“Being a businessman, I’ve grown to know that you cannot appreciate what you’ve not worked for. You have to feel the pain for you to gain. You want shares? You want to sit at the high table? You will have to put effort.”
(Read the previous episode here.)
“So in short you’re not giving me shares.”
“I didn’t say that. I’ll give you 1% after you pay your 1%. Show me you really want it.”
I had to laugh. I admitted to myself that he is a smart man. But at the end of the day, the weakness of a man is a woman.
“And where do you expect me to get all that money at this time Wafula?”
“I thought we have our whole lives together. What’s the rush for? I got you my dear. I even don’t know why you want to struggle yet I’m willing to provide for you all you’ll ever want and my child too.”
I have realised quite frankly that we shout at the top of our voices ragingly when a match is going on and we are spectating. The players are ever wasting chances in your view. You have no slack to cut them. Why don’t we give you the ball and see what you can do? Of course, it’s your responsibility as a spectator and even fanatic to expect a golden boot from your favourite player. But I hope the same razor that was handed to your player would be handed to you. Let’s see whether you’ll be able to put up with the same level of unreasonable pressure you were imposing on your player.
No I am not talking about football mjango. I am talking about the minds that think what is so hard about quoting Ksh. 999,999 just to carry someone’s child at the blink of an eye? Or even the contrary.
Mama with a bum and a half that sweeps the whole alley, cleavage that shames the great rift valley, complexion like sand and a face like Cleopatra driving a Range Rover corners your campus bred audacity in the hallway of one of the office buildings in Kanairo. You were chasing an 8K gig in one of the offices but they ain’t playing ball. They don’t know that you’re a professional. You have designed websites for people before and they have coughed up to 70 brown notes. Or you’ve ever scored a graphic design gig to brand a starting up radio station and you made them milk their manhoods to produce 100K.
Now here you are, facing the other side of life’s hand while not sparing you red cheeks. You’re panting over a gig that would jerk you from desperation. You just want to feel money in your hands. Our pastor said cash flowing in your hands gives you a sense of peace. Try not having any money you’re dealing. You drain your esteem more each time you visit the toilet because there’s no money holding it together.
As you’re wrestling with your thoughts over what to do against the cruelty of life, you feel a shadow cast behind you. The shadow feels expensive. The aura is nearly forcing you to your knees. Let’s not get started on the perfume that is Arabic in every inhalation. It smells like feminine dominance. You know a goddess is standing behind you. The Queen of Sheba even. Reincarnated maybe. She has been to Solomon’s palace and dragged along with her – gunias and gunias of his wealth and ego probably as he was reeling back after a hot shag. Who knows?
The elevator is taking longer than usual. So even the elevator has to prep itself and spray its mouth just to be confident enough to rise to the 19th floor. Earlier that day it had ferried someone to the same floor and it almost shit its pants. Now it’s ever nervous to make a trip to that floor. And it had a feeling that that someone was the one waiting to be ferried back down.
Your lungs strike. Because you’d finally turn and see who it is giving you jitters with just her aura. You walk in. She doesn’t follow. You turn. You officially freeze. She looks stunning. But that’s not the sponsor of your freezing. Her fixation on you is. The irony is that your boxers are on fire. She catwalks in. She says hello. You squeak something that you live to regret. A man like you should never produce a sound like that.
18 floors later, she deeps her hand in her hand bag. A gun? No. You’re too cheap to be assasinated. Protection? Hell no! If it was a quickie she should have pulled that stunt as soon as the elevator door shut. What are you even thinking about. Shake it off! Shake it off!
She takes out a card and directs it toward you.
“Call me. And not during office hours.”
The confidence! The audacity! The unashamed attitude! All what turns your young manhood on.
Your hand is numb. It just isn’t playing catch at the time when you mostly need it to.
Ground floor, the elevator beeps. Opens its door honourably.
She steps out. Your feet are still rooted to the floor.
