Have you read part 1,2&3 of “Heartbreak in the Streets of Nairobi?” If you haven’t, please do to understand this part.
I went through all the seven stages of grief within a moment. Not because someone close to me had passed on, but because I had lost a part of me yet again. First, I was in shock and denial. I had fallen for a girl hoping she wouldn’t hurt me as John Doe had done months ago. There was no way she could have been married. I could have smelt it on her if she was. Besides, she had promised me heaven on earth I knew that the streets were mean but they couldn’t be this cruel.
My mind was in turmoil drowning in memories from the past few months. I was sure that this man was in the wrong house. “My wife’s description of your beauty was understated. You’re way better in person than advertised,” he said grinning and licking his lower lip in quick succession. In a typical situation, I would have shied away taking the compliment to heart. Instead, excruciating pain cruised through my body. It was like hitting an already healed wound on a blunt surface. For some reason, I felt guilty for being so naïve. The second stage of grief.
I was angry at her for deceiving me. She was aware of all my insecurities yet instead of protecting me, she had used me. I wanted to hate her but for some reason, I couldn’t. Something was holding me back. Some part of me believed that this was just a misunderstanding. I would wait for her to get home and explain whatever it is that was going on. My mind was numb from these thoughts. I could no longer stay rooted to the ground so I slowly sat at the edge of the couch with my face in my hands. Thoughts of her being married were depressing. But I wasn’t ready to quit on what we had. I believed our love was worth fighting for and I wouldn’t quit as I had done with John Doe.
I instantly accepted the possibility of the marriage being legit and hoped she would choose me instead of this man. She had once made the comment, “us girls must stick together” which ignited a flame of hope in me. The hope that we would get through this. I must have sat at the edge of the couch for hours because when I raised my face from my hands, it was already dark outside and the automatic security lights had kicked in. I was alone in the house for a few minutes until the front door opened and she walked in.
She walked into the house with her usual glow which glimmered when she saw the briefcase on the console. She looked at me but I couldn’t read any emotion on her face. How did she do this (hide emotions) so well? “I can explain babe,” she said. That was the first time she had called me that. It sounded really nice so I fell for it. I smiled shyly and looked at her straight in the eyes. She let out one of her warm smiles followed by a tight embrace. Instantly all was forgiven and my hope battery was fully charged. Can you blame me?
We took a steamed bath together that evening and went on to the kitchen to prepare dinner. She popped a bottle of champagne and served me a glass. She took her glass and sat on the kitchen slab. I sipped from my glass as I waited for the broccoli to blanch. The mysterious man had left the house while I was sitting on the couch in thought and oblivious to my surrounding. He had gone to meet his boys’ club to catch up and would be back till late into the night.
We spent the night cuddled up in her bedroom for the first time. The odds were in my favour, or so I thought. I woke up early as usual and prepared toast for breakfast. Being on a Saturday, I didn’t have to worry about going to work. The mysterious man walked in, freshened up and left. I was head over heels especially after the night we had just had so his brief presence didn’t nag me at all. Nevertheless, I asked her about him when she woke to which she replied, “don’t worry about him. He will be here for three days and leave tomorrow for DRC leaving us to ourselves.”
It was a ‘Netflix and chill’ kind of day so we stayed indoors all day. “Do you ever think about John Doe?” she asked while refilling our champagne glasses. The question instantly threw me off balance. I had never seen it coming. I caught my breath and retorted, “not really. He’s literally water under the bridge. Why do you ask?”
“I was once married but it didn’t work. I didn’t belong to the marriage streets probably because I like ‘my kind’ more compared to the other gender. But I miss him occasionally especially when I feel insecure and need the security only man can provide. Be honest, don’t you ever yearn to be with a man. Let’s face it, I can’t satisfy all your needs.” She said. I took a gulp from my glass as I let it all sink before sharing my point of view. “I guess I do. But I never let it get to my head that I could use some head from the other gender. It’s been a while but I don’t belong to those streets anymore.”
We left the kitchen and walked towards the sitting room to continue watching TV. She stopped midway, turned back giggling and said, “It can be arranged.” The day was uneventful. Probably the calm before the storm.
The mysterious man arrived early that evening bearing gifts. Chinese takeout, a bottle of champagne and a bottle of Scotch whiskey. After several glasses of champagne, one is prone to becoming chatty and I was no exception that night. I cut this mysterious man some slack and indulge him. He was a smooth talker and I often caught myself hanging on each word he said. I should probably have stopped drinking and left for my bedroom but I didn’t.
Instead, I suggested we switch to something stronger, the scotch whiskey he had locked in the kitchen cabinet. One thing I have learned over the years is that switching over to something stronger never ends well. That night was no exception. The calm during the day was a disguise for the storm that would strike that night.
I woke up in the master bedroom the following morning. On my left lay the mysterious man and there she was on my right. They were both fast asleep. I raised my hurting head and peeped inside the sheets. I was in my birthday suit and so were the two people beside me.
Memories of the previous night came flooding but there were some blanks I couldn’t recall. Just like we had switched from champagne to whiskey, we had also switched from truth or drink to truth or dare. The final dare led us to the same bed. I closed my eyes in regret playing nothing would amount to this. It wasn’t my safest time if you know what I mean, and I was sure we were too drunk to consider any form of protection.
I slowly got off the bed and shamefully walked to my bedroom where I took a shower before leaving for the medicine cabinet in search of painkillers. After the night I had had, my head was killing me. I prepared a cup of coffee and took it with me to my bedroom. The following day being Monday I had to check my schedule for the week.
I fell asleep a few minutes later and woke up in the afternoon starving and craving beef soup. It miraculously restores my appetite after a night of heavy drinking. I was alone in the house. I later learned that she had driven him to the airport and stopped at the mall to pick some shopping.
Our peaceful life was restored once the mysterious man left. We never talked about what had happened the previous night. Life moved on as if nothing had happened yet something did happen.
I continued working as an office messenger always running around the streets of Nairobi picking and delivering messages. I had learned to love what I did and this contentment began reflecting on my face. At least I thought that my glow was because I was loved right and was content with what I did until one Thursday. I loved Thursday probably because they are a day before the weekend and who doesn’t love the weekend?
I had been using elevators on daily basis for several months but never gotten used to feeling nauseated especially when going down. While using an elevator, I always feel like my blood is boiling but luckily, I was never assigned to very tall buildings. This fateful Thursday it was different. For the past few weeks, I had felt this lump in my throat. I thought my tonsils had an infection so I just bought some antibiotics since I dreaded going to the hospital especially now that the pandemic was slowly creeping in.
Nausea from the elevator caused the lump to rise through my throat and I couldn’t hold back. I pulled out an empty envelope from my pocket and held it close to my mouth disposing of the lump. I got off the next floor and rushed to the washroom embarrassed. My heart was racing as I gurgled. I feared that what had happened during the night we chose not to talk about had caught up with me.
I rushed to the nearest pharmacy and bought a testing kit. This couldn’t be happening. I wasn’t ready to bring a child into the cruel streets of Nairobi. The pharmacist sensing my confusion slipped me the keys to the private washroom and pointed me in the right direction. I sat there unsure of what to do. Some part of me was sure of the outcome but I hoped it was not true. I mastered the courage and tested to confirm my greatest fear.
I was pregnant.
End of part 4
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