Unraveling the death of Murugi’s marriage after 15 million bob wedding

Perhaps you are wondering why a rich guy whose head is beginning to grey is doing seated on a bar stool, in a joint like this, on a day like today and in a weather like this. Well, don’t. But if you can’t help it, look around.

The music is young, the girls younger, but the male patrons are mostly ancient. This is the official joint for perverts my age to hook up with each other’s daughters. Some people say it resembles a high school parents’ day. It does.

But I’m not here for some youthful sin. I prefer a girl that has hacked the science of using a handkerchief. Besides, these girls being the age of Mwende, my first born daughter, my mother, elicit the opposite of sexual excitement in me. Maybe it’s my morals, or I am weird like that, I don’t know.

What I am certain is that I am quite protective of my girls. I am always thinking up worse versions of the extremely uncomfortable things I will do to any of my playmates I find tempted to try out a blue pill in my daughter’s vicinity. I don’t think I would like to be my victim –or any young girl father’s.

I need Nyokabi, Sylvester’s wealthy mother to stay happy for the next month or so because of this contract she is almost signing with a certain county government

Anyways, I am here because I am as curious as you are to understand how my niece’s marriage could unravel so quickly after a wedding that gobbled the equivalent of two prime plots in Ruaka. In case you are joining us and wondering what the fudge we are talking about, you can take a detour here and acquaint yourself with the past. You will find us ahead, as we Kenyans are fond of saying.

Last we spoke, I promised to bring you the bride’s story. You must be excited because this joint seems like the perfect place for a covert rendezvous with Murugi. Well, it isn’t. In case you forget, she is more daughter than niece to me. I wouldn’t bring her here.

This definitely hurt as hell…but I was hurting more…

I am here to meet her daftly-named, soon-to-be ex-husband David Sylvester. Change of plans was necessitated by both curiosity and selfish interests –mostly the latter. See, I need Nyokabi, Sylvester’s wealthy mother to stay happy for the next month or so because of this contract she is almost signing with a certain county government.

It involves a figure that is closing in on a billion bob and a significant part of it should be accommodated by my account –unless Nyokabi does something stupid like pulling out to babysit her heartbroken brat. She is pretty solid when it comes to business but I have little faith in a woman when the happiness –or lack of –of her firstborn son, especially an only son, is involved. So, I pretended concern and volunteered to meet Sylvester. My gamble is to take pressure off my business partner.

So here I am. I would have preferred the balcony overlooking Nation Centre but the weather is terrible. But this stool is comfortable too. I have been here for two and half bottles of Guinness now. The boy is not late, don’t worry. I came early to work on my acting skills. I suck at pretense. So I reckoned that a few bottles before the meeting should turn me into a Hollywood cast. I hope they do.

And speak of the devil, my future ex-nephew-in-law is here, looking as immaculate as usual. Not a strand of hair is out of place. If he didn’t have such a masculine body, he would actually be beautiful. To top it all, he is wealthy. A little stupid, he might be, but then again, intelligence is overrated, right? Besides, the boy has a nice heart.

He is the sort of specimen that leaves females cross-legged–in movies. I would expect the same in real life though. Such men are never in short supply of female suitors. They don’t need to hunt. They are the prey. Other boys envy them for that. But then they walk into a room and every girl-eye lights with lust. Then the other boys terribly hate them for it. Very confusing, these beautiful beasts are.

Hand-sculpted pair of magnificence

So why would my niece dump a specimen whose simple expression of interest will cause a stampede?

Given, Murugi is a stunner. Very pretty women, my family generally has. She is also very intelligent. And apart from that last bit, she and Sylvester appear a pair hand-made for each other, two works of art that walked out of a painting.

What ailed the union, I wonder with one eye trained on Sylvester as he carefully hang his finely pressed long coat on the back of the bar seat. The other eye is focused on a nearby screen showing a football game in which a player has just had his nuts smashed into his ears.

Very tough thing, focusing on two things at once is. I know my big eyes make me look like a cross-eyed idiot, but I can’t help it. It’s not every day you get to witness the making of two magnificent pains at the same time.

The massacre of future generations on the TV is one, a pain so great every man watching the game, including me, winched and instinctively clumped their feet shut in defense. But the misery the young man writhing on the pitch is in is a fraction of the agony I am suffering as I watch my in-law delicately brush the raindrops off the black trench coat.

This bugger tried, but he didn’t come close to how silly I looked…

The poor footballer is now being carted off the field, a huge bag of ice sitting on his offended groin. He must be in a lot of pain because he is still hollering. But I am envying him because no ice can sooth the anguish I am in, witnessing horrendous atrocities the bag of handsome testosterone is committing across the table.

