Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away – Philip K. Dick
(continuation/part two of this story)
It was silent, calm and peaceful. The three things I sometimes yearn for when I am with my boys even though I have always suspected when I finally get them, we will be in deep trouble. That was an understatement! The sounds that we could hear were snores from other inmates who were not in our cell. I finally let go of the cell bars I had been firmly holding for sometime now. My fingers hurt. I was met with discouraged faces as I looked back at everyone else. Reality had sunk and sobriety resumed. Tall Guy, who hardly says anything unless he is very high was first to break the silence, in a somewhat shrill voice,
“Yaani tuko ndani for real!”
I was heading towards him with the intention of beating the hell out of him then I changed my mind when I remembered he was 6 foot 5 and had visited the gym on few accounts. I still do not understand how he still believed we were not in jail for real. I stopped a few metres from where he was now sitting down and made the “We will be OK speech” much like the “Yes we can speech” by Obama. No one seemed interested. And you would think that having known people for about five years, you now know them well. What happened next was beyond what my eyes was ever meant to comprehend. At the corner was one of us, the one we all thought was the hardcore, crying like he had just been introduced to this harsh world from his mom’s womb. (I have not mentioned his name thus far because of the damage it will do him if people were to realise that he cried as late as a few years ago in a jail somewhere in Nairobi).
Everyone was now seated, apart from me. I preferred to lean on the wall. We stared at each other for eternity. The guy I should not mention his name finished crying, and I could tell that Jigger had found something/one to make fun of for the next decade, provided we left the cell. Boss, who is usually calm and the most built of us all, suddenly rose to his feet with such vigour that I became concerned. He headed for the bars and with all his might shook them while shouting “Mtatutoa ama nitavunja!” He did this for about five minutes and I could see him wearing out. The ‘Paul and Silas’ story was not going to be repeated here. I was walking towards him to tell him he was wasting time, when I realized he was about to give up. Just then, a female guard appeared and it was the best thing after sliced bread.
I just realized that I was the only one not moving towards the cell bars with a speed to rival that of light. I looked at the bars (which also acted as the doors) thinking a Silas and Paul moment had happened but it was still unmoved from Boss’ shaking. The whole lot was now pleading with the female guard. The cry baby was knelling. I did not join them for two main reasons: I had done most of the thinking till that point and more so, I could not stoop low as to do what my friends were now doing just to get a phone that might be low on credit, or worse, without any.
There is a thing with women who have had children. They will treat anyone the age of their kids who is in trouble, as theirs. There was mercy in the eyes of this guard. She looked around to see whether anyone else was watching and removed her Motorola C118 phone. As she did, there was a scuffle as everyone wanted to be first to call. This prompted her to return it back and whisper, “One person at a time or none of you will call.” She pointed at me. I had not yet moved from where I was. “Yule ndiye anaanza!” I am told that I ran towards the bars but in all honesty, the cell was not a big a place for anyone to run, and knowing my boys, it cannot be true.
The guard kept reminding us to whisper and be as brief as possible. She was more concerned of what would happen if she had been caught than the credit we were using. Luckily for us, her credit was just enough for everyone to get a message to someone. She cautioned us neither to tell anyone she had given us a phone nor even tell anyone we had seen anyone like her before finally walking briskly . It mattered less to us. In no time, we would be found. We could not thank her enough. There was renewed energy on everyone’s face. We would be out in no time. Maa Nigga even started taunting Polo that he would never step foot in his place again!
I am the complete opposite of my friends. More often than not, I have asked God what I did wrong to meet these guys. And just as a warning to everyone, if in your next life you meet the guys I have named in this story, run for your life! Oh, and the seventh guy, the one who was crying is called Onyi. I should have charged you for that advice. Within an hour, everything in our cell was “back to normal.” Maa Nigga talking about a famous inventor, Jigger making fun of Onyi for crying (when I was thinking this would wait till we were out) etc. I on the other hand was not comfortable as everyone else. There was that feeling that something was still not right. I could not, however, put a finger to it. I tried telling myself to be a little bit optimistic, but it did not work.
It was now towards early morning and my fears were being confirmed with every passing minute. The others seemed less concerned and more comfortable. Our bladders sms-ed each other and suddenly we all needed to take a leak. Boss, had been successful in calling a guard once, and so he was mandated in calling another one, preferably the same one who had given us her phone. In no time, a guard came and after we explained that our bladders were almost bursting, he came back with an empty metal bucket, carefully opened the bars/door and gave us our state of the art water closet. As he made to leave, he made this statement as a by the way, “Your parents were here a while ago, but technically, you are not! Majina yenu hata hayako kwa OB. Tuliwaambia waangalie Kamukunji!”
And suddenly no one was interested in emptying his bladder!
…to be continued…
Quote: One useless man is called a disgrace, two become a law firm, and three or more make up our MPigs.
Definition: Tragedy (verb) – Marrying someone for love and then finding out they have no money.