We had just finished having late dinner and catching up. My pal ‘Fresh’,a name we had given him back in high school since he used to buy all the fresh loaves in the school canteen and resell with a markup, had hosted me with together with another pal called Vee.
We had always been close and thought it would be great to have a sleepover and remember the good old school days. This was my first time to sleep in Jericho estate, also known as Jeri. The last time I was here, gunshots were the order of the day and I promised never to return but here I was.
“Majamaa mimi naskia kulala, wacha nijilaze kwa kiti.” The blankets were already folded neatly, waiting for us to tuck in. Fresh had arranged how we would all sleep. I was sleeping on the sofa, Vee was sleeping on a mattress in the sitting room next to the kitchen while Fresh was sleeping in his room which he shared with his younger bro who was yet to get home.
“Wanaume tuongee asubuhi. Nimeongea na bro atafika kejani late. Msiingize baridi mkiskia mtu aki knock. He will knock twice, hio ndio code yetu ya gizani. So msijali, nitamfungulia tu. Nyinyi laleni salama na msisahau kuomba. Hii Jericho sio ile ya bibilia, hapa kuna vituko.”He then laughed and proceeded to his room. Trust me I prayed, I always pray. Prayer gives me this sense of security and confidence that I can’t explain. I have seen enough wonders in my life to doubt its power.
The lights went off. Tukapiga mastory kiasi gizani and in no time we slept. The gunshots had faded by now and all I hoped for, ni asubuhi ifike. I can’t recall how long we had slept until I heard a knock on the door, twice. I called out to my host.
“Fresh, bro wako ako kwa mlango.” Sawa, nakuja kumfungulia, wewe lala tu. I switched position and continued sleeping. Vee was snoring by now. He has always been a heavy sleeper since I knew him. This one you can even perform a surgery on him while asleep and he wouldn’t feel it.
Fresh walked to the main door and opened it. I expected him to at least talk to him bro or something but nothing! His silence got my attention and I slowly turned to have a glimpse of what was happening.
Two men had emerged from the shadows. Guns pointed directly at Fresh. The moonlight glowed on their faces. This seemed like a scene from the movies.
Being a filmmaker and having shot dramatic scenes, as I lay on that sofa set covered all the way to my face with this blanket. I wished I could say, “Cut, take two, that scene was perfect but now let’s do it without the guns!
” Only that this wasn’t a script.”
Ingia ndani brathe, na walahi usijaribu kupiga kelele ama kuwasha taa. Hatuko hapa kuiba.” Fresh did the right thing to comply and started moving backward. Once they got inside, one of the thugs closed the door behind him. He peeped outside the window to see if anyone was following.
They were both breathing heavily, from a chase I believe. I couldn’t see their faces clearly. Which even made this worse. I couldn’t tell where the guns were pointed at. One came straight to the sofa to rest and when he felt my legs he angrily pointed the gun at me and nearly fired thinking I wanted to attack him.
“Wee, nitakuua bana, unajaribu nini?” He asked angrily in a hushed tone as he brandished his gun at me and my blood froze. I could feel and smell his fear.
“Iza, nilikua tu nimelala kwa kiti, sina ubaya. Naweza amka ukae.” I said.
“Mko wangapi hapa?” He asked as he shoved his gun in the darkness.
“Tuko watatu,” Fresh responded.
“Huyo mwengine ako wapi?” He asked..
I immediately pointed at Vee, and said, “ndio huyo amelala hapo chini. Kichwa Iko hio pande ya jikoni na mguu ndio zile pale.
” I don’t know whether I had just snitched on him or just answered a question.
“Kitu mtafanya ni mtatulia, tafadhali msijaribu ujinga hapa, risasi haitambui mtu. Hata Rambo hawezani hapa.
“I nearly said, “wacha chocha, Rambo ndio baba Yao Bana. Weka bunduki chini tuone kama utaweza ngumi basi.”
I was so damn tempted to throw a challenge. I have always hated being harassed. My 1st instinct always tells me to fight and my mind was playing tricks on me. The room was pin-drop silence. The air was dense from sweat, we could feel our hearts beat. But this silence was short-lived until we heard footsteps outside.
Voice 1: “Umeona wame enda pande gani?”
