Fiction · Musings · School · Short Stories

When They Met


The days were dragging. At a belly like pace. It felt like they would start a new week on a Monday, overlooking all the hang-overs and the ‘blues’. Then at the tail end, on a Wednesday night, God at that moment seated on the throne, a pipe probably in hand, smoking, pointing and gesturing and with a mood to assign duties decided to let Angel Michael take humanity to the next day. However, the good Angel Michael instead of hitting the Next Day-button would mistakenly hit the Rewind Days-button with a force only equivalent to a toddler’s and take humanity all the way back to Monday, again. In his defense, the good angel would mumble something to God about having stayed up late the previous night, which would not be news to the keenly listening God, ensuring that there was security in the High Heavens as the Good Lord enjoyed hymns from the other angels. The Good Lord would look down from His throne and breath out an enormous sigh as He tries to figure out how to save matters.

He had looked at his watch the umpteenth time that morning. Once again wondering how time was moving at such slow pace. He thought a tortoise could beat it, the time, hands down in a racing competition. He harboured such and a lot more thoughts in his already saturated, or so he thought head. They, the thoughts distracted him and in a way allowed him to gain his balance. He felt he was losing it. But for what? May it was the cold. He felt it pinch his ears down towards his bare neck. His neck scarf could be of great help at such times. But he had left it in his room rushing to class thinking that he was late and would have to face the raunchy lecturer that he loathed. Everybody hated her. Then he noticed Mahatma Gandhi, the statue, standing in the cold. He wondered how he survived those cold nights just having a Maasai shuka covering his lower mid-rib area and a pair of tire sandals on his feet. He was impressed by Mahatma’s loyalty.

The cold pinched him again, this time bringing him to his present state. He felt disturbed. Unsettled. The exams! It suddenly hit him. At least time was doing some constructive work now he thought. But it could not be. He figured. He had spent the better part of the last days of the semester studying-the reason he felt saturated in his head. The semester had been different. He could attest to that. It had been full of good stuff. The days prior to him deciding to settle down and catch up with class work had been great and they played and replayed in his head. He remembered the night outs and the parties. The club dances and the liquor they popped. The ‘boring’ lectures they did not give a second thought to miss. And the girls. The girls had been many but the nights short. He had played with their heads and their bodies. He ate a lot of eggs that semester. He played hard, so hard and safe. That thought caught his attention. He had played really hard but not safe. He felt a sour taste in his mouth and a desire to spit came to him. Pushing him. Even if at the feet of Mahatma Gandhi. A desire to scratch himself also came. He had been scratching his body so severely lately like a witch had thrown some concoction with itching effect down his path. Then he remembered his encounter with the doctor.

He had previously noticed unusual blister-like swellings on his private parts and an unpleasant smell which pushed him to seek medical attention. Like all the students, or the ones who knew how to go about such uncomfortable findings on their bodies, he went to Mbugua’s, the dingy, small, dark-lit private clinic where students went to when faced with conditions similar to his. He could not go to the school clinic. He was not ready to be looked at with judgemental eyes. Like someone was responsible for his schooling. At the clinic, he had a chat with Mbugua, the owner of the clinic who seemed less judgemental and was asked to undergo some tests that required him to be rid of some blood. He hated it when his blood was taken from his body. The nurse, an old lady had taken so much of it. Then he was asked to take a small tin-like material and bring it back half-filled with his piss. What if he did not feel like pissing at that time? Where was he to get another piss? He went into the small iron-tin covered box for a bathroom and manged to harvest the few of his piss and took his way back to the old nurse.

The old nurse was not at her desk. Seems she had been called by the doctor. He sat down to wait for her return so that he could hand in his piss and maybe get out of the clinic before he lost his peace. He had started suffocating. Just then he noticed another patient, a lady waiting for the old nurse who seemed to be taking ages doing anything. He feared being seen by the lady patient handing his piss to the old nurse. He planned to let her, the lady patient finish her business and leave then hand in his piss. The old nurse came back and took her time settling before she motioned that she was ready to see them. She called the first time but no one was willing to be the first to respond. She called again and the response or lack of it was the same. Out of rage she burst out…”leteni hizo mikojo sina muda hapa”. Both of their secret was out. That was when it occurred to him that the lady patient feared exactly the same thing-she did no want to be seen handing her piss to the old nurse. She, the lady patient turned and looked at him for the first time from her phone and he thought he saw her motion him to join her in taking their piss to the old nurse. He said hi and talked a little more outside the clinic. They were asked to come back for the test results after three days. That was how they met.

That was what was bothering him. The girl he met in that mysterious clinic. The result that he was to go and check the following day. And the life that he would live after that day. He imagined his encounter with the old nurse at Mbugua’s the following day. How she would hold his fate in her chubby hands, with no gloves on. She could do anything with it, his fate. She could wash it clean, wrap it in a storing bag and keep it safe in a refrigerator. Or roll it into a ball then throw it into the dustbin like a basketball player. He thought about Jess, she loved it when he called her that. How she would handle her test results. He thought about their lives together in the aftermath. They had agreed to stay together whatever their results. Birds of a feather. He thought about spending nights and cold mornings together holding Jess close to his heart, cuddling and whispering things into her ears. Things that would make her chuckle and cackle all through morning. He thought about kids coming and the times they would spend as one big happy family talking about everything except one. Suddenly he dreaded the day his kid, the inquisitive, just like Jess, would ask how they met.

Photo courtesy; Unknown.


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