The first time I heard a live bullet was about 2,3 years back. Surprising, isn’t it? Everyone else seems to have heard it around 2007/2008 if you are Kenyan and born in the late 90’s. I have a phobia (I don’t know the name for it) whereby whenever I’m scared, I become fixated. And believe me, there are so many instances where I have been scared. Normally, the emergency energy is supposed to kick in and there’s fight or flight. My brain doesn’t seem to register that hence my stagnation at the point I am in. There were chaos around my area I think and the police arrived and what better way to announce their presence than with live bullets? There were two. They were loud. Not the ‘bang bang’ I had seen in movies. It was surreal. My mind went blank for a while before I finally was able to get back to my feet and go home. I didn’t run. My heart was racing for me.
I fear so many things, if not everything. You can call me fraidy (you can use ie at the end if you roll like that). I fear animals, insects, situations and maybe life? I can’t accurately say when this came to pass because I recall a time I used to love dogs. I chased them and let them chase me. It didn’t last long. Before I realized what had happened, I was curled up into fear and I embraced it.
Usually, I don’t talk to my mother much. What do I say to her? After completing high school I went to visit her. I was hoping I would find a new her, established, changed and a good mother now to me. Why do I even try? I need a mother, always have. It might be the only gap needing completion in my life. Having someone you want but not really having them because when you need them it’s like they don’t exist. There was a new man in the scene. His name has honestly escaped my mind at this juncture. I’ll write it down once my memory refreshes.
It was a come-we-stay kind of marriage but as all others before him, he was in my mother’s house. He was paying the rent though. I searched and couldn’t find what my mother saw in him. Nothing against totally dark people but he is literally fifty shades darker😂😂. My mother is light in complexion but as I’ve said here before, chocolate babies have to be made. And they did make one. My kababy brother, Njogu. His name ni kinaya as he’s real tiny yet he has been named after an elephant. He was named after his father’s father. With Njogu in the picture, now the dark man is Ba Njogu.
My mother staggered in, obviously from her drinking sprees. I was babysitting my brother all day for her yet he was barely an year old. Oh well, the things we do in the name of blood. She complained or blubbered about food saying that hakupewa pesa ya chakula or something of the sort. We sat. I don’t think we had eaten all day either. I’m an arrogant soul. There was no way I was going to spend my own money to feed myself and a string of others in my own mother’s house. Let’s all sleep hungry.
Ba Njogu came in later. All hell broke loose when he did. He started questioning our mother on where the food was. He must have been really hungry as he was fuming now. A hungry man is an angry man. He was to prove it for me that night. He said he had given her the money for supper. I never wanted him to provide for me. We could sleep hungry, wake up the next day and slay. No? He then raised his hand. And lowered it right on her face. A slap had occurred.
Whether it was the drinks she had had all day or the woman power in her, mother decided she could fight back. With words.
Mimi mwanaume hawezi kunipiga..
A whole speech followed about her late mother, blah blah blah, I was not following keenly. But I should have. Because what happened next even I never thought I would witness. Ever. In my life or anothers. I’ve seen it in movies, acted pieces of work but never with me in the puzzle pieces. Her drunk string of words was stirring him up. He has anger issues. Just like me. It’s the only thing we might have in common. Mine has limits, his DO NOT.
My mother might have been acting because she was now in tears, describing struggles and shit like that. She was bluntly bruising a man’s ego. This man who was supposed to be my step father. For the moment. I’ve had enough to last me a couple of lifetimes. And by a couple I mean more than 10. He pounced on her. (His name has just come in!! It’s Kinyua). She was made to lie straight on the floor and he was above her. Not the wrestling or missionary position😝. He was bending down and hitting her. Kinyua was ruthless.
Time and again, I’ve talked to myself (it’s a training of some sort to keep self together, I can’t tumble). In these talks in my mind, I tell myself I am strong and nothing can bring me down. I’ve been down and I’ve washed it away with tears then wake up the next morning as if I’ve slept wonderfully. It’s an art and you got to have a careful precision about it. I wouldn’t cry if my mother dies. I’ve rehearsed that one the most. She doesn’t deserve my tears. (Tears coming through😁😁I shouldn’t be crying, I’m tough) I hope I don’t sound like a psycho.
He was hitting her head on the floor. She was screaming in pain and anguish. Njogu was now crying too somewhere in the room. I didn’t know what to do. I was totally fixated. Only this time I was shaking badly. Oh yes, and crying as I am writing this now. I however, managed to record some few words he was passing on to her along with the beating. It was dark, I couldn’t see her well as the only lighting was that of a candle but I knew she was badly hurt. Neighbours came to the rescue and my brother and I were hoisted off.
The next morning after waking up, I went over to our house. Dried blood on the floor welcomed me. I saw her hand print. I wanted to take pictures and upload them on social media. The caption would have read, Yesternight was a blast, domestic violence happened 🙌👌..