Of Cigarettes and a Twisted Night,

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It’s a Saturday afternoon. No notification of any kind decides to pop up. The sweetest message right now that would have made my day would have been an Mpesa message. Damn! I need money. Yes. Things are not working well in my favour. Most of the times karma would decide to be  bitchy with me.

I’m standing by the kitchen door just staring at my neighbor’s compound. Construction was on going at his plot. “Maybe If I could go to uncle’s house and tell him to give me a job”. Here I am, at the end of my tether. Drinking had not yet solved anything. Nothing but atleast there was that sense of relief after every pity bashing of oneself and the pity shag. I didn’t need to find my answers down every gaddamn bottle of whiskey and up womens pants.

I needed money. God knows how much i needed money. Mother came along and asked how I was faring. I told her maybe I could try give it a shot at the construction site. Atleast bring home something. I was tired of being idle. Nope no idle. Tired of working and getting half-assed pay or clients disappearing just like that after the job done. The circles and games were becoming too much. People had my money. They didn’t want to pay. I don’t know why it always had to be that shitty.

Me: Mother, you haven’t answered me yet.

Mother: Don’t you believe in God?, How low have you stooped for you to go work at a construction site son?

Me: Got no money, I can’t steal, my conscious won’t allow me. Being a boy child also isn’t easy cause i have to fend for both of you guys.

Mother: Relax, I know things have not been going your way. I know it’s abit hard to adjust to such a lifestyle. But I’m optimistic, you’ll get a job, and everything will be well again.

Me: I just don’t want to be idle. I need to feel abit incharge of some affairs, atleast I help out with some bills.

Damn, I could feel the tears in my eyes. Nope I couldn’t let her see that moment of weakness. I was vulnerable. It is okay. But I wondered, since when did everything fall apart?.

Off I go, wash my face, then went to my room, dried my face. My eyes were still red. I felt I had abit disappointed her. I was trying. Yes. But that was not the case of trying. I needed something stable. My phone blinks. Its a text from Sportpesa. Finally good news atlast. I had won 35,900/-.

Yes. I gave mother some amount of my money and did her shopping. Atleast she couldn’t pester me for the weekend. I felt I just needed time on my own. Figure things out. Be at peace with my inner self. Nope I didn’t need a gaddamit counsellor or therapist. The Swahili people usually say, “Pesa sabuni ya roho.”

My problems were solved. The happiness is short lived. I know. But we live only once, right?. Yes I have been having serious bouts of memory blanks. Its been three weeks now. Heck, they happen mostly when i engage at auto pilot mode.

It’s four in the evening. I pick up my bag. Destination unknown. Bid mother goodbye. I want to go to Taveta. I miss the euphoric feeling when I’m at the border and watch the magnificent Mt. Kilimanjaro. I fish out a cigarette and head out. I had a fancy lighter. Diamond encrusted lighter, with the message, “Not today Cancer, Not Today”. I toyed around with the cigarette before lighting up.

Today I’m just not in the mood of caring or worrying who might see me. Well I never gave two hoots about it. Long ago, I didn’t like cigarettes. I hated the bloody smell of tobacco. I hated the sight of alcohol. Made me want to puke. Quite didn’t like when pops smoked. His soul Rest In Peace. Here I Am. Slowly turning into him. But I am not him.

By the time I board a matatu headed to town, I figure out i had smoked three sticks already. My mind has been constant wondering. A lustful mind it is. Damn! I hate how it drifts towards her. The few times I have had sex with her. It was so good and extatic. From quickies to whatever names. It was just good. But for a reason I just couldn’t be with her.

1745hrs Tahmeed Booking Office.

Clerk: Where to?

Me: Taveta, Any hopes?

Clerk: Yes, leaves at 1845hrs.

Me: Mbesha Sigana?

Clerk: 1200 Kenya Shillings.

Me: Ok.

Clerk: Seat no?

She shows me the chart.

Me: Any window seat or close to some madam.

Clerk: Name?

Me: Leo Mwasi

Seat no.12 is where I ended up. I call my old friend Davie Kaminwa. I know the old geezer is always in town.

Me: Niaje Kaminski?

Davie: Fiti, Is vipi?

Me: Nko apa Mwembe Tayari, Si tupatane kwa ile chuom yetu tupige kamoja mbili ivi?

Davie: Nakam. Navuka roadi tu,

Me: Fiti.

Five minutes later. We link up. Formalities aside. We go straight to the wines and spirit

Davie: Mboys, si umelosti sana,

Me: Unajua tu hali ya maisha tu maaan, hivi nafika Taveta kiasi tu.

Davie: Acha nishike Napshit moja,

Me: Ziii,….. Chukua tu Konyagi ama ki Hunters ivi

Davie: Half ama Mzinga?

Me: Mzingaful mguys.

So here we were in some alley across the road. Opposite Tahmeed booking office. The bus departs in an hour’s time. Yes I’m getting high on some Mzingaful of Konyagi (Cognac). Kaminski is a very funny guy. Yes he likes having his drink by the pavements. Story for another day. He never ceased to complain about the numerous girl childs. He used to go 0-100 real quick. He was a professor in English Engineering and mythology. Get him drunk. He’d speak English. Fluent, to be precise. And of course you could never hand him a wrong bill. He had a behavior of keeping bottle tops to keep the number of count of how many drinks he has had.

1815hrs

Couple of shots later. I can hear Tahmeed’s P.A system announcing the next bus departures. Sure enough, it as the Taveta bus.

