Confessions of a Bitter Soul 1 by Neemo Muraya

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As I tuck her into bed, I notice that she is a spitting image of him and my heart races. She doesn’t look sleepy at all and so I know it’s time to read her a story, which is a perfect sedative for this little one. By the time ‘they lived happily ever after,’ I can tell by the rhythm of her breathing that she is floating in slumber and so I start to leave slowly, trying not to startle her.

As I reach for the light switch, a cold drought sweeps by and I realize her window is still wide open. I walk across the room to shut it and can’t help but notice the beauty of the sky at night.

How come I hadn’t noticed the full moon earlier? It is so bright, so beautiful. If only it could light up every corner of our world. I must have been thinking aloud because I feel her little hand pulling at my dress.

I get the cue and pick her up. Looks like we’ve got to do this together again, watch out for shooting stars so she and I can make a wish. Her little finger is pointing at one already and she makes a loud wish.

See what watching too much TV is doing to us? It’s laughable but we have let ourselves be colonized all over again.

For example; we now know what croissants are (all thanks to that lady who played sacrificial lamb), we chatter in British accents while queuing at Mama Mboga’s, we YOLO at the landlord when he says our music is too loud, then LMAO and STD (shut the door) in her face . Wait, did I just make that up?

“Mum, I want dad to come home soon!”

Her almost shrieky voice interrupts my thoughts and I mutter an inexpressive ‘me too’ but I know that I’m hoping for the opposite.

This little soul has this uncommon ability that only she possesses; she says things that make my eyes well up with tears.

ofIf only she could read my mind and see what I just wished for. That he gets run over by a Kanjo garbage truck, dragged all the way to the Dandora dump site. Hopefully he will be unconscious by then so some stray dogs will savagely maul him. I hope they will be infected with rabies so that he has less chances of survival.

By any chance that he escapes narrowly, I hope that all the doctors and nurses will be chanting ‘Haki yetu’ along Harambee Avenue and so there will be nobody to attend to him at the already unequipped local hospital. That’s the revised definition of bitterness but who is to blame? My former self, him, her or the Ogah at de top who had the machinery to make sure I didn’t end up a jobless single mother, with a half-baked degree and a heart more bitter than the contents of Lucifer’s gall bladder?

One day she will demand to know how she came about and I already know what I’ll do. I’ll stare at her; see his squinty eyes, chubby cheeks, prominent forehead and an annoyingly small nose.

I know what I’ll say; “Shut up!!”

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