You’re have not been in a matatu, seated comfortably on one of those matatu seats, pondering about your next girl after dumping your previous one over an alleged text from Safaricom. The text, she said, had sexual innuendos and she was wondering you nowadays are having sex even with your mobile service provider. You wanted to tell her that Safaricom is introducing a new product M-Sex which aims at improving couples sexual life. So those texts she thinks are erotic are actually a sample of what M-Sex is about. However, there are replies from you to Safaricom. You were supposed to meet that evening to engage in those activities therein. From the texts you actually met and one text actually thanks her for her time emphasizing that she is the sweetest you have tasted in ages. So your girlfriend was wondering since when did Sufferingcom become sweet!!
So you just decide to throw tantrums all over. How dare she accuse you falsely? Its evident she is so insecure with you and you think its time you call it off. She has always fallen for this always apologising for judging you. But today was your day. She looked at you from head to toe and up again. Clicked, smirked and said
“Really?! You think that’s gon work today? Be my guest sir!! Thank you. Please don’t you ever call me again.”
She throws the kabambe phone you bought her some weeks ago at your face.
“Here’s your phone. Who even buys a kabambe for his girlfriend? Nkt!! ”
Then she walks out of your house. You are dumbfounded. First of all, you didn’t expect this turn of events. But right now its the phone that’s disturbing you. Yaani the way she changamkiaad it that day and thanked you profusely calling you all the sweet names in the world!! Yaani it was just drama? She can really make a good actress. You actually realise you’ve never seen her use it ever since but you were too carried away by ‘Safaricom’ to notice. What the hell has she been using to communicate with you? She is actually on Whatsapp. And you realize you thought you were the player. You met your match. The referee. Issa cross multiplication. You play me, I play you!!
And that is how you made it here on this matatu. First, although its on Bahati-Nakuru highway, the speed at which its moving, you could mistake it for Meru -Nairobi highway. You are not sure whether its your girlfriend you are angry at, yourself, safaricom or the driver. Then somewhere between Sita and Mawanga, they want to carry excess passengers. Inside, you are sure this is not happening today. You cant be the only sad man here. They have to share in your misery. In your grief.
And so when they send in the fourth passenger to come and squeeze herself (its actually a her. Its their type that caused you sadness today) on your seat, you just give her one glance that tells her to wait for the next vehicle. She is about to alight. The conductor looks at you.
“tupendane apo nyuma” he says.
Not today though. You are sure nothing is going to move you. They cant have your girlfriend and have your passenger space too. Never!! Explanation from the tout fall on earlobes blocked and locked with M-pesa passwords and phone message locks. They bounce back even before they enter your ear. You actually close your eyes just to show them how serious you are today. They give up even with the passengers to your left and right trying to explain how its hard for the passenger at this stage to get a vehicle that has an empty seat, you don’t listen. You travel the journey as the king you are. Comfortable. The king you deserve to be. No one will dictate hapiness or sadness in your life. Even though you know how sad you are.
Somewhere past white house, the conductor starts collecting fare.
“Give to Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar. To God what belongs to God.” He says.
Men and women get to their purses and pockets. Giving their taxes religiously. In utmost submission and honesty. You are reluctant to give yours. If only there was a way you could fuss about it and not pay. The conductor sees the mood you are in today and is slow to ask you for yours. He actually asks for yours last. Seeing this gesture, you as well decide to play along taking advantage of the situation. You tell him you will give him his money when you deem fit. That he should not rush you. That when you were boarding his example of a car because it does not deserve to be called a car to you, you knew you would pay so you have his money and he should not rush you.
“aii kijana hautaongea vibaya na Nimekuwa achia hadi ukae hapo kwa io kiti peke yako. Hii gari ni me naitisha fare na mtu anaenda tao hulipia hapa. Kila mtu amelipa wewe ndo unafikiria uko special?! Tusisumbuane brathe leta pesa.” the conductor says.
You look at him with a look that says your word is final. He looks up ahead grudgingly to give you time to get your calm before he gets back to you. You smile sheepishly being the winner you are. No one’s gon tell you nothing. Let the games continue.
At the junction into Nairobi -Nakuru highway you decide to give the conductor his due wage. In any case, you are almost getting into town. You still want to play games though so you decide instead of giving him the 100 bob you have, you will give 1000 and demand for your change immediately.
You dip your hand into your pocket to fish out your wallet to hand him the njogu note only for your hand to be greeted by a kabambe phone. No wallet, no 1000 note, no 50 shilling note, no coin, nothing. Except for the kabambe phone, your left pocket is empty. The right one too. Neither do the back ones have anything. In fact you are just checking out of anxiety. You don’t usually put anything there as they are torn.
You look at your neighbour who sneers at you wondering what type of man you are. And because you can’t take another heartbreak, you don’t even look at the other on the left side. You are now perspiring. Eyes getting wet for nothing. Red. When the devil decides its your turn, he brings his brothers and sisters. That’s you thinking. You vividly remember the kabambe falling next to your wallet. How you picked the kabambe instead of the wallet, you can’t tell.
“brathe!! ” the conductor calls with a firm authoritative voice.
This is where I get to know my true friends. Watu wangu tuko hapa state house. Nimemwambia angoje tu hivyo nampea. Imebidi wadau Nimepromise hadi kulipia hii kiti ya nne ya ule nlikataa akae ndio akatulia. Sijui nitafanya nini tukifika town watu wangu. Am calling out to any well wisher out there. All my true friends. My M-pesa is open. It always has been. May your will be done!!!