(Image art: Sidney Mwashigadi).
November 3rd 2017.
Rains have been pouring for hours. Thunderstorms didn’t help much either. Her cries couldn’t be heard. Screams were drained by the rumbling noise. No amount of heavy downpour would wash away the pain. Sorrow and pity made way into Boboo’s heart. Outside their residence, water raged on. Perhaps it signified the anger she had in her heart. Questions which didn’t have answers lingered in her mind. Why her? What wrong had she done against God? Where was God during those trying moments?
Darkness and terror reigns in Boboo. She clutched her clothes tightly wailing uncontrollably. How would she tell her fiancé? In what ways would she break the news? She had been soiled, defiled, molested and left bare. The perpetrator lived within their home. Someone she looked up to. Alone she suffered. Boboo’s face looked terrible. Battered, bleeding lips, burnt marks were visible on her body. A once beautiful lady, the star of the sea now languished in shame.
The door creaked, Boboo’s mother came in. She stood paralyzed for a while as she dripped wet from being rained outside. Her father and grandmother also came in, they were abit startled to find Boboo naked gazing at a far distance, tears streaming down her face.
“Boboo what is this?”, her father asked. Why is she even naked? He wondered more.
Boboo’s mother (Layla): Bobo, my daughter, what happened?
Grandmother (Khadija): Bastard of a swine raped my grandchild.
Boboo’s Father (Ahmed): Stop this madness Boboo, wake up and get dressed then clearly explain what is wrong with you.
Boboo: Mother take me out of this misery.
Layla: Please Boboo explain to us.
Boboo: I can’t live anymore. Our house help raped me severally and dragged me to the shamba and he did it again and again. I cant feel my body. I have been beaten. Even a dog has more honor than I, at this state.
Ahmed: You mean Mahsoud did this to you?
Ahmed storms out in anger and he heads to his room and comes out with a gun. He curses and swears to kill Mahsoud. Khadija follows and pleads him not to do anything irrational.
Layla rushes Boboo to the hospital. She can’t drive properly. Roads are flooded, houses have been swept, some have been submerged. But she is no ordinary lady driver. Boboo coughs out blood.
Boboo: Mama, I’m dying.
Layla: Hush child! We’ll make it ok, everything will be alright.
Boboo: No mama, I feel pain, it’s cold.
Layla breaks down into an uncontrollable wail. She steps on the gas further. Her daughter was bleeding internally. It must have been worse for her poor child. Sense distanced itself from her that day. Hooting wildly she did. Forcing everyone out of her way.
Ahmed got hold of Mahsoud behind the storage house. He was so busy puffing marijuana that he didn’t notice Ahmed, who lands a heavy blow from behind.
Khadija: Ahmed don’t kill him. Allah won’t forgive you for this. You can’t correct a wrong mistake with another wrong doing.
Ahmed: This pig of an infidel defiled my child. He took away her dignity.
Mahsoud: (Spits blood at Ahmed after receiving a thorough beating). Your daughter was no virgin. What dignity did she have? You killed my parents. I never forgot the day you shot them dead.
Ahmed: (Wiping spit off his shirt). I killed your parents to put them out of their miserable lives. They sided with the rebels and gave out our countries secrets. They watched my sister being raped and tortured by those uncircumcised men. The army would come for them. Do you know what the army does to such people?
Mahsoud: You are a coward, just like them.
Ahmed: Your mother would have been gang raped, shot and have a muzzle of a gun inserted in both holes and your father also raped by men and tied to a pole. Then he would be tortured. They begged me to kill them. I offered them janaa (mercy killing) and you repay me with such atrocities.
Khadija: Both of you wronged Allah. May God forgive you for your wayward ways. Mahsoud, Boboo did no harm to you. Or is it because she refused your hand in marriage?
Ahmed: I’ll give him free passage into the next world. (He cocks his gun and aims at Mahsoud).
Khadija: Ahmed! No! Doooon……..
A bullet goes through Mahsoud’s thigh. He screams in pain as the bullet comes out with flesh. He falls to the ground in excruciating pain. His leg would have to be amputated for him to survive.
Ahmed: Why, Mahsoud? Why? Boboo grew up knowing you as our house help and often referred to you as uncle.
Khadija: Let’s just report the matter to the police.
Ahmed: I’ll shoot every limb off him and throw his body in the Tana River.
Khadija: Ahmed I’m your mother.
Ahmed: He does not deserve to live.
Mahsoud: I wanted revenge, to get back at you for killing my parents! It isn’t over yet. They’ll come, more and more. We will recruit more men into the militia.
Nurse 1: Doctor we have an emergency. There’s a young woman who has been brought in by her mother. She looks terrible. Her face is swollen, she has broken lips, burn marks are visible. Signs of internal bleeding have been confirmed due to blood coughs.
Pressure is on the lower side, we might loose her!
Nurse 2: Forced entry has been confirmed. Why would one have to undergo such immense pain?
Doctor 1: Try to stabilize the pressure, she is going into shock and it would be hard to revive her from her trance.
Doctor 2: Nurses kindly collect blood samples and test for any diseases and put her on peps to prevent infection of any venereal disease.
Nurse 1: Are you her guardian?
Layla: Yes, I’m her mother.
Nurse 1: Take heart, God is in control. We’ll try our level best.
Layla grabs the nurse by her collar and throws her off balance. The nurse is taken by surprise at such turns of events.
