Immediately they met, she knew he was the one- women know. She had been praying God to reveal her Adam. A man who will be her husband and a father to her children- not a boy to play with her life again and dump her after hitting his target. She had in Jesus’ name denied the evil spirits of ‘trial and error.’ She was looking for a God-fearing man. A man who is loving and caring. And someone funny. She had grown up without a father’s love. Her mother is a single parent and she never saw her father. She was told that her father died of a road accident immediately she was born. And even though she has two other siblings, her mother never got married. And she did not see their father(s) too or they also died? She never asked. So, she was looking for a man who despite being her husband, a father – to both her and her children. A man she could call dad with a lot of confidence. A man who will protect them. A man who can give her a place to call her home. A man of her own- alone. A man to whom she will feel enough to, who will never leave her for another woman.
Her life had not been smooth sailing; at 16 she was raped by a friend to her mother’s boyfriend. And at 20 (while in university) she got a boyfriend who pretended to be a very good person, somebody with good intentions with her- he was loving and caring. His name was Brian. He would take her out often almost every weekend, buy her flowers and presents and clothes. She ended up loving him. She envisioned them being a couple someday, with kids- a boy and a girl, and a pet dog and living in a big house with big windows. They decided to move in together. They rented a hostel outside the campus. They were now there for each other. As a result, she became pregnant and immediately that happened, Brian changed. He was no longer coming to their house and whenever he came after several days he would ask for forgiveness and because she loved him, she always forgave him but after getting what he wanted, he would make her angry again and leave. And when she could not take it anymore, they broke up, a month later.
She differed her studies for one academic year: gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, breastfed her and thereafter resumed her studies leaving the child with her mother. And later completed graduating with first-class honours in Economics and Sociology.
She was now a graduate, a mother and not married. She was lucky to get a job in the ministry of finance meaning she was financially independent. And like the contemporary woman, she would have said, “I don’t need a man,” but that was not something she would wish to come into her head. She always prayed for a husband. She always yearned for a complete family. And that desire every Sunday took her to Saint Teresa’s Catholic Church, Eastleigh- to remind God of her prayers and again ask the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, the son of God, to help her in prayer.
On the other hand, David was from a complete family but void of love. He had an abusive father and they were poor. His father was cruel. He would come home drunk and beat everybody. David saw his father beat their mother in front of them like a child. He saw their mother persevere for the sake of the family and her marriage. Many are the time she cried when alone but pretended everything was fine in front of them and to everyone else. Many are the time she tried to leave them but she always came back. He knew very well that it wasn’t love that made her stay but them, the children. That she did not want her family to break and her children to suffer. She did not want to become the Bible’s, foolish woman. But they still suffered.
Humbled by poverty together with his father’s intimidation, David grew up with low self-esteem. As a child, he always felt un-enough. In class, he couldn’t ask or answer a question. He was always very quiet but luckily he was passing his exams- primary, secondary and even university. He has a degree now in economics and statistics. He grew up knowing that life was all about education and thereafter a job. And family. In that order. And that none should come before the other. That’s why he did everything to make sure he passed his exams. His mother would encourage him not to be like their father. She would tell him that their father was like that because he didn’t go to school. Thank God she didn’t incriminate him as some parents would do. But she always showed her husband love no matter what he did and urged the children to respect him. She always hoped he will change.
After getting a degree, he thought he would get a job immediately like he had been told, “study hard, pass your exams and you will get a good job…etc.” but it seemed not coming. For two years he had been out of the campus, he had tried looking for one but still, there wasn’t hope. He, therefore, in the meantime, on a commission basis became an insurance investigator in a certain insurance investigation firm in Nairobi. That enabled him to independently stay on his own. He rented a single room in Eastleigh- he wanted somewhere close to town, somewhere he could walk when the situation gets worse and again somewhere rent is not too high. Despite the challenges, David never skipped going to church every Sunday. He was a catholic and therefore he would every Sunday find his way to St. Teresa’s Catholic Church, Eastleigh. He would always go to thank God for above everything else, the gift of life. He is one of those guys who never gives up- he always believed that God had a purpose for him and that’s why he still kept him alive. He would pray for a good job every Sunday.
