Mugweru is having a nice slow walk through campus. He can’t stop staring at what is in front of him – he seems to really be enjoying it. It’s a nice view: two well endowed girls majestically strutting their stuff. He has even forgotten that he was in a hurry to get to the Stoneville Café before their sweet pilau run out. Suddenly, he sees a girl he knows – Katerina – running towards him. She is running the way she run that day when she stole someone’s phone.
On seeing Mugweru, Katerina slows down and barely manages to come to a halt just in front of him. At this point, Mugweru asks in a concerned voice, “Ni nini?” Mugweru’s voice gets slightly alarmed as a scary possibility crosses his mind, “Kwani tulikuwa na CAT na sikumbuki?” To these questions, Katerina replies, “Zi. Hatuna CAT. Ebu tuende hivi.” She is talking in a hasty manner, all along looking backwards – as if afraid someone will catch up with her. She pulls Mugweru in the opposite direction and he hesitantly agrees to be dragged along. Before he goes, Mugweru looks over his shoulder to have one last look at the beautiful gifts of nature whose sight he would now no longer enjoy.
Out of nowhere, Katerina starts laughing. Her laughter starts small but keeps on growing until eventually, tears are rolling out of her eyes. The more hysterical Katerina’s laughter gets, the more embarrassing it is for Mugweru. People are looking their way and Mugweru, desperately trying to convince the mesmerized passers-by that he and Katerina are not together, starts walking away. Katerina goes after him and grabs him before saying, “Unaenda wapi? Aki pole. Ni vile nimefanya kitu funny.”
Katerina, after quite a bit of struggle, manages to control herself. She then starts narrating her ordeal, “I’m seated at the dispensary after giving out my ID, waiting for my file to be pulled up so that they can treat me. There are two people before me so I know it will be at least a few minutes before I’m called. The first one has a right eye the size of an orange – I can’t help looking at him and I keep struggling not to laugh. The second one keeps fidgeting and chewing on her non-existent fingernails – she looks like she’s waiting to know whether she has gonorrhea… or something along those lines. It’s a very interesting place to be. So anyway, there I am – admiring my recently manicured hands and enjoying the misery of my neighbors when I hear my name being called.
I raise my hand in an unsure manner, expecting the lady in a white lab coat to say that it was some sort of mistake. She gestures for me to follow her. As I get up, I throw my two neighbors a look that says, “Woooishe… Kwani mlikosea nani?” The first one seems like he’s about to cry out of his one good eye. The second one… well, she seems like she has enough to worry about – she’s not paying any attention to us.
Anyway, I eagerly follow the nurse, happy that I won’t be spending much time here. We get into a room and the first thing I see is a face that for some reason, reminds me of the name Bensoudah – whoever she was. “Keti hapo ungoje,” the nurse says and leaves me in the room. For some reason, I hear this sound in my brain: Teren…teren teren, you know; like in the movies.
And that sound never lies.
“Wewe dio Katelina?” Bensoudah asks and I feel like I’m guilty of some crime – the crime of being here and of being Katerina. She then asks me a couple of questions, with me answering as best as I can and I eventually start getting comfortable. “Kwa ifo shenye unaniabia ni ati hukuwa unafikilia binadamu anaesa nyaba ifo unanyaba? Na ati ukikosa kuiashiria unaskia ni kama kuna mtu anarima kwa tubo yako?” Bensoudah asks. “Exactly,” I reply. Despite first impressions, she seems to really know what she is doing. “Usijari. Washa nikuonyeshe kenye tutafanya.” She replies with what I assume is a smile. She then pulls out a syringe with the biggest needle I’ve ever seen. I remember our cows back in the village being given shots with such huge needles. I feel a chill run down my spine – not as a spice in my primary school composition but literally.
She then uses it to suck some medicine from a bottle and says, “After this, you’ll be just fine. Trust me.” It is at that point that I stand and bolt out of the room – Let my farting kill me if it will. On my way out of the dispensary, since I’m in such a hurry, I bump into this guy and a bunch of condoms are strewn all over the floor. I didn’t know there was a condom dispenser there. Anyway, I run and run until I meet you.
End of story.
It’s Mugweru’s turn to laugh hysterically and he laughs… and laughs… and laughs some more. And then he laughs some more… Even when passers-by look at him as if he’s mad. “Don’t tell me you’re afraid of needles. A whole fourth year – how will you explain that to the babies you are about to go have?,” he says amid laughter.
“No. It’s not like that. I have donated blood. It was a long time ago in high school. But I swear I have never seen such a big needle.”
“You’ve never donated blood. You were too light in high school to donate – I’m sure you weighed less than 40kgs.”
“I swear on Mose’s chapo smokie and on my gangsta points and…”
“It’s okay dear. Don’t worry. I won’t tell people… I’ll just write about it on DekuTrends.”
The writer is a member of Fusion Writers