Breaking hell


So it’s been a couple of weeks, huh! I think am waking up from some sort of bizarre daze. I didn’t write about valentine. That hurts a lot when you realize you are still so very single like the official budget briefcase. Don’t blame me, don’t bash me either. You ever heard of writer`s block, creativity slump? Yes, our wells run dry too, like prayers.
Every day I have to stare at the computer screen, type a couple of words then delete them. Even all my girlfriends and their eternal shares of nagging can’t offer enough incentive to produce a love letter of any sort. It feels like the last story cut some balls from me. It’s almost toxic, and then you wake up one day and see some perv posting comments on your very well-meaning post. The world crushes. But it shows that somehow you getting famous, probably they know you too. It’s somehow aggravating, and intoxicating, like marijuana?
I think it’s a Tuesday, I don’t know. The month is too dry. Here is no cash, no girlfriends, and no news on the television. Sleep somehow has become a bff of some sort. Hell, who says men can’t have those pals? I wake up to a slight drizzle outside my window. Yes, I know stories that start with waking up are straight out of stereotypes, like the way all movies have to end with the villain being killed, even Black Panther! So I am brushing my teeth, peeping on the street below from the balcony, looking at everything and nothing in particular. You know the way we have to seek some story from nothing? Today even the eternal retinue of mama mbogas and wamama wa ploti are nowhere to be seen. The gossip would be highly needed aki. Let me think someone has died somewhere. Their absence is a big happening. Outside of rubbish and papers flying the streets, and loud voices from matatu horns and touts shouting `tao mbao bei ya mchana` they are a constant fixture. Only God, the rain and their husbands coming home will get them off the street, usually, unusually a matanga somewhere does the trick. It’s the pond of their eternal rounds of gossip.
She appears out of nowhere, like a ghost of some sort. It’s almost midday, but she’s dressed like a jogger. No one jogs in my neighborhood, every eats chips masala at the local joint then goes home to pray and fast that they won’t add weight. She takes the turn like a breeze, her hair bobbing up and down with each step she takes. Her heaves are calculated; yes I did count them, from the way her breasts would go up and down with each one of them. One two three, one two three, up and down, down and up. Somehow she has been able to work herself into a frenzy of sorts; she doesn’t look up, her gaze fixated on some other goal, in life. She’s new around here, that I know for a fact, and as the estate sheriff it is my ` responsibility and due pleasure to welcome the honorable guests to my home.` A thousand conniving plans come up in my very creative head, I look at the cup of water in my hands, that on my hair and chest is enough to pass for sweat. I look a little bit fit, but I think I am going for a jog today. So I baptize myself, and hope down the stairs like a rocket. Watajua hawajui\
My place is not saintly. It is not the place where you can bring a girl home even in the dead of night and get away from the daily dose of the grapevine. And when hell breaks loose, it breaks on your head like a rotten egg. I take the turn so fast that I trip on my feet, somehow I am proud. I have not run since the days when God was in high school or something. A few meters and stitches start pricking my ribs, who made those things? I thought they said god is well meaning? I stop to catch a breathe, reorganize my focus. The sun assails me; I had put on the `fake sweat` now am really sweating. My pants are soaked through and through. A drop snakes down the sweatshirt onto my spinal cord, freezing everything for a moment. But I can’t, I never give up when I start.
She’s taking the road, her steps calculated, almost like the proportional staccato of gunfire. I sprint up behind her, keeping my breathe in check, my earphones stuck in my ears though I haven’t even carried the phone. My muscles are creaking and snapping. I almost feel like she can hear them. My face is drenched out, dripping from every single pore. I have my array of lies planned out well. Somehow you know us boys should be given all strategic planning jobs. I up my gas, feel my lungs almost crush in disgust and effort, my heart almost bursting from pumping the tones of lazy fattened cells in me. When I ` overtake` her, she’s taken by surprise, shock. Yes, I made it….big up bruh.
I hit the end of the street almost at the point of collapse. Suddenly the brains I had placed on auto pilot buzz back on, and with it a myriad of possibilities that could go wrong. She might have taken the other street, the one that heads to Jamo`s place. Wait, I heard he married sometime last month, another new girl, it might be her. You can’t pursue another man`s girl. That is the gospel according to Eminem. A hundred possibilities of trouble, she might be she might not. She might even be the daughter to the army major who owns these plots. I have heard boys talk about her, I have never seen her. She might be, she might not.
“Hi, I see you also jog.” Her voice startles me out of the reverie
“Ooh, yes.” Yes, I know this is going on well, so well that a telltale smug rises out of my cheeks. I wipe sweat off my brows.
“But I haven’t seen you around? I have been on this same street for a week now. My name is Maya.” She twirls her tongue around the `around` like a typical Nairobi girl. “Ama it’s your first day, you decided you should get fit?
That should be an insult. It is an effrontery to treat a man like that. But wait, she doesn’t know.” No, it’s not my first day out here; I have been in South Korea representing Kenya in karate during the winter Olympics. I am just back.” Just to prove my point I start taking a few of the steps I have seen in movies. It works wonders though I almost trip on my toes.
I know she hasn’t heard of the winter Olympics. Like me she is as ignorant of the games played as a village guy dropped right in the center of Nairobi. But success has a way of being seen, her face suddenly lights up. She takes a step to watch me keenly. Meanwhile, my innards are at war, but I think I am throwing the kicks perfectly.
But the devil is a liar. A breeze creeps up my back. I take a pause to replug the earphones back into my ears. And then I see them, the vultures, standing at the walls watching us keenly. Black t-shirts, caps, all with ripped arms the size of a football field. Eye contact, they smile that smugly facial expression that never reaches the eyes. Their eyes remain cold, hard, and liquid. Arms into their pockets, piped trousers that would fit an eleven year old perfectly almost bursting at the seams. They advanced, circling, vultures to carcass. I smile to myself; I have earphones but no phone. I have not even a cent in my pockets because the sweatpants have no pockets. She feels the sudden tensing of the moment, my sudden stop. Looks at me in hope takes a few tentative and comfortable steps to stand behind me, her `karate champion`, and within me I am in wreckage, I have looked down to my shoes. I have my designer Nikes on me. Hell has no controls.

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