He has fished a packet of wet-wipes from what I thought was an innocent laptop bag dangling from one arm of the seat. He is deftly peeling one or two pieces out of the box with the tips of his long fingers. He is now carefully wiping the seat as the soft smell of baby powder wafts into my nose.

Both my eyes have now teamed up to record the horror as Nyokabi’s boy niftily ferries the used wipes on the tips of his fingers like the arm of a miniature excavator. He dumps them on the furthest corner of the table then takes out a fresh piece of moist tissue and dabs his palms lightly before gently placing it on top of the others.

My thinker is threatening to stall as the bugger now digs out three varieties of lotions from the bag and spreads the content, one after the other, on his hands. He is so meticulously my wife’s thorough bathroom ritual now seems like the skills of a Class One boy.

I am certain the carnage can’t go on further but then the youngster does something incredible. Like a girl tucking a skirt, he runs his right hand over his butt flattening his trouser towards the knees, before delicately perching on the seat. I am horrified.

The unmixables…

This is a bloke who is supposed to join the ranks of men in my family. Tragic, that’s what it is. The Marete’s are from the Nchamba cia Ita (warriors) clan. It is a lineage esteemed for producing the best fighters, men whose Mau Mau wing’s fearlessness so terrified the white man he bombed a village full of women and children before scramming from our location, never to return.

And it is that stock, men cast out of hardened, red-hot steel which refused to cool down, that this beautiful piece of wax moulding would like to rub shoulders with. I am shaking my head because my brain needs to reboot and order my mouth shut.

“Thanks for meeting me uncle…” Sylvester just said above the music and game commentary.

People say I never lack a thing to say –mostly sarcasm. They are right. But now, I am completely empty. This bugger seems to have succeeded in breaking my mighty talker. So I nod and thrust the cold lips of the brown bottle into my now partially functional mouth and take a huge swig.

It’s a stupid thing to do, is what I discover, as the liquid lava bubbles through my nostrils. I can feel involuntary tears well up in my eyes as the Ruaraka waters light a blaze inside my breather. I shake the tears back into my dome and sneeze away the pain.

“So tell me about it. What devil happened between the two of you?” I finally ask, letting out a huge belch. I love belching, especially when I can let out the bubbly gases without restricting the sound. Very fulfilling. But this one also hides the discomfort in my nostrils. They are exhaling magma.

Niletee Guinness baridi,” I also signal a nearby waiter, “and what’s your poison? Tusker, Heineken, Guinness or would you rather the harder stuff you young men are so fond of?” I ask Sylvester.

Mary, the waitress is standing dutifully beside the table. I know her name because it is on the tag. She is a pretty girl with an amazing body. Young too, 22 years tops, is my guess. And she is heavily distracted by the dashing hunk in my opposite seat.

“I’ll just have a Reds…and can I get some hot water as well?”

For the second time in so many minutes, I am speechless. I never thought I would live long enough to see this, but alas, here I am!

“What the…” I want to ask him a few gender insensitive questions now that some oxygen is back in my lungs. But Mary’s young shadow is still dark on the table.

“Please tell me you want to wash the oil off your shiny hair with the water, not dilute the girl’s drink you just ordered!” I blurt out instead.

“Murush was right,” Sylvester says with a laugh and dismissive wave of long fingers that are tipped with impossible-to-miss glassy nails, “you are a funny one uncle.”

I am unsure how to resolve the conflicting emotions but Sylvester has gone on yapping.

“Reds is the only alcoholic drink my mom has ever approved and she insists I add equal portions of hot water to it too so that it doesn’t ruin my skin.”

And the bugger doesn’t bite his tongue saying that.

“Mary,” I, am shouting to the waiter because she is halfway to the counter, “why don’t you bring her something even more appropriate instead, like a Pink Lady in a stemmed wine glass!”

“That too will do if it’s not too harsh,” Sylvester says, the sarcasm totally lost on him. I have started to seriously consider that I was actually wrong. This bugger might be dumber than I initially thought.

Too bad they didn’t have this… but the wine glass in Sylvester’s hands still looked unfunny… 

“By the way uncle, I really love Murush and I do not want this divorce…”

“Just refer to as her ‘Murugi’, or ‘Maureen’ or even ‘female’ because another Murush and you will be swimming inside this bottle,” I just had to cut him short. That name was simply short-circuiting my system. The short of Murugi is ‘Rugi. Cute, simple, acceptable. What outrage is Murush?

The boy looks confused but he is speaking again.

“As I was saying, I really love Murus…Murugi, but she is impossible to understand.”

