Return Of Njoro

Katana On Trial: Episode 3

Read episode 2 here.

Njoro came back the next day on his black mamba bicycle. The complaining of its un-oiled pedal announced him, and Mama Linda, Beatrice, and I lined up to receive him. He looked at me while coming off his bicycle, and it was as if he could see the sin I had committed with his second wife the previous night.

“Ingiza hizo soda kwa nyumba,” he ordered, referring to the crate of Tusker that was covered with a black cloth and fastened with black rubber on the passenger seat of his bicycle. I thought I heard the slightest hint of an edge to his tone as I offloaded the crate and carried it into the house stiffly. Like the radio. The alcohol would soon start its own chain of events.

“Toa hizo mataa and bring us lunch,” Njoro barked at Beatrice after we were settled and I wondered what had happened to the important people that he said were coming. It was while I was wondering that I realized Beatrice was not coping very well with what had transpired between us the previous night.

You must understand that Churo is a very old-fashioned village, extremely different from the culture in Nairobi where I would later visit and realize, in shock, that men and women hug each other in broad daylight, and go as far as kissing and sharing a bed together, even when they are not married.

In Churo, you had to be a respectable distance from the girl you were courting. God forbid, you shook hands. Then, you wouldn’t wash that hand for a week. There are still some married couples in our village who ask God for forgiveness every morning after sharing their marital bed.

So you can imagine the discomfort we had with Beatrice after dancing so close together, you could smell it on us. I fought to remain composed, but Beatrice couldn’t help it. Before, she would barely look at me before quickly looking away. Now, as she removed the Christmas lights, I realized how clumsy she had become.

She knocked over a pot, and it shattered on the floor. She brought Njoro his meal of ugali and watery cabbage just fine, and I thought, at last, she had gotten a hold of herself. But as she brought mine, and our eyes met, she tripped and poured the stew all over my shirt. It got worse later that day when she put water instead of petrol on the only generator in Churo, and there we were, taking it to Timo to get fixed.

“I will return this one to her mother,” Njoro barked more than once in frustration.

I barely slept that night. And when I did, I had a nightmare that Beatrice could not take it anymore and she had burst out loud to Njoro, ‘We did it with Katana, while you were away in Kabarnet town and Mama Linda was asleep, we danced together.’ I think the nightmare had come true because why else did Njoro call me the following morning while holding a sharp panga and said we needed to talk?

*

That brings us to the end of Episode 3. I would love to hear your stories, on the embarrassing things; love, guilt or both have made you do?

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