What you need to know:
- I have never been a birthday person, I never even remember mine; nor do I always remember Fiolina’s.
- Fiolina rarely sets the table for breakfast for me, particularly on weekdays.
One of the things that Apostle Reverend Elkana, the Spiritual Superintendent of my church, The Holiest of All Ghosts (THOAG) Tabernacle Assembly, has always said during his long sermons in his sanctuary is that “he who finds a wife finds a good thing”.
Given how Fiolina has transformed my life, I agree with the good man of God. Fiolina continues to mesmerise me. Apart from being the voice of reason that steers me back to the straight and narrow whenever I stray, she has also been a good woman and wise wife at home: cooking, washing my many green Kaunda suits, taking care of our children, and ensuring that I look dashingly admirable. Every day.
I have never been a birthday person, I never even remember mine; nor do I always remember Fiolina’s. But once we celebrated Sospeter’s second birthday last December, I was not going to forget the laugh of my life’s big day in March this year.
I ensured that it was a big day. After school that day, I took her for a romantic dinner at Kasuku Bar and Restaurant. I bought a kilogramme of fry matumbo and ugali, which we leisurely ate for a long time.
I know I ate most of it, but I am sure you will agree it is the thought that counts. We digested it down with soda; she took Fanta while I went with my favourite soda: Stoney Madiaba.
The highlight of the day was when I gave her two amazing gifts. Two flowery handkerchiefs and a new pair of Bata Ngoma shoes. Fiolina could not believe her eyes and struggled to keep away tears. But she couldn’t, for they finally came down.
I have no doubt that I was the first man in Mwisho wa Lami and its environs to buy birthday gifts for my wife. In fact, I must be the first man here to ever even know and remember his wife’s birthday!
In revenge, Fiolina has continued to be a great wife while I remain the envy of all men here. Last Wednesday, I woke up to find her not in bed. This was surprising since I usually wake up before her, as she is never expected in nursery school before 9am.
On noting that I was up, she came to tell me that my hot water for bathing was in the bath-shade outside. Another surprise, since she rarely does this.
After taking a quick bath, I returned to the house to find the table set. There was tea and kaa ngumu (buns). Fiolina rarely sets the table for breakfast for me, particularly on weekdays. I quickly dressed and took breakfast, then left for school.
Before I left, Fiolina hugged me goodbye. Hugs in Mwisho wa Lami, especially between man and wife, are rare things. So, it was not a warm embrace, but an awkward coming together between a shy woman and an uninterested man. That said, we must be the only couple in Mwisho wa Lami that know about hugging.
I arrived at school and went straight to class. While in class, several SMSs hit my phone, I did not read them. Later, I noted that the SMSs were from Safaricom, Equity Bank, and Tala. Two others were from Branch and Mshwari. I did not open to read them, as I was sure they were reminding be about the loans I had with them.
Later that afternoon, while in class, one of the students came to call me.
“The headmistress wants to see you,” she said. It was not possible that the headmistress was in school. For I would have heard a boda boda drop her in school. I could have refused to go but decided to obey. I walked to the staffroom. When I arrived, I noted that the HM’s office door was half open, a sign that Bensouda could be in. I entered there and to my surprise, I found Fiolina, Branton and Sospeter there.
“Happy Birthday!” they all said in unison, clearly having practised. They were joined in that small office by Lena, Mrs Atika and Madam Ruth, who led them in singing “Happy Birthday” to me.
“And we have a surprise for you,” said Madam Ruth, who now led us back to the staffroom, as Bensouda’s office was very small. On the table was a lesso that I was asked to uncover. I uncovered it to find three jugs of juice, a queen cake and a mandazi.
Together with Fiolina, we cut the queen cake into small pieces which she fed me, as everyone else sang Happy Birthday songs to me. Everyone took a glass of juice.
“The second jug of juice is yours alone,” said Fiolina. I could not believe it was all mine. Those who know me well know that one of the ways to my heart is through juice!
As I took juice, I went through my SMS and was pleasantly surprised to note that the messages from Equity, Safaricom, Tala and Branch were all happy birthday messages.
Mrs Atika led teachers in a short session of wishing me happy birthday. They all wished me long life, and said how they enjoyed working with me. Everyone spoke, except Kuya, who went on with his business in the staffroom as if nothing was happening. Next was time for gifts.
The teachers gave me money, Sh50 or Sh100. From my family, Sospeter handed me a well wrapped package.
Soon, the short ceremony ended and Fiolina and the children went home. I remained in the staffroom alone and decided to open the well wrapped gift. In there, I found a brand new yellow T-shirt written: Kick Polio out of Kenya. I was very happy since I haven’t had a good T-shirt that naturally matches with my Kaunda suits.
There was also a happy birthday card inside: I opened the card to find a special message from Fiolina:
“My deer hurby, I am so harpy to right to you today. My massage to you today is that you are a great man who has principals. Thank you for being an amazing further to our to suns. I wish you success and good lack this year. May you stay young at hut and may you leave to blow up a thousand candles. Happy Bathday Sweethut.
Yours in romance,
Mrs Fiolina Andrew.”
I was lost for words. Clearly, as the Bible says, he who finds a wife finds a good thing; but he (yours truly) who found Fiolina, found a better thing! Happy birthday to me!