Sometimes I tend to think that you don’t have to be kind to some people for you to go to heaven.
At the beginning of this year, I had travelled to Olosuiyan farm, Kajiando County. Would you like to know why? You must have heard of Maziwa Millionaires, right? (That is a story for another day.)
I met with this lady just close to the farm entrance. She had a car. She had stopped in the middle of the road and she was repeatedly going around her car. At first, I thought she was mad or there was something wrong with her, not the car but because she was a lady, I drew closer anyway- to see what was wrong, maybe I could help. My mother had once told me that it is good to always help people because whenever you honestly do it, you are not only doing it for them but for you too, indirectly.
“Good afternoon Mom.”
“Good afternoon.” She answered with a frowned face. What I didn’t understand was the reason she frowned. Was it because I had called her Mom or she was angry with her car?
“Is there anything wrong with the car?” I asked.
“Yes, something is wrong. My car is wobbling as I drive. I don’t know what the problem is.”
“This path has a lot of potholes, maybe that is the reason!”
“No, I do not think so, this is not the first time am driving along here.”
“OK. Can you start the car and drive, I want to see how it is behaving.”
“Are you a mechanic?”
“Another doubting Thomas, okay let me do it.”
She ignited the motor vehicle and drove for about 20 metres and stopped. According to my driving school classes, I noted that the rear left wheel was loose.
“Have you noted anything?” she asked.
“Yes, you have a loose wheel.”
“What! And the only nearest garage is at Kajiando town. Please help me out; I do not know how I can do that.” She requested.
“Bring the toolbox,” I told her.
I tightened her wheels and after she tested and assured me that everything was okay now, I excused myself ready to leave.
“No, you can’t just leave like that. I don’t even know your name,” she said as she fumbled into her handbag.
“My name is John”
“John mmm …”
“Yes, John is my name,” I told her.
“I mean John who? Of course, you don’t have one name like a dog.”
I chuckled, “I am John Michael.” She kept quiet for a whole minute, still fumbling into her handbag.
“Shit, I don’t have any cash!” she talked to herself. She continued, “John Michael, are you an African?” she asked stunned.
“As you can see, yes.”
“But not from this place.”
“Your body morphology tells it all and even the way you talk betrays you.”
“Hahaha, its true am here on a business.”
“Just like me. I work at Nairobi but I have investments in this place. My name is Irene Simbaga.”
We shook hands for the first time. “I have found out that I do not have any cash with me, please give me your cell phone number and I will send you my thanks.” She explained.
“No, you don’t have to do that.”
“I don’t have to do that, what do you mean? You have just saved my life; I would have had an accident.”
I gave her my mobile phone number and after thanking me, she drove off. She will send her thanks! I went my way too.
On that same day, during the evening when I got to Nairobi, I received an SMS in which I had been sent Ksh. 5000/-. It was from Irene Simbaga. I called to acknowledge receipt and as I thanked her, she told me, “You don’t have to do that, I even feel like I have not done enough to pay for your kindness.”
“Ok,” I said and went on with my business and she hanged up.
When I told my friend Geoffrey about it, all he could tell me was, “everything starts small. Be careful my brother. I know you, you had lied about your name, right?” he asked.
“Very right,” I told him.
“It is not a lie anymore kaa ukijua.”
I didn’t know what he meant. I forgot about everything and life continued.
Social media drama.
Three months later, there is this day I was going through my Facebook notifications. I had just completed reading my inbox messages. And of course, like any other person, I had replied those messages I felt needed my attention. OK, to be clear, I hate Emojis and the ‘You look good,’ messages in my inbox. These are supposed to be comments maybe on my profile picture or any other in my timeline.
As I scrolled down the notifications, I found one which read, “Irene Sparks sent you a friend request.” Who is Irene Sparks? I clicked to find out. She was a beautiful black African girl as per the profile picture. We shared birthday 17/04/**** but older than me by 4years. If things go well during our birthday, we can have our first date. Come on, won’t anyone think like me? Hahaha, forget about that.
She was from Rift Valley, schooling at Leicester University and living in Nairobi. How can that be possible? I accepted the friend request anyway.
Immediately I clicked the button Accept, I received a message that read, “Thanks for accepting my friend request.”
“Welcome,” I replied and went on with my business.
“Are you busy, can we chat please?” another one came.
“Of course am not- yes we can,” I replied. This is serious, a girl (and for this matter a beautiful girl) asking me whether I am busy and then I pretend to be busy?
“Among these two mobile contacts in your profile, which one are you using?” she asked.
What is happening? I asked thoughtfully. “The one ending with 94,” I answered her.
