HOME IS A CASTLE OF STORIES

MARIO

I am a happy go lucky teenager. The carefree type, I face life with my gun fully loaded. Life shoots at me, I duck, then return a hail of bullets back at life. Fearless bullets, bullets of hope. They carry my dreams, all my aspirations,folded like virgin petals. I don't know what life would do with them and I don't give two shits.

I'm rarely scared. But of late, a fear has been creeping up on me. Haunting me. I lay in bed, I twist,  I writhe, searching for sleep.

But no sleep.

Sleep has evaded me like peace has evaded Syria. I think sleep sits up wherever it is. Whispering to it's minions.
"That boy Osoch, avoid him. Steer clear of him. He is so rude. Make sure he doesn't find you. He makes fun of God's people. Let him lay awake. Even if he buys sleeping pills. Avoid him! Avoid him!"

The minions nod dutifully.

Sleep,you have won.

So I haven't been sleeping. I have been thinking, thinking and thinking. I have been picturing myself as a father. To be honest, it fills my stomach with butterflies. First, to be a father, I must hold down someone's daughter and fill her with my seed. Uhm...not good. Okay, the act itself is epic. It's the aftermath which rips across my stomach.

Most likely I will be in pub with my boys the likes of  Tunoi, Mahanda , Sareto and Koech. Then, the lady will call. I won't be tipsy, even though I would have downed a couple of shots. Mahanda will tell me.

"Don't pick up women can be so nagging! Can't you enjoy a nice drink for fucks sake!"

Tunoi will be like.

"Women are pure fools. They never understand stuff."

But Koech, the sensible nigga will pump wisdom into me.
"It's your woman, brother. Pick up."

I will move from the table. Then the news will come tumbling into the pub like a Kim jong rocket. Drowning all the music.

"Osoch, I'm pregnant."

I won't say nothing at first. Too shocked. Then I'll find my voice.

"What do you mean you're pregnant?
I thought you were on pills."

"There's this one night missed."

She will say with a scared tone. Her heart beating as fast as I was thrusting into her. Probably thinking.  "This son of a bitch is going to reject it. He's going to call me a prostitute, a whore! I'm going to be a single mum. Oh God! Why is this happening me? I should have known better."

In her voice, I will smell the trepidation dancing like a demon from hell. The confusion. The indecision and all those factors that creep into mind of a soon to be mum. Because I was raised well, I'll mumble into the phone.

"Dear, si I come to your place we talk it over."

She will manage a feeble "yes" but the desperation will still be there. Hanging ominously like dark nimbus clouds ready to offset rain. She'll be thinking.

"This is his getaway plan. Probably he will change numbers. Block me. And move on."

I will get back to the table with a tired smile. The boys have cleared a round and ordering another. Mahanda will quip!
"Yoh, I thought you left us. What's up with your lady?"

"Homegirl claims to be pregnant."

This is where Sareto will budge in as he always does.

"Ati claims??  If she says she is pregnant. Then she is heavy. Happy fathers day G." Then the guys would break into a laugh. Tunoi won't say shit, guy would be too drunk. He will just smile and say.

"You guys make sure nifike kejani."

I would say my goodbyes and off to see my lady.

In the car, I would be blank. I would see my youth flying away right before my eyes. All choices I've made will come singing to me. Accompanied by regrets and garbage. In a flash, I'll reach a decision. "The fuck!  Let it be!  I'll raise the kid." Typical me. That's after a grueling DNA of course. You can never trust women of this age. Dammit! You can never trust woman of any age.

At her doorstep she will usher me in, smiling and laughing! Then say.
"Gotcha! I just wanted to see how much you care. I'm not pregnant for Christ's sake. A bastard like you can't be a father."

Damn women! I would go batshit! But coz she'll be in some a sexy lingerie. The horny fool in me would win and blup! Some rounds of migwatos would be inevitable.

But then, should it happen that I'm to be a dad. I want a girl. Not a boy, I don't like boys. I want to  name her Mario after the mother of Jesus and my favourite writer, Mario Puzo. I want a girl because boys are a work out and they don't listen. I'm always arguing with my parents.

"Osoch, take a course in geomatics and information systems. You'll be employed quickly and make good money."

"But Ma, it involves math, geography and computers. I hate all that."

"Nobody cares what you hate or like. We're talking about an assured future for you. What do you wanna do?"

"Something involving literature and creative writing."

"Over our dead bodies. You'll pay your own fees."

Then more arguments. See, boys are pure headache. So it must be a girl. There's no room for error.