Layla: Dont tell me everything is in control. Where was God when all this happened to my daughter? Can you fix or reverse time back to when everything was okay for her? Would you be able to live with that scar for an eternity?
Nurse 1: Sorry Maam. I didn’t mean to offend you.
Layla: Sorry, forgive my manners. Call my husband and tell him we are at the hospital. I have no strength now. (Lifts the nurse off the ground and breaks down into a terrible wail).
An eerie silence fell among other patients as Layla cried her heart out. It was hard and terrible for her. She feared for her daughter. What if she becomes heavy with child? Or her internals are bruised that they would be forced to scrap off her uterus? Or she gets AIDS? Would her other relationships become the same?
November 4th 2014
Malindi – Hola – Garsen – Lamu Highway.
Mahsoud is ushered out of the car. His leg is heavily bandaged. He leans off crutches. Khadija lets him limp on his own. They are on the middle of a bridge. Water furiously rushes underneath. Ahmed steps out of the car and tells Mahsoud that he has forgiven him. He had no ill feeling and he wanted both of them to begin on a new slate.
Mahsoud turns around and smiles and he continues limping towards the end of the bridge.
(Baaaaam, baaaaam) Mahsoud’s head is wiped clean off his shoulders. His body falls. Blood spluttered out.
Ahmed walks upto him and takes his headless body and tosses it below the bridge, as the Tana River carries his body away. He throws Mahsoud’s head in the air and gives it a massive kick. Chwubliiii, it lands in the water.
Khadija is terror stricken. Wondering how her son turned into a killing machine. She goes back into the car too dumb struck. Ahmed in tow.
Khadija: You promised me, you wouldn’t kill him but you’d deliver him to the authorities.
Ahmed: Mother, I kill bad people for a living. Bad men who corrupt our nation and are a threat to its stability.
Khadija: May his soul find comfort.
Ahmed: The crocodiles sure will feast today.
Layla: Baby you feeling good?
Boboo: The sky looks pretty today. It feels warm.
Layla: Boboo stop talking like this. You’re making me worried.
Boboo: The music is pleasing to the ears Mamaa, can’t you hear the songs?
Layla: Boboo, nooo! Their is no music, we are in a hospital. It has been raining heavily.
Boboo: You won’t understand Mamaaa, where I am, I can see grandpa, sister Latifa, and my body doesn’t ‘t feel any pain at all.
Her breaths become heavy.
Layla: Nuuuuuurseeeeeee, (she frantically rings the alarm).
The nurses rush in and try to resuscitate Boboo. Her pressure was falling. She smiled and clutched her mother’s hand.
Boboo: I love you mamaa.
She closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep. Layla couldn’t take it anymore. The thought of seeing her daughter die was hard. The life support machine stopped beeping and a straight line was showing on the monitor. Nurses pulled the sheets over and covered her face.
Layla has been quiet for long. She wouldn’t speak to anyone. She steps out of the hospital and lights a cigarette.
Layla calls her husband.
Ahmed: Hello Love.
Layla: She’s no more. There’s nothing else binding us.
Ahmed: I’ll be on my way.
Layla: Premier Hospital. Have funeral arrangements ready. I’ll clear the bill. I want a divorce from you.
Ahmed: Ok. (Hangs up the phone).
He starts the engine and drives towards where the remains of her daughter lay. Now word has been exchanged between Ahmed and his mother. A long silence engulfs them. Khadija noticed something is a miss. Her son’s driving patterns had changed. Shifting gears much faster as he did when in a foul mood. The car rocked from side to side, skidding, near misses have been the norm for the last one hour. It was a long drive.
Boboo’s body had not yet been moved to the mortuary. She’s still lying in that bed. Layla had requested to stay with her daughter for a while. Her hands had grown cold. Her tears never ceased. She still clutched Boboo’s fingers and cupped them into her hands. For a moment she felt a twitch. Not sure of what it was.
Another little twitch and small composed faint breaths could be heard, and the life support machine went beep beep beep. She felt warmth returning to her daughter’s body.
Layla: Someone call a doctor.
Doctor 1: Sorry for your loss Maam, we understand the pain you going thro,……
He never completed his words. He mumbled irrelevant things. A miracle was born out of those cold rooms. Life had returned to one who was already pronounced dead. Layla had uncovered her daughter. Colour returned to her skin and light shone through her eyes again.
Information and Enquiries.
Khadija and Ahmed walk into the hospital and make enquiries about a girl who died earlier that morning.
Ahmed: Hi Madam, I’m here to enquire about a woman who brought in a child that passed on this morning.
Enquiries Lady: Hi Sir, yes there was a woman who came with a child who was in dire need of medical care. But the child is well and alive. It is a miracle Sir that she traversed both worlds.
Khadija: God gave her back the gift of life.
Life has been quite a mystery to Boboo’s father. Rape, murder, too much blood on his hands. The thought of her daughter returning to life had made his heart happy. He never wanted to divorce Layla but her she never wanted to do anything with him. Ahmed was headed towards his lawyers office to process the divorce papers.
All this thoughts were being processed as he accelerated faster and shifted harder. It was a tad too late as he swerved from the right to the left to avoid hitting a stationery truck. Khadija had once told him that reckless driving would kill him.
He smiled as he veered off after missing the truck and his car went past the guard rails. Front tires of his car dangled in the air as the car came to a sudden halt.