(Read, All out of love, to flow with the narrative)
Mama, I have to go to Mathare now,” Alice called out to her mother. She, Alice, sounded worried. Her
mother sensed the anxiety in her daughter’s voice came to the living room.
“What is wrong, Al,” Mama asked as she wiped her wet hands on the towel that hung over the sink.
“Someone else picked up Joe’s phone. He says there has been an accident and that somebody should be
there,” she said and immediately broke into wild sobs.
Mama met Joe earlier that day at church. She had also heard about him several times. She knew of the
late night calls and the endless chats via text and WhatsApp. Not that she approved of her daughter
getting a boyfriend, but she knew it was time she let things slip. Alice was to join campus this September
and she knew control could not work. Joe came as a test. Mama instantly liked Joe when she saw him
and when Alice informed her that she planned to have lunch with Joe that Sunday, she allowed it and
drove home alone after mass.
“Is Joe okay? Where has the accident occurred?” Mama was hysterical as she embraced her daughter.
“I do not know Mama. It happened on the road to Mathare North.”
They drove in silence. Alice’s sobs increased as they neared Allsopps and by the time they were
branching off at Drive-in, her handkerchief was wet and tears were flowing freely.
Kamau knew he needed to act fast. He saw a light in Joe’s phone, he also had contacts of the police at
Kasarani Police Station. He called the police and instructed Alex to take the phone from Joe’s pocket and
receive it when any call came through. Alex was hesitant and a slap from the conductor brought him
back to his senses.
“Fala wewe si ati tunakubembeleza uchukue simu. Unaendesha gari ukiwa mlevi Mbwa hii. Umeua mtu
unafikiria nini!” the conductor shouted after administering the smack.
A small crowd was forming. Joe lay lifeless in a pool of blood. His blood. The bus rear wheel had run over
his torso, breaking the ribs and crushing majority of the vital organs. It was instant and almost painless.
Alex picked the phone when Alice called for the third time. He was too traumatized to talk clearly.
“Hallo,” he said.
“Is that you Joe?” Alice enquired from the other side.
“Kumekuwa na ajali hapa Mathare. Mwenye hii simu ameumia,” Alex said and stopped. In the
background, Alice could hear unusual excitement and a wailing siren as an ambulance rushed Alex’s
mother to the hospital. Joe was not a priority anymore.
Alice saw a crowd through the headlights.A bus was packed by the pedestrian walkway and it hazard lights were on. She alighted before her mother parked properly and rushed forward. She saw the body,
lifeless and calm and that is when her legs gave in and she buckled into a clumsy pile. The police arrived before she regained consciousness and calm enough to give a contact. The most important contact. The
deceased mother’s number.
Alex eyes were teary when the police arrived. He had been composed all through until he saw a girl
collapse after seeing the body. He never understood why he lost control of the car and drove straight
into the bus. His car would be written off but that did not eat into him like the body that lay on the
muddy road. He attempted to shake Joe to wake but the people had restricted him. They also refrained
him from running away in oblivion that he was too weak to run. Even the thought of police statements,
cells and jail were negligible compared to the regret that ate into his conscious. It was the first time he
had driven under the influence and also the first time he was involved in an accident. Everybody saw a
drunk driver and no level of apologies and explanation could change the narrative. Not unless he
brought back Joe to life.
The police assessed the situation and instructed the three to accompany them to record a statement.
Witnesses revealed what they saw and it was quite an easy police case. The other task was letting the
parents of the deceased know of the accident. The most emotional part, especially for Alice, Alex and
Joe’s mother was done cooking and was worried that her eldest son had not arrived yet. It was past
eight o’clock and it was unlike Joe to stay out late if there was no English football match showing. She
knew of the lunch date with Alice but did not expect it to merge with dinner. Unless he had escorted her
home which was unlikely. She was beginning to get worried since he had not called when the doorbell
went off. She thought it was Joe and she walked to open it.
She was alarmed after opening the door and found many people at the door. On her doorstep was an
agitated Alice, her mother and two police officers.
They hugged and cried. There was no need for words when faces could tell it a