“I have a story to tell, ” she says, “My story,” she continues.
I have always had a problem managing my Instagram page. I feel like it cries for my attention but I cannot afford to give. It is a city with too much traffic of people. Celebs at the forefront ofcourse. And the rest of us,scrambling for space to pass at the far ends of the pavement like Tom Mboya Avenue. But it is in this head aching jam that I met her, Georgina.
In my mind, she was sitting in what looks like one of those city council benches in CBD looking unbothered. Probably because she had already been through the bothers of life and so nothing was worth troubling her any more. She looks calm, amidst a world where everyone is rushing to find the answers to the mystery of life. She was seated – one leg on top of the other, wearing a lovely luminous green hoodie.
In the real world, this place she had sat is my DM. She was sure I was going to pass there and see her and most likely not ignore her. Mjango, getting a DM from a lovely lady in this generation is a social media jackpot if I’d call it. I sat next to her on that bench so that I may know the reason for her beckoning. It felt nice by the way because I don’t get DMs often. You feel me?
She introduces herself and asks whether I write stories for people or they write it themselves and send me to post them on my platforms. My heart melts for starters. That finally one story had followed me to my backyard. I say, it depends, but I mostly get the story from them and write it in a manner that is receptive to my audience. She says fine, and that she has a story to tell. I could hear the angels in my mind singing hallelujah songs.
Georgina is a 23 year old girl in law school. So her word is law. About three months ago, she was diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD. What in God’s name is that? You might be asking.
A narcissist is someone who has an exceptional interest in and admiration for themselves. As a result, they would do anything in order to have their way and achieve what they want. Condescending is the word. It doesn’t matter to them whether they will have to step on people’s heads or even run them over with a golf cart. People’s feelings mean nearly nothing to them. They hurt people carelessly through the self-centered decisions they make. They only care about themselves.
Adolf Hitler has been marked in the books of history as a narcissist just so you know. And seeing what he ended up doing with power shows just how much it could be detrimental for the society around people who are narcissistic. Georgina has purposely come to my DM to look for a platform that could help her create awareness about the disorder. It is a disorder because it could take a whole while before people experiencing it realise that it is actually not ‘normal’ to be like that. And when they do or even if they don’t, they don’t have a sense of control over it. Like a nightmare you can’t just wake up from.
So I ask her if we can take a walk to somewhere quiet, away from the noise of the suburbs of Instagram. Somewhere like a park ; if we could try mailing? Yes? Yes! Yes to mailing! After we secure a spot in that park filled with nothing but tranquility, a spot that was not used as a path where people step from time to time and at the sime time had grass but not too much to habour a snake – she begins.
“I had been living my whole life with the least care about anything. I would do things that would only benefit me. I would bully those who allowed me to. And step on people’s toes to get whatever I wanted. I didn’t care if I pushed my friends away, and in the process I lost loved ones, and didn’t even realise that I hurt them.”
It’s Saturday morning at around 10am. Like all weekends, this is the day that no one is in a hurry to do anything or go anywhere unless there is a wedding in some parish somewhere within the county, Kakamega. The TV is on blubbering about Teen Republik to no one but itself. It’s only on to break the silence of the otherwise ordinary morning. A chap with sleepy eyes and not without a speck walks across the corridor towards the kitchen carrying an empty plate and cup. He had just had his breakfast, probably the only breakfast in the week that didn’t taste like a rush.
A damsel who is dressed like she is going somewhere important crosses him without saying a word – to the bathroom to brush her teeth. She is the eldest sibling in the house. Her not so noisy perfume will surely calm the hearts of her interviewers in two hours time.
In the background, is the sound of a woman, singing what sounds like the tune to ‘Uninyunyuzie maji, Bwana’ song. It’s coming from the backyard of the house. Her voice, though faint while in the house, rushes in and fills the house with warmth and love. Like the words of the song are really moving the Lord to shower the house with holy water and purify the souls in it.
What seems like the calmest of all Saturday mornings is interrupted by a knock on the gate. A knock that doesn’t sound kind. One like that of an auctioneer with a lorry with a hungry empty trunk behind him. Nobody is bothered by it at first. Like hell they don’t know it’s a graceful Saturday in that home. It persists, and no one shows the least concern, but the originator of the voice in the backyard. She stops singing. She must be annoyed. No one said they were expecting a visitor on that day leave alone that early. The son of a gun at the gate was ruining her devotion.
She gets to the gate and realises that she forgot to come along with the keys from the house. She nearly clicks but she is too spiritually grown for reactions like that.
Perturbed and already too demotivated to go back for the key, she asks, in her usual calm voice, “Ni nani?”
No answer. She breaths out steam this time.
She projects again, “Kuna mtu hapo?”
“Mum ni mimi!” A voice responds at the other side of the gate.
No answer. She dangles her hands in what seems like emotional retirement. She wants to start hurling questions but there is a gate between them, so she calls out for someone to bring the keys to the gate, and a damsel spotting an adorable black feminine suit leaves the front door with a hand bag on her shoulder, a nice blue file on the same hand and a bunch of keys hanging on the fingers of her left hand.
“Ndio kuenda sasa?”
“Yes mum.” The damsel says.
“God is with you.”
