It’s around 10pm and am walking home, alone, taking the only route that leads to my parents’ domicile. This one, a rather spooky shrubby scrub, with unimaginable tales, am scared. The day was so hectic and sinful, my heart can’t let go. My mind is preoccupied with thoughts and regrets, I don’t deserve redemption… naah, am not one of the good guys out there. Over the course of my short life, I have made many mistakes but the one I made today will haunt me forever.
“How could you Victor? How could you?” Am drowning in my thoughts, the guilt is consuming me. No matter how much I try to deflect my mind, it can’t, it clings to that tragedy. The trajectory of my life is now utterly out of control, am going to crash. “Be strong Victor, at least for what’s yet to come”, I try to comfort myself. I’m not so much of a multitasker, but in all these I can tell for sure, with absolute certainty that someone or something is following me. This I can, from the cracking sound of dry leaves.
Apart from heights, am also terrified of darkness and it happens to be at night. Am forced to switch back. I stop, take a deep breathe before turning to see who or what it might be. “Is it an animal?” In an undertone, I ask myself. My left hand though shaking heavily but firmly holding a spotlight. I try gazing around, I can’t see anything. I proceed but this time taking quick paces. The sound of dry leaves cracking grows louder.
“Be a man Victor”, I take out a pen knife, “Show yourself you little junk!” I shout at the top of my voice. A figure of a well-built young man approaches, I try to run but he calls out my name, “Victor!” It’s my best friend, David. “Oh Dave, it’s you”, I say while breathing a sigh of relief, “You shouldn’t sneak on a person like that, you can scare him to death.”
“I’m sorry, my friend, I didn’t mean to do that to you, but am here to warn you.”
“Warn me!” Am surprised, “About what?”
“They’ve all come, they’re camping at your home, and they want your head.”
“The villagers; about that dead girl, Betty, the one that you…”
“Stop!” I cut him short, “I didn’t kill her, I merely suggested… anyway just leave it.”
“But they’re literally saying you’re responsible for her death.”
“I might have loaded the gun, yes, but it’s not like am the one who pulled the trigger, Dave, you have to be believe me.”
“I do, but those angry rustics are not the sympathetic type.”
“Please, what should I do?”
“I suggest you disappear.”
“Yeah, till things cool down, else you’ll get yourself killed.”
“But I can’t leave school, my parents…”
“Imagine what will happen to them if you die.”
“Where should I go?”
“Go to your aunt in Nairobi, to that uncle of yours in Nakuru or to your grandma on the other side of the ridge.”
“You know I can’t go to Nairobi or Nakuru, I don’t have any money on me. If I go to my grandma, they will eventually find me there. Am doomed.”
“We’ll find a way, I promise, but you can’t go to your place.”
“I’m sure my parents will understand this, I should first talk to them.”
“Dave, if you’re really my friend you’ll allow me to do this. Trust me, I’ve to.”
“Okay. By the way, you never told me that you were hooking up with her.”
“We were not hooking up, it only happened once.”
“And you didn’t tell me about that either, we tell each other everything.”
“She made me swear not to tell anyone.”
“She was 17 years, underage, I bet you knew that.”
“No, I didn’t.”
“What now? Huh! You don’t believe me?”
“Then tell me, even how you met?”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Please, maybe it will help ease your mind,” he insists.
“Well, this is how it all began…”
It was on a chilly Sunday morning, coinciding with my birthday. I was enjoying my sleep, which seemed to be very sweet as I was supposed to be awake 45 minutes earlier. My mom came knocking at my bedroom door, “Hey mister, wake up, it’s time for church… stop sleeping like a dead rat.” That’s kind of her thing, spicing a good statement with a bit of invectives. I thought of just waking up and punching her face. Who dares to summon me from slumberland, more especially when the sweven is about my newly acquired millionaire status?
I’m sure even God would understand that I slept late the previous night. Well, I don’t go to church more often, but am compelled to when my parents are around. They get literally on my neck, mounting pressure on me, telling me old cliché stories about the importance of going to church. Just like that nasty fly that waits until when food is served and visitors are around, then it starts buzzing around the food. You get that the feeling?
So, I decided to go, just for the sake of putting a smile on their faces. I wore my cream Tokyo kaki trouser, a light blue collared t-shirt and white sport shoes as I knew too well I couldn’t stay long in that house, well, respectfully the ‘house of God’. The distance from home to church is too long, you can even lose hope on the way. These guys who built a church kilometers away from the village, in a remote creepy place, clearly had a misplaced agenda.
Nonetheless we arrived at the place, choking of dust, smelling of sweat, with itchy armpits and surprising about 10 minutes before the sermon. I don’t walk with my parents, because that makes me look like a kid. They proceeded in as I decided to ramble around the church compound. Tired and feeling exhausted, I thought of peeping into that old dilapidated muddy church. And there she was, sitting on the third last pew. A very exquisite lass.
