This piece below is an excerpt from a novel that I began to write but I haven't completed yet. I titled the novel Flashpoint, but I haven't concluded on that yet. Flashpoint was meant to serve as a sequel to The Human Temple. Happy reading!
No man had ever hit Tracy Kimani.
No man had the guts. No man had the audacity. No man had neither the spine nor
the audacity to do it.
Her father was no man.
This argument was one among the
several held every month for the past two years. Two per week. One on
Fridays. The second on Sundays. The former had to do with Tracy’s lifestyle.
The latter had to do with the family religion. In Tracy’s opinion, nobody in
her circle of relationships bore the moral authority to dictate the terms of
her lifestyle in Friday nightclubs or her dismal passion for Sunday Church
services. The alcohol was never that serious. She went overboard in her stupor only
once or twice but she never slept around with any of the men that dogged her on
Friday nights. She had been with Eric. He was a nice guy. She felt safe around
him. He always watched out for her and made sure no man took advantage of her.
Tracy didn’t need someone looking out for her, but she didn’t mind it. He was
sweet. She liked him.
This time, she had gone overboard
again. Eric had dropped her home in his Toyota Camry. She was heaped in the
backseat like a dead animal rambling about what a sweet guy Eric was. Eric
literally dropped her at her doorstep, rang the doorbell and sped off. He would
rather not face Mr. Kimani on a night like this. The door creaked open and
Tracy slithered into the house on all fours. She grabbed the window sill and
lifted herself to stand. Many men who looked like her father were standing
before her. They dressed the same. They all had their hands akimbo and they all
looked very displeased. The common sense kicked in after a few moments
afterwards that they were all one person. Her vision was blurry after the heavy
bingeing. Today she downed extra tots of a cheap tequila to celebrate the
post-examination season in campus. The multiple images of Mr. Kimani soon
condensed into one man. Tracy saw his face and knew the routine. The argument
would last twenty minutes or so. She would cry and say that she is sorry. Her
parents would absolve her of her reckless drinking and invite her to church the
next day. She would promise to come but would sleep through to Sunday afternoon
instead. The routine had lasted two years and Harold Kimani was going to put an
end to it tonight.
behaviour is deplorable.”
Tracy slurred something about a
double gin vodka and leaned her back on the wall next to the light switch.
Whether it was to support her drunken soaked body or help alleviate the pain of
the luminous pink six-inch heels on her feet, Harold didn’t know. He didn’t
care. The moment she leaned back, her back pressed against the light switch.
The room went dark. Tracy giggled at the stupid trick and turned to switch on
the light. Her eyes squinted at the 60 watt bulb. She giggled again and
switched off the light. She laughed out loud and switched it on again like a
child who had discovered the relation between a socket and a bulb.
“I control the sun!” she shouted.
“I contro__” A hiccup interrupted her drunken statement. Suddenly, she threw
her hand over her mouth and looked at her father. Her eyes bulged out of their
sockets giving Harold the appropriate warning. He quickly opened the door for
her and she poured herself out onto the steps leading to the driveway. She
hiccupped once more and puked out a foamy pale yellow sea of what was in her
stomach. Two men stood on the other side of the street watching Tracy’s
ordeal. Harold Kimani saw them and assumed them to be neighbours. If they
thought her daughter was strange, then they should look at themselves standing
in the middle of the street at 2 o’clock in the morning doing nothing. Harold
reached to his daughter and dragged her up the steps. He shut the door and
locked it with the latch and key. Tracy returned to her leaning position and
her back did the light switch trick again. Like before she giggled and switched
it on. She almost repeated her amusement when her father caught her hand with a
painful grip. He was angry with her. She fisted her fingers and pulled out of
his grip. His face was masked with irritation. She matched his countenance
showing that she too was displeased with his rude grip.
Harold Kimani was cognizant of
three facts. One, his daughter was dressed economically. Two, she was drunk
sufficiently. And three, he had failed appropriately as a father of his only 23-year-old child. All facts made it difficult to have this conversation right now.
He couldn’t look at her in her skimpy attire without growing contemptuous of her. He could neither drive sense into
her mind in the state of her toxicity. But there was one thing he
could do. He couldn’t remain a failure of a dad. He could show her who’s boss
in the house of Kimani. He was going to set her straight. He looked at her and
hated what he saw. He shouted at her to get the words past her semi-oblivion
Tracy shut her eyes as drips of
Harold’s spit spluttered on her face. It happened whenever he spoke in passion.
She had been embarrassed by it severally as she grew up especially when people
were around his conversation, but not now. Now, she was disgusted. She wiped
the salivary drops off her cheek and onto her father’s nightgown.
“You are irresponsible
and immature!” Harold began.
Tracy’s eyes cracked open.
