By Mwangi Macharia
The rain had subsided yet they did not recognise it. Darkness began to creep in. Mama and Mr Mukandi were caught in a trance of marvel. Though mama wept silently as her face showed her puzzled mind. She could not understand how she ever trusted Mr Mukandi yet she had known him for a few weeks. Mr Mukandi was motionless. He devoted his undivided attention to mama only his eyes blinked. The story was getting sweeter.
Mama could not hesitate hide her story any more. “That day John came as usual. He did not know the prayer I had prayed.” Mama continued with the story amidst low sobs. Her hands were trembling yet her mouth was steady. “He brought ice cream and a few snacks yet by their sight I knew what he had come for. I felt cheap and worthless for that, I could not resist.” Mr Mukandi’s eyes were widening but with unfailing effort he concealed his shock.
Time was gone and the intensity of darkness was swallowing my ability to see. I could only make out the two figures but could not see the full reaction of their faces. I knew that soon mama would ask me to draw the curtains and switch on the lights. Like the good son I was brought up to be I stood up and began to draw the curtains.
Immediately I switched on the lights Mr Mukandi’s phone began to ring. He looked at it then silenced it and ignored the caller. “Sorry for that. Please continue,” he said to mama with a smile. Before mama had continued the phone rang again.
“Sorry” he said as he looked at his phone. He raised his head and looked at mama “Please allow me to pick this.” He said in a calm voice. Mama nodded at him as she forced a smile on her face. He smiled back and picked the phone call.
“Hello” he said in a calm and collected manner. “Yes this is Mr Mukandi. Who am I speaking to?” he paused as the anonymous caller replied. “Oh! It’s you bwana Mambo! I am sorry I lost my contacts.” He paused again. This time his face began to wrinkle. “What? Where? When?” he asked as he began to rise up from the seat. Mama’s face was full of worry. She tried to ask Mr Mukandi what was wrong using signs but Mr Mukandi was so engrossed in the phone call that he did not realise. “I will be right there.” He said this as he headed for the door. He gracefully slid his phone in the pocket as he reached for the door knob.
Before he could open the door mama was right behind him. “What’s the matter?” mama asked calmly. Mr Mukandi turned. He was trembling and sweeting. “My wife, my wife…” he looked confused. Mama tried to hide her concern and guilt but she could not. He quickly opened the door and dashed to his car and drove off. Mama was broken.
“How can I hung out and fall for a married man? How dare he not mention it? I hate men!”
I could not let mama hate men when I was one. I walked to her, embraced her and in her ear I whispered. “You cannot hate men mama for I am one. I promise never to disappoint you mama. You have me.”