“You decided to gain a little meat, huh?”

This was the third time someone felt the need to comment about her weight. That was what made her not ignore Collins because he can be an asshole when he wants to. Her neighbor’s kid had called her fat and when she went to pick her favorite burger at Bob’s, one of the waiter had commented about how ‘siku hizi anakula mali yake’. Being called fat felt horrible and she found herself answering Collins back.

“Is any meat missing from your fridge? Do you need me to refund any meat you have ever bought for me? Why don’t you work on the meat in your pants first before feeling the need to talk about my weight?”

The moment everyone in the kitchen gasped is the moment she knew that she had fucked up. Nobody talks back to Collins. He had an ego so big, that he had made a few people lose their jobs just to feed it. Not even an apology would save this situation. She suddenly felt nauseous and that her world was getting dark. The last thing she remembers was Collins hissing:

“You pretentious bitch”

She woke up and found herself in a hospital with Steve seated next to her and Dr. Musyoki holding her head.

“What are you doing here?”

“I will answer that after you tell me why your colleagues preferred to call me and how they got my number. I am not complaining though.”

“Shit. Are you also going to call me fat? Is that the reason why I am here?”

“Who called you fat? I love you, Rael. You know what I am risking just being here. I do not care whether you are fat or not.”

“So I am fat. I also don’t want trouble with your wife, please. Kindly call Sandra, then leave me alone.”

“Rael, one of the side effects of the medication I gave you to fight depression and anxiety is weight gain. Let us focus on making you feel better”

She made a mental note to throw away the medication when she goes back home. Rael could not shake her mind off her altercation with Collins and the fact that she needed to make things right with him. Just as she was picking up her phone to text Collins, an email from HR came in. She had been taken off all her high-profile clients and given clients that would normally be assigned to an intern. The email also indicated that her salary would be reviewed downwards now that her responsibility had reduced. This, according to the email, was to let her recuperate in an environment with less pressure. The changes were to take effect immediately.

“That son of a bitch!”

“Might you be talking about me”

“Get over yourself Steve, and get out of this room….you too Doctor Musyoki. I need to be alone”

“We respect you. Come to my office, Steve. Let her rest”

Collins was on a mission to make her life miserable and touching her salary was sure going to hit her hard. She had taken a loan for the doctor; she had her bills to pay and was paying for the medication of her sick dad. She actually needed to call home. Her mum had tried to call her severally the previous day but she did not pick up. Phone calls made her very nervous. It is for the same reason that her phone was currently off. In as much as she needed Steve to leave her alone, he was now the only person who could rescue her financial situation. Her mind felt like a whirlwind. So much going on including the image of her being very fat. She had never been called fat and she did not think she was. Right as she was in the middle of her thoughts, Sandra walked in.

“Where the hell is your phone hun? You have scared the hell out of me and so just you know, your mother is on a Transline from Kisii on her way here. Why are you like this Rael? What happened?”

“Hi to you too Sandra. Can you call the doctor? I need to sleep and escape this madness. I have a bad headache.”

“I am sorry hun. I know that you are sick. We are just worried about you. Let me call the doctor.”

Rael was off for a couple of hours and by the time she woke up, she felt so much better and her mother was right beside her. The doctor had diagnosed her with severe depression and her brain kept shutting down hence the loss of consciousness. He recommended that she be admitted for a while and when discharged he recommended that she be with someone very close to her.

“Nitampeleka Kisii”

“Mum, si lazima. I have a job I need to take care of remember?”

“You need to be okay first Rael. I would also recommend that you go far away from Nairobi for a while. It will help you heal faster.”

“How soon can I get discharged?”

“Two to three days should be enough”

“Let us do two”

“Okay Dr. Rael”

She switched on her phone to check whether Collins had accepted her apology. He had not neither had he acknowledged the text. That man thought he was a god or something. She decided that she was the last person he was going to bully around. She had to do something. That man had messed with her source of income and he was going to pay. She had tons of emails from her clients. The problem with the clients she had been given was that they had micro-influencers and that meant dealing with very many influencers and it was exhausting. Just as she was finishing up her last email, her mother walked in. She was a very beautiful woman. Her parents had been married for more than 35 years and a lot of people assumed that her mum was Kisii because she spoke Ekegusii fluently but she was in fact a Taita. She had met her dad while in high school. Her mum schooled with her dad’s sister, Aunty Kate, in the same high school and they were best friends. Her dad had come to visit Aunty Kate, met her mum, and the rest, as they say, is history. They got married as soon as she completed high school and she immediately fell pregnant with her firstborn sister who was now in Canada married and rarely wanted anything to do with the family. Story for another day. As her mother sat beside her she noticed that she had lost a lot of weight and she was looking so frail.

“Mama, why have you lost so much weight? Are you not eating?”

“I eat but those medicines are eating me up. It’s like I don’t eat anything”

“Medicines? I thought daddy was the sick one and the one on medication?”

“Obee! Your dad has never told you? Why do you think your sister does not want anything to do with us? He probably did not tell you because he thought you are not his child.”

“What the hell are you trying to say, mama?”

“We had our share of troubles as a couple after we got married. Your father used to drink a lot and was rarely at home. He also cheated on me a lot of times and out of frustration and loneliness, I started to cheat as well. The unfortunate thing is that one of the men I was with had HIV. I got infected and I infected your dad as well. I had to confess and things have never been the same again. You kids can hardly pick it up because we hide it so well.”

“Oh my God! But you said sissy knows. Why am I knowing of this now? How did Prisilla know?

“You know they are close with your dad. Once when you were young, your dad came back home drunk, we had a fight in front of your sister and he told her that her mother was a whore and had infected him with HIV. Your sister has never forgotten that and she hates me. Prisilla my own daughter hates me.”

“Why does daddy doubt that I am his daughter?”

“Infidelity kills trust and as much as he was cheating and even continued to cheat after catching me, he kept saying that I must have started cheating way back then, and apart from Prisilla, he doubted that the kids were his. I thought you knew Rael even as you sent money for medication. Singekuambia if I knew you did not know”

“Am I dad’s kid?”

“Of course you are”

All this was too much for Rael to process. Her parents were the perfect couple. They were church elders at their local SDA church. Their marriage was the standard of how she wanted her marriage to be. What her mother was telling her was not true. She had to be imagining things. She suddenly felt dizzy and all around her was pitch black.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: