jikaze kimwanaume! (be strong like a man) they kept telling him. but how was he supposed to be stong when he was not even allowed to see his young bride’s body?how was he supposed to be strong when the one he wanted to be strong for was up there in the sky? he silently hoped that she would forgive him. for using her as collateral. The villagers would surely shame him for this.

kinuthia walked to the back of his house. he sat down on the grass. right there, where wairimu his wife loved sitting while she prepared managu for dinner. his mother’s house was a few meters away. his wife was a darling to the family, she got along well with everyone. she was a beauty to behold. she had round hips and her breast stood nicely on her chest. her eyes were a shade of hazel and her laughter was loud. he did not take care of her as he should have. he was always drinking at the center with the other village champions, now he regretted it all.

he was a known drunk in the village. back in his high school years,he was handsome,well built and very energetic. every woman wanted to be with him. now in his early 30s, life had not been very kind to him. he was a gambler and promiscuous.

whatever led to the death of his wife, had pulled him to deep depression. a deal with the devil he thought he would get away with. Kinuthia had been broke few months prior. He wanted to quench his thirst for alcohol. he met with Ng’ang’a, a famous shylock in the community. everyone feared him because he always used his goons to collect his money upon default. Ng’ang’a has an eye for Wairimu. she rejected him back when they were young. this hurt his ego badly. when Kinuthia came crawling to him for a loan, he saw this as an opportunity to get to Wairimu. he told Kinuthia that he would want to lay with Wairimu if Kinuthia did not repay the money on time and with interest. Kinuthia foolishly agreed. he was sure that his elder brother in the city would send him money upon request. he would pay Ng.ang’a back in no time. the deal was done.

Unfortunately, Kinuthia’s brother got into an accident a few days later. this meant that all the money would instead be used to facilitate his treatment. the tables had turned.

four months later,it was time for Ng’ang’a to collect. Kinuthia had been to his house to beg for an extension and had been granted another month.however,he made little effort to repay. his mother had recently sold a piece of land to help out with his brother’s bills. he had tried to convince his mother to give him a portion of the money, but she had declined stating that he would go drink it all with his prostitues at the village center.

two days earlier, Ng’ang’a had warned him that he was coming to collect. Kinuthia’s begging fell to deaf ears. that evening, while Wairimu walked home from the market, Ng’ang’a’s men abducted her and taken her to him. as usual Wairimu had rejected him and even spit on his face. she still stuck with Kinuthia the rugged drunk. he did not understand this. he was rich and thought himself a better man. this rejection hurt his ego. he pulled her clothes off,tearing them in the process… seeing Wairimu naked somehow turned him on. he forced himself on her.even then,Wairimu still fought him. but he was stronger. he had his way over and over again. when he was done, he called his goons and they all had their turn with her.

back home, Kinuthia, as usual, had not been home for the night. he spent the night drinking at the pub and had blacked out on the side of the road. Kinuthia’s sisters had knocked on their door that night to check on Wairimu but when there was no reply, they assumed that she had slept early.

a lady going to the farm had seen Wairimu’s body hidden in a bush early the next morning. she was naked. the woman started screaming and the villagers soon came. a boy was sent to Kinuthia’s compound to call the family. Wairimu, the beautiful young bride,died in humiliation.

Ng’ang’a and his goons were nowhere to be found.

Wairimu’s death had shaken Kinuthia to sobriety. three months later, he sat behind his house,right there, where Wairimu sat. sleep had evaded his eyes since the day she died. he missed her dearly. he cried uncontrollably. always apologizing to her and promising to do better if only she would come back. he would do better. he would be better.

a few months later life was beginning to take shape again. Kinuthia worked on the farm and had joined a youth empowerment group in his village. he was among the youths whose application has been approved by the government for funding. an officer from the city was coming with some forms for them to sign. they sat under the tree and waited. a young beautiful lady came down from a vehicle that had driven in a few minutes earlier. her hips were round,her breast stood nicely on her chest. she had an undeniable resemblance to his young bride. her hazel eyes shone as she introduced her self in kikuyu “good afternoon to you all, my name is Waithera”. Kinuthia’s heart started beating faster.

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