Approximately 30 minutes after he had been released from the Industrial Area remand prison, Nixon is seated at the bus stop. Aimlessly watching both the human and motor traffic pass by. “It is a busy stage this one”, he thought. He kept glancing at his watch as he restlessly waited for his dad’s matatu on this route to come by. It is his only choice of transport since he does not have a coin on him. Nixon’s dad is a local tycoon, owning a fleet of matatus on several routes, several real estate properties and a plush home in Muthaiga. Looking at Nixon, one would never tell.

He is rough looking, with a cleanly shaved head, free of charge as provided by the prison warders at Industrial Area. He has on a grey t-shirt with streaks of dirt on it. His black trousers are worn and dirty too. On his feet, are a pair of bata slippers that have definitely seen better days. His hands are ‘stained’, the kind of hands that look dirty all the time no matter how many times they are cleaned.

As he sits waiting at the bus stop, his attention is drawn to a young lady of about 16 or 17 years alighting from a matatu. She is dressed in jeans and a trendy black & white top. Her face carries with it a sense of innocence that he had not seen for a long time. She is a “black beauty” and walks with a slight swaying of the hips, not too provocative but enough to catch the attention of any one keenly looking. Her hair is long and thick, held back in a sort of side pony tail. One or two tresses run loose giving her a teasing look. She has a full bust and her behind is generous enough. She walks westward away from the bus stop.

He gets up from the makeshift seat at the bustop and follows her thinking “hmm…I could get myself this one”. Eventually he catches up. “Sema manze” he belts out. He tries to look as cool as possible. She ignores him, never turning her head or acknowledging that he was now walking besides her. “How dare her!!” He thinks. He tries again “Sema siste. Unakaa poa. Nikuzindi?”. Nothing. Dead silence. Who does she think she is? He will show her who is boss. He then throws a myriad of insults at the girl. Only then does she turn to look at him with a puzzled yet fearful expression on her face but she keeps walking still.

At this point, he gives up and allows her to walk on. He slowly goes back to the bus stop. Feeling angry, rejected and ashamed. “She should see me on a good day. I don’t always look like this. Maybe it’s the shave that scared her. I am not so badly off, ama?” he thinks. He takes a seat again and starts looking out for “Moonlighter”. That’s the name of his dad’s matatu.

Another 15 minutes pass, with Nixon listlessly staring ahead. Still no sign of Moonlighter. Suddenly, he notices the girl close by walking back to the bus stop and he quickly jumps up to his feet. “Another chance has come. This time, she has to acknowledge me” Nixon thinks. His ego is somewhat bruised by this young thing. As she gets closer, Nixon suddenly notices Moonlighter approaching the bus stop. He thinks quickly and waits. As the she gets to the bus stop, Moonlighter draws to a stop and passengers begin alighting. The whole process is so synchronized. It is as if the gods had planned it. Before the girl can react, he pulls her towards the matatu. She begins to protest…though weakly. “Leave me alone!” She says. “Unanipeleka wapi?” As the last passenger alights, Nixon forcefully pulls her into the matatu saying “Si unaenda town siste. Wacha tuende nitakulipia”. It happens quickly and swiftly. And with that, Moonlighter speeds off towards the city centre. The nightmare has just began.

[Part 2]

3 thoughts on “Down River Road – Part 1

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