In his longish life, Arap Cheboin Senior; the one whose name I took after, was famed for two things. One of them was busaa drinking. I am told the fellow loved drinking so much such that when other wahengas were busy composing proverbs, wise sayings, and folk tales, he used to while his time away gulping down pots and pots of busaa. He is said that he used to like siphoning the brew while seated under a huge Emitiot tree in the compound of his youngest wife in the company of his kinsmen and men of his age-sets. He was habitual busaa-guzzler.
Apart from that, the polygamist old fellow had an innate ability to 'gather and eat honey from different honey-pots' with varying sizes and ages. He was a real cock whose trapping-net spanned far and wide; beyond the Kipsigis' territory, as evidenced by the number, variety and the different tribes of wives he had. He is the mhenga who solely rebuffed the proverb, Jogoo la shamba haliwiki mjini by stating that the "Jogoo" in him crows wherever he went; whether in rural or in the city.
Anyway that was not here nor there. What is here and now is that, while I am not going to brag either about my skill to 'gather and eat honey' nor about my famed ability to crush millet (ungiat) in the mortar with a pestle, I am simply going to say that in my bid to rival my Senior in honey-searching-and-eating, I almost transported my soul to the yonder yesterday afternoon; the day of Valentine.
It all started when this calf, I have been chasing and drooling at her for months, finally agreed to let me have access to her servers. She mans one of the supermarkets in Flamingo City and she is one of those calves who if she tells you to slap a cop in exchange for her pecks on your cheeks, you would not hesitate. Not only would you slap the cop and grab his gun but you would also drag him by his ears to where she would be standing for her to prove. She is one of those calves who must have been created around saa nne, while God was basking in the morning sun.
So on Monday 12th Feb, she agreed after months and months of kumtupia ngeli with my promises to sell the part of my ancestral land, where the tractor does not reach, to host me at her abode on 14th Feb. What a coincident! The valentine day.
I am sure you can picture me yesterday, galloping to her abode at around 12 pm. The delight in me as she ushered me into the bedsitter apartment was of unparalleled scale. My heart was horse-racing and I could hear the sound of blood flowing in my veins. My ears were hot and my mouth was dry.
I sat down on a sofa and was immediately offered a glass of juice plenished from an electric Juice-blender that has a tap beneath it. I sipped the cold juice as she busied herself at the sink with washing the utensils. Meanwhile, I was busy foraging through the articles penned by Arap Cheboin Snr on steps of "Gathering and Eating of various types of Honey." I needed to know how to begin the eating, as apparently, the calf was not the normal village-types I was used to.
After sometimes, I stood up and walked towards the sink. I had a mind to grab her from behind, the way I have been watching in movies. The romance was in the air and I was charged romantically.
I was few steps to reaching her, when unexpectedly, a dauntless knock on the door sounded, followed by a booming voice.
"Fungua mlango Mwende, ninajua huko ndani!" The world momentarily stopped. I literally jumped out my skin.
"Ghai!" was the calf's response as she covered her mouth with her left hand.
"You didn't tell me you have a husband," I cried out. My heart was in my mouth as my eyes frantically searched for where to escape through. She did not respond. Her eyes were fixed on the door as she seemed to have all over sudden transformed into a statuette.I walked back towards the bed. The knocking was becoming incessant and now louder with each passing second.
After few minutes, Mwende seemed to have finally found her ability to use her legs and she walked towards the door. That was when I saw death coming.The window-grills had spaces that were too small to let even a cat out. I had no better option other than to creep under the bed. What a pathetic way of dying!
I tried ransacking my brain in search of "what would Arap Cheboin Snr have done" in a similar situation but everything was blank. There appeared to have been a sudden disconnect between the two Arap Cheboins.
Instinctively, I got my phone out of my pocket and composed a text to my wife, "I am sorry. It was not my intention. Kindly take care of our kids...."
As I continued typing, instructing my wife on what should be written in my eulogy and the list of those people with my debts, Mwende called my name."Arap Cheboin where are you? It is the landlord!" she said."Nilikuwa nimemhepa kumlipia rent ya December na sijalipa ya mwezi jana. That is why he is angry. Ameenda though. I have promised to pay him kesho," Mwende explained as I crawled out under the bed and out of the house.
The year is still young for me to make an appointment with my maker that fast. There is lots of honey that I still need to eat and a sackful of millet to be grounded in the mortar!
My valentine day completely ruined!
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