The night was calm and quiet, only the sound of crickets chirping and a slight whistling sound of the wind filled the room to break the dead silence. It was a full moon and a perfect night for a perfect adventure, the clock read 2.00 am, I had not slept a wink. I had carefully and tactically planned everything with a precise goal in mind.
I got off my bed, quietly and creepily walked to my wardrobe. Took out my piggy bank to confirm the total amount I had, part of it was my savings and the rest I stole from my mother’s purse, in total I had ksh500. I safely put the money in my pocket and headed to the window, halfway there I had some noises outside my door and I stood rooted to the ground. Was I the devil to pay? Did my mum notice that her money was missing? How would I come out of this? My mind was racing. It was then that the door opened slowly and I was as sure as day that I had been caught. I turned towards the door slowly and fingers crossed only to find out it was our cat pinky. I gave out a sigh of relief and continued with my mission.
I was now standing on the window and I knew that I had reached a point of no return. I could clearly see the bush one floor down and my aim was to land directly on it, but as I was jumping off I tripped then clumsily fell down with a thud. I caused an alarm and I saw my mother’s room light with electricity. I hastily rose up, picked my bag, that I had packed and placed by the bush earlier that day, and fled like the Syrian did in the bible.
I am not wrong, I must have been running for 10mins straight and I was panting and sweating like a marathon competitor. I stopped to catch my breath, as I was now far enough from our house, for the first time I noticed how deserted and lonely the road was. I even thought of aborting the mission as fear encroached my spine, but on a second thought it was too late and the water was already spilt. I then continued walking on the lonely road, luckily a stone truck passed by me and slowed down to take a bump. I subconsciously ran after it and jumped on the back to get a free ride.
As I was hanging on the back of the truck couldn’t help myself from the tortures of my thoughts. Had I made the right decision? Did I have to steal from her? Anyway it’s all her fault she lied to me and she didn’t love me, I tried to console myself. An hour later we were getting into the city square, it was still dark and about 5 am in the morning, I alighted the moving truck as it was slowing down to enter the roundabout. I roamed around the city square and minutes later I was at the roundabout leading to Kenya Railways station, yet another Idea popped up.
I was now standing Infront of the station’s gates, which were still closed and through the grills I could see the booking office was closed too. Right at the corner, there was a concrete seat, I decided to take a rest before opening hours, then my thoughts started to sink deep into my conscious mind “Hey Malvin, how do u expect to live alone? You are going to live a dogs life.”
“No! No! No! Stop it!” I shouted half-mad holding my head and cursing my consciousness. I came back to reality as soon as I realised that I was speaking to myself and I was creating attentions to the few onlookers.
Dawn was creeping away and the sky was turning to an orange- yellowish colour right at the horizon. People had started to crowd in and the station’s gates were now wide open as well as the booking office. I confidently walked to the booking office, where I found one attractive and beautiful attendant at the desk.
“Good morning, young man.” the attendant greeted me with a soft smooth voice.
“Good morning, miss.” I was mesmerised by her beauty. If only I was older.
“How can I help u, sir.”
“In many ways….” I almost digressed from what had brought me there, “… Like telling me the cost of travelling to Mombasa.”
“It depends on the class, there is economy and VIP, Ksh 50 and Ksh 100 respectively.”
“Thank you, charming one.” I complimented her, and am sure I saw her blush, then went back to where I was seated.
The station was now full of people, some carrying baggage for the rich who were travelling and others just idling around the station, people from all walks of life were here, some dressed to impress and other clothed in rags. Crys of wailing babies and small murmurs from people chatting filled the compound.As I was busy observing people yet another crazy Idea popped up.
After finding myself a seat, I comfortably leaned back and smiled. This was it, I had finally done it. It wasn’t easy but I had craftily and cunningly managed to bypass the security and found my way in the train. I felt like the present Harry Houdini, I would travel scot-free, yet another smile curved at the edges of my lips.
In the midst of thoughts there came my disruption. Indeed this was meant to be the best day ever, was it an angel? Only that I didn’t see wings. She was the centre of attention, I bet all eyes were on her. Her soft black hair was pushed back to a ponytail, her face was smooth and lean, Let me not talk about her eyes and her tender lips. Was I dreaming? if so, I didn’t want to ever wake up, She was walking towards me and stopped where I was, my heart began to beat like the gbedu drums from West Africa and I could feel it in my throat.
“Excuse me, sir,” what a melodious voice, her face was even much prettier now that she was standing next to me.
“you are very much excused, ” I tried to clear my thought.
“I don’t want to sound rude but the two seats are taken.” she tried to sound as polite as she could be.
“Am sorry dear, I will change seats.” I was feeling embarrassed, especially knowing what I had done earlier on.
“On a second thought, u can still keep me company, but am taking the window seat.” It was a miracle hearing those words.
“It will be my pleasure, Miss.” I happily replied and without wasting time I stood up to let her pass.
