My wife passed wind or gas if you like, in the most terrible way. It was a long troublesome boring sound. She had tried to suppress it but somehow, it found its way out of the unmentionables into the open. The missile spread throughout our bed like bushfire. A wicked smell followed afterwards as if to finish me off. I quickly opened the duvet to breath…. I lost hope in her. My appetite was gone, at least for breakfast.
Stay with me…
She saw how I had reacted and felt a little ashamed for torturing me. She must have been embarrassed.
As a good husband, I quickly ignored the entire experience and pulled the duvet back. It was on Sunday around 6:13am. I just wanted to sleep, eat, watch and sleep.
The rude interruption made me “remember” my phone. I wanted to check if I had any messages or urgent calls. She snatched it from my hand and went straight to my WhatsApp. I didn’t object. I just ignored her and turned to sleep. I had nothing to fear. I was clean.
But, she found Queen. And she read through our conversation.
Queen: Thank you for passing by. I really enjoyed those moments.
Me: I also enjoyed your company. You are such a lovely soul.
Queen: See you on Tuesday. Please don’t forget dear.
Me: Definitely. How can I miss! ? [smile emoji]
Queen: [? smile emoji. I thank God for you]
Me: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
She tapped me vigorously on the shoulder while showing me the WhatsApp conversation, and asked, “Queen ni nani?” [I want to know who this Queen is or I poison you]. That’s the literal translation.
When my dear wife of 4 years used a certain tone, I definitely knew that I was in immense trouble. I was sure that this Sunday was not going to be registered in my mind as a day I lived happily.
I casually said that Queen was my friend. ” I have been helping her go through depression”, I said and pulled the duvet to cover me wholly.
She pulled it back and exposed me to a sudden cold.
She wanted a fight. Did you just ask me on how I know?
Well, she might have posed yet another controversial question, ” How can you, a mere accountant, help depressed people. When did your thin mind qualify for Psychology?”
When I had the word ‘mere’ and ‘thin’ in that sentence, my anger slightly kicked in. It is this ‘mere accountant’ that had bought a house, seen her through a Master’s degree and ensured all bills had been paid on time. She knew that I had received Kshs. 297 million, 2 weeks ago, for supplying laptops to various NGO staff and their affiliate organizations throughout the country. How inconsiderate of her!
But as a man who understands his wife, I calmly faced her and humbly told her that my friend, Queen, had been involved in an awful accident about a year ago and had fallen into depression because of her resulting condition. I told her that she had been hospitalized for a wholly year and she needed someone to talk to.
She rolled her eyes and sneered hatefully.
Ouch, this lady just wanted a fight.
She called me a liar, a conman, an adulterer and a cheat. She claimed that I didn’t love her.
It is in this confusion that her hand slipped and slapped me on my left cheek. Twice.
The slaps coincided with the entry of my daughter, Kamene, into our bedroom. She saw my wife’s hand reach out to my cheeks in quick succession. They produced a thunderous sound. Even my own beloved daughter was momentarily shocked.
You have heard it said that a man shouldn’t raise his hand on a woman. Whoever said this failed to add….and vice versa!
I was unable to decide on how to react; purely because of my daughter. Even in her innocence, she looked straight at me, not knowing what I would do. Did she think that I was the woman in the family? A weakling called “daddy”! Was I an intruder? An impostor! A woman pretending to be a man.
Before I could find a solution, even amidst the tantrums of this fake wife, my little one found her way to the bed and pushed her mum away. She placed her hand on the exact spot where I had been slapped and comforted me. She was crying.
I catapulted from where I lay and got hold of the enemy that had been my wife minutes ago; with some strange energy. A murderous anger had engulfed me. I wasn’t going to show my daughter that I was weak. No. Not this time. I first threw her to the air and waited for
I had chosen death for her.
Had my daughter not rushed with “daddy, daddy, daddy”! I would be in prison for murder, eating the infamous beans or in a faraway country, hiding.
That’s why I relented on the kick and just threw 2 blows towards her direction. My calculations were wrong. I missed her stomach by few inches. It is only the third that brushed through her shoulder just because I intentionally avoided her neck. She couldn’t have survived. However, she yelled like a monster, that’s if monsters yell! It was as if I had broken all her bones.
That was the first time I had raised my hand on my wife. But, that was the 5th time she had raised hers on me. Not that she was stronger or that the magician she had consulted made me weaker, no! I just didn’t know where to beat her. It is true that I had been tempted to slice her throat or cut her legs, but with each assault, I assumed and left the house. No ordinary man can let that happen. I was bewitched by modernism, humility and guilt.
As a lawyer, (no offence to lawyers) she oozed some kind of arrogance that I hadn’t seen in her when we were dating. She forced her way in our arguments. Even on matters that were so openly right or wrong, she had to argue and justify her way.
On the other hand, I didn’t like arguments. My mother taught us to be calm. She insisted on our listening skills. We were never raised to talk back in a tense argument.
Clearly, I was getting tired of my wife Annette Waiguru. I hadn’t summoned enough strength to leave her because of our daughter.
