Love, Secrets and Other things 

The people mentioned on this post are not real, the names were used for the purpose of telling the story…😊

I met him for the first time during a play just after high school. We literally bumped into each other like literally and he almost stepped on my toe.I was about to hurl insults at him for being careless and for not watching where he was going but instead I was mesmerized by his charming looks and his beautiful eyes. Yes this man had beautiful eyes and lips that bring back all the scenes from mills and boons back to life. God had surely taken His time making this man. He was not on the mass production list, but most probably on the custom made. I smiled and instead I apologized. “He must get that a lot,”I thought to myself, “Girls apologizing for his mistakes.” He gently said, “I am sorry too, I should be careful next time not to hit a lady.”  I was won. The cute gorgeous man apologized, there’s hope for humanity after all.Soon after he left and that was the end of ‘La mujer de mi vida’ at Alliance Francais.

The next time we met at Rezoras back then when it was the place to be from Friday late in the night. I was on the dance floor getting down to ‘Back it up’ by Mr Evil featuring Sean Paul. This was my jam, the minute the DJ plays that song, I was ready to make it and break it on the dance floor like the video vixens on that video. Maybe I should have been a dancer in a another life. I was waving my braids in circular motion, this was sick move back then and whining my waist like i landed from Hawaii, a mister decided to get close and touch my waist. Hell was about to break loose at Rez. I loathed when men just swing themselves to you and decided that you will be their dance partners by force. What happened to courtesy? I immediately turned to puke my rage at the disgusting soul and voila it was him again. He smiled again and said “Sorry I scared you, I noticed you at the dance floor and thought I could join you.” I was buying that story but since I had had a couple of black ice down my system I went ahead and gave him a piece of my mind.

I am not very sure what exactly I said to him or how long we talked but getting home at 8am, I got a text “I hope you got home OK, would love to take you out for coffee sometime.” First, this text doesn’t sound like someone who was scolded at. Second, what did I tell him? Did I spill the beans and told him how cute I think he was? Or did I freely flirt with him hence he now thinks am his prey? Third, how did he get my no? Was I that friendly that we exchanged numbers just like that? I wasn’t the happy go like kinda of girl. Being raised by a single mum and being an only child you are trained to hate men first.Then you watch all the movies and read the novels and you become very afraid of men and third you over think every situation that may lead you to have a relationship with a man afraid that he will break your heart and you prefer it whole and not in pieces. Simply, I was the hard-to-get kinda girl. I over think every conversation and try to decipher every meaning of any phrases and sweet words he would use towards me. So before anyone has my number, we must have been friends for years, your mother knows my mother or you have proved to me over a couple of months that you are not a jerk.

Well, the deed was done. He had my number and he was using it every chance he got. He was not only charming in looks, he had his way with words and humor. It was hard to get a guy with a good sense of humor. By now he had figured what kind of girl I was, but he still kept at it. Started with the small talk, then the jokes, then the flattery then he got personal. Giving me personal details about himself. I was bound to give in to his charm one point or another. We started dating 6 months into talking. He was always the gentleman. The man you don’t get tired of seeing every other day and being his girl. I joined campus the following year and our relationship went on for the four years. Once I finished campus, I got a job at a PR firm almost immediately and moved out of my mother’s house.

My man is called Peter Mwangi. I didn’t think our relationship was going to last this long seeing that we became friends after exchanging numbers in the club. He had met my mum a number of times. My mum adored him and thought he was an amazing guy despite her distrust in men generally. He had become family and mum would at times send him to run some of her errands when she didn’t have anyone else to send. I had met his family too. He had an adorable small sister and brother. The mum was an admirable, kind lady, very strict and was all about respecting family values and his dad was the comedian and enjoyed his time outdoors so he was always traveling out of the country every now and then. Our parents had never met.

A year after I finished campus and joining the workforce, Peter proposed. My mum more than anyone else was the happiest soul alive. She loved Peter and was happy a nice man was going to marry me. My mother had never talked about my dad in length. She only mentioned that he died after I was born in an accident and that was that. I tried bringing it up again but her face showed that she wasn’t ready to talk about her dead boyfriend/husband just yet. However, here I was, 25 years old and engaged. Let’s not worry about my dead father shall we?

We met his parents and relayed the news of our engagement and they were happy that we were now in line of becoming responsible adults. The little sister was too ecstatic, this was going to be her first wedding to be on the line up.

My mum being a single parent, her dowry hadn’t been paid hence she had to pay her dowry first before Peter could pay his for me. Tradition and it’s complications. Peter and I chipped in to my mother’s dowry payment. It was a lovely ceremony and my grandmother received gifts from my mother and her sisters and brothers. It was more of a thanksgiving ceremony per say.

Next was to start with our own trail of ceremonies. The first visit was done by Peter and his friends, the parents didn’t come for this one. Then followed by ruracio as we call it in Kikuyu.

Tents were up, my aunties, uncles, cousins were up and down trying to finalize on the preparations before Peter’s family arrives. My mother was too excited hence she wanted everything to be perfect. Her only daughter was getting married, scratch that, her only child was getting married. Once the dowry is paid means you are traditionally married.

The outside catering services had dressed the tables and the meals were already at the heaters waiting for the guests to arrive. At around 12.30pm we heard the hooting of vehicles to symbolize the guests arrival. There was singing and chatting. The ladies were yululating and dancing as they brought their son to our boma. His aunties led the way up until our gate. They asked to be let in and my aunties were at the gate asking for gifts and some payments in order for Peter’s family to be let in.

