“It’s too cold, I wish you were here….” Few men have been able to resist the power of such texts from women. CEOs have suddenly left high profile meetings because of such; army generals have left the battlefields because of such.
What of a mere youth with no recognized social status? Receiving such a text from Cindy made my brain take a temporary lockdown down and my libido took control.
Cindy was a girl I had just met on Tinder dating app. Going by her profile, she was 21 years old and light-skinned or what is commonly referred to as yellow-yellow. I was convinced, by the pictures she uploaded that she was exceptionally beautiful.
Apparently, after we got conned the first time we went online in search of white girlfriends, Josiah and I swore never again to attempt anything online apart from school assignments. However, some, habits were harder to stop than it was easier to swear.
I had a fake bio on my profile; portraying a moneyed gentleman, settled and only in search of a lady to cap it all. With such an exaggerated profile – pictures of me in suits photoshopped besides flashy automobiles – I thought it best not to look for girls around my area who possibly knew me or could easily bump into me while I crawled into some kibanda to eat my usual chapati madondo.
Cindy was fast with her replies and even more eager for a meeting. I gathered that she stayed in some one-bedroom house in Kayole
“Are you coming?” Another text came in.
My blood rushed. I immediately abandoned my school assignment and preparations for a CAT coming up the following week. It was around 5pm in the evening. I had also never been to Kayole. I decided to persuade Josiah into accompanying me with the allure that Cindy had her other friend who would be saved from boredom by Josiah’s company.
My main objective, however, in seeking Josiah to tag along, was for security reasons, path-finding and, most importantly, to have an easier excuse out in case the girl was not what her pictures said. He was reluctant to go until we discussed his commission; he called it emergency task allowance. But as soon as we settled at the house I had planned to kick out Josiah before beginning my nation-building task.
It was around 7pm when we got to Kayole. Cindy came for us at the stage. My ‘car’ apparently was at the mechanic.
The path to her place was obscured with lots of meandering. I barely could remember the paths we had used. Being the gentlemen that I pretended to be, I had bought a kilo of meat that Cindy had just put to boil as she prepared our supper.
She was looking at Josiah strangely, wondering why I tagged him along, but through a whisper, I managed to convince her that he was just my PA who would leave immediately after the meal. Even as she cooked, Cindy kept going in and out of the house and rather suspicious.
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While eating and sitting very comfortably as if we owned the house, the door was roughly pushed open. Three men entered calmly. I have never been the kind to judge anyone by the looks, but at that moment I could tell that none of those three men knew a word such as ‘peace’.
“Mercy, hawa wanaume ni kina nani, (who are these men)?” The first one angrily asked Cindy while scrutinizing us in a very keen manner.
Cindy who was now Mercy had started to talk but was immediately interrupted by the third man who had a club in his right hand.
“Mnajua huyu ni bibi ya wenyewe?” (Do you know this is somebody’s wife?) He asked while his eyes, red in colour, searched me with evident malice.
Left on my own
I was shaking and sweating terribly. The piece of meat I had slipped out of the trembling hand and dropped to the floor. Josiah, despite the evident fear, and his lips trembling as if he was naked in a cold winter season, began to speak in an effort to save himself.
“Mimi hata sijui huyu msichana, ni huyu aliniambia nimlete,” he stammered while pointing at me.
“We macho ine, what are you doing in my house with my wife?” The guy holding the club demanded while moving towards me threateningly. He looked like he had fought in the first and second world wars and was still ambitious enough to fight in a third one. I could smell the strong odour of bhang all over him.
My body went numb. I tried to talk but only ended up stammering. Cindy was not talking. She only stared as if she was not part of what was happening.
The thought that news could spread and, worse, my photos in a vest, caught in such a circumstance was unimaginable. I had to find a way out. I remembered God but was quickly ashamed that I had forgotten him for a very long time. I remembered Isaiah 41:10, ” Fear not, I am with you…” But my trembling only intensified.
“Wee Dan, waambie mimi siko. It’s you who brought me here,” Josiah blurted.
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As I stammered and trembled with an apology and an incoherent explanation, one very hard slap found a rough landing on my cheek. The ruthless owner of the slap then demanded that we deposit what was in our pockets or suffer the consequence of their anger and thirst to kill.
Josiah only had a cheap phone and one hundred shillings in his pocket. This invited more thorough slaps on his cheeks. I had only six hundred shillings and an old Samsung phone. They were infuriated to discover we had nothing of value. Nothing that was worth the magnitude of the crime we had committed.
“Brathe, nikifungua macho, sitaki kuwaona ha…” Before the words were fully out, I had jumped to the door and collided with Josiah who had instinctively done so, too. Managing to secure only my left shoe I blindly bolted into the darkness after Josiah who was agile enough to rise up fast after the collision at the door.