Katana On Trial: Episode 6

Read episode 5 here.

You will remember the crate of Tusker that Njoro came with from Kabarnet town, that sat in his house untouched. I had not yet drunk alcohol at this point, but I used to see how people behaved when they did. I did not care for the staggering or the slurred speech. What I was interested in was what everybody kept saying about how it brought out your true colors.

The plan was simple: share a bottle with Beatrice and see what all the fuss was about, and while at it, bring out our true colors and right the wrongs that had been committed against us. 

You must be asking yourself, “What was so special about Beatrice that I kept jumping through hoops and even going as far as putting my life in danger for her?” I told you before that our minds are vast, and though our decisions might look simple, the triggers sometimes go back to our ancestors. However, this was not one of those situations. 

Beatrice was special. I was terrible at school, as I mentioned, and she was the one whose test I copied. She would push her exam paper toward me when the teacher was not looking—a frightening lumbering beast of a man who was rumored to have smacked the teeth off his mtu-wa-mkono’s mouth, because he fed the cow the sukuma wiki he was meant to have for supper. 

But Beatrice was unfazed by him. She would let me copy her test while the frightening teacher wasn’t looking. Turns out, he did not need to look because I ended up telling on myself by copying her name and index number too. The hot lashes across my buttocks and hers did not stop us from doing it again and again—to the point where the teacher made us change seats.

Beatrice was special in other ways too. You only needed to see her coming from the river to know what a diamond she was. I mean, you couldn’t tell when she was going because she wore these baggy dresses that no one cared for, but after the dress was wet and it clang on her skin, you understood exactly why Njoro had paid her bride price so quickly. It is said that he had to sell his hardware in Kabarnet town to finance it.

Her marrying Njoro caught me unawares because she had dreams to go further than Churo village and would often tell me about the video vixens and socialites of Nairobi she admired; words that were all foreign to my ear. She would narrate this to me while we were seated underneath a tree next to our homestead, where she was trying in vain to help me with my homework.

After exams, Beatrice passed with flying colors. She was called to a school in Nairobi, and I thought, finally, she was on her way to achieving her video vixen and socialite dreams but alas, the sound of marriage knocking on her door was louder than her wishes.

I would right all these wrongs promptly. I knew that the Beatrice I loved was somewhere in there. I just needed to bring her to the surface, and I was lucky enough to have access to the true-colors-bringing stuff. We would run away to Nairobi. She would become a video vixen and socialite. Hell, I could even try my hand at it too. That was as far as my plan went. To be sure, the Tusker did bring out her true colors, it just wasn’t what I had expected.

Read episode 7 here.


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