This month I will celebrate my fortieth birthday. As a woman who has lived it all, I still feel that my life has just begun. Looking down the line, success has been my red carpet. Achievements have been my wine. Great men, have had to give me a standing ovation. Lots of women look up at me with great zeal. Grandmothers go to bed with a content smile, I made them proud. I walked in their counsel. Not even one word of theirs was a waste. As I look far beyond from my office as the Minister for Gender and Social Development, I am the exact definition of what we call strength of a woman. The words of my mother echo at the back of mind. “It is the woman who breaks or builds her home”. Just then I remembered that I have a house not a home. My son and my loving husband have been my supportive cheerleaders. My husband resigned from being the MD of the family business to help me campaign for my political seat. Now, that I never asked of him, he did it voluntarily.
Even when the waters were overwhelming, I looked upon her like the biblical Peter I walked on the murky waters of political power. I rubbed shoulders with the pigs in the mud of politics and I walked out head high always.
My mother-in-law had been the greatest source of inspiration. She handed the leadership mantle onto my hand. It was the best moment in my life to see such a great woman trusting her little girl with so much responsibility. She said, she could see a warrior in me who needed to be awakened. Time had come, her works made me suave through the hardest of time in my political career. I was able to meander through the dirty, murky political waters. Even when the waters were overwhelming, I looked upon her like the biblical Peter I walked on the murky waters of political power. I rubbed shoulders with the pigs in the mud of politics and I walked out head high always.
My desk…..my desk had a dossier. It was meant to bring me down. well played trick by my opponents. Well, this bullet was strategic. It was right through the lungs. I was breathless. I had money; I could buy the oxygen all the same. But where will I hide my face? What will be my legacy? Did they not say that the end is better than the beginning? What will my generations say about this decision am going to make today? Will they say, this daughter of Eve, like Cleopatra run away with her tail in between her legs? Will they read the chronological turn of events on how the great Titanic sunk again?
“Madam, your mother-in-law requests for your audience”. That was my secretary’s voice that interrupted my arrested thoughts. I couldn’t wait anymore more. I just nodded my head and she was in. “Mum, the dossier, we are finished, mum how could you do this, without my knowledge, mum when did we start having secrets?” all this while she was grave silent. Her eyes told the sad story, “daughter, its true, I admit I was wrong. I have no way to meander through this one”. She was looking up to me for salvation. She had saved me all the other times it was my turn to maneuver through for her.
“Jahawi, don’t tell me you did not drink from my cup of wisdom and expertise all this while”, those were the words she used whenever I looked or sounded like a rained on lioness. Wherever I refused to act like the tigress she had given birth to. This time I was overwhelmed. I was weak, I was clueless, and I had no strength. Time was not on my side. The claims on the dossier, the evidence of corruption was monumental it was a heavy burden to carry. There was no way out of this. She had squandered lots of money the time she was a minister. All her foreign accounts were discovered, honestly, there was no way out. “Mother, how could you? “, the argument took a toll of us. We were all shouting and doing that blame game like prowess’s. Tired and frustrated she walked out on me.
The next day she was arraigned in court and I was there like her pillar of faith. Only that I did not know this gem was not going to last for another day. After the court session, the media was all over us but I kept mum and kept my mother-in-law from saying anything too. It worked quite well. She later on gathered all of us together for dinner at my place. My son, Keitaro, was missing; he was at school in Texas and was due home in a fortnight. Hence we were the three of us, mother, my husband and me. She was happy; she never mentioned anything about the case. She narrated to us old stories, revisited past memories we laughed too much that night,though hers was a heartily laugh. My husband seemed to be in some far country. I had to strike a balance somewhere and be sober.
The next morning it was Aisha’s scream that woke us up! She went to wake up mother for her morning prayers. She was no more. She had passed on, peacefully in her sleep. The doctor said mother had succumbed to cancer. Another big skeleton that almost killed both her son and I. a week later she was buried, the court case was dropped, the main suspect was no more, and however, we returned all the money that was claimed to be stolen by her.
Ever since I got the dossier about my mother- in-law’s shady dealings, I noticed my husband had introverted from me. He was always somewhere in his thoughts. I never seem to know. When he slept out one night I became more anxious. After his mother’s death he completely shut me down. I would find him asleep or he would come home at two in the morning. I gave him the space to wallow and moan his dear mother.
However, when he did turn up at the airport to pick our son, I knew he had lost it completely! He came home looking all plummet found us having dinner. When he saw our son, he was more astonished and he sat on the table where we having dinner. I didn’t want to confront him on the issue. All was well until Keitaro said he was not going back abroad but preferred schooling back at home. I was so happy that he would be near us finally. The look on my husband’s face on the other hand announced a contrary belief.
