September 25, 2020

Horizon: A Stolen Boyhood 2


By Mwangi Macharia

Mama found my packed bags. She wept. I was in utter confusion. What will I do? She now cries that I am the only man in her life. She does not want me to leave. I am sorry I will delay my coming papa. You know she is delicate right? Or did you care when you left? Anyway, I will still write to you papa. I am at my work place. The atmosphere is jovial I can feel it but it is until I enter that a sombre mood engulf the office. They go silent as if I was the character of their discussions. It hurts me. I go out and in a flash I can hear them giggle. Slowly the giggling graduated to laughter. Excitement fills the room but only when I am outside.

I write this over lunch time for rejection is my daily food. My appetite is damaged for physical food. But I am used to it papa. Do not be shocked it began in the second week of school papa. I was not like the rest of them. I was not rough. I despised dirt. They preached that dirt is good but mama said dirt is death in disguise. I could not die before meeting you so I had to be clean. I could not fight like them and they despised me.

It is in my second week that the reality began to dawn. I was no longer in the care of my mother. My cry could not get me milk and meat instead it would attract a laughter. I was disoriented, helpless and without a father to tell me what to do. I was defenceless. All I had was a teddy bear. It was precious I tell you. Every time things were tough mama had told me to hug it hard and everything will be ok. Escape from reality, papa, that is what she was teaching me.

The very thing you did with her. You escaped reality by going far away. Left no trace. Probably you are like the men I see day in day out lying to young naïve ladies that they love them. Yet the products of their loins are deep buried and forgotten. They think they can start over by hiding the truth. Advice to you papa if you are such. Let my step mama know that you have an active seed. Or is this the seed of rejection you sowed in my mother?

The boys had spotted my defencelessness. They knew now that all I did was hold on to a teddy bear and squeeze it hard. Just as our nation does. Holding on to the idea that being a peaceful country will protect us from the Al-Shabaab. I knew not how to defend myself. A slap is all I could do. Well it did not help much. The other move I had was to cry for mama’s help. They would all laugh at me, pointing their fingers at me.

One evening after school a group of boys decided to have a fun fare by teasing each other to a fight. I could not bear it so I ignored. But barely did I know it was all a show to attract the main culprit. Me. Before I walked past the group a boy jumped me and pulled me to the group. One of the big boy’s drew a line and dared me to walk past it if I thought I was man enough. But how could I be a man without you teaching me how to? I wish they had told me to act as a lady that would be easy. For that I had seen my entire life.

I stood clueless. I could not cross but then a push made me cross over. Sleeves were up, fists clenched, he was moving forth and backwards ready for a fight. I had nothing. My teddy was snatched away. My bladder gave way as my tear glands could not hold it any more. I closed my eyes to give time to my opponent the pleasure of taking his glorious blow but instead I got a blow of laughter from my friends. Humiliating you might say, but you were not there.

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