Archive for the ‘Fiction’ category

It was time to talk

May 13, 2009

 

You separate with the one you love. You swear not to go back to him. Later, circumstances force  you to re-unite. Love? Here is a piece based on a true story. ..

No fooling around with men again! Tina had sworn after breaking up with Seth. She had married him unaware of his true nature. They had lived a happy life until he resumed heavy drinking.

It all began with a claim that his colleagues had forced him to take some ‘mild’ drinks in a party. Then it came to taking a tot. Just a tot to enable him finish his job at the office.

Tina never argued much with him. She never questioned much. He had a way of preventing one from challenging him. He stared hard in a way that belittled and silenced you.

Hell broke loose when she tried. She only advised him to avoid the mild drinks – but he exploded and went up in arms.

“Are you trying to control me?” He thundered. Tina tried to calm him down but he shot a punch that almost disfigured her face. He intended to beat her thoroughly but Tina escaped. She grabbed Maureen and left to the countryside to begin a new life.

As time passed by, she tried her best to push him off her mind. She ignored the letters that he wrote begging her to change her mind and go back to him. After all, she was happy in the countryside. No fooling around with men again.

The day came when she had to fool with men again. It was during Maureen’s graduation day at college and the girl invited both parents to the ceremony.
The thought of meeting Seth after a long time made blood to race in her veins. She almost turned down the invitation but her love for Maureen forced her to attend the ceremony.

Seth…he must have sunk headlong into alcohol. He must be skinny and miserable with a strong alcoholic odor…

She was wrong. Seth was new. He had a new radiance too – not belittling and fiery but calm and friendly.

They talked to each other briefly and went on to pretend that that they were very keen on what was going on at the ceremony. Maureen watched them closely. She knew that even though they kept nodding to what the guest speaker was saying, deep; very deep in their minds; they were politely addressing each other.

“Tina, I know you believe that I am still an irresponsible drunkard.” Seth was saying silently. “I am sorry for what I did to you but believe me, I have changed!”

“I regret to have lost you.” Tina was responding. “You have changed a great deal. You are a new lovable Seth. But I still have some fears about the old Seth hiding somewhere within you.”

“I would like to talk to you.” Seth broke the silence when they later went in a restaurant.

“Is it necessary really?” Tina responded, looking into his eyes which spelt love and honesty. Was he really changed?

She was still thinking when she found her lips on his. His kiss had changed too. It was a long, warm, passionate kiss that made one to crave for more. It even made an excited Maureen to forget about her drink and think about her boyfriend.

Yes; it was necessary to talk!

The Gate Pass

May 12, 2009

 

Birds are flying leisurely around the heavily guarded jail. Lucky beings. How I wish the inmates inside the facility could breathe such fine air and enjoy such cool weather…

The officer at the Naivash Maximum Security Prison main gate takes light years to enter my identification details in the dog-eared official visitor’s book.

 “Name of prisoner you are going to visit?” He asks angrily.

 I tell him the name and he takes another eternity to scribble it in the book.

 “You look like a Luhya person. Which tribe do you come from?”

 I tell him my tribe but there is a doubtful expression on his face. To him, I am Luhya. I don’t know why he has stuck to that.

  “What crime did your relative commit?” He asks.

  “He is in Block A” I reply.

 Block ‘A’ is for those on death row. I notice a sympathetic expression on the faces of the people around.

 A call interrupts the job. He takes a long time chatting with his friend about the good weekend they had the previous week, the fat lady who fell in love with him and so on.

 When he finishes the call to our relief, he complains about his lunch. I think I am dumb here for I only nod when he says that his favorite meal of chapatti and beans only costs fifty shillings. In response, the officer abandons my case by requesting that I wait for a while as he goes on to serve other visitors.

 They are clever visitors. They do not just nod as I did– they dish out some dirty notes for the man, what makes him sign their gate passes faster.

 I make up my mind to be served faster by shaking his hand with a fifty shilling note. Gate Pass Number 13 is issued instantly with a broad smile. But there is another obstacle at Block A’s…

 “You will have to wait.” This one says casually, slipping the piece of paper bearing my details carelessly in his pocket. “Can’t you see it is lunch time?”

 The jail’s walls are tall and thick. Armed policemen all over. Tight security here. The birds flying around the complex do not know how lucky they are. How I wish my relative was able to fly away like the chattering birds…

 Many thoughts are racing in my mind as I wait for an hour. Two. Three…

  “I have been waiting for the last three hours sir.”I remind the officer guarding the jail gate. “I think lunch is over.”

 The officer seems to have forgotten me. He has even forgotten where he kept the paper I gave him but his memory comes back to life when I sneak a fifty shilling note in is hand.

 At last, I am allowed to visit my relative. We shed tears as we great each other through the glass that separates our physical contact. He has been here for three years now. He is skinny and shabby after exhausting the last resources we brought him.

 Of course I have carried some money for him. He needs food and soap and razors blades for shaving. He needs many other basic things. Some of these things like razor blades are contraband but I know how they will get to him. After all, the police who is monitoring our conversation is yawning. Isn’t it a sign that he wants some lunch?