Wakulima Villas, Bedsitter EW12, 10.45pm
Jerob had been waiting for whole fifteen minutes. This, for her, had the semblance of centuries. She couldn’t wait for the mission to be accomplished. For the millionth time, she thought of what kind of person she had become. Who anticipates with enormous eagerness, for the cold blood murder of a person? Two people? But this had to go on as planned. It was literally a matter of life and death.
Kwanza that Olonde! He has to die. She could hear her voice echo across the bedsitter, which had been the hideout or loft the illicit activities of the trio. The soliloquy was real. The madness was evident.
For a moment, she thought they would not come. That some uncouth angel had warned them of their impending demise. Such are the times that foolproof plans begin to reveal the black holes within them. But no! She thought. She had taken so much time and energy planning this. Sealing every possible crack. Inundating it with a chain of contingencies. And even so, they had gotten hooked to this illicit and forbidden innuendo. They had to show up.
Maybe Chibumbu would think twice. Maybe he would think was not worth dying for. A merry-go-round of thoughts cycled her head like some sort of burdensome crown. Olonde cannot! Silly man. He ever thinks with the little man dangling between his legs (not so little per se). Is there ever a time he is devoid of a hard on anyway?
The plan had to work anyway. She went through every little detail once again. Assigning them each a role. They were part of a cast in the very lethal script. They were oblivious of the end though. Jerob had made sure they wouldn’t know. Just like she had made them to have some peace between them, she would make them walk down towards their respective corners in hell. She gave herself the biggest role. The Omnipresent one. The goddess of the illicit affair!
Olonde’s poisoned food was already on the shelf. But this Olonde of a guy. To think that he has to specify the kind of ugali I should cook. That after the “hard work of ploughing your gorgeous shamba, I need brown sembe, with the texture and feel of a coconut shell!” His irksome love for food will be his nemesis. He has to go.
Jerob sighed so loud, it sounded like ghosts were whispering through her breath. She reclined her back to the cold black bed sheets spread with military precision on the 3.5 by 6 inch bed. Ati they claimed that it doesn’t have to be so big. Everybody needed to feel warm in equal measure, they said. Equality is vital in this deal, Olonde had asserted with a furrowed forehead and bloodshot eyes. To think that they had united their efforts in acquiring the house, equipping it with the basic requirements and even reproducing the three copies of the keys was a scary engagement. It looked surreal for Jerob. So she lay there deep in thought, observing the ever busy spider sucking life out of the overworking housefly. What business does a housefly have flying around at such hours of the night, anyway. Akulwe kabisa. She then observed the almost white, almost transparent gecko stalking the ugly moth. And it hit her that life is about traps. Its either you are in one, or you are creating one. Something that looked like a smile lingered at the extreme left edge of her lips. But it wasn’t a smile! And she began to scrutinize the past. How this came to be. How her life got to this irredeemable quagmire.
Approx. 4 months ago; The Hot afternoon; On the way to River Awach
The afternoon was hot. Decembers are always like that. Unlike back at her home, right in the bushy armpits of the Great Gift Valley, which was ever so cold, this place was foreplay for hell. She hated it here. Especially when her affection for Chibumbu was starting to grow ugly horns. Not a day could pass without his beautiful smile crossing her mind. And this made her feel swampy down there. All the time. She had asked Collie, her husband, to take her with him to the city. He refused. He claimed that with the government making life hard, Nairobi was a tough place to stay with family. Actually everybody stays alone out there. She knew he had lied. But he was a good man. He was working hard for them both. And he made sure that she lacked nothing. And that mattered a lot. Times were bad.
Sometimes she would look at him as he slept peacefully. And she could feel a lens of tears welling her eyes. A tinge of guilt laced with the adamant need for secrecy boiled bitter bile in her stomach. One day, I will end this. She had reassured herself as she pulled the duvet to cover Collie. Dear loving husband.
That afternoon, she was dancing to a tune so pleasant that she forgot everything negative in her life. She was jumping like a little girl excited about the smell of the chapatti that her mother was expertly preparing for dinner. But it happened like that whenever Collie left for the city. The nights before he left were always epic, priceless, and continuously summoned feelings that were unexplainable. It didn’t matter that he climaxed pathetically quickly. That he always left her wanting more and more did not hold any much significance for her at that moment. What they felt for each other was what she chose to hold on to. She loved him to the moon and back, she would tell herself. Whichever orgasmic gap, Collie left would be filled by Chibumbu, anyway. So she was happy that afternoon. Ecstatic actually. It could have been for a congregation of reasons, but she made herself believe that it was the image that Collie had left in her head that made her this happy. She knew though. She grew ever aware that the effect Chibumbu had on her was growing and getting more illicit. The truth was stranger than the lie. If someone was to find out, though, it would be disastrous. She thought.
Brushing the mood-swinging thoughts aside, like dust on a silken linen, her smile grew wider and she concentrated on her escapade to the river. She could not wait to meet him.
Hobbiddie hobbiddie Bop! Hobbiddie hobbiddie bop! Her new black doll shoes sang.
