It was a flat backhanded slap. I had to move a short distance behind even as my eyes adjusted to the normal vision. It is one thing for a man to be slapped by another man, but to be slapped by a lady, in public…well, that’s just depression, a tragedy that should be listed as a criminal offense; punishable slightly above murder and rape-for it is worse!
Yet, I was slapped!
Everyone turned to look at the weak, sissy bow-wow man (or fragile if you like) who had just been beaten by a lady. Some men shook their heads in disgust…they sympathized with the state of “manhood” as a whole.
Even the Male guard at the gate shouted,” Wewe pwana ni mwanaume kani?”. If asked to translate, it could be, “You are the weakest man on earth”! What hurt me most was when a few ladies giggled. Ladies who at that moment I thought were more beautiful than this monster of a lady aka The Rock or Batista for those who watch wrestling.
Seeing that all attention was on us, Sylvia or Batista if you like flashed her right hand to slap me again. Clearly she was enjoying the publicity she had attracted. Plus, phones had been fetched to record the ordeal! She threw her hand towards my direction with an aim to smash my nose. However, I held the hand in mid-air. My first instinct was to go under and aim my blow at one of the twins on her chest…just to enable her bend forward slightly before introducing a killer kick that I was sure would complete the entire “discipline”. That blow and kick, according to my Karate experience of 4 years, could have broken her completely. I was writhing in fury and bestial anger.
Instead, I pushed her aside gently and looked like a sheep [no offence to those humble creatures].
Perhaps, the only difference between the sheep and I, the bigger sheep, Dominic Momanyi was the amount of sweat I oozed. In just those few humiliating moments, I had lost about 500ml of water in terms of sweat. The t-shirt I had won was completely submerged in water. A loser.
On the other hand, Sylvia was dressed in a tight black trouser that exposed her cleavage almost inches to the skin. Her loose top barely covered her stomach. It was a spacious short blouse whose intention was not to cover human body parts from the way it open up with a slight waft of the wind. I must admit that very few men resisted the urge to look back when we passed them. Those who didn’t look directly, used acrobatic ways of focusing their eyes to see without having to turn.
Stay with me…
I don’t want to mention the number of times I had begged her to at least hide “some skin”. Actually, I had asked her to put on decent weekend clothes. Don’t be quick to judge me. I respect everyone’s choice of dress…and I didn’t force her to change, I made a request as any lover would do to the one he/she love. I just didn’t like the fact that I, the fiancé of this lady plus the rest of the world knew exactly how her breasts looked. One didn’t need a keener look to access the weight of her behinds. What was remaining for our private lives! Nothing folks. Nothing. Absolutely nothing!
Looking back, I think I made a mistake of asking her to reconsider her top. I said it in the nicest way anyone would…and so I think! However, as you might have guessed, she didn’t like the request and she said it…She declared that she was hurt. I just didn’t think that she could hold onto it for so long. Anyway, that feeling exploded on me later on.
We were at the entrance to Junction Mall along Ngong Road and we all know the number of people who visit the place on a Sunday afternoon! What a bad day for a man to be slapped….daaaaaamn!
What actually triggered the fiasco for that moment and even make her remember our earlier short argument was a simple statement I made. When we approached the guards, Sylvia didn’t want to be checked. She had a nasty confrontation with one of the lady guards at the entrance when the guard humbly declined to let her into the building before checking her handbag. My Batista might have abused the lady terribly by proving that she was poor. When I saw tears form in the eyes of the guard lady, I had to intervene and calm down my Batista. I wouldn’t keep quiet…I quietly said, in the humblest way a man could talk to his girlfriend, “Beb, please…allow her to check. It is alright”
Sylvia: Oooh, so you have taken her side?
Me: Noo, she is just doing her job.
Sylvia: What if she has Corona?
Me: Alright. Then, open the bag for her Beb…
Sylvia: What kind of man are you? Are you showing off you imbecility? Oooh, so you want her? Take her then!
Then, pap! Came the slap.
Trust me, had I beaten her, 90% of the men and the women who were there could have turned against me for beating a “lady”. I knew that I couldn’t have won the battle. So, I turned back and walked towards the parking lot fuming in murderous anger. Then I remembered that she was the one driving that day and she had the key. I took a left and found myself at Riara road. I kept walking till I found myself on the long hill at Kingara road. I just kept walking. I had failed… I knew exactly what I had done wrong.
I remembered the day I walked home and found Sylvia watching “Money Heist” from the bedroom. I casually sat beside her on the bed and stared at the screen for a few minutes…I saw guys in red aprons with several dollar notes lying carelessly. Was it a sign? Did I need just a group of people to walk into a bank and get money? Yet, I was sure that our Kenyan police could not negotiate with bank robbers. Forget the movies!
I curled my hands on the waste of my dear Sylvia and whispered that I wanted to talk to her. She didn’t even look at me. The series was at the part where Professor was falling in love or tricking the police lady…I don’t remember her name.
So, even when I said, “Beb, I have lost my job.” She replied, “mmmmmnh”!
Then after a few seconds I heard a loud shout, “what!” What do you mean?” Which job”!
I took minutes explaining to her that there was Covid in the world and most companies were laying off their staff. I assured her that Kenyan Media Companies were not an exception. I casually said that I was going to make a few calls and write a few emails and soon I could have a job. I gave myself one week!
I didn’t write a few emails neither did I call a few people. The numbers went into almost thousands. Four months had quickly gone by. I begged organizations and companies to even take me for jobs whose pay I was sure could not surpass Kshs. 80,000 half of what I was being paid initially.
Within those months of hunting, I spent my savings on rent and food….normally; as if I was still working. Honestly, I expected my fiancé to at least chip in for some of the expenses considering that she still had her job.
When I finished the little savings I had, Sylvia my, fiance, suddenly declared that she was no longer happy in our relationship. I guess it is because she had paid rent once and done some shopping.
I started experiencing some harshness in her tone. The way she acted was close to Armageddon.
To quench her anger, I chose to be humble and never “close her line”. The sole purpose was to still have some place to sleep. Plus, I needed peace during those days because I was falling quickly into depression. Otherwise, where else could a man fall into when at the age of 34 he couldn’t sustain himself. He couldn’t even send money home for his young siblings…. which peace can such a man have? Hakunaaa!
Since I remained at home during the week to send emails and look for jobs on different career platforms, I found myself being assigned house chores.
Sylvia: Beb, please remember to wash the utensils.
I love you.
And clean that sitting room please.
I have left some money on the table. We need supplies.
Beb, how come you didn’t take out the trash?
Beb, you couldn’t even buy tokens!
Beb, I’m coming with some friends home…do you mind baking us some cakes. Thanks. (She didn’t even wait for me to reply by accepting or refusing)I would have gladly continued to do everything she asked me to do…and I did…it is just the attitude and the tone in her voice that I really never liked!
I had been reduced to a servant. A worker. A bearded house-boy. A looser. A cake Baker for his wife.
Anyway, it is during one of those days that we went for shopping with her at Junction Mall and I got slapped.
If you think I went back to that haunted house that day, well, you will have to rethink!