As soon as Fiolina, the enviable laugh of my blissful life, visited Alex at school and they were seen walking together, word quickly spread that our marriage was sick. And no one could see any hope of it recovering. The people of Mwisho wa Lami love such opportunities; they give them something to speak about.
“Nilimkataza kufanya harusi,” I hear Lutta told other patrons at Hitler’s. “Never trust any woman, there will always emerge someone younger and better.”
“Makosa ya Dre ni kuvalisha mwanamke vizuri na kumpea pesa ya salon,” added Nyayo. He went on to say that his wife, Anindo, was faithful because he would never allow her to do some things like dressing well, going to the salon and generally looking good. “Hii dunia imejaa mafisi.”
So when Alex was seen picking Fiolina from our home and dropping her later on his boda boda, with Fiolina holding him tightly, something she has never done with me, in the mind of the people of Mwisho wa Lami, our marriage had moved from sick to dead. Completely dead.
And this could not have come at a worse time. It happened when my sister Caro, Mwisho wa Lami’s undisputed Minister for Information and Broadcasting was around, and to make matters worse, when she had differed with Fiolina over shoes.
“Niliambia watu kitambo ndugu yangu hana bibi,” Carol told anyone who cared to listen. “Huyu mwanamke ni pesa tu alikujia na ya Dre imeisha sasa ameona ingine.” By last Saturday, helped by Caro, word had already reached my in-laws that I wanted the bride price to be refunded.
All this when I had said nothing. But the talk was too much, and wherever I went, I could see people pointing at me, talking about how a new junior colleague was taking away my wife as I watched. I was so stressed that last Monday, I found myself at Hitler’s. I had not been at Hitler’s ever since I joined Apostle Elkana’s The Holiest of All Ghosts (THOAG) Tabernacle Assembly.
“Karibu sana Dre,” I was welcomed with cheer by the usual suspects of Saphire, Nyayo, Alphayo, Rasto, Lutta, and Hitler himself. The good thing with the crowd at Hitler’s is that they say it as is. “Ungekuwa bado unakuja hapa all would have been OK,” started Alphayo, reminding me that every patron at Hitler’s had a stable marriage.
“Your problem is this church you go to,” said Saphire. “Do you realise almost every man who goes there has had a problem with their marriage?” He then listed to me several cases.
“But why should I listen to someone who has never been married?” I asked Saphire when he finished giving his marriage lesson.
He was quick to respond: “Must you be HIV-positive to be able to treat or tell people about HIV?” I had no response. I however told them that my marriage was stable, and that Alex was only helping Fiolina get a TSC job. Everyone laughed at this.
“First of all, you wasted your money by taking your wife to college, now you want to lose your wife by getting her a job,” said Alphayo, telling me that I was lucky I was not his son, otherwise we would be talking about a different story. “Ningekufunza kuwa mwanamme kamili.”
Rasto had a simple solution for my case.
“Dawa ya moto ni moto,” he said, then elaborated. “If Fiolina is going for this boy, you also get someone, like that girl you really liked. What was her name again? Eshitasi?” He was talking about Annastacia, a former student of mine in whom I had interests that went beyond academics.
Xtash, for that is what we called her, was hated by Fiolina, but loved by my mum. When Fiolina had been away in Mosoriot college, Xtash played an important role in my life.
“Or you can bring in Catherina, Brandon’s mother,” suggested Nyayo.
Having not partaken of Hitler’s stuff for long, I was totally high before even finishing my second glass, and therefore staggered home. But the whole idea of reaching out to either Catherine or Xtash sounded interesting. Catherine was now a headmistress in some school about 50 kilometres from Mwisho wa Lami. She was clearly not my match. The last I heard from Xtash was about two years ago, when she had travelled home to pick her certificates from St Theresa’s Girls.
I went through my phone and surprisingly, found Xtash’s number. I sent her a WhatsApp message. “Hi, I was just finding out how you are doing …” She responded immediately.
“High Dre, you are so lost my deer, how is MwL?” I responded, telling her that I did not know what MwL was.
“Gosh, MwL means Mwisho wa Lami,” she wrote back. “I miss you very much. Mimi naboeka tu hapa Nairobi,” That was interesting since I was planning to travel to Nairobi to look for a passport and Visa for the London trip. I responded and told her not to worry as I would be in Nairobi soon.
“What! I can wait for you! Come baby come,” she responded. “Naishi Kangemi with my uncle but we can organise.”
I have no idea how Fiolina got to read the messages from Xtash but the next day, Apostle Elkana came visiting, clearly invited by Fiolina. He made a long prayer, mentioning that our marriage was being troubled by Satan. That is the one part of his prayer that I agreed with — that Alex was the Satan. He also mentioned about me going to Hitler’s.
“Dre and Fiolina,” he started after he was done with his prayer. “You are not the only ones going through temptations. We all do.” He talked and talked. The long and short was that he had come to ask us to join a bible study with other couples. Fiolina, who was not a regular attendant of Elkana’s church, encouraged me to join the bible study. I did not answer them. For my mind was on my trip to Nairobi the next morning. Will I get a passport? Will I get a Visa? And more importantly, will I meet Xtash?