Voice 2: “Hapana, wame fika tu hapa wakapotea, ni kama wameingia kwa nyumba moja hii area”
Voice 1: “Inaweza kuwa ni hostage situation, ama wako kwa hide out yao?”
Voice 2: “Hii ni ngumu kujua, tukijua mahali wamejificha ni kufyatua risasi. Mambo ya hostage tutajua mbele.”That conversation made me unfreeze then freeze some more. These were the cops in pursuit of these two thugs. If these bastards wanted us dead we could have been by now. I wanted to scream and raise an alarm but after I heard the cops say lazima watu wakule risasi all my plans had to be rethought.
Ningejaribu kupiga nduru pengine risasi ya kwanza ni mimi ingepata. The 5 of us in this house had to work as a team. Perfect scenario of LA Casa de Papel/ Money heist the series. We had to work together.
The search began. The cops had spotlights and they would mulika inside each house just to see if there was any movement. We were told to continue sleeping, or rather pretend that we were. They hid at corners the cops couldn’t use the torches with. One of the thugs peeped outside just to see if they could have an escape plan.
“Blackie,” he called out to his friend. “Hawa ma beast wako kama 15 Mungu moja. Tufanye aje?”
“Tukae tu chini ya maji, sidhani wata ingia kwa nyumba za watu.
” Blackie, not sure if that was his real name but he was more confident and in control of this situation…My friends and I were silent and since we were in complete darkness, we couldn’t communicate. Ilibidi tu tumetulia. But being a wild thinker, I had a million ideas, all of which would lead us to being shot sadly.
Are these guns even real? I thought to myself, if I surprise the guy closest to me with a good fist and he blacks out, si I can use him as a human shield and ambush the other guy before he thinks of shooting? Shida ya ku watch movies mob ndio hii, but still, I was confident I could do something.
Then the unexpected happened. Fresh’s bro came knocking at the door not knowing what was going on.”Wewe ni Nani? Unataka nini hapo?” One of the cops asked.
“Naishi hapa, nimetoka town sahii.” He replied
The cops moved closer, “wapi kitambulisho, na mbona unatembea usiku na unajua huku ni kubaya?” Cop asks”Nilikua Kesha ya kanisa ndio imeisha nika rudi nyumbani.”
“Kuna mtu ndani?” cop asks him?
“Ndio, ndugu yangu anafaa kunifungulia, nilimwambia nachelewa.””Haya, ebu gonga tuone kama atafungua basi.
“The room went cold. Saliva was not passing down my throat. We couldn’t talk, we couldn’t even blink, that eye movement would be loud enough to be heard. We just gazed at the door. With some of the trigger-happy cops we have around, I could already picture a blood bath.
“Na mbona hafungui mlango? Ebu mpigie simu pengine amelala .” Cop demanded.
So the brother makes the call and the phone blares loudly. It was so loud it could be heard in the whole estate. Fresh couldn’t pick it, the thugs couldn’t, we also couldn’t cut the call since it would be known he is inside and so we let it ring.
“Kiprop, ebu ita wengine. Hapa ndani Kuna kitu.”
In a police hit squad if there isn’t a Kalenjin cop then that’s a baby shower squad. Kale cops are the most daring and lethal people ever. If you knew the biggest gangsters of our generation Matheri and Rasta and how they met death, then you would respect Kalenjin cops.
Within no time all the cops were outside. Strategically placed, ready to fire.”Ebu muite kwa nguvu, juu kama ako ndani angeskia simu na ashike.” Cop demanded
“Fresh, fungua mlango jo. Ni Jose.
No response at all.
I wanted to pee on myself by now. How do I even get out of this? My pal Vee, just covered himself mpaka kwa kichwa. I could hear him pray, again , and this time I just thought to myself. “God, if you indeed exist. Show yourself, I’m too young to die. I’m yet to get married to my girlfriend whom I love dangerously, I’m yet to meet my crush, Maureen of Elani. I want to see my children, I have always wanted a daughter to spoil, to protect and to love. To walk her down the aisle as I cry myself silly seeing my girl getting married to a man who will take after me.” I couldn’t imagine I would die after eating ugali, mboga na mayai. Yaani it couldn’t have been chicken at least. I was on a free mode zone. Waiting for anything that could possibly go wrong to happen.
