You awake, it’s a normal day, as normal as it gets, you really can’t recall the last time you actually enjoyed the ambience, neither can you remember the last time you actually internalized the chirping of the birds, the last time you actually woke up with a resounding yawn… the yawn of a satisfied man, the yawn that signifies plenty, that signifies affluence. You rise non-animatedly from bed, half asleep, half awake, none the wiser… arrgh the sun! It defeats your purpose of living as you pull back the drapes, ‘damn it, too much sun you think.’
Then it hits you, today is the day, the day you have been waiting for since October, the day you promised yourself that you won’t let the irresolute despair of life get to you any longer. The day you said that you won’t be bummed by your inadequacies anymore, the day you decided to flap your wings and fly and a smile appears. Your mood becomes chirpier, you hear the birds for the first time in such a long while it feels like a mozart masterpiece, you smile some more, it’s new year’s eve, you can’t wait.
As your mood bubbles, you prepare a hefty breakfast, after all 2017 is coming, it better find you well fed at least, your mind stumbles over thoughts as the milk on the gas cooker rises. You turn the gas off, then your mind crumbles and for a moment the adamant feeling of indomitable solace races to occupy your heart. Then the birds become a distant blurred sound and your mind retreats into that place we call the past.
It started like any other, a day at a time. 2016 started like any other, the sun was so fine, the laughs… oh the laughs, there were so many. The smiles, your mind nudges, there were ever so plenty. You were living the dream, on the boulevard they called success, on the aisle called societal influence. You remember with bliss and a smile again reappears, this time it stays longer as the memory lingers. She was by your side and you had your whole life ahead of you.
You got a promotion at the hospital, lord and the admiration started, everyone, the orderlies, the nurses, heck even your fellow doctors looked at you differently. The security guard at the gate started calling you “Mkubwa” and you drove your car more faster on the highway. You started loving the attention, you felt more entitled, you gave opinions more freely, you laughed with an added baritone, and you shook hands more. She looked at you differently too, she now both loved and admired you, she loved talking about you, when the two of you drove together she always had her window down, she wanted everyone to see her, see her with you.
The smile still lingers, then a knock awakes you from your stupor, you rise, your thoughts alert. You open the door. It’s Kilemi, he says they’ve been up all night, he says they didn’t find her anywhere with his head bent down. He becomes silent, he shoves his hands in his pocket, you don’t need an explanation, you walk back to your couch, you pick your wallet, you flip the inner pockets, there’s a thousand in there, ‘that’s enough’ you muse. You walk to the door again, you hand the crisp note to Kilemi, “The job is done, you guys can relax now, I will no longer be needing your services anymore.” He nods his head, he’s probably thinking that you have finally come to your senses, he walks away.
You retreat to your happy place and your mind takes you once more on another ride. You remember the shrill cries as you held Junior in your hands, as you sometimes fed him with formula as the missus was too tired to feed him from her bosom. You remember it all as the bundle of joy was long in coming, but 2016, Junior finally came. Your mind wanders farther and you remember your stable little family, your own blood as it coursed for everyone to see, then your thoughts darken.
You remember Priscilla, her name rhymes with killer, you think in hindsight. You remember her short skirts and how she made you feel. You were already a man before you saw her, but she made you better in some way, you can’t remember how or why, she just made you feel more. You remember the bulge in your pants when she ran her hands over your face, you remember her moans and her fingers as they clawed your back. you remember it all too clearly then your mind stops.
You remember the change in her look, your significant other, as she noted the lipstick stains on your trademark silk shirts and as she noticed the fusion in perfume and cologne, she started working out, she had to lose the tummy, she thought if she lost it she would mean more to you again. Junior cried more, you recall, must have been the bleak future he foresaw in his little minuscule mind. You tried to hide it but there was an unflinching air of unfaithfulness that hung over you, a pregnant cloud of infidelity followed you around speaking volumes.
You remember the night before September, how much it rained, how much your heart felt unsettled, you remember how much she turned in bed that night, how much the thunder cracked and bellowed all night, the baby monitor was silent you remember, at least Junior was sleeping you remember thinking. You remember finally sleeping only to be awoken by her scream as it filled the entire house, you awoke aggressively fearing the worst as her scream directed you, to your horror to Junior’s room.
You started the car in a flash, you drove like crazy as she held Junior in her arms, you got to the hospital as she ran in the ER amidst gasps and shocks of other people. You parked the car and rushed after her, taking time to ask the nurses where she went, they recognized you, they walked you to the E.R. You remember you found her crying, with a doctor mumbling things to her, you listened, understanding full well his every word, you heard aspiration pneumonia, your medical degree didn’t make sense anymore.
You remember the next few days after Junior’s death with indifference and you stop thinking. You eat your breakfast and watch various movies as a coping mechanism, albeit a way to cope with the constant harassment of thoughts. After several movies on that seat, you start remembering more, how she became distant, how she inwardly and outwardly blamed you for the misfortune that had now befallen you, how you no longer made love. You shudder, you remember her holding that knife, threatening to kill you, you had spent another night with Priscilla the killer, she was outraged, she said Junior meant nothing to you, she ran away in the night screaming, she was done with you.
Its night already, a few minutes to midnight, Kilemi a fully fledged private investigator had not found her, with the memory of Junior still fresh in mind, you smile again. Today is the day isn’t it, your mind resounds, today the pain ends, with midnight at the door, you tighten the noose, you see monsters on the floor, beneath your feet as the stool gives way, the clock ticks as your muscles twitch and your body is overcome with seizures and tremors with midnight at your door and monsters on the floor. So long 2016
So long 2016, this piece is written to remind you that there are worse things in life than a bad year, 2017 is here and let’s enjoy the fun and the cheer, and remember not to fear, there are many who never made it here.
Signing off in 2016;
Francis the Lone Puppeteer