“Can I send you an SMS offline?”
“Yes, sure, you can.”
The rest as the saying goes is history. We talked about so many things. We made the night- long calls. She sounded like an ‘under 18.’
“Could there a possibility that you are lying to me about your age?” I one time asked.
“Why? Please don’t stop I have an ID.” she told me.
“You sound very young, underage I mean,” I explained.
“You will be surprised,” she said without explanation.
We talked about; our cultural backgrounds, our whereabouts, relationships, education, Kenyan politics (we were both not interested), I asked her about our age difference and she assured me that she was okay with that, I explained to her about my financial status that I am only at the first stages of erecting the ladder to climb to greatness and she told me that her father is an MP and she can help me in that. We talked about these and many more.
We later arranged for our first date on 17th April- it was a dream come true.
The first meet- up.
She suggested we meet in one of the big hotels in town but I tried to refuse. I did not want to spend my whole savings on our first date. And though it is said that first impressions matter, I didn’t want to promise heavens which I could not give. I just told her frankly that I cannot afford that place. After all, how could I let someone I knew little about my life plans? She reminded me that her father is an MP and the will cater for everything. She even went ahead to tell me how she is used to that Hotel and how she can’t fit anywhere else. I had no other reason to say no. I accepted.
“When you get at the reception ask for Irene Sparks and you will be directed where I am. Just ask the receptionist sipendangi watu wengi wakijua mambo yangu. She is called Madam Rebeca.” She warned me.
“OK, that one is guaranteed I am also a very secretive person. Are you with your bodyguards?”
“What the hell!”
When I got at the reception, I found Rebeca seated in her place. The mirror of the hotel, I suppose. She looked very beautiful and attractive. Her face told it all, a girl of a good heart. She seemed to be in her early twenties. I asked for Irene Sparks directly.
“Are you John?” Rebeca asked.
“Yes, madam,” I answered.
“Don’t call me, Madam. Rebeca is my beautiful name,” she explained curtly.
“Rebeca, forgive my bad manners. Give me the directions to where she is.”
“Room no. 641, let me take you there.” She offered.
I followed quietly as we manoeuvred along the kingly furnished corridors.
“You have a very rich mother; I like it when she is around.”
“My rich what…” I asked with a diminishing sound I doubt she heard.
“Here,” she pointed the door to me and went ahead knocked and called in, “Madam Irene, here he is.”
“Please let him in,” Irene said from inside.
“She says you can get in,” Rebeca told me.
“Thanks,” I told her and after we shook hands, she pranced off.
I composed myself and entered. I found a lady who seemed like in her early 50s comfortably tucked in a rocking chair.
”Welcome John,” She said as she rose to shake my hand.
“Thank you,” I said uncomfortably, “where is she?” I asked.
“She! Who is she?”
“I came to see Irene Sparks.”
“Look at me, I am Irene, can’t you remember?”
“Another Irene I suppose.” I could see the face was familiar, “… Simbaga?”
“OMG, you mean…”
“Yes, I am Irene Sparks, I’m sorry.”
“You have been lying to me all that long, about your name, wrong pictures and everything we talked about?”
“Not everything is a lie.”
“I don’t care now. How can you trade with your daughter’s image?”
“Please spare me the insults. That picture is mine; I was taken it when I was 25 years old, 25 years ago. Please have this and let’s forget about the past and start afresh.” She gave me a cheque of fifty thousand shillings. “Is this not the life you would like to live? I promise you even more if you accept to make me happy?”
“Make you happy? What about my happiness? I have a life to live, woman.” I angrily told her.
“And that life is what I want to take care of.”
“I have the destiny to follow.”
“And that destiny is what I want to make real and comfortable.”
“God can’t be this unfair. He can’t make you the driver of my life towards my destiny. I can’t madam, I’m sorry,” I said with finality.
“We can redraw it in a different way.”
“Redraw what?” I asked.
“Your destiny, sometimes we make our lives difficult by going the long ways while there are so many shortcuts. You can choose to be happy, your happiness is in your hands and you have your mind to decide. Don’t always love the beauty of a person; it is good sometimes to look for something good in that person. Don’t just concentrate on my age but what I can give. Life has told me one thing, ‘people can contribute dearly to clear the hospital bills you leave when you die more than they would contribute towards your treatments.’ And in that case, I promise you the latter. ‘People will come to your burial more than they would come to see you in hospital and I promise to be there for you always.”
“I have people who can do that madam si wewe hupendi mambo yako yakijulikana! I’m sorry, this can’t happen.” I finally said and walked out.
I plan to have a family of my own someday. God, why me? I went on asking myself.