School wasn’t for me. We all go to school with a vain hope of getting a nice job, get rich or richer, depending on your financial background; and save our families from the merciless hands of poverty. What the teachers didn’t tell us besides measly prizes during closing days and filled our heads with pipe dreams, is that life is more than mere academic literacy. Knowledge is different from wisdom. Bob Nesta Marley had a point when he said that “they are foolin’ us by schoolin’ us”. Didn’t live long enough to tell me who “they” are. He died of ignorance himself. He refused to amputate his cancerous toe because of religion.
After reading Robert Kiyosaki’s Poor Dad, Rich Dad, my perception towards life had utterly changed. I wanted money. Not lies from lazy teachers who wasted time in class telling us we were the leaders of tomorrow when they were all over the streets with placards, yelling for pay rise at the same leaders were expected to become. For people like me, the future is now. Tomorrow is just a mystery. Unlike my desk mate Mulwa, I never had an ambition of becoming an optician – whoever told him that people should have cataracts for him to make a living. My ambition was to become richer than Donald Trump. Wild childhood fantasies, one may call it-but that’s where it all starts.
A son of a retired primary school teacher and his wife a high school mistress, money wasn’t a fairy tale for three boys. As a last born, I was the apple of my parents’ eye. An object of envy to my elder brothers. Smoking started at the age of thirteen.
That was tiny filter less cigarettes. Marijuana came in at form two in the loo of Sam’s night club in town.
After closing for the August holidays while in the second form, I swore to myself never to set my foot in school again. Jack’s brother was a class seven dropout. Through the annual National Visa lottery he’d flown to the land of milk and honey. He was now sending iPods, necklaces and photos of him with gang signs like some US rappers. I was 16 and popularity and “swag” was all that mattered. I could spend more than 8 hours in a cyber café. Surfing, gambling, music and porn video downloads. I decided to leave home.
One morning as I tried to sneak out to town with my bags, a nosy neighbour’s skinny dog gave me away.
On Monday morning, I was back to UG High school. A year later, I was transferred to Kapsabet Boys. Dad thought a boarding school would help. I whacked the head boy and was suspended. The bastard had snitched on me to the barbaric principal for not tucking in my shirt. I was caned. After the suspension, I didn’t go home. Fuck school.
I stayed with a friend at Racecourse a few kilometers from Eldoret town. He got me a job as a teacher in a private primary school.
I saved a few shillings for the unknown with Equity Bank. Thirteen months later, I quit. A class eight skinny adolescent I had been sneaking to my room had told me she had missed her periods for three months.
“What are you going to do next, man?” Dan asked me that evening as I lay on the bed smoking. He hated me smoking in the house but damn. I didn’t need his permission. We both paid the rent anyway.
“Don’t know.” My thoughts wandered like Cain – the first murderer according to my Sunday school teacher.
“You got to find a spot somewhere. Or else it’s going to be hard for me handling the rent, food and whatever in this house.”
“Besides, your stay here’s been hectic, man. Honestly. You always leave the utensils dirty, rugged bed, smelly socks stuffed anywhere in the house, loud music with the neighbours complaining… I am not whining but it’s getting serious, Peter.”
He sighed. Poor hustler. As a matatu driver, his income was better than mine. Said he didn’t see the point of saving money in the bank and pay interest for it. He was one of those conservative Kisiis who came to town to make money, go back home and build an iron-roofed house and marry. The urban non-sense didn’t get to him. He kept his savings in a safe under the cupboard. I crushed the butt of the cheap Supermatch cigarettes under my sneakers as I poured myself a glass of water.
“Fine. I’m moving out tomorrow.”
“What? Where? I mean I didn’t mean to…”
“No. It’s Okay, man. I really have been planning this. Got nothing to do with you. You told me that ultimately a man must try on his own to prove his worth. One of your maxims, man.”
“Oh.” He shrugged his shoulders.
After he had left at 5 in the morning, I checked his safe and to my happy surprise, he’d managed to save eleven grand. I took seven. He wouldn’t notice for some time. Trusted me so much. A man’s weakness is his trust. Build that in your boss for some years and he could be leaving you his personal keys. If smart and ambitious enough, make a hit when he least expects it.
I took a matatu to town.
My destination was Kitale.
After I dropped in town to catch a matatu to TL as fondly known, I visited a friend at Block Buster Movies in College House. Back in high school, this was the joint we came to watch Hollywood stuff that filled our heads with fantasies. That one day we would own fast cars like Tyrese in Too Fast Too Furious. We could also exchange drugs in the dark lit room. By drugs I mean “wada” and rolls of weed. Kate still sold popcorns and fruit juice to movie-goers. Daughter of some rich businessmen from West Indies part of the town, she was the kind of chick that would send you body-wanking whenever she swayed her ass. She was cute and she knew it. One hell of a problem when a woman realizes her pride. I wasn’t the kind of guy who would pester a girl of flesh and blood just to get her to bed. With Kate, I was half the man I always believed I was. She played hard to get to the core. Better still, she never wanted anybody’s money. She said she didn’t need my love either. And I needed her. Shit.
“Hi. Where to with all them bags?” She glowed behind the counter.
“Nowhere. Anyways, wassup?”
“You tell me the dizzle baby.”
Christ. She was the only woman I enjoyed speaking some borrowed American slang with. She teased me the Vivicah A. Vox style. Calling me ‘baby’. I wished that could be real. I had imagined lifting up her tight mini-skirt with my little finger; nibble her tits until she thawed out in my arms like butter. Bang her right there on the counter. Legs in the air. Those lips chewing ball gum sensuously might as well gurgle my nutsacks…
“Hey, why are staring at me like that?”
“Oh. Just admiring God’s objet d’art.”
I parted the curtain and peeped at the giant screen. Pirates of the Carribean-The Dead Man’s Chest. Had watched the shit twice.
“Hey, come and check this out!” I called her. I acted as if a steamy sex scene was playing on the screen.
She came right behind my shoulder. Her nipples rubbing. That’s what I wanted. I turned back and looked at her just like the way any lustful animal could. I wanted to grab those two danglings and suck them like some vampire. God. Is this how rapists feel?
She pulled off, seeing my serious face.
“Hey, this could be the last time you seeing me, angel face. Don’t mean to sound crazy, but man, Kate you really some shit. It ain’t gonna be easy keeping that booty outta my mind, sugar plum. Just gimme a kiss, if you don’t mind.”
She started to laugh.
“Hey don’t act like some bush baby now. Just a ‘mmmm!’ on ya.
“Just a kiss, huh? Like a friend. No shit attached, huh?”
Then she moved closer. She gave me a light brush on the lips. I wanted deep. Stick my tongue like a chameleon scooping its prey down her cherry throat until she couldn’t breathe anymore. And that’s what I did. Her perfume was intoxicating.
I didn’t say a word. Matter of fact I was angry for no reason.
“You didn’t tell me where you goin’”
“I’ll be callin’ you.” I didn’t look back.
I wanted to scream down the stairs like what the fuck!