Mbinguni hakuna digirii. Willy pozzeh! Mbinguni hakuna digirii! Her voice sang, amid heavy breaths
She stamped her feet in a hop-step-jump manner as she sang mbinguni hakuna digirii, in her head. She was so engrossed that she barely noticed Olonde staring at her with openly lustful eyes. Olonde often wondered what sort of lady Jerob was. There was something about her that he could not pinpoint. Something bizarre and sinister. An illicit thing that lingered beneath her extra-ordinarily white eyes and teeth. Ironically, it was the thing that made Olonde to develop a deep and unconceivable attraction. A thing that was, in itself, illicit. She was collie’s wife, for Pete’s sake! Perhaps this was the reason Jerob never gave him a listening ear. Or maybe she just didn’t have a thing for shamba boys, who spent goliaths of their day in dirty rags reeking of sweat. Ill just get her one day! He challenged himself.
Silence… As usual… sizing… As usual
It did not surprise him anymore that Jerob never talked to him. In fact he enjoyed it. It had become their thing. Just for the two of them. One talks, the other listens and life goes on.
I like your new pair of trousers and shoes. Collie had bought her these when he had come from the city. Oh dear collie. But she had not put them on for Olonde. No way! She almost punched the air in frustration at the thought of this. Chibumbu’s comment would matter though. At the thought of this, a smile started to peep from both edges of her lips. She clinched on her white paper bag that carried her kamasia, soap, and suthru, and walked even faster towards the river. She knew Chibumbu was lingering somewhere. Waiting. What she liked most about him was that he was aware of his place. Jerob did not understand why some men (read, Olonde) became so clingy and controlling even when in such illicit affairs as dating a married woman. Chibumbu was different. He was a time keeper and a listener. He never asked questions when Jerob declined or failed to meet at the designated time. Things were smooth with him. Men should understand that when they do such things, they subscribe to a long-term engagement of foreplay. The main thing is for the husband. She thought to herself.
Awach was rough! The waters were much redder and rowdier than usual and possessed the solidness of red ochre. It flowed fast, the banks were filled to their throats. The huge stone at the side on which the women placed their soaps, suthru, and kamasia as they bathed and swam, was covered to the extent of only revealing its tip. The wind was roaring and the trees were bending from side to side in obedience. Jerob stood there for a moment covering herself from elbow to elbow to protect herself from the sharps of the intermittent breeze that came her way. She had to while away the time until there was sufficient warmth. Taking off her pants, she hesitantly stepped in the water, one step after another. And with her right leg, she felt her usual standing stone. This stone had the right texture for her feet’s grip. The others were dangerously slippery. Water had climbed up her skin and covered her to the knee level. She took her kamasia and began scrubbing her feet with the dexterity of a surgeon. Collie had told her tales of the ladies of Nairobi. If these were true, then the city women are a hilarious lot.
They wash their bodies in similar rivers and streams, scrub their feet on stones, and scratch their skins using gunia suthrus. On Friday evenings, they often go to set standards at the city discos such as tribeka, bistro, nafas (space lounge), and mojos. She recalled collie’s narration as the stone tickled her feet.
Olonde found a canopy of bushes close by. Sat on a patch of grass beneath it, pulled the leaves lower to cover his location, took of his t-shirt, and lit his blurnt. Life was good.
Jerob felt that the warmth was quite enough for her to plunge herself into the river and do her usual thing. Meet Chibumbu. She took of her blouse and revealed the matching inside clothing. She looked at herself once more and was contented she would please her lover. Swimming in river Awach was something that bordered sporting, science, and art. You needed to plan well before throwing yourself into the water. For instance, in order to swim from one bank of the river to the other and reach the specified location, you had to observe the speed of flow of the water, the wind, and the width of the river. Then you would decide on the strength you would use to swim upstream in order to be diverted and land on the right point on the other side.
As Jerob was thinking about this, she had captured the attention of the already hallucinating Olonde. He had to rub his eyes to ascertain the realness of the scenery. “I’d be damned! Breasts as defiant to gravity and as firm as the fists of Lwanda Magere! Nipples sneering upwards like the tips of Voi mangoes. Issa lie!” He exclaimed as he scratched his itchy back.
Jerob’s feet were slapping the waters with the musicality of a rhyming beat. She was halfway to the other side and as she raised her head to gather more air, she saw him. Chibumbu. Waiting patiently like he had no worries in this world. He gave a smile as she arrived and held onto the exposed snake-like root of the tree that grew next to the bank.
Hi pe! she interjected her heavy breaths.
Its not pe… Its Bae, he retorted humorously.