Finally! The decibels of his voice confirmed it. What was taking the old man so
long? She needed to have the argument over and done with already so that she
could head to bed. She nodded in agreement, her eyes shut, as Harold ranted on.
Then she realized that this was not like the other arguments. He wasn’t going
to tell her to wash up. He wasn’t going to call her mother and have a
conversation afterwards. He wasn’t going to ask her to accompany them to church
that would begin in the in the next seven hours and he definitely wasn’t going
to let her go to bed to sleep. He was doing this fight alone without the tag
team. Mum must be asleep, she figured.
talking to you!” Harold bawled, shaking Tracy awake.
“Go to hell
dad,” she whispered.
“What did you
say?” Tracy’s father asked more bewildered by the words than from the fact that
he hadn’t heard them.
“I said go to
hell!” Tracy screamed. “Go to hell! You and your selfish egocentric self dad!
You can do me a huge favour right now and just…” She hiccupped. “Jus…go to
hell,” she ended softly.
dare speak to me like that!” Harold Kimani thundered.
“I want to
sleep,” Tracy said softly. She was too tired
to talk. Harold and Miranda knew it. Their daughter, even when drunk, could
communicate to them what she felt and they could understand. They would usually
drop the matter and pursue it in the morning. Miranda was asleep right now and
Harold had nobody to intuitively let him know that he should wait till morning
to talk about this. He wasn’t going to let her sleep until she understood him
loud and in clarity.
“You will not
sleep until I am done with you here! Do you understand!”
even pull that card on me mister!” Tracy countered. She grabbed her shiny purse
that was on the floor, behind the door, and walked past Harold heading to the
Harold snatched the purse from
her hand and hurled it on the floor, back to its old position. Tracy turned,
undisturbed by his actions, and noticed that two shiny beads from the purse had
popped from his violent throw. One bead rolled across the foyer and into the living room, a few feet away. It stopped when it hit the
foot of the telephone stand just before the living room. The second bead
bounced thrice on the granite floor, into the living room, and lost it’s
kinetic when it landed on the carpet. Tracy’s fury was kindled by her father’s
actions. She had spent no small amount of money on that purse.
you crazy? You control my whole life for 19 years and now you think you can
have a say? I am an adult and I don’t need your consent to grow up or whatever
it is you think I need to do!”
long as you’re a Kimani, you will abide by the rules of this house!”
dad!” Tracy countered pushing him out of the way. She picked the purse again
and several beads poured onto the floor.
see what you’ve done! YOU HAVE RUINING MY PURSE!”
If the terrible grammar was
anything to go by, Harold Kimani, should have perceived that the fight was a
drunk, you don’t even know what you’re saying!”
know what I’m saying! You’ve ruined my purse!”
trying to change the subject here!”
trying to tell me what to do! I don’t need your permission. I’m not a child!”
stop acting like one!”
at least I’m better than you! I don’t sleep around in my drunkenness like you
do in your sobriety!”
The words punched the air out of
Harold. Surely, she was drunk and knew nothing of what she was saying. His
forehead lines softened and his scowl reduced into a frightened look. Tracy
smirked at his change in reaction. She had him cornered.
like you thought I didn’t know about you and Tony’s mum! She’s a widow and
you’re already getting your bed warmed with her.”
the dad managed to chip in softly
not finished!” Tracy roared. “What, dad? You were waiting for her husband to
die so that you can cheat on mum appropriately.”
The animal in her father
returned. She could see it in his bloodshot eyes. He wanted to hit her. She had
seen that look several times. But this time, it had a tinge of horror in it and
deep down it scared Tracy witless. It did not deter her nevertheless.
not cheating on your mother!” Harold angrily whispered behind gritted teeth.
But Tracy was only beginning.
She dropped the purse and walked
to the telephone stand where most of the beads had dropped. She picked a few
and then after realizing their infinite number, resolved to gather them in the morning.
She had won today’s battle and for her dad’s sake, he was lucky her mother
wasn’t awake to hear what she knew.
don’t think I don’t know about your boyfriend!”
It was the kicking of a dying
horse. Harold uttered the words and he regretted having said them. Tracy’s eyes
lit in fury. He had reignited the exchange of words. He knew if he backed down,
she wouldn’t let him retreat with dignity. She would probably pummel him with
more secretive information that he was too afraid to find out if she knew. So,
he backed up his statement.
good for nothing boy is banned from coming to this house. Do you hear me? The
two of you have probably caught some deadly virus for all I care.”
Tracy laughed at the irony. An
infidel husband was warning her of STIs. She didn’t take the accusation too
kindly. Yes, she had slept with Eric but it was him alone. He had been faithful
to her and they had had a mutual agreement to commit to each other.
