“Where did you come from, my daughter. How were you born?” She asked. Interrupting her tirade, and she could say no more.
“Msshh, I will call you back, I am attending to your father right now. You know how he gets. I am alone in the village and trying to get his tea ready, he has guests. I will call you back,” She said, sounding rather irritated and disconnected the call.
She sat back on her couch, thinking through the just ended conversation.
What had just happened? She could not get it.
How her own mother could ask her such a question?
“Where did I come from?” How now, how on earth could my own mother ask me, how the hell I was born? She knows better where I came from. Maybe I am too much,” she thought.
The culture of abuse, silence, peace, but how can this go on for this long, she asked herself.
Kamene had called her sister, Makena, earlier that morning. When she did not pick up, Kamene let it go for a bit, some hours.
But the nagging feeling to call Makena again resurfaced.
Kamene believes she has spirits. She is convinced that whenever she cannot stop thinking of any person close to her, that they are in some sort of trouble. This is a trend she has monitored for some time and each time, she was always right.
So she called Makena again. This time, she picked. The moment Makena answered, Kamene knew that something was amiss.
“Sistra, how are you? So where are you loitering today,” She asked, trying to be funny.
Amidst sobs and trying to stifle out a laugh, Makena responded, “I am just home…I am not going… anywhere today.”She responded.
Makena is nine months pregnant and almost popping anytime, but being her mothers’ daughter, she is never able to settle down and is always running some errands.
What’s up? Why are you crying? What has he done now? Kamene, implored.
“I am tired… I am tired ….and I want to lea–ve.. this place, I want to leave this house…I have had enough.”
“Okay, hold on a sec, what is going on?” Kamene asked.
“I have been trying hard in this marriage. I have prayed to God to help me and change this man. To show me the way. I know I made a mistake, but for how long do I have to pay for this mistake?,” Makena continued.
“The other day I asked him to buy me colic water, he did, and a few days later he gets the nerve to demand the money back. Today I am asking him what kind of relationship he is having with my house girl and he dares tell me that he gave her 200ksh credit when she did not have, because he likes helping people,” She spurted.
“I have noticed a lot of weird things lately, and I decided to check for myself what kind of man this is. Kamene, I don’t even have clothes to wear with this stomach that keeps growing every day. Yet this fool of a man is running charity under my nose. He imports his clothes from china, and flaunts his money to the streets yet he cannot take care of his family, he has never even bought me a dress. What kind of a fool am I? I know this is silly, but it is too much now. I am straining, alone in this marriage. I have accepted that he married me for money because this is not a shared venture anymore. He has had the guts to steal my money, when I was stupid enough to trust him, now he is fooling around with the house girl?”
Kamene, let her continue without interrupting her.
“But how did you know about this?” she asked.
Makena, that early morning decided to do what she thought she would never do in her marriage, snoop into Oboho’s phone. She went looking for the elephant and a big one she found. The embarrassment she found, that her own husband fooling around with the help, the hurt, betrayal was just too much for her after all she has gone through with Oboho since the beginning of their marriage.
Makena and Oboho met in University. They dated for years and in 2014 had a church wedding leading them into a whole new life, and future. This was Oboho’s second marriage after god knows what happened to his first marriage where he left two children; boy and a girl.
Hoping for a fresh start. Hoping that Oboho, a Christian, religious person had finally learnt his past mistakes wanted to start over again, this time with a fresh, equally religious, educated and good family background, good career woman.
A fact they all assumed, was that Oboho’s last relationship was barely one year gap. His story was long and tedious. But they all hoped, Makena, being the strict, disciplined and religious person would not make a hasty judgment and that she had clearly vetted the guy and was finally ready to make the big step.
The marriage has been rocky from the start. But what set the alarm lights off was the moment he took over 7000dollars from their joint account, when Makena was out of the country. Oboho, the genius that he is gambled with the money and lost it all.
Makena almost collapsed when she learnt what had happened. She had also just learnt that she was pregnant. That is when she started to open her eyes to see the person she signed the rest of her life to.
Saddened and crippled by a pain so deep, slicing through her entire being and with it killing the love that she had bored for him.
