Wounds of a Man
By Agufa Kivuya (Kenya)
The wedding bells were ringing and all the necessary preparations were on the go. Tina had informed all her friends and could not stop reminding them of her upcoming colossal wedding, a year before it was scheduled to take place. In simple terms, she was obsessed. She talked about it in merry-go- round meetings, in home fellowship, during choir practices and even in her dreams. She had dreamt of a wedding in her life but had never envisaged it to be of such a humongous magnitude in the nation. She was going to marry the envy of almost all women. Even the envy in the eyes of her friends, whenever she talked about him, could not be suppressed. She was going to be a celebrity without much struggle, a thing she always coveted but always dismissed as impossible in a country where a god father mattered much.
Hamisi was a fast rising and promising politician, whose classy and flamboyant nature was too compelling to let journalists and paparazzi off him. Wherever he went, girls could not stop drooling over him. He was single, wealthy, famous, handsome and doomed to succeed. He seemed to be the perfection of a man, having almost all the qualities any lady would want in a man.
Tina had accompanied her friend to a birthday party, when she first saw Hamisi live, she had heard of him and watched him in news for umpteen times but had never seen him face to face. The man freely hobnobbed with those partying without slightest care of his social status. As others engaged in a joyous dance the diffident. Tina chose to sat and watch, just nodding to the rhythm of the songs being played; maybe because she was as sober as a judge. She was dressed in a long purple flowering dress unlike most of other ladies who were adorned either in a short skirts or short. Hamisi thought her a wife material even though kept it concealed in his mind. Her
taste and preference, as he could surmise were more of mature compared to the rest. After watching her for a while, he went straight to her and asked her to join him in a salsa dance. She was irresistible the shy Tina declined without much emotion. Hamisi was struck. This was the first lady to repudiate his warm gesture, even though he feigned grin he walked away, his heart could not keep off the rejection. He tried to dance and get over it but his mind tormented him. No song could take him back to the dancing. After his struggles to move on had failed miserably, he went and took a seat next to Tina.
“Isn’t that song beautiful? “Hamisi asked. “Oh yes, it is?” Tina replied joyously.
“So why don’t you join me in a dance?”
“I don’t dance with men until when I will get the rightful one,” “Hamisi echoed her, “Rightful one,”
“Yes, the one who will marry me. “That is the only one allowed to dance with me.” “What makes you think I am not the rightful one?”
“Politicians are generally liars and philanderers who always masquerade as philanthropists. And I don’t think you are different, are you?
Hamisi swallowed hard; he had encountered so many people ever since his political star started shining bright, but he had never met a person who told him plain truth about politicians. Everybody was full of praise and encouragement, and Hamisi silently feared because they could flatter him to the grave. He really wanted somebody in life who could tell him the bitter truth and
he began liking Tina as she completely ignored the good side of him, only speaking of the negative. The negatives would help him grow into perfection. In a moment he made his mind to marry Tina.
“I think am a peculiar politician. Ask everyone who knows me and he will tell you exactly that. And to say the truth, you are my dream wife.”
Tina could not believe it. “Trying to play politics with me.”
“I must confess, you have won my heart,” Hamisi said on a more serious note then went on to [propose to her, “Will you marry me?”
Tina was overwhelmed and too shocked to reply to the proposal. She had more than once wished for such a nice gesture but had grown a little bit pessimistic as Hamisi had earlier on seemed indifferent towards her. The proposal was a big shock to his and her friends. Hamisi always cared less about relationship sparking off many tales of his so-called impotency. Even a certain glossy magazine was bold enough to write about the impotency, but all throughout s.
Hamisi remained dumb on the matter. But Hamisi greatly shocked his friends when he seriously asked for Tina’s hand in marriage.
On the other hand, Tina thought it a dream. She sat still numbed by the proposal. It was unfathomable. She consistently nodded back to congratulatory nods from her friends and Hamisi’s friends. Allover a sudden she was at the Centre of attraction where she had previously mattered not unknown high class individuals were then shaking her hand with so much interest and pride, and not as flippant as before. Tina was simply above the world.
The ever smiling face of Hamisi could not be erased from her mind. Her future envisages were too compelling to be held back. She could already live her honey moon in the affluent beaches of Spain. The sweet and peaceful fragrance of the Mediterranean Sea breeze blew calmly past her nostrils. Paradise had unveiled itself on her. Before she could sleep a message rapped on her phone, and it was a love message from none other than Hamisi. The same marriage proposal. Things were moving too fast and not giving her ample time to come to herself. She could not sleep that night. “Life is good” she chanted as she read and reread the messages that had by the time reached five.