Furthermore, she had been checked last month when the Counselling Centre in the
University offered free HIV tests for the staff and students. She took the test
after three months of repeatedly waking up in Eric’s hostel. Although the test
results came out negative, the nurse said she would have to test after six
months since sexual activity to be assured. It did not worry her. She was
confident that he wasn’t infected. Notwithstanding, after another three months,
she visited the clinic and assuaged her doubts. A negative result proved that he
was faithful. The proof however was not sufficient. There were enough ways to
be clean and still have a number of girlfriends. The thought didn’t perturb
Tracy. She had known Eric well enough. Beyond the clinic results, her
conviction assured her against what her father was insinuating. She sipped in
every word he said and prepared her assault carefully. Harold knew it was going
to be bad, very bad. The silent pause after his careless words affirmed it.
I hope Tony’s mum doesn’t have deadly viruses too because that will be two
people visiting the clinic in this house.” She paused. “Oh wait, three. I
forgot your wife.”
Tracy’s found herself rummaging
on the telephone desk grasping at pieces of the flower vase that was now
fragmented into pieces. A couple of the broken pieces had sliced her wrist and
blood stained the white cloth that sat sandwiched between the phone and the
desk. This was too much blood for a wrist cut. It wasn’t until she felt the
warm liquid in her mouth drip profusely like a leaking tap. He had hit her? He had hit her! Tracy gathered herself
to fight back but she couldn’t. She didn’t know how to and she knew she could
never win at this level. At the physical, he was King. He had won. She reached
her hand to her mouth and was enraged at the site of the blood. The rage lost
enthusiasm and it deflated to depression then pain and hurt and then more hurt.
She struggled not to cry. She failed. Harold staggered back, his heart
pulsating rapidly in shock.
dear I’m so sorry! What have I done! Tracy I’m so sorry!”
is going on he…”A new voice came from the stairs. Miranda Kimani. She was
garbed in a night dress and thick purple woollen socks that she wore without
slip-ons. She took in the sight of the broken vase, the scattered beads, the crying
daughter, the kneeling husband and the smell of vomit and alcohol for a full
five count before saying or doing anything.
what’s going on?”
Harold hardly turned to his wife.
He was still stunned by his actions. Tracy knew her words had achieved what she
desired. What was that thing Eric kept saying. Hurt people hurt people. Her father deserved it.
are not even half the man Eric is!” Tracy cried, tears trickling down her
powdered cheeks. She sniffed and dried her face with the back of her hand. The
tears and the makeup smeared into a muddy smudge. If she said he had beat her up severally, any sane person would believe
why are you crying?” Miranda asked.
hit me mum!” she screamed. “He freaking hit me!”
didn’t mean to…”
Miranda cupped her mouth and
hushed her gasp.
hit our daughter Harold?”
Tracy’s mother walked down the
staircase and went for her daughter, tears streaking her face. She helped her
up slowly and erupted into a wail upon seeing the blood on the cloth. Tracy
staggered on her feet and slumped on the bottom of the staircase. She was still
drunk. The floor and the ceiling were exchanging position in a clockwise
movement. They slowed down and took their rightful places. The room began
getting dimmer. In mere moments she blacked out.
Harold Kimani looked at the two
women he loved most in his life. Both stained with tears. He backed up to the door, slumped to the
floor, grabbed his head in frustration and he too began to cry.
The two men outside the Kimani’s
house stood in silence. They watched Eric carry Tracy over his
shoulders and seat her on the steps. Her head dangled, threatening to fall off.
He leaned it closely to the door beam after struggling severally to have her
hold it up. He kissed her on the forehead, rang the doorbell and raced to his
car. Then he was gone. They watched Tracy vomit on the steps. Harold caught
them looking and gave them a disgusted look. He dragged Tracy back in the house.
They watched the light in the house flicker twice or thrice before Harold began
shouting. They heard the entire ordeal and their hearts grieved.
here to answer her prayers,” the first man said.
we always do,” the second responded.
situation is worse than I imagined.”
impossible that the LORD can’t handle.”
girl’s insolence towards her father grows progressively less…charming.”
has problems of his own.”
don’t understand. He is a Pastor. He should know what to do without our help.”
title doesn’t give him power just as the daughter’s drunkenness doesn’t give
her authority,” responded the first man.
does he stand before his congregation with an offspring that hearkens not to
his own teachings?”
A solemn silence ensued.
you have her name?” the first inquired.
I do. She will not react well to the fact that we are here to help her. She
doesn’t even acknowledge that she needs help.”
know, Michael. But with time, she will see.”
hope she is not afraid of angels.”
won’t know you’re an angel as long you remain in your human form.”
The second man pulled a piece of
paper out of his pocket. The moonlight was sufficient for reading the writing
on the paper. The name of the lady that needed help was in clear handwriting.
Michael read it out loud.
END of chapter 1