I also want a girl coz they're hapless snitches. She will be my eyes and ears at home. Her mom tries anything "funny" she will tell me when I get back. I have this gorgeous cousin of mine called Shamah. She is really pretty. Easy, you randy goats. Don't text me asking for her number. I won't give it you. Shamah is only four bytha but homegirl is turning heads already. I like her as she's one big snitch. Whenever her papa (my uncle) gets home, she jumps on his lap.

"Daddy... Daddy! Mami alinichapa."
"Daddy!  Osoch alikuwa akiongea na msichana kwa simu."
"Daddy!  Osoch alisema ni baridi, hataoga."
"Daddy! Osoch alikataa kunibeba."
Damn it! I like carrying her. But she's always twisting stuff.

Shamah can make a good spy. Always setting people up. That's why I want a girl. I will always know what her moma is up to.
"Daddy! Kuna mwanaume anaitwa Abednego. Alipigia mami simu." I will turn and eye the missus.

"You need to decide if it's Abednego or me."

Shamah will be a quite a looker in years to come that's for sure. Some neighbour's kid called Nathan is already eyeing her. He's four too but I can see what the little negro is up to. He is always knocking on the door.
"Shamah ako wapi twende tucheze?"
Nathan, I know your plans ninja. Don't even think about it!

The other fear terrorising yours truly, is if my little  girl won't be getting it in school. Not like she's deaf or something, I hope you feel me. Like, she becomes a blockhead who doesn't grasp simple   concepts. So when she's born. I'll give out this simple prayer.

"Please God, have mercy and let my offspring be smart, just like me! Hallelujah! Oh Lord! God of Jacob, his sons and wives. Let her always be number one, just like me! Amen! Let her excel and smash records. But oh! God, God of Moses, show no mercy to the children of my enemies. Restrict their minds. Let them always form the basement and be in the relegation zone.

Don't give me a dunderhead oh Holy father! I have been your faithful Lamb all of my life. Don't forsake me on this kaissue. I will give you 10% or whatever percent you want. Just unlock her mind please."

And because the Lord I serve is faithful. He will unleash my child's potential. She will be a genius. Your kids will see dust.

If it's the other way round. Oh boy! It will be a tough ride. Sareto will be breathing down my neck and throwing barbs at me.
"Thoo! Osoch, ulizaa nini hii sasa?
Venye hukuwa unaskia chemistry huyu sasa hataona chochote."

I'll  tell him to tone it down, but guy would persist.

"Waah! Mimi siezi kubali mtoto akue jinga hivyo. Ntapeleka children's home."

I would be forced to jump ship and betray the missus.

"She probably takes after her mother. Ama hata si wangu, I should  do a DNA  ASAP."
But you know Sareto.
"Hakuna story ya DNA. Kama mtoto haskii hesabu huyo ni wako surebet!" (I was extremely good in math)

I don't understand shit about raising a girl but I'm sure it will be tough as hell. More so in this country with some of the most randy boys in the world. They will always be there, those misbehaving bastards. Lying to her, telling her they love her. While the only thing they love is to see the colour of her thighs. They will walk around with sugar coated tales. How they will take her to the moon and back. While in essence the only moon they're interested in, lies between her legs. They will tell her that they only want to steal her heart, but in essence it's her virginity they want to steal. I need a watertight algorithm on how to deal with such shitheads.

Mario. I will love you. I'll spoil you. But don't get pregnant at 16. Under normal circumstances, I won't care much. But that's not what I consider a normal circumstance. Should it happen though, we'll  find a way to manage. After all, aren't children blessings?? 

Dear reader, and Mario my girl. Please forgive me, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for you and I'm sorry for me. We could both use some truth here. In hindsight, mountains of grieve form in my heart. But why??  You will ask. I'll try to answer you but I'm so terrible at coming clean. I will lie again.

Today though. I'm fighting against the roots of my making. The primitive foundations of my nature.

This is it, the whole truth.

Sinister as it is. Maybe you will like me more. Maybe you will hate me. You might see me in the street and you'll think of stoning me, throwing yours truly in a simmering furnace. I don't know for sure. But holy verses say that truth sets a man free. You don't believe me, do you?? You're not alone, there's this girl I like. She thinks I'm of little faith.

I DON'T LIKE CHILDREN!

Was that abrasive?? harsh?? Did it shock you?? Are you smiling as you read this? Is your heart is pumping. I don't know, I don't care! This ain't no dramatic twist or turn. I'm just not that kind of writer.

Are you disappointed in me? Don't ask me to be a good boy. Being a good boy has nothing to do with me.

Maybe I will like children in the years to come. Who knows, I might like them tomorrow. My nature is in the  business of thawing and freezing.

Ice and fire.

©Osoch Ogun

Photo credits [t.a.a.r.i.q] 🇭he always saves the day. To be honest, I don't know how life will be without  t.a.a.r.i.q add him up on Instagram. Bless up bruhv.

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