She sat beside me and that’s when the horn blew, kicking the train carriages into motion. Dead silence engulfed and swallowed everything, leaving shyness to overwhelm me and I couldn’t speak. For minutes or hours or what I call eternity, I cudgelled my brain but it was as empty as a vacuum, just in time to save nine the train bumped making us to bump our heads.
“Am very sorry,” I was apologetic.
“You don’t have to be sorry, It was not intended,” she said with a neck turning tune.
Sure do, it wasn’t intended but my heart was rejoicing finally, the silence was broken. “By the way my name is Malvin,” I busted out without much consideration.
“What a nice name, My name is Lucy.” so Lucy was her name.
“I guess we both have nice names, ” I was looking right into her eyes and I saw her blush, “Do you mind telling me more about you?”
My tongue was loose and I almost cursed it, “sure I don’t mind at all but you will go first.”
It was going pretty well as I would have wished for and I was no longer cursing my tongue. “Okay! Emm! Am a young handsome man,” I teased and paused to see her reaction, which was to raise one of her eyebrow and smile. “I was born and bred in Nairobi…” I paused again to regain my fading voice, “… And am going to Mombasa to see my uncle.” I had to lie, I could not tell her the truth. How would she think of me if she knew that I had run away from home?
“mmm! I think you forgot something.” she raised her eyebrow again.
“What…?” I was more perplexed than ever, did she know the truth? How?
“Your age, silly.” she jokingly said
“Oh! Okay, am 16years old.” I wiped the cold sweat that had started to form.
“I guess it’s now my turn, Am Lucy just as I told u earlier on. Am a beautiful lady…” she tried to mock me jokingly and we both laughed. “I was born in Kitengela and raised there. Am 16years old too and am going to Mombasa to join my parents Mr and Mrs Kamau wa Njenga at our vacation house.”
“What did I hear you right? Did u say Mr and Mrs Kamau wa Njenga? The minister?” I was in disbelief.
“Yes the minister,” she confirmed.
I was sitting next to a minister daughter all this time and had no Idea. How could I even have an Idea? And what was she doing in economy class? Anyway, if she was in VIP class I would not have met her.
“I know you wondering what am doing in this carriage,” as if she had read my mind. “I usually don’t enjoy VIP class it’s always boring but in economy class, you get to see people and the real world as it is. And to make myself feel comfortable, I usually pay for two seats. “
Wow! She was kind-hearted and humble too, what a full package. We continued chatting and laughing, then we started seeing signs of wildlife: the beautiful zebras with their black and white stripes; the elephants; even the kings and queens of the jungle, Lions; Did I forget the Warthogs, Some even looked like they were chasing the train, while others were involved with their young one’s. Lucy kept pointing at other animals as soon as she spotted them, it went on for hours until we could no longer see any of the animals and that’s when we fell asleep.
When I opened my eye, she was still sleeping on my shoulder peacefully like a dove. After a while, she opened her eyes and caught me gazing at her beautiful face.
“Good evening.” it was already getting dark, we had slept for quite some time.
“Good evening Malvin, How was your power nap?” she softly asked.
“Was extremely gorgeous, especially having an angel sleeping by my side,” she smiled and blushed.
It was then that the train halted producing a loud sound as the engine blew steam, finally, we had reached our destination. I ran out of the train as quickly as I could. Moments later Lucy alighted from the train, her face fixed with perplexion. When she spotted me, she found her way to me and snapped, “what is wrong with you, are you mad?”
“Sorry Lucy was attending to the call of nature,” I tried to reason with her knowing too well that I had gone to untie my belongings under the train, where I staffed them before sneaking into the train.
“Never do that again,” she remarked with a cold comfort.
As we neared the exit, we saw guards inspecting tickets and remembered I had none. Even though I never intended to use Lucy as my cupboard lover, she was going to be my gate pass, the circumstances had forced me.
“What is wrong with you and your long face?” Lucy must have read my gestures or something.
“I think I lost my ticket.” I could not hide my long face.
“Ha! Ha! Ha! Is that the only thing,” she laughed sarcastically. “You lucky I had booked two seats, we will use my tickets.
What a save, we were out of the gate and now standing at the parking lot. We kept conversing for a few minutes and Lucy even suggested that they could give me a ride but I opposed stating that my uncle would be annoyed if he didn’t find me at the station. I stack to my lie and with that, I shattered her suggestion. A white Limo emerged from the corner and parked in front of us lowering it’s driver’s window.
“How are you, mam? Am here to pick you. ” said the old man.
“Am fine Mr Salim, please give me a second or two.” she removed a pen and paper from her bag and scribbled something then dushed it into my shirt’s pocket. “That is my number please call me sometime.”
“I sure will.” almost felt like crying, how I wish this day never ended and the journey was much longer.
“Malvin… ” she called me out and I could see the tears at the corner of her eyes.
“I love you.” before I could say anything she kissed me on my cheek and entered the limousine which drove off leaving a cloud of dust behind, that is when I heard an inner voice utter, what a girl.