The damsel smiles back like saying thank you mum, as she opens the gate without knowing that there was more to cross at the time than just a gate. She freezes after swinging the gate, as if she has seen the skeleton of a ghost. Not that she was afraid. She was just not expecting to see her little sister standing at the gate like a lost child in a foreign neighborhood in the middle of a school term! Her face turns disdainful. She wants to ask what in God’s name she was doing back at home with what seems like all her school property – but she sighs and leaves her there because she had a job to secure on that day.
The girl, still in school uniform, but with an untucked shirt, picks up her school metallic box and enters the compound, still with the courageousness like that of an auctioneer.
“Georgina this is the fourth time since you joined form one! Wewe hata hautuhurumii?” Mum asks sternly.
No response. If it was a whatsapp conversation, we would say she was blueticked.
By the time she was finishing her form four, she had forced her mum to transfer her from school to school multiple times or else, she would not mind not going to school at all.
She joined law school afterwards. Her school fees has been courtesy of her eldest sister. Her mum still remained supportive despite having being dipped into heartbreak and disappointment countless times. Like one of the most recent situations in August last year. A time when what she was going through seemed to be at the peak of its retaliation.
The sound of the phone ringing on the other end of the line fills her ear. She sits waiting for someone to pick.
“Hello?” A voice finally says.
“Yes hello good morning mchungaji.”
“Good morning ma’am. How are you?” The voice is of a male and sure does sound like a man of God.
“I am fine thank you sir. I know you’re busy. I just wanted to let you know that I will not make it to the church elders’ meeting tomorrow. My daughter is graduating so I have to travel tonight with my family so we can attend.”
“Oh! That is fine ma’am. Congratulations to her and also to you.”
“Thank you sir.”
“Which… Jambo afandee!”
“Sorry, I am driving and I just passed some traffic police.”
“No problem sir. You were asking which?”
“Which daughter again? The younger one?”
“Yes sir the younger one in law school in Nairobi. God has really seen us through.”
“Ni kweli. He has been faithful. I remember when you asked me to pray for her. Well okay ma’am, naomba mtembee vizuri. May God go before you and make the victory permanent.”
“Amen mchungaji. Asante sana.”
There is no joy like that of a parent getting to see their child graduate from one level of life to another. My mum still reminds me about the things she saw me take part in during her visits to my highschool. Can you imagine I was once a member of the school band. I played the trumpet.
Well someone else’s trumpet of life was about to blow here. And her mum wanted to be at the front line to congratulate her.
Her eldest daughter, now working in Nairobi picked her from Easy Coach bus terminus at 5am. They later left for Georgina’s graduation. A few relatives had arrived before them.
While in the car lining up for a security check at the gate,
“Mum have you spoken to Georgina lately?”
“Yes. Yesterday in the morning.”
“Why do you ask?”
“I don’t know. I just have a feeling in my gut that is not normal.”
They get cleared at the gate and find themselves a parking space. Mum steps out to get fresh air. She looks around and begins to remember that the last time she was there was when she brought Georgina for her admission. Amazing how time flies.
She turns and looks across the car.
“Uncle says they can’t find Georgina.”
“Where is he?”
“At the administration. He says we need to get there now.”
Worry begins to kick in like a flu that starts with an itchy feeling in the nose. Her heart begins to race and she silently mumbles a prayer hoping that her daughter is safe.
They arrive at the administration block where their relatives are and the last thing they hear before they interrupt is, “I’m sorry sir. Just find out where she is and ask her why she is not on the graduation list. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have other matters to attend to.” The man with a bald head and a tag hanging on his neck leaves while holding leaves of papers stapled together.
The three relatives, lead by an elderly uncle turn around to see Georgina’s mum standing with her hands a kimbo, looking like the mother of disparity. The eldest daughter greets them and asks what happened. The uncle, a learned man, says that was the academic registrar. He showed them the list of graduands and Georgina was not among them.
The eldest daughter turns and looks at her mum. She looks like saying, “See? I had a feeling!” She holds her mum because we all know situations like these do awaken the blood pressure in old folks.
“I have tried calling her, her line is off.” The uncle says. “Maybe she does not know we are here. Tumtafute. There must be a mistake somewhere.”
“Let’s not waste our time. This one is not a mistake. I know my daughter.”
She withholds a tear, swallows something hard and turns to leave. Her elder daughter follows. “Now where could she be?” She asks herself aloud. Her daughter knows better than to answer because she knows that question is being addressed to her Lord in Heaven.
If her Lord was to give her an answer there and then, He would say she is lying rather helplessly on a couch in a man’s house. No, before you think she has been messing around with some strange man, this man is her friend. Infact, her good Samaritan for the day. Maybe even her whole life as well.
She will be waking up to face a shit storm because she had made her family think she was going to graduate yet she had messed up somewhere in her academic home stretch. She didn’t tell them she had been missing school. It would only warrant for more explanations than she was willing to give.
Now for a considerable period of time, she and her family will not see eye to eye. Her mum being at the top of that list. She is the one who has been pushing her literally like a wheelbarrow – to get that law degree.
Skipping school and work without a gram of care is one of the trends associated with narcissism. And mjango that? That is the last stage before becoming a sociopath.
And so the series continues next week mjango.