“No way, you are going back to Texas!” he said it with some brutality that had the final say and no one could question that. I kept mum. Nevertheless, the resolute Keitaro stood up and told him he was not going anywhere. Just because he did not turn out to be a pilot he wanted him to be, he won’t use any small opportunity to get rid of him. Not again. He was staying in Kenya and taking his music classes at Daystar and would work at one of the finest music schools in the country. Conclusively, he had to deal with it!
That is how dinner ended and goodnight said.
After some few days my son noticed the gloomy dad and asked me “Hey momma, what’s up with your nigga”, “Keitaro that is your father, I demand some level of respect,” I said. “Okay sorry mom, what is wrong with your hubby, sorry what’s eating dad?” the humor was meant to cheer me and answer him as well. This young man knew me too well.
“Son, am confused as you are, but since grandma passed on, he has been like that”, I said. Totally forgetting that no one told him that grandma had passed on. He was disheartened, sad and completely torn. I permitted him to mourn his grandmother. We went by her grave side though it was late in the evening.
We later on went out and had dinner and carried some for my husband. However, he was not at home when we came. That is when it dawned on me that he could be cheating. The thought of sharing a man I have had to myself for twenty years nearly chocked me to death. I had to act fastest.
On the other hand, Keitaro was coping quite well; he got the job at Riara as a music teacher as he waited for his admission at Daystar University. He seemed happier.
Today I came home earlier, I wanted us to go put with my husband. Have a talk over dinner. I changed my mind and resolved to watch a movie like we always did whenever we had time. So he came home from his office, had a shower and he dressed up and said he was going out. I tried persuading him to stay, my efforts were rendered futile. He left the house with my pleading landing on deaf ears, I decided to follow him to wherever he was going. Though at a safer distance. We ended up in a woman’s house. I stayed outside where I had packed my car for the better time wondering and pondering on the next sane action to take.
“This is not right Nick, go back to your wife, and am tired of this filthy affair!” the woman said. Before I could hear my husband talk, I walked in, he was shocked. I hadn’t seen the knife on his hands while peeping on the door knob. on seeing me, the girl, Rita became apologetic, “Hey, madam am sorry I didn’t want to, I just found myself”, said the frightened lady who was shaking like a leaf. My husband was raging in anger he was threatening to slit her throat by now. I tried calming him down.
He shouted at me and asked me, “Where were you when my mother needed a cover up for her sins? What did you do as minister? After everything she did? You sacrificed your family for your ambitions! What is it about women and feminism? What do you think you women are? Some sort of goddess? Why does life have to revolve around you?”, Just then, the woman, the bloody slut tried to run off and my husband out of anger and rage stabbed her.
Blood was all over the place. He stood there confused like a zombie. I summoned up courage to check on her pulse, she was dead! My husband remained numb for a while. It was by accident that he stabbed his mistresses. There she was lying on the floor. Blood oozing from her stomach like a waterfall. I held Nick close to me, I knew he needed a shoulder. The man who erupted few minutes back, was hopeless and torn. He cried and blamed himself I told him to give me a chance to correct all my mistakes. I held his trembling body and led him to the car. I drove him home using his car and gave him sleeping pills after ensuring he was asleep, I went back to Rita’s apartment. Wore gloves looked for any evidence that might implicate my dear husband as the murderer. After ensuring that there was absolutely none, I drove off to the beach. Here I am, covering up a murder case for my Nick who was cheating on me I discarded all the photos, clothes and music records that had names of my husband.
“Where were you when my mother needed a cover up for her sins?
At five in the morning I went back home. As I was driving, I could hear the voice of my distraught husband in my mind, crying and lamenting of women and their selfish egoistic ambitions. I had actually traded my family for my political career. I had not noticed how emotionally I had killed the man. I got home and slept next to him.
It’s the light from the window that woke me up. Looking at my watch it was 7.30 am I immediately called the office cancelled all my appointments and took a day off. I had to be there for Nick.
Keitaro knew nothing and he was not supposed to know anything.
One week later, Rita’s body was discovered in her house after investigations it was concluded that she was attacked by robbers. I knew it be would be aired on the news and I had to ensure that Nick does not watch it not unless I wanted to awaken the guilt that was eating him up. So I came up with the idea of a movie.
Well, what I was not prepared for, few days later, was that my son was also dating Rita and had learned of her death through social media. He totally broke down. He cried on my shoulders telling me how he loved her and that they had plans.
I acted like I knew nothing. I comforted him. So Rita was sleeping with my husband and dating my son? Another secrete to carry to my grave.