this was my side hustle as well as selling chewing gum. In no time, I had made excessive profits that my pockets were literary overflowing with mullah. So I expanded. Loan sharking was the new venture. I give someone 100 bob. Come pay day, I collect twice the amount. In no time I was among the who and who in the school. Even the non teaching staff came to me for favours. I was riding on a very high pedestal. I felt like a King you know, how students looked at me, the respect was immense my dear reader. I felt supreme, a mafiosi. The Lucky Luciano of our time.

I lived a high life. Till this pea-headed teacher discovered my business. I have never forgiven him and I think he was jealous. Because overnight, my business empire came crashing down. I was suspended for two weeks, coming  back, I was finished. The disciplinary committee destroyed my ass with burning strokes and was ordered to do what took me to school. The book of Proverbs says "spare the rod ,spoil the child. " If only they had spared the damn rod . I guess my biashara could be around. Most likely dreadlocks could be my thing, and those guys of Nairobi business community my close allies. I would be sitting in meetings with Raila to decide the fate of this country. That also means I wouldn't be writing this and you you wouldn't be reading this. But now here we are just because of some teacher's jealousy. What makes it more wierd ,labda he's reading this. And thinking, this bastard is ungrateful for the sense we hammered into him.Whatever... But still it saddens me that my love for business was weeded out with such malice. Sometimes I feel like crying you know.Back to our tale now. 

There's a pretty girl on my right  side. The kind who make you think about the moment you were created. Whether the sun was shining or it was raining, of course not just rain. But the cats and dogs rain. Or you were created in the middle of the night. When owls were exercising their beaks. When night runners were outdoing each other in sprints on people shambas. If you're wondering, I was born in the morning, when the sun was so bright ,so lovely and birds were chirping. As if paying homage to a legend. Dear reader, I don't want to sound privy but at what time were you born???

In short ,this girl was stunning gorgeous and I was already beginning to build scenarios in my mind. If I say hi!  How will she respond? Will she smile and say hi! Or will she plainly ignore me. Her impassive face unflinching, no sign of emotion. Happiness or sadness and everything in between. I took three very deep breaths, summoned the gods of courage and moistened my lips (with my tongue). Real men with healthy balls don't use lip balm. My lips had not fully opened, when her phone began ringing. A Migos song was the ringtone. "Walk it like I talk it, walk it like I talk it." I wanted to ask her why use the song as ringtone, why not the normal orthodox ringtones like "ting! ting!" Did this song get her in the mood for talking, did it open her eardrums ?? I did not ask, she was already busy talking. So I just adjusted my ear. Their was no way I was missing out on a conversation by this girl. She cooed softly.

"Sweetie sasa "

At the mention of this words. I felt like running away and maybe be hit by an oncoming truck. I did not. It was raining bwana. So I stood still, my heart pumping, bellowing, anxiety was cooking in me. 

The man on the other side thundered.

"Baby nimekumiss"

This girl was surely not a baby. I thought of snatching the phone,and shouting at guy, "what do you know about babies?? Silly bastard." But some peculiar thought whispered otherwise. Maybe the man in charge is an intelligence officer. He might track you down and arrest you.He might then take you to a remote house. Torture me, electrocute me and make rats eat my pubic hair. I fear rats. After an intense battle with my mind, I did not snatch the phone. I just eavesdropped.
The girl screeched again.

"Aki Muliro nimekumiss pia."

So she spoke sheng and Muliro held bragging rights. Rights which I was planning to steal. I tried to picture Muliro,short, rotund and bald. With a forehead that allows no cap. I found myself grinning and listening even keenly. Then Muliro spoke, pulling me out of dream land.

"Sweetie uko home?? "

Now I smiled with satisfaction. That smile a gusii man holds after gobbling up sweet bananas. Or that a certain Wafula proclaims after a vigorous session of eating ugali. Before our pretty girl answered. She bit her lower lip. Covered her face with that wicked movie look. Then bam!!
A million dollar answer. 

"Babe... Niko home. Na kunanyesha vibaya sana." I will translate this directly. No shortcuts. (Babe I'm at home... It's raining more than cats and dogs.)

Now I failed to understand this girl's definition of "home" was this petrol station her home ?? I know most of you don't remember that I was in a petrol station. The rain is subsiding and this mysterious girl is telling her lover how she's at home. Curled up on a sofa,drinking hot chocolate and playing with her cat. I was impressed if not astonished by how cool this girl could lie. She should pursue a career in Hollywood and meet people in her league.. The likes of Harvey Weinstein.Who might teach her a lesson or two. 
Muliro thunders again.

"Sawa sweetie... We'll talk."

Our beauty ends the call, a smile flashes but that impassive look returns. She sighs softly, almost like a purr,steals a glance my way but quickly minds her own business. I wonder why she turned away so quickly. Couldn't she gaze at my immaculate face. So handsome and full of subtle vitality. I sighed too. Not because  I was going to approach her no.She just wasn't my type. Someday I will tell you about my type. The rain started to slowly ebb away.

An African man is an African man. Regardless of the fact that he went to school, cheated in the final exam and is now an important figure in society. The lousy weather, darkness taking shape. Muliro wherever he is, will certainly get a hard on. His "mjuols" will suddenly come to life and all kinds of sexually charged thoughts will fill his imagination. 

