The door to the toilet opened. She sat on the toilet bowl and on her hand was a stripped small stick. Through the translucent glass window she looked albeit lost in thought since she did not look up when the door opened. From where he stood he could not see her face thus he was in oblivion to her state of mind. He cleared his throat noisily; she remained motionless like a statue. A beautiful stature on a toilet seat.
“What is it?” He asked as his glance fell on the wrapper in the sink.
Her lips parted but no word came out.
He knew better than to insist and when he pulled back the door and sank in his bed did thoughts flood his mind.
The year was 2004 a time like now when Kenenisa Bekele was heartbreaking the hearts of many Kenyans at the Athens Olympics, Baba worked for Kibaki, fathers watched political documentaries on KBC and Nakuru was the cleanest town in Kenya. Athens was her home city and was it not for the school scholarship at the international college; she could be representing the Greek in swimming.
He cupped his face in his palms and tried to visualize the pregnancy test kit as just another of her awful pranks. He was in a reverie. She wore a crown whose emerald stone marbles caught light and shone in a devilish green light. She smiled at him and he held out his hand, but she never caught it, instead a foggy waterfall appeared behind her and off she went plunging. He wanted to jump in after her but just before he could, the sound of running shower awoke him. The shower ran for an eternity before it was turned off, the door opened for a second time and she stepped out of the little room and onto the rug. She was stark naked, her long model legs and lanky but extremely attractive frame filled the room. She had not bothered to dry her body up and water dripped from her hair onto the Persian rug. He threw her a towel that she caught and started pat drying her lengthy Caucasian hair. She walked across the room amidst his scrutiny, draped his t-shirt over herself and he let out a sigh once she was covered. Steel Uascoz was a beautiful woman, and even in such a dark moment, she caused him great a many troubles.
“What do we do about it?” Steel asked.
“I do not know too. Perhaps we should terminate it.”
She kept silent for a minute.
“I will keep it, with or without your support.”
“It will ruin everything, your scholarship, your reputation and your dreams of ever becoming a model.”
“Right now,” she said pointing at her belly, “this is my everything.”
I was in fourth grade then and probably you could be wondering how I learnt of the story.
Ian is my intern supervisor. He has an esoteric personality and is a workaholic who derives pleasure from forensics and molecular biology. As part of his PHD project, he has to work intensively on the genome of the anopheles mosquito. This includes a lot of PCR, electrophoresis and failures thus I help him in the easier stuff as he tackles more complex details. A typical PCR takes about three hours and it was during such duration that I finally got a chance to speak with him.
We walked over to the Institute’s staff common room for lunch. He waved to a female staff and exchanged a handshake with the chairman. I could tell by the way he avoided the circles of senior staff like himself that he was not a people’s guy. We sat on a table for two. I took buttered rice with beef stew while he settled for a tuna sandwich, stuffed with extra vegies and meat.
“Do you like fish?” He enquired between a chew.
“I can’t stand the smell.” That is true.
“It’s all in your brain. You are from Aberdare region. Try more of sea foods they are good for the brain.” He winks at his piece of advice. I nod just for the moment, I just can’t stand fish.
It was two o’clock and the TV behind him was showing some sports highlights and it dwelled heavily on the ongoing Olympic Games in Rio. Some White dude had just broken a record in swimming that had stood for over 2000 years. That alone was amazing but the shock it registered on Ian’s face was frightening. I feared that he had chocked on a fish bone but when he did blink and lick his small finger did I know that all was not good.
Reading from my mind, he asked,” Did you ever have a girlfriend in campus?”
Who didn’t? It’s in everyone’s bucket list.
“I had one,” he said and writhed in pain. I guess it’s the fish. The nutritious aspect is a booby trap, they want to ruin the world.
“Tell me about her. Was she beautiful,” It was amazing having a mentor open up on such areas.
“Beautiful is an understatement. She was the epitome of beauty. A goddess of looks and appeal.” He smiled, I pictured the subject.
“Where is she now?”
“In Rio de Janeiro.”
“That’s cool. Is she there as a participant or on holiday,” he stared at the plate and read from it.
“It is a long story,” he began. I flipped to page thirty two.
The message tone went off and Ian rose tiredly from the couch to pick it up. The living room was large; several random pieces of art decorated the rather simply furnished residence. On the fireplace stone was a cute Greek carving with a Latin word engraved on its side, her last piece of Greek paraphernalia he had not thrown away. Closer to him was a glass table; on it were a half empty glass of whisky, a smoldering cigar butt and grey ash littered all over. On the edge was an opened newspaper, one from a year ago. Under the table next to his feet was a nearly empty bottle of the scotch. He picked up the phone. The photos, the adrenaline rush, the outburst. He smashed the bottle on the wall, punched through the table and began sobering up the moment blood gushed from his hands.
Men are known to be strong but when a wife cheats, lies and is caught red handed, we die from inside. Our esteem, our ego and our confidence drops. Though we fail to admit it, we feel subdued and incomplete. There is nothing that kills men or makes them kill than the thought of their woman climaxing and calling out another man’s name. Ahem.
Ian was crushed as he washed blood from his hand. He looked up to the mirror on the wall, the man inside was shaky, defeated and suicidal. He saw a tear well up in his eye, saw it bulge and widen but before it fell he wiped it and swore.
The divorce was rather uneventful: Steel Uascoz was for it and Ian could not stomach her but the child’s custody hearing was difficult. She insisted on maintaining full custody, he was against it.
“You were for abortion,” she echoed his words from twelve years ago.
As usual she had won, flown to Brazil to celebrate the victory, after which a job was waiting in her home country.
In Nairobi Kenya was a dumped, crushed and beyond repair man. As he gave the accounts, sometimes looking directly into my eyes but mostly on the fork he held, I could tell that her affair was not the onset of their troubles.
Lunch was over so was our small talk and some genetic work was awaiting us. He paid up from his card and we stole out in low profile as we had entered.
“I expect what I have said to you to remain between us.” We were at the bench and he was bossy again.
“It will if you answer this one question. You loved her but were you seeing another woman.”
His face shone, partly in surprise and partly at my true revelation.
“I guess we have the deal sealed,” he grumbled.
“Did you get a paternity test for the kid?” I asked to get something straight.
“There was no need for one. Flour comes from corn.”