I am broke. 70 USD can’t even buy me dinner for two nights. I need to go home.
Me: Karen, take a shower. I will drop you off at home for your lunch date with dad and head home.
Karen: But someone is supposed to pick me up and take me there. Remember Dad’s instructions? We can’t break them. I don’t want a repeat of the last incident.
Me: I said take a shower. We are leaving in the next 30 minutes. If you aren’t ready by then, I am leaving you here by yourself.
30 Minutes Later…
Karen and I are driving up Peponi road… 23 minutes after I drop her off at her father’s mansion in Runda and head back to Limuru Road and drive home. At the Muthaiga roundabout I am flagged down by three officers in GSU uniform. I have my sunglasses on and upon stopping, one of them arrogantly orders me to remove them. They are in some dark shades too and I am tempted to say I will remove mine on condition they do theirs…
Not being in the mood for an argument, I do as asked and hand him my driving license. He looks at it and asks me to step out of the vehicle. Without speaking a word, I step out to the unforgiving Nairobi sun. He goes ahead and starts searching the vehicle without even asking.
These guys aren’t fucking around. They seem to be on a mission. I have my vz. 27 is inside the glove compartment together with the license to possess it. Being the son of a former Police Boss has its perks, carrying a gun being one of them. I have shot and killed someone once. An invader. If I didn’t possess the gun, then I would have been killed during the 1am robbery.
After finding the gun, he asks for the license which he later finds in the same glove box. They are searching for something which they can’t seem to find. They are desperate and one of them even frisks me at one time during the search. Upon non discovery of what they are looking for, they apologize for wasting my time and I drive off onto Muthaiga road, to Thika Super Highway and onto Kiambu road.
15 minutes later I am ringing the doorbell. A uniformed officer opens the gate and ushers me in after saluting. I feel exhausted.
I find dad at the only apple tree in the compound. It was the only plant that wasn’t trimmed. Its wild nature was allowed to bloom in this part of town that had everything toeing to the will of its master. The way it had been planted, it would forever drink from the semi mountainous showers that characterized the area, soothed by the waterfall between two ponds in the expansive compound. Dad was barefoot in brown shorts and a Chanel t-shirt.
Opening of the gate startled him and upon seeing me, he frowned. The only reason I would come home this time of the year was to ask for money. He was right. I needed money. Heading to where he was, I gave him a hug and told him why I was home.
Him: Are you using again?
Me: The only thing am using is oxygen dad. I don’t know what you are talking about.
Looking at my arms, he could see the scratches and if he cared to look more closely, he would have seen the evident markings of the life I had been living just a week before. Injections and all.
Him: *Slapping me across the face* You should be in rehab. Come, Let me show you all you have been upto. *Screaming to the officer at the gate* (lete ile file ya Ken)
2 minutes later the file is brought which dad throws at me and furiously heads into the house. I open the file and its contents freeze me to the core. In four pictures, I see a representation of the life I had been living since moving from Cambridge to USIU. On one picture is me injecting myself with cocaine only in my underwear. The house I am in is smoky obviously from weed smoking and there are two naked girls on either side of me. The second photo is as gross as the first only that I am smoking weed with the table littered with needles, alcohol bottles and cocaine packs… The third and fourth photos contain I in various stages of intoxication and sexual intercourse.
I am furious. Not because of my poor choices in life but because there is evidence of all I have been doing. I hate dad for spying on me. I hate him for not respecting my privacy. Most of all I loathe him for having the audacity to show me that he knew how I spent my free time.
Deep down I understand he has a right to be angry. Me being a loser signifies how much he has failed in his parenting responsibilities. I rush to the house, throw the file back at him and head out. I won’t even ask him for anything.
I hate fighting with dad.
I open the car, get in and immediately call my mum. I know it will take some time to connect to South Africa but I have to wait. I need to survive. I need to cater for my needs.
On the third ring she picks up and immediately I start crying. I am angry and upset. Upset at having failed my dad. Upset at being broke. Upset at being a cocaine addict. Upset at being a loser. Being the only child, I know I should do better since dad’s cancer is terminal and I need to take care of the family business now that mum already left.
She listens carefully and after I am through sobbing I give her a bullshit story of how dad is a jackass and how I am late on rent, school fees and every other bill that need paying and being the amazing woman she is, she believes my BS.
You see, mum and dad are always trying to outdo each other on who can be the better provider. A rift that I have over the years used to my utmost advantage. It is that rift which has seen me feed my cocaine addiction for the past 4 years.
Mum promises to wire me money and with that I drive back to my house without even saying goodbye to my dad (who also happens to be my landlord. Mum doesn’t know this). I am disconcerted and nervous. I am restless and withdrawn. As I drive up Ojijo road the craving gets the better of me. I stop at Kobil Ojijo Road and as the fuel attendant tends to the car, I head to the washroom. I ensure theres no one else inside. I take off my right boot and at the far end of the shoe I take out a small, clear poach which has the solution to all my problems. I pour the contents on my left palm and taking a deep breath, pass my nose over the white substance sniffing hungrily to ensure I pertake everything on a single snort.
I feel whole again. I am myself once more.
I head out, pay the attendant and drive off. I suddenly feel the urge to have more. The only place I can do that is at Tanda’s place in Karen. I dial his number and coincidentally, he is throwing a party. Upon informing him that I am headed there, I drive to Barclays Westlands withdraw some money and hit the road.
I won’t go back to town so I opt to use James Gichuru – Ngong Road route. I hit the accelerator hard, roll up the windows and turn up the music as I go up Waiyaki Way.
I feel like the car is flying.
The next thing I hear is a loud bang. I hit the car brakes hard and that’s when I notice the blood sputtered all over my windscreen. Its messy. The dark red substance is trickling down with some of it sputtered over the driver’s window.
My heart is racing. I can hear it over the loud music. I am sweating. I start to panic. I try to find strength to turn down the music but I cannot move. I can’t even roll down the windows. I can taste the coppery blood accumulating in my mouth. Its more than the saliva. I can feel it soaking my tongue. One time I am awake and the next am slipping into sub-consciousness. I feel the cracking and aching all over my bones. I try to breath and the only breathing I can manage is characterized by brief gasps of air that aren’t enough to quench the demand.
I want to scream but no sound escapes my lips… Someone is knocking on my driver’s window. I see their lips moving but I cannot hear what they are saying. Blame the music, the rolled up windows or my on and off slip of my consciousness…