All this time, I was locked in my room with my friends. We were busy discussing the wedding amongst other things. My mother stood at the door of the house. She didn’t want to be involved in the gate politics. Soon after there was a loud cheer to signify they’ve agreed to be let in. Peter’s mum and aunties held their son as they chanted their way to our compound in joy. Just as they were settling down, my mum let out a shrill and fainted. We all heard from my room. The guests burst into confusion, as some of my aunties hurriedly carried my mum into the house. I heard the noise but I didn’t know my mum had fainted. I quickly rushed out of my room and went to the sitting room to find out what was happening. My mother’s sister Njoki was performing first aid on my mother. Sooner than later, she regained consciousness and realized what had just happened.

By now there was commotion outside and my mum’s other sister Nimo was urging the guests to stay calm and start serving the food. No one exactly knew what happening with mother dearest. We all assumed she must have been overwhelmed by the occasion. We couldn’t have thought it would be something serious.

My mom looked at me and immediately began to cry. I quickly assumed that she was sad that she was giving away her only child and that was why she was acting this way. I assured her that I wasn’t going anywhere and that I will still visit her as often as I can. She didn’t stop crying and now she started saying she was sorry. What could my mum be apologizing for at this very moment? What could she have possibly done so wrong that it made her faint? What was my mother really worried about that had got her behaving like this?

As I still held my mother’s hand with all these choking questions racking my brain, Peter’s dad stood at the door. He was wearing the same design outfit as Peter’s mum for the occasion. He looked really handsome and I could clearly see where Peter had gotten his charming looks from.

“Shiko are you OK?” He asked. I was perplexed. Why was Peter’s dad referring to my mum by her second name? Did they know each other? I looked at my mother with a confused look and was waiting to hear her answer. “Yes I am!” She gently answered. ” I saw you fainted and I thought I should check on you. Rita you look lovely, I didn’t know Shiko was your auntie?” He continued. I raised an eyebrow, why would he assume that my mum was my auntie? “No,…” Before I could go on any further, Peter’s mum came to the door as well. She asked if everything was alright and then she saw me and my mum seated at the sofa. “Are you feeling okay ma’am?” She quickly asked. “I am sorry you fainted, you must rest.” She went on. So now Peter’s parents were at the door and my mum and I were at the sofa. Peter was out of sight, he had  gone to get a vehicle to take mum to hospital.

I was waiting for all the tension of my mum fainting to cool down so that we could continue with the ceremony without worry. No sooner had Peter walked in than my mum burst into tears again. We all became confused. I couldn’t understand my mother’s peculiar reactions. Nduta my mother’s eldest sister came to the rescue and pulled her away from the living room.

I sat down there in dismay. Everything was not falling into place. Peter came and sat next to me. Peter’s dad and mum went back outside and tried to keep calm. I was still trying to understand how Peter’s dad knows my mother and why he used her second name meaning they were close. Everyone else calls her Susan. Shiko is what her family and friends from home call her. This was all too confusing.

30 minutes later after Nduta pulled my mum away from the sitting room, she called Peter, his parents, Peter’s uncles, my uncles my grandfather, my grandmother,my mum and I into one room. We all baffled by the situation. This is not exactly how a dowry negotiations take place.

“We cannot continue with this ceremony any further!” Nduta said.

I let out a gasp and my heart almost slept a beat. What could have possibly gone wrong?

“Peter and Rita are related hence we have to call off this ceremony.” She added.

I didn’t know whether to cry, or scream or just die at that very moment. “How could we possibly related?” I felt helpless, weak unable to hold on any longer.

“Peter happens to be Rita’s sister, Peter’s dad is Rita’s biological father!” Auntie Nduta finally said.

“My dad died! He died when I was very young! ” I shouted. My mum looked at me in despair and whispered, “I never meant to hurt you, this is really your dad!”

Immediately we heard a thud, Peter’s mum had fainted, Peter stormed out of the room. I just stood there, confused in pain, panic and betrayal. Peter is three years older than I am. His younger brother is two years younger than I am. Meaning Peter’s dad had cheated with my mum and I was the result. No one knew except my mum. That’s why Peter’s dad called her Shiko. But how didn’t he know that Shiko had a child? What exactly happened?

Back when my mother was in campus she met Peter’s dad. He was a charming, friendly young accountant who worked at a bank in town and came to eat at Nairobi University’s mess. They started seeing each and all along my mother did not know he was married. This went on for a while then she got pregnant. Peter’s dad revealed he was married right after the new developments and that he could not have another child out of his marriage. My mum was to have an abortion to save her name and his reputation as well. So he gave some money to undergo the procedure. She took the money, lied that she had an abortion and moved to Nakuru where she gave birth to me and raised me on her own. If I ever asked about my dad, she would say he died in a car accident that’s that. She never met him again after that, he asked about her from her friends but no one knew her whereabouts or what happened. She came back when I finished High School and no one knew who my father was. My mum came back with a grown child, no one could do anything 18 years later.

However, what would you do if you found out that you are about to marry your brother and you are already pregnant with his child?

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11 thoughts on “Love, Secrets and Other things 

  1. A well written story. I suppose it’s not fiction and wonder: is it really necessary to use their family names in your story? Are these people not entitled to the same kind of privacy that your mother kept for many years? I fail to understand your choice. Always remember: what goes around, comes around.

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      1. I am glad to hear this. I would like to suggest to you to add this fact somewhere in your blog. It feels as if these names are for real. There must be Kenyan people with these family names. They deserve that you disclose that it’s not them whom you’re talking about.

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