THE VOW (Chapter 3)

Mwari and Alice met severally at the university grounds. The university provided a unique environment to host life to different classes of people. It was a whole entity on its own, providing accommodation and academics to the large number of students at the same time. Alice was there to learn from Mwari who happen to have gathered a great deal of knowledge from the past years. He was a lawyer just ready to practice. The two seemed to have grown fond of each other but just as friends. Alice was now in her early thirties and in the fifth year of her marriage. The blues of marriage were now showing up. She had begun to understand that marriage was just another institution that no one had ever had an idea of how to pass. She always found refuge from other people who were ready to pour out their problems to her. Listening to other people’s problems comforted her, she felt like hers was a light matter. Lord God was the only one holding everything together for her marriage.

Mwari had come to know that Alice was married and so he maintained his distance lest he fall into the trap of sugar-mummies. Alice maintained her distance as her beliefs as a Christian allowed her not to meddle with young school boys. She made up her mind to help Mwari have a successful career but first she had to straighten her life and understood where she is to stand.

Devils are on earth as hell is empty; the human beings we associate daily have got two faces-showing each to different people. There those they laugh around with and those they are always not happy with. The split personality of people is just to try and manage their double lives. Some are even living lies trying to maintain a good reputation to the public. They got a beautiful picture of them painted on the wall that they will try and protect at all costs. These same people are the ones we talk and joke around with daily. They are more than what they appear to the eyes. Alice was yet to understand the turn of events lately in her marriage as all that was there was now an illusion of what she pictured being married to Nyamai would be.

It was as if Nyamai was the devil himself. He wanted to master her around just like a dog on a leash. His presence in the house was so long gone but he was never in the local pubs. There was something heavy he was hiding from his wife that had changed his behavior. This was a life Nyamai had chosen for them without consulting Alice in the first place. Just like any concerned man in marriage Nyamai had tried his level best to ensure his involvement did not ruin his marriage but that was where he went wrong for those he was dealing with were up against what he treasured. Something he will not willingly give out unless under pressure. As expected, eventually things started getting out of hand, whatever he was in control seemed just out of his reach. His life was turned upside down; the idea of trying to play safe came to be the issue.

Alice tried to get an idea of what was going on with his husband in case she could help but the secretive nature of her hubby pushed her off.  She had to observe everything from the fence with no involvement. Her character could not withstand any more and so she decided to launch her own investigation just in any case Nyamai was cheating on her. She treaded carefully not to raise an eyebrow but the overwhelming turn of events almost had her cornered. One thing she came to learn of her hubby Nyamai was that he was not a man who would easily go around chasing anything in a skirt and just as a precaution she was a submissive wife to him and ensured harmony existed in their home.

In his last days of life, Nyamai knew things were about to get out of hand as his death will only worsen things. He tried straightening things out, smoothing the way for her wife just to ensure even upon his death she will be comfortable. His intuitive nature was all that had gotten him into all this wild goose chase and running away from the normal life he knew. He had been running for two years and as expected no one can run his or her whole life. He grew tired and decided to face them whoever they were. He remembered vividly how all came to pass. On his couch, Nyamai recalled that day he was coming from the university heading to the city centre. Just as he negotiated a corner he heard some strange noise emanating from a bush nearby. His mind became alert in that, he was concerned about who was suffering in the wee hours of the morning. The noise seemed like that of a man in his last breath trying to escape the fear of facing death at that time.

He managed to park his car just near the bush; he was ready to help the guy. As expected, the guy laid spear- eagle from what seemed like a forced death by blunt weapons. He was getting hold of his last breath trying to give his best shot at the wasted life. It seemed like his attackers hurriedly left the scene when they noticed a car parking nearby. Mastering all his energy he begged for Nyamai’s attention. He explained his predicament showing him his wounds. He was deeply injured with two deep cuts; one in his left lung and another one on the chest. Showing Nyamai his left coat pocket, were a bundle of papers tired by a green rope. He just wanted to ensure the papers get to right person. He even made Nyamai swear to do so at all costs and prevent them from getting into wrong hands. With all done, he slowly gave his last kick as life snuffed out. Nyamai felt sorry for him but all of a sudden fear engulfed him, he realized how stupid he must have been to accept taking the papers. He could have just passed by just like any normal citizen without so much of a concern. His life was now in danger from the moment he placed his hands on the bundle of papers. He felt so insecure like there was a group of people watching his every movement.