Just when you tell yourself that you can catch your breath, she turns.
“Or would you mind a ride?”
You swallow something hard. You’re sure your throat is now bleeding.
It hits you that this is officially a sugar mummy kind of offer. Your moral guts start to shit. They are not helping you be a victor in this situation.
To hell with them! You say. Walking out of the elevator and following her like a chihuahua puppy.
While you’re cruising in the Range Rover, a privilege you’ve never had before, small talk ensues.
“Are you free tonight?”
You die in your seat. It really is happening, you say.
Memories of how you used to tell your friend Betty about how you could never succumb to a sugar mummy’s charms start to clog your mind and throat eventually. Call it a system drill about how she’d clog and choke you with her feminine dominance later that night. She’d enjoy as you fight to decide whether to enjoy too or suffocate. You want to say, “Stop the car!” Like in the movies. But the devil you on your left shoulder whispers “50K one night bro?”
And you lock your ass to the leather sit.
Never again, you say. Never again will I shout hell to players in the field.
To all my girls out there, if you ever find yourself at the brink of wearing my shoes, remember that a man with a wife will always go back to his wife and kiss her ring at the end of the day. Never leave anything to chance. Always be one step ahead.
Like I did when I timed his phone the following day at work. He left the car to take a dump. Like everyone, the biggest disaster you’d ever experience is dropping your phone in a pit latrine. I needed to know what I was dealing with. I had eavesdropped on his password a long time ago. His messages were my target.
Son of a gun had told his woman about me and the meet up we had. I almost got caught because I got glued to how she henpecked him to do exactly what she said. She asked for money in unreasonable sequences. When he ignores her, she hurls words into his inbox and strong-arms him eventually. What a prick, I thought. Both of them in fact. I already loathed her arrogance and disrespect before meeting her. Meeting her because the last thing I saw was her announcing that she had arrived at his house.
I knew it was true when he came late to work the following day. He was in a foul mood like he had been forced to have crap for breakfast. He’d pick me every morning save for that day. I have feet to walk don’t I? But I still arrived before him.
“Wafula, are you waiting for me to ask what’s wrong today? Because I’m not in the mood to ask either.”
“Kendi is here.”
I am not surprised.
“And so? She’s your wife. What’s ill setting about that?”
He didn’t answer.
As much as I didn’t want to care, I felt for him. Woman has left a mansion in Eldoret to squeeze herself in his bedsitter here that is barely enough for him too. (He was there temporarily you know. There was no need for a posh house especially because he was staying alone.) You know why? To keep him on a short leash. Because when she’s away, the mouse goes to play with other university aged mice in Panari Resort Nyaharuru. And oh, they want to make a baby too!
She was just so complicated. This minute, she’d henpeck him to fasten the baby deal and the next minute she’d not want to hear a thing about another woman.
There’s a time I discovered he’d drop me back home, go back to the site and stay upto 9pm. All in effort to reduce the amount of time he spends in that house.
The day came when I finally got to meet Kendi. She’s the one who called me with Wafula’s phone to join them for lunch. She was more pregnant than I imagined. Now the interesting part was that the son was around. No lie that she was the alpha in the room but her son didn’t bow to that. He addressed his mom with a tone I have never used on my mom. My fingers would be hammered for Chris’sake!
She slowly came to terms with my presence and potentiality as a co-wife. The word is potentiality.
It was being made harder by the fact that I’d be like a slave to him or them. We’d meet and he’d start telling me about things I had been saying about him with Hilda and Karen.
“You mean you hacked my phone!”
“Not really. I kinda have friends in high places.”
I was sure those were Kendi’s orders. Wow! Just wow! And that’s how I bought a new line that he never got to know about.
“I’d like for you to meet my parents by the way.”
We all know when a man manages to get you to the parents part, it’s said and done.
“I am not sure about that. I still haven’t made up my mind about all these.”
“Betty wait! Wait! Just wait! Haven’t made up your mind? You mean you were contemplating over marrying him?”
