This is the concluding part of a true Story. If you have not read Part One, click here to read.
But if you have, let’s continue.
Both took a taxi to Marikiti stage within Mombasa town, alighted to get a Matatu to their residence along Customs road.
The ride home was one filled with a sense of pride and a longing for the other just left behind member of the family.
Mummy could not help but whisper several prayers to the Creator to grant journey mercies to the team and chaperons of ERRH as they embarked for the five-day trip.
Exactly one hour and a half later, her phone got ringing, not once nor twice, so urgently that she had to drop the ‘Mchicha’ she held against the chopping board and dash to pick it up from the coffee table.
“Hello?” she quipped, wondering why Mr. Patron was calling her with such urgency.
“Hello. Mum!” came in Wakesho’s voice.
Now, what had this girl forgotten behind now, wondered Mummy.
“Yes mama,” she managed to say calmly. “Are you all leaving now?”
“No Mum, sikiza,” Wakesho went on. Mummy’s heart did a skip, a hop ….
“Some complication. My name is not on Mr. Patrons printed list! They say I can’t go with them all in the same bus, I have to book one by myself and catch up with them…”
Mummy’s heart did a somersault!
“Just yours alone?”
“Yes, Mum!” panic struck Wakesho quipped. “Urmi’s list has my name…the one she gave Mr. Patron to type and send to the school admin, but he says he somehow forgot….” a choked sob escaped the now despairing girl.
‘Kesho, talk to me….” Mummy said now motioning Nate with her arms to put on his shoes and fetch hers as she stripped off her apron with the other hand. “Fetch me my specs and purse,” she instructed Nate aside.
“Eti you have to go by yourself? I don’t get you. Let me talk to Mr. Patron himself” a now running out of the house-court Mummy replied.
“He is not here…busy at the admin office…trying to talk to them to let me go. They say since my name was not in the list, am not insured for the trip…mum….can you come?”
“Ask Mr. Patron to call me. On my way dear. Don’t panic…calm down.”
Mummy, Nate tugging alongside her, was already boarding another matatu back to town.
Her mind was flooding with endless questions. Why Kesho alone? Odd. Something just didn’t fit right.
Had Kesho misbehaved or something?
Had not the In-charge cross-checked against the participants list during rehearsals and final preparation?
Why make my Baby go through all the enormously now daunting training and preparations; practice, fitting dancing attire, hairdo that costed an amount equivalent to the trips fare to and from Nyeri itself?
Why wait until Mummy had left the school premises in the morning and then ask the poor girl to call her mother herself and break the almost unbearable news?
Wait a minute. Did Kesho just say they wanted her to travel by herself on a separate bus, an inexperienced 15 year old girl all the way to Nairobi and that they would be waiting for her in Nairobi?
Where in Nairobi? River-road! Yes, River Road!
Rage trickled down her pits.
Her baby, all alone – not even accompanied by one of the two teachers or other students for that matter?!
Something here sure did not seem right!
Rrrrring….rrriii…Mummy picked the call, as the matatu negotiated the corner at Buxton.
“Yes, Madam. I am very sorry that this situation is as it is…”
“What exactly is going on? How come only Kesho’s name is missing out of the ten dancers, 4 public speakers and 2 joy-riders?”
“I am entirely to blame. I admit I did not cross-check the names… if she can travel on a separate bus…” went on Mr. Patron.
Mummy didn’t listen to the rest, only understood one out of the so many things that the seemingly sorry Mr. Patron was trying to very hard implicate.
That her baby was not in the list and the administration had like Pilate in the Bible, washed its hands clean off any blame and/or involvement of any other arrangement Mr. Patron wished to make for the now very much humiliated and embarrassed Wakesho, in order for her to participate in the Dance competition.
“Where are you all now, Mr. Patron” asked a very angered Mummy.
“We are taking off at the Spanish Coach office along…”
“I will come fetch her.” The lioness cut him short.
“Once again I am sorry…”
She ended the call as she firmly took Nate’s hand, who was now asking a thousand questions wondering what had happened to his sister.
Thirty minutes later, the two found Wakesho huddled in a corner, head on knees, heaving sobs that were heart-wrecking and a helpless Spanish Coach attendant looking on from the desk.
“Maama!” Mummy dropped down on her knees. At her mummy’s voice, a tearing Kesho looked up.
Two hours ago, this face now distraught with hurt, unbelievable pain and despair had been beaming with excitement. Now looking at her baby, Mummy noticed how shattered to the core, her child was.
Kesho’s dream was all in pieces now.
Mummy inwardly winced, as her cub stretched out her beautiful henna-painted hands to her.
“See…see what they gave me to book a bus for myself. Mum…just see,” she sobbed.
In her left hand were two one-thousand shillings notes. Her brother helped her carry her luggage towards the waiting ‘tuk-tuk’, as her mother held her head against her chest,
“Don’t cry my dear. Please don’t. God has a reason for you not going.”
“I will never, dance again, ever!” Wakesho stated as Mummy tucked her like a toddler in bed.
What the lioness had been afraid of, she realized, had happened.
They, had attempted to murder her cub’s talent. Note, attempted.
The lioness smiled at her eldest of her cubs and said,
“No baby. They only tried to. Believe me. You know me.”
For a second, the cub looked into her mother’s eyes searching for a better interpretation, then a small smile broke her sad face and with a soft sigh she surrendered to a peaceful slumber.
“The world must be alerted of such assassinations”, Mummy whispered to herself in the dark few seconds later as she dozed off.
Dear Reader, Beware!
Sheila Munguti is a writer and a teacher. She hails from Kenya and is passionate about changing the negative misconceptions of the African continent as well as re-telling the African story from her own eyes. She lives in Mombasa.