For once, the boy seems to hit a common male problem. As some clever fellow once said, only two men can, with confidence, say they have come close to figuring out woman –the psychiatrist and the mad man. If these females gave up on trying to understand themselves, who do you think you are mister? I want to tell Sylvester all this but I summarise it into “no one has ever understood women.”

That point of agreement seems to give him fresh impetus.

“Exactly! Like there is this one day, she tells me I am all hers and should I need anything, all I just do is tell her. Then the following night, she is in the kitchen making us eggs and I am in the sitting room watching Nairobi Diaries when the main bulb suddenly just blows out. So I call her to come change it but you can’t imagine how angry that made her. By the way uncle, can I borrow your lip balm? But if you don’t have, I can call the driver to bring mine up from the car.”

‘Changaa of presidents…’

Mary is back and I am glad because this Guinness is beginning to taste like boiled dog urine. I need something tougher. I tell Mary to bring me a bottle of Hennessy XO. She says it’s out of stock but they have Remy Martin VSOP. I will have it.

Finely distilled changaa, the kind that should have killed me several times when I was employed to drive a Kitui Municipal Council Chevrolet pick-up many years ago, would do better in the circumstances.

But I am wealthy now. So I drink ‘changaa of the presidents’. It is a clever association, is what I am telling myself and thinking I should remember to include it in my story. I am also hoping this Mutegi fellow will see it in the same light and not edit it out.

I am also watching the waitress gingerly offload Sylvester’s obscenities, sorry, drinks from the tray. Poor girl, her eyes are openly ravaging the handsome beef she is serving. But so are a number of other females in the immediate vicinity. What witchcraft is this, I wonder as I notice Mary’s trembling hand lift the glass of water off the tray.

The guy, on the other hand, is lost in duties more disturbing.

A little of the liquid spills on the table. Just a few drops that make a perfect landing on the Heineken bottle top printed on the plastic cover. Still, she lets out a squeal of panic.

I am halfway up because my instincts have engaged ‘father mode’. This girl who is just like my daughter needs comforting. I am now in this awkward half-sitting, half-standing freeze because I have just made an immensely unsettling discovery. The shrieker was actually not Mary but my future ex-nephew.

Even Mary is confused and is throwing furtive glances at the man she so lusts for. The guy, on the other hand, is lost in duties more disturbing. He is subtly rubbing off a drop of liquid from his satin shirt using a crisp white handkerchief wrapped around an index finger.

What the (insert curse word of your choice) is this thing? My talker must, for the tenth time,  have forgotten to shut because I can feel the cold wind blowing through to my tonsils.

I must have forgot to blink as well as I watch Sylvester pick up the wine glass and gently run a finger round the rim. A team must have scored from the noise on the TV but I can’t seem to peel my lighters from the prime piece of male now slowly pouring some pale-gold liquid from the can into the deftly tilted glass.

Everything is wrong with the picture in front of me as this supposed Alpha Male slides the wirily glass stem between two manicured fingers. I am blinking again, thank God, as my niece’s husband   sloshes the liquid around the glass gently before taking a delicate sip.

“Are you gay by any chance or what is all this girliness with you?”

By now, Nyokabi’s boy was looking more like this in my dome…

My mouth too has recovered, it seems. And no, it hasn’t come back with an amplifier. The reason even you heard the question so well is the perfect timing by Kenya Power to recall their energy. The brief moment before the generator kicked to life was all my question, which was projected with enough decibels to beat the noise that is suddenly absent, needed to bounce through every ear in the lounge.

They are back, the lights that is, courtesy of the generator but now every eye that is not too drunk to see is scrutinising Sylvester. He looks like a chicken that has been pulled out of a well.

“I’m not gay,” that’s him hissing at me under his breath but you can tell his voice is trembling. “I love your niece and would like to live with her forever and have children with her but just like you, she thinks I’m childish and girly. For the record, she even told me she needed a husband, not a wife the night she kicked me out…” the poor fellow can’t go on because sobs are rocking his big shoulders.

I hope he is not contemplating a miscalculated thought such as a hug from me because he just swung from the seat. Okay, he just strung his coat on his left arm and brushed imaginary dust from his milky shirt.

The look Sylvester had in mind…

He is now giving me what I suppose should be a nasty, bulldog stare with his big, round eyes. The tears in them, however, remind me of a rabbit, a teary rabbit. For some stupid reason, it seems funny and I can feel the edges of my lips begin to stretch into a smile.

Sylvester has also swung his pouted lips at me before running out of the bar. How could my niece have gotten it so wrong, I am asking myself as I look around for Mary with my cognac order. I need a few sips of raw, properly aged alcohol before I dial my niece number. We have an awful lot to discuss…



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