Chapter 5; A Stepping Stone

The drive was short, but the houses and streets were clean and posh. I was really amazed by the architecture, the bungalows and the mansions around the area, they made me glued and turning my head after every second. This was Nyali, it’s where the fat cats and barons reside.

We were outside Dr Rashid’s gate and I was expecting the guard to open the door but the unexpected happened, he removed something like a remote control and after pressing it, the door automatically opened itself. I had my mouth ajar, these were things that I had only heard about. This doctor Rashid must be really loaded, I could not help but make the assumption.

We were inside the big compound that had a one storey mansion, a garden on the right side, surrounded by lovely pavements, and a huge parking lot that had two trucks. At the door of the mansion stood a lovely, middle-aged, fair in complexion woman that wore a welcoming smile. It was evident this was Mrs Ahmed.

“Welcome home Malvin, finally I get to see you.” She hugged me and directed us in the house.

“Thanks, Mom.” She smiled.

Right at the dining room, there was a buffet and I was spoilt for choice, it had been a while since I ate a home-cooked meal. I had my fingers crossed and I hoped the meals tasted half as good as my mother’s meals, giving Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar, that woman could cook. Mrs Ahmed’s meals were on point and looked like those meals they served in big hotels, man was I lucky all this was for me, I felt important and special. What did I do to deserve all this?

After eating to our fill, Dr Rashid told me he had a surprise waiting for me upstairs and that I should follow him. I obediently followed him upstairs accompanied by Mrs Ahmed and we were standing outside one of the wooden doors, “are you ready for your surprise.”

“I guess I am,” which surprise was awaiting me behind the door?. My mind pounded.

He opened the door, “This is your new bedroom.”

“My new bedroom? all mine?” I asked in disbelief.

“Yes all yours even when you get old, it will always remain yours,” Dr Rashid, who was now standing next to Mrs Ahmed with his hand around her shoulders, confirmed.

“You mean this is my home forever?” I felt a tear trickle down. All I could do was hug them both, the excitement had taken a toll on me. Everything was happening too fast, God was looking after me despite what I did to my mother.

“Till the end of times and another thing is I got your belongings from Mercy, I kept the bag in the wardrobe.” He pointed towards the wardrobe.

“Thank you, Mr and Mrs Ahmed. Can I call you Mum and Dad?” It was the least I could do especially now that I was going to live with them forever.

“Yes of course,” they almost answered in unison with happiness marked on their faces. I am sure they never expected it to be that soon but they were longing for it, especially Dr.Rashid.

“Mum and Dad, it sounds good.” I made a comic statement.

“It sure sounds gooood,” Dr.Rashid joked too, “would you love to finish your O-levels, I remembered you told me you dropped out of school.”

“Yes, I would love to.” This day was full of gifts.

“I will make preparations for you to begin your classes then I will let you know when you will start. Let us leave so that you can freshen up and get to enjoy your room.” Mum and Dad excused themselves.

This was like those fantasy stories they write in books, I never knew they could happen in real life. It all seemed like an endless dream ever since the day I ran from home. I hope it was not a dream though it was so good to be true. I went to the wardrobe and took out the bag back that Dad had retrieved from Mercy, luckily lucy’s contacts were still in there.

Next to my bed, there was a small study desk and a seat, on the desk there was a landline telephone. I picked the handset and dialled the number, I kept fidgeting with the handset cord as I waited for someone to answer in the other end.

“Hello, its Mary, Njenga’s residence how may I assist you?” An elderly woman answered.

“Hello my name is Malvin, may I talk to Lucy, please?” I recognised the voice, she had picked two times before, from when I had attempted to call the previous times.

“Am sorry Malvin you are always out of luck, she already left for Nairobi. Last time you promised to call back and she waited for your call but you never called.” I went on to explain what had happened and she advised that I should call her during the next holiday since she was back to school.

It seemed I was never lucky in getting in touch with Lucy and the way the thoughts of her clouded my head. Everything had its own time of manifestations so I would let nature curve the course. I took a shower and decided to rest, the bed looked more comfortable than all the beds I had slept on since I came to Mombasa.

Two weeks passed on swiftly, my wound didn’t have stitches anymore and it was almost perfect. Nurse Emmah and Mercy were regular visitors and at some point they became friends. Today was the big day, it would be the first day of school. Dr Rashid had pulled some strings and I was to start where I left on, in form two.

We were standing in front of the mirror and I was neatly dressed in my uniform, Dr Rashid was adjusting my tie and all of a sudden tears started trickling down his eyes.

“Hey Dad, are you okay, is anything the matter?” I was really concerned he was always a strong man and I had never seen him cry before.

“It’s nothing son, just memories.” He answered.

“They seem bad memories, do u want to share?” I tried to lift his burdens.

He finally opened up, telling me that this moment reminded him of his father and his big brother. How their father used to spend quality time with them when he got the chance, he was always a busy man. He would love to adjust their ties and he would ensure that they loved each other though they were not from the same mother.

His father was a white man who had settled down in Mombasa after the colonial era and had decided to marry a woman of colour, where he had later impregnated a local girl and was forced to marry her, leaving him with two wives. The fact that they were from different religious background was not an issue then but when his father passed away. The family came in bringing a rift in the once happy family, making his stepmother and brother relocate to Nairobi.

“That is sad Dad, do u talk to your big brother?” I innocently asked

“I wish I did, he also passed away sixteen years ago from a road accident.” He paused “John Elvis, how I miss you”

John Elvis, this was the name of the man who had an accident in the article that made me run away from home. “Are you sure those were your brothers’ names”

“Yes am sure” Dr Rashid was more of confused. “Why do u ask?”

“Give me a second.” Even if I tried to explain I would not be able to explain well cause I knew nothing about him. I removed my bag and took out the cutout of the article that I had folded and kept about a month ago.Β 

I unfolded the cutout and handed it to him, he went through it then broke the silence “What, are You John’s son?… How? is Tabitha Njeri your mother?”

“Yes, she is,” I confirmed. “Do you know her?”

“I met her once but a long time ago when I met your father in Nairobi.”Β  He really was my uncle and though I lied to Lucy, I was somehow telling the truth.

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