“Mjango. You have to be smart in this world. I was buying time. Because the very moment I’d say a stern no to him, I would lose my job and even God knew at the time this Corona thing wasn’t close to being over. I needed this job and though it was coming at a high price, and I really mean high price, I had to hold on.”
I wanted to go to Kakamega. My landlady was raising issues and I needed to sort them out as I checked my house. I heard comrades’ houses were swept clean during that period. I had to go to Kakamega. Again, I told you about Ken. The guy I was kinda seeing who works and stays in Eldoret. I wanted to see him or rather, we were to meet.
Coincidentally, Wafula mentioned that he’d be driving his wife back to Eldoret. When I mentioned my Kakamega plans, he was excited and told me to hop on. I should have known the excitement had something deep-seated behind it.
Now Mjango let me show you how you men play your games. I had said I needed to be in Kakamega early. I had even told my friends there that I was coming for a day. We left at around midday. I know his wife was on the front passenger seat whining about her back and the kicking baby. I was helping her get comfortable by the way. She grew a soft spot for me after she began to realise I wasn’t that bad after all. I know he had his son also at the seat directly behind him. I also know that he had his potential second wife at the back left seat, behind his pregnant wife. I know! But I also know that that was no reason to drive like the wheels would fall off any minute. It was so intentional I swear. At times our eyes would lock through the rear mirror and I would press a pissed off – no nonsense – you dog – kind of look at him because I knew what he was upto.
We stopped to eat in Nakuru. In retaliation I really wanted to puncture his pockets with all the junk I could eat. But my sense of respect was on high performance since his wife was present. Thank God for girl power anyway.
“You just pick anything you want.” She said as I helped her push the trolley.
He bought more time again on that stop. I was even tired of being angry. We got to Eldoret towards 7pm. I was sick in my heart. I couldn’t stop thinking about Ken. I had suppressed his calls. I just had to. There were also no words to explain to him what was going on. But I promised him that I would one day.
The mansion was pretty impressive. That was to be a home for three. Until I got in and realised it wasn’t treated like his home even. Kendi’s relatives were like rats in the house. She ferried them from Meru, forced Wafula to look for jobs for them and they’d screw them up.
Kendi cooked. I wasn’t hungry but I had to eat out of a good gesture. It was terrible, honestly. Maybe I was beginning to understand why a co-wife was needed. At the time it had dawned on me that I wasn’t going anywhere.
I was really looking forward to when sleeping time would be announced. When I’d be led to my own room, as a guest of course. I’d take a nice undisturbed shower and slide into the sheets like Squidward Tentacles in his SpongeBob free moments.
“Betty, twende tulale.”
Tulale? I thought. Anyway. Maybe she just said it because she was also heading to bed. My bags had been carried to some room in the house long ago when we arrived. I followed her faithfully. We passed so many rooms. I wondered why we weren’t stopping at any. Or maybe she was waiting for me to choose one?
Yeah, we weren’t going to just stop at any.
She finally swung a door and held it for me.
“Welcome.” As she swayed her hand and arched a smile I learnt to forever mark as a fishy smile. I knew this was not a guest room when I saw how it looked like a presidential suite. Or probably I was just being ushered in for a brief meeting. You know, to talk about husband and wife stuff with my soon to be co-wife and husband. I saw my bags beside the king size bed. That’s how I knew I wasn’t just going to be there briefly. My intestines were tying knots.
I took three steps in. She shut the door behind us. A man then walked out of the bathroom in a towel. He stood by the bed and took it off. My eyes were already there. I didn’t expect a towel drop. So I wasn’t sure whether to continue looking or look away. Out of respect, right? But he did it like it was no big deal. And speaking of no big deals, that wasn’t the end of it that night.
She walked past me and began to strip.
Oh Lord! I must have said aloud, I’m not sure. I was freaking out! I was so scared.
Where the **** have I brought myself to?
Stay tuned for the last episode next week.