Wounds of a Man
By Agufa Kivuya (Kenya)
The urge to go back home was slowly but steadily gaining momentum in her. Akinyi had to go back home but was forced by other thoughts to wait for the appropriate time. She initially walked away her head lowered with bitterness and sorrow but would return with her head raised high with joy and love. She would walk home with good news that she was still alive and on top; she was married to a loving and caring financially stable man whose intelligence matched his handsome looks. The man was too appealing for his father to repudiate. Even for Junior’s father to repudiate. Even though Junior had not nodded to having their first born, she eagerly waited for the time to stride back home with her own child. The pride of every woman.
On the Internet she came across Adisa’s phone number. She had just saved it in her phone but never dared to call her. But this time round the irresistible urge to phone her was too immense to be surmounted. When she phoned her the joy in the conversation was inexpressible after introducing herself to Adisa. Adisa ended up monopolizing the conversation as if she was the one who had phoned.
“Sister, I tell you, home is not home ever since you left. Dad has grown incredibly crazy. He is a lunatic drunkard nowadays; unruly and harshly. He kicks and spits on whoever crosses his way and even I am not spared. Since you left I am under 24- hour surveillance with three chaperones who act as if am their unwanted step daughter. They decide what phone call I am to answer, where I should go and they rule me with an iron rod. Even right now I am in the toilet - that is why I received your call.
Nowadays, when dad is drunk, he becomes ridiculously mad. Just imagine he has assign and every worker a day to carry him to and from latrines as you know he dislikes toilets. It’s funny based on the fact that he is heavy. The rules are not helping one another and you must carry him on your shoulders. It’s unfathomable as even the weaklings struggle to perform this odious duty. Failures to do so and you are sacked and who can resist working here. And lately he introduced another task for female workers to be bathing him twice per day. The world here is crazy, it’s like a movie.
Sister home is not home. Do you remember the case with the opposition leader? The two spats that dad dismissed as an opposition propaganda, claiming it was a mere accident blown out of proportion by his adversaries. That is what happens here all the time. Sister please return home. Your being away is affecting everyone negatively. You know, Dad really loved you and only your being around can relieve him of the depression.
Sister, even something that happened yesterday is still fresh in my mind. Yesterday he came home few minutes to 9 o’clock and found supper wasn’t ready. Like a joke, he removed the carpet, poured water on the floor and made me and my uncle kneel on the floor until half past midnight. And we had to write four pages of an apology letter.
The door creaked and the phone went off, and Akinyi recollected her saying, “Since you left I am under 24- hour surveillance with three chaperones who act as if am their unwanted step daughter. They decide what phone call I am to answer…”
As Adisa talked, Akinyi was not merely listening but also picturing everything in her mind. She could have consoled her sister but she could not pick her call. The phone conversation never disappeared from her mind, during the day and during the night. Akinyi could not visualize home with Adisa’s descriptions. Every day she would stand on the balcony, full of thoughts, gazing at the horizon, for just beyond the horizon was…