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My two bedroom abode was in a plot behind Naivas Supermarket, along the outering road that connected Thika road to Kariobangi. It was a fairly peaceful neighborhood. Little drama. Everybody minding their own business.
Mrs Mwaniki (Our landlady) was a pleasant Lady; that’s if you paid your rent dues in time. In her late Fifties and widowed only recently, making her money in a timely fashion was her core interest. If you defaulted or delayed payments even with a day or two, you would encounter the full blown wrath of woman beaten by life. She would remind you of the bank loan she’s servicing. The high costs of living, and her monthly trips to Nairobi Water Company. Trust me, you never wanted to encounter that woman’s other side.
Covid came. Uncle Rona himself. The OG of all sicknesses. The master virus that didn’t know a thing about race or wealth. Companies were unable to sustain salaries of nearly all cadre of employees. They blamed Rona. I was number one casualty. I was unexpectedly layed off from the construction company that I was serving as a junior clerk. I had no alternative but to eat into my savings that had accrued over the months. Soon, I would only manage a meal a day and it was only a matter of time before I would be devoid food and rent. I was in deep trouble.
The month of May came.
I had nothing. Mrs Mwaniki unreservedly notified me of my two months rent default. She told me to get my act together and remit my dues, or she would be locking my house. I called Stephen my best friend who owned a small pharmacy at Juja town. I explained my predicament to him and asked him to advance me just something little for food and half rent.
I promised to refund immediately I got back to my feet. Stephen mentioned that his wife was in labour at a local maternity clinic and she was expecting twins. He mentioned that he was more than willing to assist me. But he had spent a huge deal of his savings on maternity dues and post natal products. His pockets weren’t okay.
That evening, I bumped into Stephen’s wife at an executive saloon in Roysambu. With no signs of pregnancy.
The following morning I composed a long pleading text to most of my close Nairobi friends. I tearfully mentioned that my house was at the verge of being closed and I had gone 3 days without anything to eat. In the text, I was only asking for 250/-. So that I would have some decent meal and perhaps buy some nessesities like soap and tooth paste. I sent the text to 12 friends that I considered close and would never disappoint. By six pm that evening, I only received 3 responses.
Two of them were willing but unable. One was asking me to wait till the following day, he’d go to his bank and make a transaction for me.
That night my house was locked up. Mrs Mwaniki threw out my little belonging and asked me to find away of going back to the village. Nairobi was not my portion.
It was 10 PM. Curfew. Police brutality. Thugs.
I was very frustrated. I begun walking towards Ruaraka garage; maybe I would get some old car that had broken down and spend the night in it. Just at the Ruaraka junction, I bumped into some thuggish street boys who gave me a beating of my life. They snatched my phone, tore my clothes and hit my chest with some blunt metal object that left me bleeding and out of touch with reality.
When I came to, I was at Pumwani hospital, at the HCU ward, nursing traumatic chest injuries. My breathing was aided by ventilators and both legs had severe fractures. The doctors did the very best they could. But sadly, I passed away on the forth day.
My FRIENDS received the news of my passing with shock and utmost Sorrow. My good friend Stephen could not control his anguish. Like the standard practice dictates, my Nairobi friends met every evening to discuss and contribute for my burial upcountry. Within four days, 430,000 shillings had been raised by my friends alone. A befitting casket had been purchased by the company I was working for and Stephens wife had volunteered to personally cater for the 100 customized t-shirts that would be used by mourners on the burial day.
Mrs Sandra Mwaniki, my landlady had personally footed the entire catering bills thus food and drinks would be plenty during the ceremony. My burial day came. My parents little compound was filled with sad and sorrowful beings. The wives to my Nairobi friends took over the ushering and the kitchen affairs. During the citation of my life and times, My Nairobi friends and former workmates described me as a good man. That I loved people and that I didn’t deserve such a cruel death.
They said that they would MISS me.