Forget about those stupid dating apps and daunting sites, she was there in flesh. She turned, our eyes met, I froze, lost my breathe, stood there like a statue admiring that unique beauty. Indeed that was a project that had taken God, quite some time to complete. Directly from the oven. I was brought back by this old red eyed man, smelling liquor, telling me, “My son, there’s a free seat at the front.” I gawped at him and rudely asked, “Who told you I want to sit?”
I took four paces backwards and stepped out. “I will wait for her outside”, I swore to myself. I couldn’t resist the temptation of the eye. It was a ripe blessing, love on first sight. The sermon took unprecedentedly quite long, I waited horribly, grew weary but still remained optimistic. “Today is my day to eat”, I reassured myself. Finally, it was over, one after another they poured out. As she approached, I trembled, shaking like a wet kitten.
I advanced to her, like a pupil writing a composition, I cleared my throat and started by introducing myself, “Hi, am Vi…” “I know who you are”, she interjected. That made me very shy, I thought of turning away, but I remembered that saying, ‘Present opportunities are not to be ignored, they rarely knock twice’. Being an amateur I was, I made my move with a broken vibe.
“You look lovely, intimate. Oh my God! Such an elegant, sparkling, glowing beauty. In deed you make other ladies tame.”
She laughed out loudly until those old nuns calling themselves saints turned and stripped me naked with their eyes.
“I know”, she whispered.
“I can’t get my eyes off you, your beauty has taken my heart hostage.” She blushed.
Feeling motivated, I proceeded, “Just wondering how long it took God to create you. Did He use different ingredients to form you?”
“Hahaha”, she giggled, “Am just like others.”
“Even the word ‘sheen’ cannot be used to describe you… It will be an understatement to say you’re beautiful.”
“Aaaawww, am humbled a lot. You know, I always see that am just like other girls.”
“You are so different. I can attest to that. I can recall there’s a verse in the Bible that says we were created in the image and likeness of God, truth be told you are a testimony to it. I doubt there will be even a single soul that will question it after laying eyes on you.”
“Thanks, but I see you are now flattering me. Can you cut to the chase?”
“Oh! Sure, Can I buy you lunch?”
“Absolutely, am starving.”
The feeling was mutual, the rest they say is history, but not in our case. We kept seeing each other, until one day it just happened. You know that first time, very disgusting, but so loveable. A virgin she was. I thought everything was fine until today morning she came to my place. I was so happy to see her, if she came back that means I was very good and she must have missed it. “Am pregnant”, she dropped the bombshell. My heart almost skipped a beat, “What!” I found myself yelling.
“How? When?” The kind of questions that came from my mouth.
“Two months ago.”
“And you thought this house is a refugee camp for pregnant girls?”
“It’s yours Victor.”
“No! It can be”, I rebuked her while shaking my head.
“Stop denying it”, she said in tears.
“You must be very stupid not to use pills.”
“And you must be equally stupid not to use condoms.”
Fighting was not going to help, we had to come up with a solution.
“Do your parents know?”
“How could you?”
“I couldn’t hide from them.”
“This morning. And they are heading to inform the elders.”
“Am dead, I should start carving my tombstone.”
“They sent me away.”
“To you, damn it!”
“You can’t stay here, what if my parents find out.”
“They will, that’s if my parents have not told them already.”
“You should abort.”
“That’s the only way, the good thing, for both of us.”
“You will if you don’t want to be homeless.”
We agreed on that, and approached the village physician, who at a fee of Ksh. 700, agreed to remove the ‘curse’. All seemed to be going perfectly well, until she started bleeding out, blood flowing out of her body like a stream on a hill. He (the uneducated one, who masquerades around the hamlet claiming to be ‘a doctor’) couldn’t stop it. I watched as her body shut down, as she drew her last breathe. “She is dead”. I couldn’t believe my ears, I have never seen a person die before.
It seemed like a dream, I had to pinch my cheek to confirm it was real. A bright future cut short; that beautiful young soul, gone. I wept like a baby, though not out of spite or loss but out of regret. “Am calling her parents”, the idiot came up again. “Please don’t”, I pleaded with him. “I have to, they deserve to know. Where do I take this body?” I stepped out of that decrepit house, leaving her body lying there helplessly, in a pool of blood, fortified with regrets, l decided to face my mistakes, to make a menace. How to do that, is just a mystery. That’s why am out here.
We are just about 30 metres away from my parents’ home and we can hear them scream. Chanting all manner of songs, calling me names. They have come for blood, and they are not leaving till they have it. David tries to convince me to run and never come back. But this was, is and will remain to be my mistake, I ought to face it. I hope they will listen me, I too feel the pain. You can’t resurrect the dead neither can you kill a person who is already dead, can you? I gather all my strength, trembling and breathing heavily. My legs refuse to move, am nervous.
At last we are here, whatever happens, this might be and is my last confession. I extend my right hand to open the gate, as soon as I take the first step into the compound, they come rushing towards me, with all kinds of weapons they could find. Shouting, “Kill him! Abomination! Murderer! He killed our daughter!” I close my eyes, “God, please forgive me.” Ideally those ought to be my last words. And yes, I killed her, but if I die tonight then I befriended the devil.