Wounds of a Man
By Agufa Kivuya (Kenya)
As she briskly scampered along the hectic road, Tausi made sure she was heading the right direction by scrutinizing all the buildings alongside the road. The description of the apartment was still unadulterated in her mind. She had to do it first and right for sunset had to find her there, lest she would miss her target. For after sunset they were to leave for a night club that she didn’t know.
The blare of reggae music from the room just made her increase her pace as it was one of the trade marks. All the way she was busy wrestling to control anger that was consuming her bones. A decision was to be made by Junior before sunset and with inevitable violence. She was ready for anything. How dare someone else play with her harp.
“Where is the owner of this room?” Tausi asked rudely and with haste as there was no time for greetings.
“Here I am,” Faith replied firml,y although a bit confused.
Tausi had gotten the answer she was looking for. This was not a maid or just a friend as she first thought. So being sure this was the lady, she belligerently drew closer to her. Her purpose was to throw the lady out of the house and push her down the stairs but unfortunately she had underestimated her lean physique. Faith was a modern city girl who knew to fight her battles without a cry for help and without much strength, so she took hold of Tausi’s long hair and hurled her down; and then sat on top of her.
Junior heard something fall, but dismissed it as a scratch in the C.D. The music was too loud to allow him hear anything inside the sitting room. Engulfed in the music he set out of the bathroom that was adjacent to the seating room, his towel tied between his lap and knees. He was about to cross the threshold to the bedroom when his eyes landed on Faith seated on the floor and punching something mercilessly with utmost cruelty. So he drew closer.
Absence had made his heart grow fonder. He saw the beautiful body of Tausi lying down, so helpless. So Tausi his beloved had caught him red handed. Someone was responsible. Tausi had not phoned him for days and yet had managed to locate her house. Definitely Alice was hitting back. Faith went on with her punching, undistracted by his presence; For a minute he watched speechless as anger boiled up in him. How dare Faith his girlfriend touch his beloved first lady? Junior angrily and with force took hold of Faith’s locks and violently pulled her up. He was forced to take sides, for Tausi was his legitimate wife, mother to his children and he was not willing to exchange her with any other woman however beautiful she may be. Viciously he pummeled Faith and, with an escort of kicks, threw her out of his room, slamming the door behind her. Then he spent almost the whole night begging Tausi for forgiveness with promises of never again. Faith floundered for almost an hour, leaning on the door. Now she was able to understand why Junior insisted that she had to wait for his parents and relatives’ blessings before officially bearing a child with him. Junior, with an avalanche of excuses, had always postponed the day for blessings from relatives. But for Junior, next month never came. Faith wondered why she always gave her heart to wrong men who reciprocated with their proverbial donkey kicks. Filled with much bitterness and heaviness of heart, Faith sobbed. For the second time her heart was in pieces. Life was so unfair to her. Night had taken over the world and she had no other friend to shelter her other than Alice, who had decamped to the village. So she had to spend the night in the hospital, nursing her business.
Three days later Junior was served with a court summons. Faith was a modern city girl who could fight her battle without a shtick for help, so she was t ready for a court battle with Junior. She had to have revenge with matching animosity. Junior had to reap what he had sown. On the other hand, Junior scornfully laughed the court summons off. Who would they have arrest him? He was beyond that. He was really untouchable. He pitied the poor Jamaican girl.
As expected, Junior won the case. He had to pay a fine of ten thousand shillings to foot for her medical bill. Junior was not to blame as he had just separated two women who were fighting and, in the process, Faith had been injured.
Faith could not give up. A week later, Junior was informed of an appeal and again he pitied the city girl’s futile effort. The appeal judges were his close friends and associated with him in various deals. Nothing scared Junior until one of the appellate judges whispered that the president was behind the appeal. So Faith wasn’t just a Jamaican lady as he had believed. She was the president’s lost daughter. The lady had feigned the Jamaican accent to hi de her identity. Now Junior perspired greatly with utter disobedience to the chilly weather. He had been a fool to have believed her without any attempts of investigation. Now he felt vulnerable. There was no any other escape than to entreat for forgiveness from the president.
For Junior, securing a speedy appointment with the president was not a hard task as he was well connected. Junior managed to meet the president before the appeal kicked off. He thought himself lucky as he had found a chance to plead for himself. Junior talked and talked while on his knees. The president just listened quietly as Junior explained himself until Junior said “Just forgive me, I beg you sir, I didn’t know she was your daughter.”
At the point the president mimicked the statement. “Just forgive me sir, I beg you sir. I didn’t know she was your daughter.”
So Junior was justifying himself as though the act was legitimate if the woman had not been his daughter. The sentiments infuriated the president, who unleashed his infamous two spats on Junior’s face. In obedience to the president’s directive, for three days he was locked in the statehouse latrine and, a day prior to the start of the appeal, Junior ate nothing and cared not about food. He phoned Alice and entreated her to plead with Faith to drop the appeal as she still enjoyed a good rapport with her. Alice reply was firm “Everybody must carry his own cross.” So, instead of phoning Faith to dissuade her, Alice told her to fight hard until justice would be carried to victory.
Junior wept. Thus Alice his real sister, one mother, one father. The Appeal was invincible. A statement that his father had on several occasions repeated before them surfaced in his mind: “My children you can be an atheist, but in agony God always flashes through your mind.” For sure God flashed through his mind and dismissed it. He was an atheist and he would die an atheist. Even if things were going haywire he was optimistic of getting over the situation. It was just a fleeting test.
Agoi his brother was a prominent judge and almost all judges knew him. Agoi chose to stand with his brother as he was even the one who had influenced the case in the first round and for the appeal. He was working very hard to set his brother free. He had really tried by doing a commendable job and by being almost over with scuttling he appeal. Almost done, he received a letter of dismissal from his employer. He had been indicted for seven years for gross misconduct, abetting corruption and interfering with cases in other courts. To add on, all his accounts were frozen. This was omen enough that, to Junior, he was in a horrible predicament. In utter amazement, he watched blankly as his last hope was shattered. It was like a horror movie existing only in people’s imagination.
The case was concluded within an unprecedented record of a month. Junior was found guilty of sexual harassment and battery and was sent behind bars for seven years without a fine. The media was awash with the news. All and sundry hailed the appellate judge for the historic judgment. The judge was the first in the history of the nation to put a wealthy, influential government official behind bars without a fine. The reformist judges basked in the glory.