Abandoned: Diary of a wifeless man

Mwalimu Andrew

How I wish I could, today, report that Fiolina is back and that we were living together happily after.

Photo credit: John Nyaga | Nation Media Group

When we parted ways here last Sunday, you will recall, Fiolina had gone back to her parents’ home; leaving me with the kids; and her father had called me saying that I needed to look for elders and go ask for her return. 

How I wish I could, today, report that Fiolina is back and that we were living together happily after.

Unfortunately, this is not the case, as we have not engaged in any bi-partisan talks that would midwife her return. But how has life been without her around? Life has been different, very different. Indeed, I have been used to staying alone – when Fiolina was in Kakamega – but this is totally different: for that situation was out of choice and she went with the kids. And we were on talking terms – most of the time. Let me take you through what happened last week!

Sunday: I was surprised to be the first one to wake up 9 am. Honda and Electina were still asleep, and it was difficult to wake them up. They were not talking (at least not to me) as they prepared breakfast. As we took breakfast, I made it clear that everyone needed to go to church, but they dilly-dallied in preparing; and although we all left together to for church, Brandon did not reach and by the time church was done, only Honda was present, the rest had somehow disappeared.

We passed by the butchery and bought some matumbo that the girls prepared for lunch - a process that took them over two hours. Fiolina usually takes about half an hour. I left for Hitler’s after lunch.

Monday – At 6 am when I woke up, I thought the children would be up preparing to go to school, as is always the case with Fiolina around. They were not, and I literally had to bang on their doors to wake them up. They reluctantly did so, with Honda making breakfast as Electina prepared Sospeter. Breakfast was tea and rice. Everyone left for school after. That evening, supper was ugali and the matumbo that had remained the day before.

Tuesday – As was becoming common, I had to violently wake them up to prepare for school. Everyone woke up except for Electina.

“She says she is in a lot of pain,” answered Honda when I asked where Electina was. Electina would not allow me in their room when I tried to enter, but she told me not to worry as she would be ok by the end of the day.

“It is usually painful every month but this time it is just too much,” she said. I had no idea what she was talking about, but I was wise enough not to ask more questions. She did not go to school.

During tea break at school, Lena, her bad hair in tow, wondered what to do if the kids a senior staff member were becoming serial latecomers. No teacher answered her.

Alex arrived late for tea, finding it over... “Surely how can we finish tea?” he asked, visibly disappointed. And upset.

“Please understand Alex,” said Kuya. “Some people here have no wives and this is their first meal today. Let us have mercy on such people.”

Wednesday – I had set my alarm to wake up everyone early, but I was woken up by loud noises from the kitchen. Electina had woken up early and together with Honda, they were preparing breakfast.

“I am feeling better and will go to school today,” Electina said when I asked her how she was doing. Everyone left for school on time, and I followed after. At around 10 am I was called by Madam Chausiku, the deputy HM of Mwisho wa Lami Secondary. Electina was not feeling well, she said.

“She needs rest and painkillers, although you may need to go to hospital for treatment or else she will suffer every month.”

I took her home to rest. That evening I passed by Hitler’s for evening classes. It was very quiet when I got home, at around 7pm. I knew Electina was unwell but Honda now also was unwell, and she was shivering.

I had no option but to prepare supper for the family. There was, however, nothing in the kitchen. I left and went to the village shop and bought ten eggs, onions and tomatoes; as well as some Panadols.

We embarked on cooking supper with Branton, and it took us close to two hours. We called the girls to come for supper. Although trembling like a leaf, Honda ate more than the rest of us. I gave her some panadols to take.

Thursday - As they were still not feeling well, both Electina and Honda did not go to school. Because Fiolina had not been picking up my calls, I asked Rumona my sister-in-law to check on them.

She called me to tell me they were playing happily, and laughing loudly. I went home in the afternoon. Instead of using the main gate, I arrived from the banana plantation behind the house. I found the girls happily playing and laughing. To my shock Brandon was also at home! In school uniform.

I did not say anything, but went straight to Hitler’s, from where I went to Rumona’s place where I stayed until late. Very late

Friday – Everyone woke up early and went to school on time.

Saturday - Only Sospeter had woken up by 8 am. Honda woke up and prepared breakfast. I had informed everyone that we would be visiting Senje Albina that Saturday.

Electina had still not left the bedroom as we took breakfast. I asked if Electina was unwell. Honda told me that although she was ok, Electina had said that she didn’t feel like having breakfast. She also did not feel like joining to visit Senje Albina. She wanted to be left alone.

“Mimi sijiskii,” she said when I knocked on her bedrooms. We had a great time at Senje Albina’s. Everything went well except for Brandon and Sospeter over-eating.

“Hawa watoto wako na njaa sana,” Said Senje Albina. “urudishe bibi tafadhali, na kama hautaki Fiolina sema tutakusaidia.”