I am that good guy, I don’t provoke most times (thoughts maybe) so my kind usually is left with only one option to complete the (im)balance of life. I retaliate, I react to provocation. You steal my bonga points I mshwari myself using your phone, you steal my book I copy you in exams, I retaliate on large scale. It would be for this reason that an idea that had been long overdue struck me, by accident, like the apple that fell on square on Sir Newton’s head. Thank God for souls like Newtons that came before us, beings that left a mark even though we all know I would still discover gravity the evening that avocado crushed my head (only God knows why it had to be an avocado in my case,) and am not saying He is unfair in giving out discoveries to His people, I’m just wondering why He never used a plum, or a guava fruit, or any fruit that doesn’t exceed Newton’s apple in size and mass.
I would take my dirty utensils out this evening and wash them near the water tank. This evening finds my room uncommonly clean (by Njokerio standards) and the utensils you see, cannot even be done on the verandah. I recently improved on my cleanliness after that lengthy Dr. Makindi rant.
‘’ How do you claim to be taking environmental science and yet have avocado and banana peelings littering your floor?’’, that wasn’t for me but throughout that lecture I felt he was seeing right through me, through the inside of my room.
‘’How do you claim to be taking environmental science when you leave the tap running after having your fill?’’, okay that was me now, this guy must have been to my plot, and hidden somewhere we never noticed, and studied all our domestic behaviors while in our residential places.
Maybe am the only guy who can never trace the whereabouts of his socks after wearing them, but I swear some pairs collude and mix up, so when you see me wearing blue and black on a Monday morning bear with me, it’s a punishment am taking, for not washing them I guess (and throwing them about). The previous day I had found my landlord’s 4 year old lad filling with sand what must have been the sock I painfully searched for in the morning. I do not care where he got it from all I know is have never spanked a kid that hard. The wail that followed saw me disappear and lock myself into my room, the farther could as well break the door if he wanted, they were his houses anyway.
I was about to finish washing here when it happened. The pain travelled from my head to my feet back and forth million times before I realized what had happened. In this moment I remembered spanking the landlord’s kid yesterday and the thought of turning back and seeing the father with an axe flashed in my mind. Why on earth do grown-ups like engaging in children’s businesses?
I turned and he wasn’t there, the landlord, matter of fact nobody was there. The pain disappeared at the assurance that no more hits would then be landing on my big head. I scanned around to make sure that I wasn’t dealing with a ghost here, and there she was, lay desperately having been opened into two. The avocado looked innocent and if we were to be taken to court this very moment, I would be sentenced to death (oh my head, God why such a head). The more the split avocado looked at me the more the pain in my head came back. I would not touch her. The forms my landlord gave to us the day we began residence here were very clear, ‘’Thou shall not climb, surmount or eat from the forbidden tree. Failure to adhere to this will lead to a double hike of your rent fee.’’ That was the first ‘clause’ on the ‘Residence laws and by-laws’ which he made us sign before moving in.
The avocado tree is just a couple of feet from his own door and next to his acre of maize farm. He has a wife who rarely leaves the house and as such there is never a single time his precious tree has no guard. i have said before that I only retaliate. The avocado hit my innocent self hard and I would retaliate. I would steal her brothers and sisters. I hatched a plan with one John Gachogu who is quite the entrepreneur in my class. Why him you ask? Didn’t I mention that I retaliate in large scale? I wasn’t going to steal avocadoes for my own consumption, I would steal bags of avocadoes and sell them, with John everything is possible, every commodity has its market.
A week on and the business was doing fine, we had secured an unexploited market at the main gate. Our avocadoes they say, are the best, so we have promised a 20 per cent discount on bulk purchase. Business is fine and this evening I have to steal twice as much. I do the climbing and John does the picking when I throw, at night.
This evening is even better. The landlord’s wife travelled yesterday and so we can start our business early as soon as he disappears into his. He does not, instead he leaves the compound, God never forsakes His own people, double luck again. I am now well versed with the branches and in a minute I am at the most leafy region in the tree just in case he turns and comes back. John has himself hidden in the nearby maize plantation where I will be throwing our commodity. The first one lands in the shamba and the gate opens. Silence. Our master is back. But not to worry, he will just go straight into his house. He does not, instead he calls his son (whom I spanked) to bring him a chair outside. Surely God knows his people, and His thieves.
Its 6pm. Slow rhumba from his system makes it 7 pm with ease. I am on top of the tree, john is in the middle of the shamba, we both cannot move. Its 8 pm and my palms become sweaty. A stone hits my head, the same spot that avocado hit sometime back.
‘’Daddyyy, nimeona kubwa’’,
The son has seen a huge avocado and is throwing stones at it, I am hoping it’s not my head. A second stone lands and a third. It is dark and the lad has seen a huge avocado, if I move my head he will be suspicious. So I am to stay in that position till God sees the struggles of his innocent people and rescues us from the wrath of a kid with a stone throwing precision I still envy. No stone misses my head.
My head has grown big now, and I see the world going in circles, actually, I cannot see anything. I see myself flying, like Orville’s first plane. Its dark, now I am not Orville’s first plane, I am Newton’s apple, headed for the ground. Blackout.
I open my eyes and there are beds with pale blue sheets around me. John is seated beside me and when I look at him his eyes drift towards the person lying on the next bed. It looks like my landlord. We are in the campus sanatorium.
I play handball. I am 75 kilograms, pure muscle. I fell on my landlord who was listening to slow rhumba yesterday while the kid I spanked rained stones on my avocado-shaped head.