Only one friend she stayed with understood her at the time. Purity was too supportive and always doing the talking for her on phone when she floundered. Doing the sweet talking for her. She told Hamisi exactly all that she wanted to speak to Hamisi as though she was reading her mind. Tina danced, giggling sheepishly and wandered aimlessly in the house; to an extent the neighbors thought she had grown crazy. She felt like flying, and for the first time in her life she felt how significant she was on earth. Life was indeed good. Lucky had embraced her.
After all parents endorsing their marriage, Hamisi quickly paid the bride price. Tina had to make new sophisticated and elegant friends to match up her new nature. She wanted people who would spice up her wedding, so she had to issue stern warnings to her mother and father not to include names of poor and primitive relatives who would humiliate her and eventually spoil the wedding mood depriving her of the much hyped joy. Tina cared not as she made many foes and friends alike. After all she wasn’t envisaging a time in future when she would go back to the poor foes world. After all what did she lack that Hamisi could not give? Tina made sure she severed all links with all other boyfriends she previously had. Even the threats of one of them of committing suicide scared her not. She even went ahead to send him a rope for the suicide. After all, if he
wanted to terminated his life, what did that had to do with her? Many raised concerns for her bloated pride and arrogance, but she just replied with a queenly strut. She owned the world and had no time for busybodies.
One month to the wedding an alarming message rapped on her phone. At first she was devastated, but after a second thought smiled broadly and murmured, “Hamisi is a serious joker. How can he extend his brute sense of humor into such a sensitive issue?” A day of totally silence from Hamisi followed and again alarming bells started ringing with much cruelty in her. Her worst fears were gradually graduating into a devastating reality. Hamisi could not pick her calls and dared not to respond to her messages. Tina floundered, Purity had gone to visit her parents in the countryside and her phone was off, perhaps she could have offered some help if she could be a round. Who then would mediate for her? Every minute was a gruesome experience. Whenever she gazed at the calendar her heart sunk deeply. The wedding day was fast approaching. The faint hope she had tightly gri8pped on of Hamisi coming back was fast fading away. Hell had broken loose on her. Just the previous day she was in heaven but then she could see herself descending to hell without any option. Even though her hopes were diminishing, Tina intrepidly went on with wedding preparations.
Two weeks to the wedding another friend gave her a newspaper that jolted her to reality. Her only friend, her best friend Purity who had ostensibly gone to visit her parents, had secretly wedded Hamisi in a colorful wedding only attended by five hundred invited guests! Her most understanding and sophisticated friend Purity had ditched her fiancé for Hamisi. That was pure malevolence. She felt her soul leaving her. Indeed, pride born in a day dies in a day without leaving prints.
Tina locked herself in her house for two weeks just sobbing and praying for miracle. Even if Hamisi would take her as a second wife, she wanted him. No miracle happened. The calendar on her wall tormented her until she burned it to ashes.
There was another terrorist in her bedroom; the cell phone. The people who rang were the ones she never wanted to talk to at the time. She just kept the phone on throughout waiting for Hamisi to call or text her. Only Hamisi, nobody else. Only her Hamisi
Laying numbly on her bed, the phone rang and putting it on her ears waited anxiously for the deep romantic voice of Hamisi, but it was a feminine voice that sounded like that of Purity. “Purity! Purity! Purity!” She cried.
“Just why me? Of all people, Purity just why me your friend? I never know you were such a she- devil, a demon straight from hell. Why didn’t you wait for the wedding to take place then proceed to take him? At least that would have been bearable. Why have you subjected me to this insurmountable torture?”
Tina wasn’t going to stop pouring her bitter heart until she suddenly realized the voice was of her mother. “Sorry mum, I thought it was “A mischievous enemy of mine who is supplying doses of death to me.”
Her mother misconstrued her outburst “It’s okay my daughter. I understand the wedding stress has gotten into you. Just don’t worry about the wedding it will be very successful.
All preparations this side is almost over. Your beloved mamas are busy practicing traditional wedding songs and our glorious wedding apparel is ready with us here. You will love them my daughter. I cannot wait for the day. On the other hand, your father has gone mad. Almost daily he
composes new songs of adoration for you, that he insists and reassures his age mates he will sing at the wedding. He has also grown abusive to his peers. He keeps on reminding them of raising lazy, foolish girls who are easily impregnated by school drop outs. I tell you there is so much heat here. Our house is on fire we are in an oven. Daughters keep on with the preparations without worry. No problem this side I understand you are overwhelmed.”
Tina could not wait for her to finish, she just took the phone and threw it hard against the wall. Her mother’s jubilation was mocking her. She sobbed hysterically. A week later on the wedding day she was found dead in her bedroom. And she left a letter of regret behind citing the cause of her actions.