We walked in silence. I bought flowers and he bought some too. We got to the cemetery. I stood by Carl’s graveside and cried bitterly. Stuart tried to comfort me to no avail. I placed the flowers on his grave, and again cried bitterly.
I looked up and saw Bob. He was crying too. We cried and cried. After eons, we went home. Stuart drove me home, again in silence. He offered to cook that night. I had lost my appetite, and went to bed early.
On Sunday, I went to church and prayed so hard. It was the least I could do. In the afternoon, Stuart took me to a park I had never visited before. He told me who he was. He was an agent of Uncle Sam’s Foundation. He had taken up Carl’s responsibility, after his death. He had come to my place to hide as some whites were threatening him too.
“I am planning to run away, soon,”
He looked very sad, at that. He removed a crumpled note from his pocket, and handed it to me. I read and my hands started shivering.
“Wambui, there isn’t much time left. We have no option,”
I was also mentioned in the note.
“They know where we are, I need to talk to Bob too, and we leave tonight,”
“Where are we going?”
Let me take you home, and you begin packing.
I was confused.
“Don’t tell your family, they don’t know ‘em, and you might put them at risk,”
I got to the house and began packing, with a heavy heart. I packed Carl’s best shirt, his diary, and his album. Stuart came with Bob at exactly 2200hours. We left in silence and were soon at the Airport. I still had no idea where we were going. I slept most of the way.
We were in Africa.
“What country is this?”
“Kenya,” replied Bob.
We were taken to a suburb in the city, where we spent the night. It was Tuesday morning when I woke up, and was shocked to know that I had slept a whole day. I was so fatigued that I thought we had only taken a single plane. I couldn’t remember switching planes anywhere. I was told that we were to go for a martial arts training in a place known as Tsavo, so as to learn how to defend ourselves.
On the third day, we traveled to Tsavo. We had a Kenyan driver, and a jeep to drive us around. We got there late in the evening. I was so excited at the vast land, with no human settlement. Our classes began the following morning. The Kenyan was to train us. Just before I could get used to the home I had heard about and never seen, the whole place was shaken by a loud roar, all of us froze on the spot.
The Kenyan shot at the beast. I had never seen a lion so big, and so near in my life.
“Welcome to Tsavo,” said the Kenyan, after everyone had relaxed.
“The rand of man eaters,” I proclaimed.
“What did you say?” asked the Kenyan, bursting out laughing.
I suddenly realized my mispronunciation, and burst out laughing. That was my first tear drop in Rome, the ‘rand of man eaters’.
- My First Tear Drop in Rome Part 3 (ofsol.wordpress.com)
- My First Tear Drop in Rome Part One (ofsol.wordpress.com)
- Kenyan attacks: a last conversation with Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor (theguardian.com)
- My last tear drop in Rome Part 2 (ofsol.wordpress.com)
- A Day of Unshakable Bond! (oribadouglas.wordpress.com)
- Battling the tears: When a black woman cries (darkskinisbeautiful.wordpress.com)
- Kenya identifies mall attackers, including American (cnn.com)