Me: Kaminski mguys, gawa gawa io kitu, Mbathi inavamus in the next kindu Twenty to Thaaateee.

Kaminski: Unakuaga na haraka na kiherehere kama njoti ya kwanza. Kaa hapa kwa pavement tuchafue hii kitu.

Me: Mguys nakutoka. Lazima tu nifike io yard.

So we split the remainder mzingaful into our respective shitty bottles and lace it up with Ginger Ale. We cross the road and I bid Kaminski goodbye. In the bus. I find some pretty nice damsel who had sat on my seat.

Me: Excuse Madam. Umekalia seat yangu.

Her: Is it a must that you have a seat by the window side?

Me: Had a reason why I booked it.

Her: Sitoki, fanya vile utataka

Right there. A She Devil straight from the gates of Tartarus reeking of attitudes and a pungent smell of I know, its all divaness. Why did I have to be the one seating with her? I let the argument slide. Didn’t bother much about my window seat. Though I cursed her alot in my heart. Nope was well pissed. But today I’m in my  best manners.

Half an hour later. Bus departs 15 minutes late. Driver seems to be in a hurry. The conductor cross checks tickets and is satisfied. By then my water bottle full of vodoski was already half way full. I tried breaking the ice with the Ice queen window seat snatcher. But was met with full resilience. ( Let me refer to her as the Ice Queen)

Me: How long till we reach Taveta?

Ice Queen: I don’t speak to strangers.

I remove my laptop from my backpack, connect it to the side placed charger and select the song Welcome by The Chainsmokers ft Hailee Steinfeld. The song is great. I love the song. I shuffle my playlist. The next song is Louder, Harder, Better by Galantis. All this while as we proceed with our journey, I’m in no speaking terms with the Window Seat Snatcher. The bus is fairly new.

It snakes its way past Changamwe to Jomvu to Miritini. Minimal traffic. El-Turbo had began kicking in. Yes the bus purrs softly like a new born kitten. The air condition is on point. 20 minutes later we are in Mariakani where the trucks decide to be abit bitchy but we managed and manoeuvred. Yes we reach Taru, where the diversion begins and it gets worse.

Mother nature is full of surprises. I’d want her to show me how I’d get to know someone like her. So unpredictable. The window panes are letting in water. The roof decides to leak and boy oh boy we are treated to a jacuzzi in wheels. The electrical sockets all were switched off. By then I’d had yanked off my charger and put it in the bag. My laptop, behaves well in such conditions. I could see the Ice Queen’s phone blinking of low charge.

Ice Queen: Can I plug my phone to your pc?

Me: I don’t have any extra cable.

Ice Queen: Can you help me with your power bank?

Me: I don’t share my power bank with strangers.

She sulked, fussed, almost made a scene. But hey, she began it. Karma is a bitch. I’m in need of a smoke. I’m stuck at this bloody traffic jam for two hours now.

Damn! I curse alot. Maybe i should need counseling. But I’m not them. I never follow instructions. It rains. It floods. Roads are muddy. I go to the front. Well open the door of the bus. It’s bloody cold. I light a cigarette.

Driver seems bored he asks me if i have extra. I fish one cigarette and hand it over. And tell him , “Death for us all”. He smiles.

2045hrs

Traffic is slowly moving. No overlapping. A huge trailer had overtuned and blocked the road. Thankfully the cops were abit correspondent.

2140hrs

The road is clear. We have overcome the obstacle. Speed is all what we thinking about right now. We already late by two hours. Conductor tells us we not stopping by Voi town. Its tricky. Since I had opted to have a refill on food and liquor. But well no luck for me. It wasn’t raining anymore. My rivalry had been renewed by the Ice queen.

2200hrs

A screech, burnt clutch, burning rubbers. Yes i knew an impact was imminent. We were swerving from side to side. I had no clue of what was going on. I was calm. My mind was at peace. Seatbelt was on. Perhaps i thought it was one of those ” kata funua moments”.

Yes we crashed, we rolled. Bodies all over. Blood stenched the air. Cries filled the air. All manner of prayers did hue the atmosphere. People cried. People died. Some just slept.

2300hrs

I could see faces, white lights, people talking in a different language. People rushing and moving. Before it was darkness. I saw him walking towards me.

He came by my hospital bed. I was in a critical condition. Atleast that is what i heard. Before the anaesthesia took over. Everything was hazy, dazzling. Bright lights. Then Lights off.

I struggled to open my eyes. I clearly felt I was in a different world.

Father: Son you okay?

Me: Where I’m I?

Father: Your Time Is Up Son.

Me: How

Father: They Pronounced you dead as soon as you entered the theatre.

Me: Can’t be true.

Father: Son, It’s not over yet. You still have a chance. You’ll be reborn

Me: How comes? What about my previous life?

Father: Behold, I’m with you in the after life.

Later, light fades out. I feel I’m being ushered from the darkness into a new world. I see light. I see hospital doors swinging open.

0000hrs

Doctor: Push

Her: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

Doctor: Push

Her: Aaaaaaaagh,

Doctor: You can do it! Once more. Push,……..

Her: Aaaaaaaah,

A bouncy baby boy.

Doctor: You have A bouncy baby boy.

Her: His Name is Leo Mwasi. I’ll name him after his father.

0030hrs

Father: I told you son. Immah be with you. Every step of the way. I’ll always look out for you.

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