“Hawa majangili wako hapa ndani.” One cop said
Cop 1: “Fungueni hii mlango ama tuwamalize.”Inside the house, silence bado. We couldn’t also talk . Hawa watu wawili wangetumaliza.
“Nasema Mara ya mwisho na sitarudia tena. Fungueni ama risasi zimwagike hapa ndani.”
“Afisa tafadhali, wako hapa ndani waliingia na kifua. Wengine wetu sio wezi.”
Ile ngumi Blackie alinipiga kwa kifua walai followed by a heavy slap!
Sijawahi ona madharau kama hio walahi, Mimi mwanaume tu mwengine amenifanya hivyo? Mimi Ortis nimepigwa kofi? I wanted to pounce on that thief with hooks and finish him. But he had a gun!!
Nkt ! Nilipoteza hewa kwanza.I had to take small gasps of air. I couldn’t talk again. I was writhing in pain but I was glad I had raised the alarm.
Cop 1: “Kamar na Dantez tunajua mko hapo ndani. Tokeni nje. Msifanye ndio tuwamalize sasa ya ukweli. Mkijitoa tunaweza elewana.
Kamar looks at Dantez who is also known as Blackie, the same person who just punched me.”Dantez, tutoke tu nje. Hawa wametupata. Tujaribu kujitetea. Musa anajua akitumaliza na sisi hukula na yeye ataumia. Tujitetee jo, mimi siko tayari kukufa.” Kamar said.
“Kamar, tuki toka wata tuua, kiprop ako kwa hio skwodi na hajawahi wacha mtu aende ti hivyo. Mimi sitoki. Kama wanataka kunichukua wacha waingie ndani wanitoe, lakini hapa sitoki kama napumua.” Dantez responsed.
Ai… Mama yangu. This Dantez wanted all of us to die. But it seemed like some angel had whispered on Kamars ear.”Natoka nje, tafadhali msiniue.” Kamar said
Cop 1: “Weka bunduki chini, fungua mlango na uiskume nje na mguu. Halafu utoke nje kama umeweka mkono kwa kichwa”.
Kamar did exactly as instructed.
On my sofa, I lay there with my aching chest, teary eyes, confused state of mind as I watched this whole drama. And when he was out, I saw him being cuffed and whisked away.
Dantez had moved to the kitchen, silently as Kamar was surrendering. There was a backyard on the kitchen side, covered with mabati. This was his only escape plan, I nearly wanted to shout, “ANAHEPA!” but I was sure this time around, a bullet will penetrate through my skull.
Once Kamar got out, things went silent and we had some relief.
Cop 1: “Dantez toka nje.” he shouted.”Ametoroka na balcony,” I responded.
One of the cops got in and switched on the lights.He beckoned the brother and asked, “unajua hawa watu wote hapa ndani personally?””Ndio nawajua,” “Jina zao kamili? Unazijua?””Ndio nazijua,” he responded.
“Toeni vitambulisho haraka sana, na simu zenu.”
At least 5 cops got in, as they were going through our phone looking for any evidence, one cop went to the Kitchen and saw the utensils we had used. He came back and had a smell of our hands. Sijawahi shukuru Mungu hivyo kwa kunuka Mayai. He was convinced we had been indoors.
The other cops rushed behind the house to continue with the chase after Dantez who had managed to jump over the mabati fence.
Cop 1: “Haya, shikeni vitu zenu. Walikua tu Hao wawali?”
Me: “Ndio Afisa,””Sawa, endleeni kulala basi. Wacha tutafute hio jinga imekimbia.”
They all left and we all ran to the window just to see what was going to happen next.
Kamar was kneeling down while this cop was swinging his gun as if warning him. He didn’t roughen him up and we knew he had survived this ordeal. “Wah, atleast huyu anapelekwa ndani.” I whispered, and as I was turning to go back to my sofa, the silence inside that room was filled with the cold thunderous sound of a fired gun. The cop had pulled the trigger ,close range, i felt the body hit the ground.
You live by the sword, you die by the sword. it was his time. I never looked back, a mother somewhere had lost a son. A bullet had found it’s purpose.