As you can tell, she even argued about my conjugal rights. She demanded a schedule ahead of time. I almost begged for what I thought was a necessity for married people. I had to wait for her to be triggered by some movie or accidental urge. I confess, I might have thought of adding Viagra in her food, to speed up the triggering process.
That morning’s fight had gotten me when I was considering other options. I needed a wife. As far as I was concerned, I had been tricked into living with a kangaroo.
Either way, after our fight, she left.
The next day, I had work and a daughter to take care of. The maid had resigned and we hadn’t gotten a replacement.
It hurt me to wake my beloved girl at 6am. I prepared her and took her with me to work. She had to sleep on my lap in the boardroom as I briefed my bosses of one of the projects I was in charge of.
They joked about my situation. Everyone knew that I had a ‘family issue’. What they didn’t know is that I had been slapped!
At about 10am, four police officers walked into the office with a warrant for my arrest. It was on account of brutal assault with the intention of committing murder.
For some strange reason, they were all heavily built, rude and inconsiderate. Their guns were cocked and pointed to my direction as if I was one the most wanted criminals in the country. They never smiled. Not these four! Seemingly, no one had ever seen them smile, at least not in their lifetime.
I was in my office working while my daughter was playing a game on my phone as she drank some milk. She was lying on the carpet. She saw the four corporals but, she didn’t care. Am sure in her mind, she knew that I was one of the strongest person on earth; second to her mother.
The police officers hijacked me as soon as I had read the letter. They didn’t allow me to walk. My shoes hardly touched the ground; maybe ones or twice. Not more. The trousers were engulfed into my buttocks.
I was embarrassed.
Even June my office crush saw me struggle. She pitied me.
When our eyes met, I shouted at her something about my daughter. She understood. She stopped her from following me amidst deafening cries. She had to tame her.
That was the second time my daughter had seen me in an awkward situation in two consecutive days….
I was taken straight to the Central Police station and ‘booked’. In a matter of minutes, I was in custody; squeezed between several comrades. There was hardly any space to stand, not to mention seating.
My black silver-dollar suit of Ksh. 26,150 [I had bargained the 850 off] and leather shoes of Ksh.7000. made no difference to these people. They were only encouraged by my expensive perfume that drained albeit momentarily the horrid stench of sweat and unwashed bodies. We were all equals in that tiny room. No one cared. A young man stood next to me, his breath told me that he was a heavy chain smoker of cigarette, yet he looked tidy enough to be in school, at least university. A man might have poked his fingers into his buttocks and the young man squeaked and moved away towards a bucket that stood lonely at the corner of the room. The rasta man who had poked the young man, took his new position, totally unapologetic and unashamed. I wondered why he hadn’t chosen any other body part to poke his fingers into! What did he miss? We clearly don’t know!
A man walked to the bucket. Dropped his trousers. He immediately let out a huge fart before dropping heavy bombshells into the bucket. He wounded my nostrils yet again and reminded me of my wife…. who had pushed me into this mess.
I suddenly became bitter. Anger shook me and sweat poured down my face as endless thoughts tormented me. Then I was reminded of my daughter; worry immediately kicked in! How is she? Did June take her home? Did she stop crying? Did she eat?
It was the slowest night of my life. Slower than slow.
I just stood there half alive.
Sometimes on one leg, interchangeably.
I was consoled by prison gossips. Heart-rending narrations. One proud old man said that he used to shave Osama Bin Laden for a living, another man said that he killed lions for a living, one narrated how he had escaped from the police severally until he gave himself up for lack of a competent police force to apprehend him.
Everyone gave a dangerous narration. One that could make him unique, scary or respected. When asked what I had done, I said that my wife had slapped me!
Okay no, I lied.
I said that I had killed my wife.
Either way, that’s what I was going to do with the slightest form of freedom.
You know that time cannot be stopped. Though sluggishly, it moved along….
The next morning at 8:16am, I was in court. My so-called wife was present. A man was comforting her or rather pressing himself against her too much. He had passed his left arm on her shoulder in a way that she lay on his left side of the chest. From the way they were talking, I could tell that they shared more than friendship. Once or twice he pecked her on both cheeks almost going for the lips. She smiled often. She seemed freshly in love.
Uniquely, June came in shortly afterwards, without my daughter. But, she signaled me something that suggested that my dear girl was alright.
But, this woman I called a wife till about 24hrs ago never got worried about her own child! Who was I dealing with?
I blamed myself for not heading the advice of my mum. When the two first met, mum told me blatantly that Annette’s love for money would one day overpower her love for me. My mother had read into her intentions as an open book, don’t ask me how! I didn’t know if she intended to have a share of my hard-earned Kshs. 297 million through child support or ensure that I die of depression!
The judge came in.
She was a tall woman. Her chest was loaded with two bubbly balloons; call them twins. Her specks settled on the slope of her nose carefully. She looked at me twice and shrugged her shoulders. I read hate from this feminist.
Will Ruto! [not my real name]
She called out my name rudely almost as an abuse and asked how I pleaded.
I answered: Your honor, “not guilty.”