Proceeding with caution, he left the area driving at such a high speed to a safer destination. He drove to the city parking and dropped off without care. He wanted to get home on the first Matatu that was headed to his direction. Bad luck seemed to be on his side that morning as they were no early Matatus and he had to take the last cab that was in the area. Giving proper instructions, he was driven home. At home, his wife Alice was soundly asleep. He joined her but could not sleep; his chicken heart took him to the awful scene of a man dying under his watch. He wanted to wait till the sun was up so that he could at least go through the papers and get to know what he was dealing with.

Curiosity killed the cat but satisfaction brought it back. Curiosity got the better of Nyamai and he had to view the papers even if it was not thorough. Believing that dying men tell no lies and from how the man died trying to guard the papers, he was sure as death that the papers held something risky. Surprisingly they were all blank, from the fist to the last. The bundle was all useless. For some reason, he felt relieved and went to sleep. He was now sure that all the trouble of trying to run away from what the dead man described as dangerous was over. 

Days went by without any event. He even went back to get his car and life seemed to normalized as nothing was to trouble him. Then weeks later, Alice and Nyamai came home in high moods only to be shocked at the look of the house. It was in chaos with everything out of place. Papers were everywhere, the house breakers seemed to be looking for some papers and sure they got away with them. From the kitchen to the bedroom everything had been turned. Nyamai was alarmed and he knew everything was about to change. His little adventure days back was about to pay off. Running to look where he had placed the bundle, he found it missing and a note left. It politely requested Nyamai not to involve the police and not following them. His wife was concerned but as a good woman she started cleaning and tried to look for any missing things. At the end of the cleaning, they found out nothing of the household was missing but the motive of the in- breaking was still unknown.

Things started to heat up, days later another note came in. Nyamai found this one in his car window.-it requested him to hand over the original papers. They were sure he was the one having them and no explanation would change their stand. Nyamai became even more confuse; he had never seen the original papers and had no idea of what they looked like. From the look of things he understood that his end was sooner as the guys after the papers were ruthless and were well versed in knowing his all daily activities. He stood for one thing, the ability to try and not bring his wife into this. He wanted her to remain alive. It was from then that their marriage started experiencing difficulties. Nyamai was never at home, his closeness to his wife stated getting out of hand. At any moment whenever they were on the mobile phone trying to square things out it always ended in either of them so angry to speak to the other.

Nyamai did all his best to run away from his wife just to ensure her safety. His home visits were once in a blue moon and were always in the middle of the night. One morning news came in of a lecturer found dead in a hotel room. Closer to his body was a young lady’s body; probably in her early twenties. The girl was somehow unconscious. The newspapers were all restless each trying to prove its own theory of Nyamai’s death. He was brutally murdered by one gunshot at point blank. The lady’s presence in his room was to divagate attention from what was happening. Alice was quite confused and what pained her more were the stories the media came up with. Stories flew around some just mere lies. They all connected the lady’s presence in the room to Nyamai’s death. They painted a picture that the murderers wanted. Nyamai was adulterating with young ladies from his university in that he was shot by the lady’s boyfriend.

A day later when the lady was conscious, everyone was on her trying to get her saying the truth. Alice was the first one to arrive at her bedside. She wanted to hear the truth from the horse’ own mouth. The lady explained her closeness to Nyamai as only lecturer-student relationship and how she found herself in the same room she does not remember. Alice took her word for it, even though as confused as the lady was she was saying the truth. She even directed Alice to Nyamai’s locker for some piece of paper which Nyamai had requested to be handed over to her wife.  

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