They both laughed as Chibumbu pulled her off the water and gave her a riveting embrace. Despite having come straight from the water, Chibumbu felt how hot she was. Hot for him. She held him tight, breathing hot hair against his neck and rubbing his back up and down. Chibumbu recoiled his head, pulled backwards and sought for her lips. They were as cold, fleshy, and sweet. He felt a rush in his veins and his heart beat harder and louder than the drums of Matabeleland. Jerob moved her hands lower towards his waist, still holding him passionately, gulping for air. Breath of life. She thought. She then grabbed the lower helm of his shirt, pulled it up and slid it off his body. Threw it aside! The feel of his chest against hers was magical. They became one. A oneness that was illicit but often sweet. A forbidden oneness. Chibumbu then plucked off her bra as he kissed every corner of her body. Wait for it. She said to herself. And it came. The heavenly feeling that arrived alongside his lips attached, tongue dangling, and breaths seething her nipples. She wanted more. He grabbed her and lay her on the banana-leaf bed he had prepared for them. She lay on her back, looking into the heavens. Praying. Let this not end. O lord. He was already kissing the inside of her thigh, moving from dimple to dimple and leaving a mark as he ravished her. The mark of a harmonic sound. A sound so distant yet close to his ears. Give it to me, Pe! and on he went until she was so wet, wetter than fish, and wanted no more of waiting! Come in right now! She demanded.
Chibumbu threw his sweatpants aside and hurled himself over Jerob. He was ready to dive in when he heard it for the umpteenth time. The groan. The roar. He didn’t know. Maybe its just some cow. He thought as Jerob pulled him closer. Focus, my fren.
Olonde had been watching. In disgust and fascination alike. So this is… he could not complete the sentence. He felt angry and excited at the same time. But his little man had arisen and demanded a share of the excitement. The swelling was evident on the zip of his dirty jeans. Olonde slid open his zip and untamed the beast. And using his left hand, he choked him. Rubbing him vigorously. Looking at Chibumbu and Jerob. Feeling like he was part of the action. He rubbed his little man till it was rock hard and chimney hot. And he felt it coming. He groaned like the bull of Kakamega. In his mind he felt he owned Jerob. Chibumbu was not existent for the moment. Olonde was on top! He saw her beneath him. The recipient of his little man. He rubbed harder and faster, choking tighter and he erupted. Like a volcano, he couldn’t contain the blast. And it came out through his mouth. He roared, growled, and croaked at the same time. Loud.
He felt angry at himself for doing such a thing. He looked at his ugly cum, standing out, mixing with the dust on the ground. He kicked the dust near his right leg, which in obedience, rushed to cover the symbol of his shame. But there was something else. He was angry at Chibumbu and Jerob for making him do that. Were it not for them, his little man would have remained tamed. Humble. His rage went two three stairs up.
He swam towards them.
Well. Well. Well. What do we have here? Chibumbu was jostled out of his ecstasy by a voice so familiar. Jerob scampered for a hiding behind a thicket. Oh my! She felt hopeless as she saw the vulpine and abrasive Olonde covered up to the waist by the water. He was moving resolutely towards their location, wading in pride. Clearly proud and aggressive, he swaggered towards them as she and her Chibumbu watched, expectant of anything. She picked one of the banana leaves and covered herself and waited for what was to happen next. She knew it was not going to be any good. Chibumbu opened his mouth to speak.
Look, Olonde, Its not what you…
Not what I think? Really, Chibumbu… Olonde could not let him finish. Chibumbu had always disgusted him. Always acting civilized, quiet, and calculating. College boy my foot! Olonde almost spat.
Anyway, he continued. What I think does not matter here. After all, am just a nobody. This, he said looking directly and sternly into the eyes of Jerob.
What will matter is what Collie will think when he gets wind of a cheating loving wife. And what your mother in law, who holds you in high regard, will think when she gets aware of the treacherous daughter’s escapades. Oh, I need not to forget what the village, the chief will…
Please Olonde, don’t tell anyone. This was a mistake that will not happen again. She meant it. If she was going to get out of the situation, unscathed, Faithfulness would be embedded to every bead on her rosary.
What can we do to… Chibumbu started.
…Yes, what can you do? You always had it in you, didn’t you? I knew you would ask the right question… Let me see. What can you do?
I want a share of this… with four sad and expectant eyes piercing his presence, Olonde went on about how he wanted the affair to be inclusive of him. He claimed that the only way the secret of the illicit kind of affair would remain safe, is to enjoin him. Jerob stared despondently through a thin film of tears at Olonde as he listed his demands and his master plan. It was like an arrangement he had always crafted in is diabolical mind, which she later realized was not only evil but also full of sadomasochism.
…And I want an apology for treating me like trash, he pointed at Jerob.
Back at the Wakulima Villas Room EW12,
Jerob could not help but punch the air. As if the perennial enemy lingered therein. One more time, she lifted the mattress to confirm that Chibumbu’s knife was present. Sharp and lethal. Sad that he has to die. But it will be painless. He sleeps like a baby after sex. The knife will render him dead before he awakes. Check! She nodded. She could feel a slight shiver as she walked towards the microwave to warm Olonde’s meal. They’ll be here anytime from now. The temptation to add more of the rat-and-rat poison to the food was quite evident in the midst of the anger. That would ruin the taste and the aroma. She shook her head.
As Jerob sat back on the bed, she heard men laughing thunderously in the corridor. One of them was the conspicuous outburst of that foul mouthed Olonde. And she felt her heart tickle her ribcage with a sudden and heavy beat, as the first knock pounded on the metal of the door.