"This weather, this darkness. These are no doubt optimum conditions for Lungula. God really loves me. I should go over and surprise her. Damn!  Atanijua leo. Atakubali nimezaliwa pia.( she will know me today. She will accept that I've been born too.) I will make her scream, moan loudly till the neighbors think that God has started judging people. She will sing my name all night long. She must curve those toes. "

If he was idling with his buddies in some upmarket lounge ,he will tell them that something has come up. Quickly he will goble one for the road and off he goes... To his honey's place. 

Now, this is for men. If you're a lady just skip and go to the next paragraph. Yeah,I know ladies are already rolling their eyes and conjuring some kind of injustice. "This writer is sexual.. And such.. How does he look. " Don't worry I have two round eyes and three missing inscisors. In any case I'm a feminist, but not the outspoken type, the people I hang out with would crucify me. Don't worry... They are not reading this. Now, men. Listen. The way you listen when you're being told about some deal which brings you more money. In an shadowy way of course. Here is you advice. 

Women love surprises. They really do. In the form of necklaces, dinners, flowers and such stuff. But if showing up at her place unannounced is your form of surprising her, please stop. Because one of this days instead of you surprising her. You're the one who will be shocked. Did you notice that. I used the the word shocked, not surprised. So dear brother, if you love your heart and you want it to continue beating for years to come. Just call her upfront and know if you're welcome or not . It will save you from that animal they call heartbreak. Have you met it. I have not, I hear it tears apart people's hearts. It has a huge mouth, and red eyes. A big head too. 

Ladies, men like surprises too. But not gifts, it's just not in our DNA. Surprise visits unannounced are mens thing. Maybe the nigger, is going through a mid-life crisis and he's experiencing a nasty dry spell. So if you just show up...it will go a long way in quenching his "thirst". But women, peculiar as you are. You never show up when one is on a dry spell. I don't know how you time it. But after the man has brought a helper, then you appear. Just like Jesus on judgement day. You wreck havoc, destroy the other woman's hair, pick a certain toothbrush you left ages back then leave. Because you come from a good background, you're well learned and somebody lied to you that you can do without a man. You block the sucker.. Blacklist him. You greave for a few days, refuse to accept that men are dogs and hewalla!  You're back in the dating game. Like you never left.  

In short. This thing of showing up unannounced should stop. Unnecessary heartbeaks will be avoided. 

So Muliro arrives at his girl's place. The wide grin on his face disappears, lights are off. 

"Maybe she has slept. I will wake her up and bang her brains out. "

He knocks on the door. There's no answer. He knocks again. No answer. There seems to be no life. On the door mat there are no shoes. He checks his watch. It's 9:20 pm. She's a night animal so sleep is out of the question. Maybe she stepped out pick her dinner. He battles with many possibilities but then decides. 

"To hell with surprises. "

He dials her number. It rings the first time, there's no answer. He dials again. This instance that lady with a beautiful voice, employed by Collymore picks up. 

"The person you've called cannot be reached. We'll notify you when they are back."

The horrible truth sinks in. Painful, like spirit on a fresh wound, searing. Finally,the chicken have come home to roost. The writing is on the wall. He's been played. He starts sweating, profusely,anger in him boils and froths like those volcanoes in Hawaii. By the way, this geographers are right ,the world is still creating himself. But I don't mean you stop paying tithe. The fires of hell look like that volcano. Muliro paces around the door, kicks it, throws a few blows, leans and curses. 

"Grace ,you're a silly b***h! "

So her name was Grace. He needs to vent out the vitriol in him. A neighbor's cat passes by. He wants to kick it, but cats are smart creatures. It knows that he's up to no good. It runs away, stands by the corner, miawws. Then bolts off. Muliro is still angry. And wants to kill someone, but he's born again, just like me. And fears the judgement day, just like me.  So he leaves, heads to nearest drinking hole and irrigates himself silly. Then goes to red light district, finds a hooker and bangs her in the backseat of his car. He feels good now, alive, rejuvenated, more of a man. Life continues. He learns that he's not the first man to be dissapointed by his lover and surely won't be the last. He wishes he had read this earlier and maybe he couldn't have tried to surprise Grace. The pain slowly eases and finally she's just a speck in his memory. 

And then there's a Royal wedding. Some Prince who resembles  Ed Sheeran marries a black woman. I know that word black disguts you. This writer must be racist. Worry less I'm not a KKK fanatic. If it makes you glad I'm also black. Charcoal black. Chelsea wins the fa cup. I'm heartbroken. Like an arrow just pierced my heart but life must move on. I sleep early that day. 

Women never forget. Our beauty, Grace,one night in summer decides to check on Muliro. Not because she cares, she just wants to chide him. Hear what he has to say. Will he cry, does he miss her. She grabs her phone, unblocks him. Then texts. 

"Hello handsome." 

Her WhatsApp remains grey like those donkeys which race in Lamu. I detest donkeys, even though they carried Jesus to the holy city. I still do. Many days pass, it's still grey. A tinge of jealousy streaks through Grace. But one cold night ,her WhatsApp turns blue. Sky blue, a beautiful blue. It writes "typing" ..it turns blue again. Like uncharted waters of the Atlantic. It remains blue forever. Life goes on. 

©OSOCH2018.

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All the feedback and clarification . Reach out on.  raymondred490@gmail.com

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