The past one week has been like a dream.
A bad dream. You see, when my Sister Caro — Mwisho wa Lami’s Cabinet Secretary for Broadcasting, Communication and Information — offered to investigate who the parents of Electina are, I quickly gave her a greenlight.
This is because I knew her findings would show that Electina is Fiolina’s sister or the daughter of Perepetua, Fiolina’s sister.
As I walked to school last Sunday afternoon to meet Caro, I wondered what I would do if things turned out differently from what I was thinking.
“What I am going to tell you will shock you,” Caro said. I told her to go straight to the point.
“Electina and Honda are your wife's - Fiolina - children,” she said. My head started spinning and my heart stopped beating. For a moment.
“It is not possible,” I shouted. “It is impossible.” Caro insisted that it was true and then apologised for not having told me earlier.
“Many of us knew this long ago,” she said. “But I thought you knew about it, and that you had accepted to go for ‘buy one get two free arrangement.’” It wasn’t even funny.
I told her I had no idea at all. When I first met Fiolina, Senje Albina introduced her to me as the purest girl in her village.
And you will all agree that Fiolina was young, innocent, naive, inexperienced, and unblemished.
Fiolina did not know a lot, and even when she was expecting Sospeter, it was my sister Caro, a veteran mother of seven, who walked with her the pregnancy journey.
Now the same Caro was telling me that Fiolina had had two children before. It was unbelievable.
Caro did not make matters any better when she added that Fiolina had actually been married for four years before I married her.
I could not process the fact that my beautiful, innocent, faithful wife had spent four years with another man.
I immediately left the staffroom and went home to send Fiolina away. Caro tried to stop me unsuccessfully.
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
When I arrived home, Fiolina was going about her house duties while singing nonchalantly. I asked her about her two children, but she did not answer me.
She kept on singing songs of praise to God — this was clearly a God-fearing person, the Fiolina I had married.
“Fio, I need the truth, the truth and nothing but the truth,” I said. She did not respond. Just then, Apostle Elkana arrived. Fiolina welcomed him warmly.
As usual, he started with a long prayer. He thanked God for having kept Fiolina and I together and asked Him to continue blessing our marriage.
After prayers, he said he had just passed by to greet and pray for us. “God spoke to me today morning that the institution of marriage is under attack and I thought I should speak to a couple and encourage them.”
He told us what he had always said many times: “A marriage collapses when you start listening to other people. If you want your marriage to break, start listening to other people, especially envious relatives.”
He added that we needed to be careful with the rumours we heard about one another. “What God has put together no man should put asunder,” he concluded.
Fiolina thanked him for his words of encouragement. He then prayed and left.
No sooner had Apostle Elkana left than Fiolina resumed her singing. Unable to get any information from her, I went to see my parents.
They welcomed me warmly as if they were expecting me. My father was the first to speak.
“I am sure you have heard a lot about your wife, but if I were you, the only truth I would take is her word, not anyone’s else.”
I asked them if they had heard that Fiolina had other children. My father said he had never heard anything, “except for rumours doing the rounds”.
But my mother said she knew that Fiolina had been married and had children. “But you were growing old. How could we have stopped you yet we had always wanted to see you married,” She posed.
“Huyu atarudi kwao,” I said and left. My father escorted me. “My son, mambo ya wanawake ni ngumu sana,” he said.
He said he couldn’t even be sure if all his children were his. “Don’t act in a hurry, think before you do anything. Remember this is your marriage, and the people telling you to send Fiolina away will not be there when you remain a bachelor.”
He repeated his advice that the only person I should listen to is Fiolina. “Its only her who knows the truth.”
I thought of going to Hilter’s but changed my mind. I was sure I would be mocked there.
Fiolina was still singing loudly when I arrived home. She served ugali and matumbo, my favourite meal, but kept singing as I ate then went to the bedroom.
I found her seated on a chair praying, asking God to protect our marriage. It was late at night when she finally decided to speak.
She told me she was not surprised by what I had been told. “Your sister Caro and mother have never wanted me since day one. They will say anything to see me leave.”
She went on: “I don’t listen to such people. If I listened to them, Branton would never be staying here, but here we have him.”
However, I told her we couldn’t compare the two cases. “I want you to believe me when I tell you that Electina and Honda are my brother Tocla’s children, but you know that Tocla is an alcoholic and thus we just need to help him.”
“If you think I am lying, please let me go back to my parents and see if Caro and those other people you listen to will come stay with you. Do so now Dre. Do it.” She was looking at me straight in the eyes.
I believed her. Fully. My dad and Apostle Elkana were right — I would ruin my marriage if I listened to other people. She started crying.
Clearly, it was not possible that Electina and Honda were her children. I wiped her tears and held her tight. We went to bed, but slept later on. Much later.
And I vowed not to listen to any fitina from anyone.