It is at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church where David met Diana. She was with her daughter. Everyone was there for his or her own reasons- Diana praying for a husband and David asking God to give him a job. But God does everything in his ways. They found themselves sitting next to each other and everything started when the priest said, “Let’s greet each other as a sign of peace.” They had sat next to each other since the starting of the mass but they hadn’t talked. And once they shook hands, each felt the connection.
“Peace of Christ,” David said to her.
“Thanks. Peace of Christ too.” She replied.
The mass continued and when it ended, before the final prayers, as the others were singing a thanksgiving song, David turned and asked Diana, “is she your daughter?”
“Yes, her name is Sonia,” Diana replied. Sonia was asleep.
“She is beautiful.”
“She is mmm…”
“3 years old.”
“How did you know I was asking about her age?” David asked but before she answered, the song stopped and the priest resumed talking. They stayed quiet listening carefully until the priest said; “Go in peace, our mass is ended.”
“I’m David by the way.” He introduced himself.
“Diana.” She said.
“Wow, David, Diana.”
“What is it?” she asked.
“Nothing, I was just thinking mmm… about two people with those names having a wedding, it will be written, ‘David and Diana…’ or ‘D &D…’”
She smiled for the first time.
“So you are funny?” she asked as they started walking out of the church.
They exchanged contacts. They talked. A lot. Had numerous dates. Fell in love. After 6 months got engaged. And after the other 6 months had a traditional wedding. They were now a husband and wife. Diana’s prayer was answered. David wondered why did God have to give him what he hadn’t asked for! What he did not know was that he was being prepared for what was coming. He didn’t know that getting a wife was the first step of getting a job- that she was to be his blessings.
Three months later he got a job with the united nation as a data analyst based in Nairobi.
David had called me and said, “Bro, we have to meet today.”
Lastly, we met was at his wedding and it is now 9 months down the line. We have just been talking over the phone.
“Yes, tell me where and when,” I replied.
“You remember our usual place? There, at exactly 5:30 pm.” He said.
“Sawa. See you then.”
Our usual place is somewhere along Tom Mboya street. A café built on a balcony. Somewhere open. We used to meet there often before he became a busy man, (I am not idle) I meant a family man.
“Sorry I am late.” He says as he sits.
“Ooh okay, I owe you many apologies then. Its only 3 minutes. You remember before I would stay here for about an hour before you show up.” I said jokingly.
“Hahaha, Vindu Vichenjanga, John.”
“I see.” “Hahahaha,” we laugh in unison standing up to shake hands.
“Long time, man, how is everything.’ I ask as we sit again. The waiter brings our tea.
“She is pregnant,” he says.
“Wow, congratulations, man.”
“Tell me, how does it feel to be in the same house with a pregnant woman?” I ask.
“It’s terrible. She is like a baby now. I really don’t know what is happening- she forgets almost everything nowadays-so easily, she sleeps like a toddler, eats like an elephant, she is afraid of water and surprisingly she is in love with my sweat more than myself. Can you imagine every time I get home, she has to put on the shirt I was wearing? She says the baby feels good.” He explains laughing.
“Hahaha, this is too much bwana.”
“That’s the situation I am in.”
I chuckle, “I feel sorry for you,” I say.
“Very soon, I know you are going to tell me your story too. You never know yours might be worse. She might refuse to sleep in the bed, that she prefers sleeping on the floor, and naked. And maybe her favourite dinner will be a broth made from the legs of a guineafowl.”
“It won’t matter. I am ready to keep up with anything.” I say.
“You have to.” He says.
We are done with our tea and as the waiter collects the cups his phone rings.
“Diana is calling,” he tells me.
“She is asking for her sweat,” I tell him.
“You are not a good man, John,” he says laughingly as he answers the call.