“You know, he has made me feel so small and a fool this entire time. Each time we argue, he makes me feel like I am insane like I am imagining things. He even accused me of not wanting to have sex with him. I mean I am pregnant, we must have done something right to create this huge bulge that I want out right now. And how can I have sex with him, after all, the emotional betrayal he has nailed on the coffin called out marriage? How can he even think of sex? And I am supposed to be what? Loyal and spread my legs open to a man who has betrayed every word, trust, and feelings we ever bored for each other?”
“I am coming to pick you up, pack your bag and be ready I will be there in a few minutes.You can stay with me for a few days. You only have a few weeks to deliver, actually days. This is not the kind of stress you need. The guy is an idiot, do not put that pressure on yourself right now,” Kamene said, in an effort to calm Makena down.
Makena did not bulge, adamant that the only way she would leave that house, is when cubemovers would be parked at her doorstep, to take with her all that she has contributed since their union together.
Determined to get her out of the emotionally abusive environment, immediately Kamene thought of her friend Maura, who lived just a few blocks from Makena’s house.
Kamene’s friend, Maura; since days of college, is a woman made of stone, and through her thirty years of living on this earth, has seen a fair share of struggles and success. She called Maura and hinted a bit on the situation. Maura did not need a long explanation to go rescue another woman in turmoil. She did not argue, and despite having a new set of twins, she quickly got ready, took a taxi and went to pick Makena; to take her mind off her discoveries.
Kamene, then called Oboho. At first, she started off in a polite tone. Not wanting to cross the in-law line further than she was already crossing. Also with the fear of not being branded a homewrecker, she tread carefully.
Polite is not Kamene’s nature, and therefore through gritted teeth, she tried to listen to his excuses, one after another, trying to be civil and sending out the image of a man wrongly accused by his irate wife.
Kamene, listened keenly, trying hard not to interject. And then it was what he said next that let out the angry lioness, throwing caution to the wind. He asked her “to go and get her own family to run so that she, Kamene, can understand what it means to manage a family”.
“What the fart?” This is your farting second marriage and you dare talk about managing a family, and you have the audacity to ask me to get my own family? To do what? Fart with?”
It did not end well. She disconnected the call, and then realized; sweating, panting, angry, at just how far she had gone. The things she had said, how she had said them, sent her head reeling.
And that’s when she called her mother, to confer and come clean to what she had just done.
As Kamene continued to ponder over her mother’s statement, her phone rang. It was her mother calling back.
She picked the phone and started, “Mom, what did you mean by “Where did I come from? I thought you knew where I came from?” Mother on the other end could not control her laughter.
“My daughter, you know I joke with you now, I did not mean it in a bad way. I understand that you are someone who does not like to see bad things happening, and that is you, I just needed to finish with your dad who is a pain in the face.” Mother consoled her.
“I also do not like what is going on with your sister. I will talk to your dad and see what we can do,” She said.
Kamene wanting to drive it in more, to make clear of the situation, did not stop there, “Mom, Dad has just sent me this quote by Martin Luther King about Violence.”
Kamene reported to her mother.
“You know, I almost told him that I ascribe to Malcolm X. But I did not want to be rude. For years mom, we have been grown through the pain of seeing what Dad did to you. Are we also supposed to go through the same treatment, torture, pain?”
We understand why you stayed, she continued.
“We respect why you stayed, but that was your choice mum. Do you want to see us go through the same pain mama? All my life, I have not been able to move forward mama, lost my confidence, men have abused me, because I wanted to conform, because I was held back by the shame and torment of what you went through, by the hands of the person we call our dad. Makena is going through the same. She is praying to be strong as you, mama, and so that God can change her husband, Oboho, but mama, I think it is about time we stop this, you and Dad are like parents to Oboho, talk to him, guide him, and put the fear of God into him if he dares treat Makena like some trash, and diamond pot, like he has been doing now,” Said Kamene.
“Yes my daughter, I have gone through a lot. I have gone through things that a woman should never have to face or go through ever again. Some things I cannot even tell you,” Mother said.
“Then let us stop it, mama. Imagine dad sent Makena another message saying how marriages are hard, that people love and hate, and sometimes not even talk to each other, but at the end of the day it is the love that counts, what is that? Is that what he wants? For silence to continue yet Oboho turns Makena into a janeko, a mad woman?”
“My daughter, I will talk to your father, I did not know Oboho is such a useless man, I will talk to your father and we will make time to come and visit them both,” Mother said before she cut off.
By Mr Fart…