About a month ago my kid bro, Rodger, whatsapped me photos of his bouncing baby boy. His name is Rohan.  He is beautiful, just like me. {Hehe, I know that can be misconstrued to mean something else, but to hell with it}.

That thread of photos was quickly followed by a call. He sounded elated.  He told me to forget my first-born rights. That by virtue of having gotten a kid first – as I grappled with the rut race in this city of vanity – he automatically assumes the first born rights. I told him to continue hallucinating, but on the inside, I felt like coriander.

I studied the photos again, with a tinge of pride. I was officially an uncle. Uncle Luvi. That sounds so cool, no? Say it again, slowly, uncle Luvi. Damn cool! Damn exotic! Huh?

Anyway, Rohan, my beautiful nephew, looked delicate and innocent. His eyes were closed. His hair matted on his head. His tiny fingers folded into small fist balls. His pink lips were slightly apart. He had been wrapped in this beautiful cream shawl. My bro radiated pure joy as he carried him. He grinned endlessly, sheepishly. I had never seen him that happy. I wondered what it felt like to be a dad, seeing as I have no kid that I know of, being an uncle is the closest I’ve come to being a dad.

Now, Rodger and I are about four years apart. He is in his final year in Uni. I always had this hunch that he would marry before me because, he seemed more centered in terms relationships. His relationships have been long term, and more meaningful. I think. Not like mine, with the lifespan of a cockroach. Besides, girls drool over him. He’s got this pseudo bad boy aura. Some sort of an abrasive mien, chutzpa and swagger. His wardrobe is always up to scratch. Trendy.  He’s dark and tall and pretty athletic {played rugby}. He’s the exact opposite of me. I’m diminutive and light and a bit reserved, I think. The other day at work, as I pranced to the gents to take a leak, I found some fundis refurbishing the lavatories. As I stood there emptying my bladder and relishing that moment, one of them quipped;  {insert Kisii accent} “Huyu mwalimu ananikumbusha Mr.  Kilunda, ule wa Tahidi High. Wanafanana saaaana.” Then they burst into a ghoulish laughter. I laughed along too, hard. But that evening I knelt down and asked God, “why me Lord, why me?”

So Rodger and his girl are in the same class. Presumably the same age too. Psychologists tell us that girls mature faster than boys, and therefore, it’s advisable for guys to date or marry girls much younger than themselves.   I don’t know what that portends for my bro’s situation, but he’s likely to trash it as a bucket load of baloney. Why? Because he’s that kind of guy; super confident and self-assured. He’s the guy who’s always in control. He takes charge. His life is unscripted, it has no manual. Although no life has a manual.

I have been bragging to everyone who cares to give me audience that I’m now an uncle, and that they should treat me with the kind of reverence uncles deserve. Some have told me off, even questioning my fertility. They tell me that it’s a disgrace to men folk for me to ride on the back of my kid bro’s hard work. That it is sacrilegious. But you know what? They will roast and crackle in hell, no worries, you wait.

 

I told one of my very sober friends, a very diplomatic, systematic and methodical guy. And he was like, “why couldn’t they behave themselves?” I didn’t find a ready response to that. I’m still trying to figure out something intelligent to say.

But I’m curious to watch my dad’s body language and choice of words when we mull over the issue this holiday. I’m curious to see if he’ll drop his clean shaven head in dejection that he got a grandson out of wedlock. Haha.

My mum is pretty easy about it. You should have seen her the other day enthusiastically shopping for baby stuff. She’s a proud granny. To her, life just got a whole new meaning.

So I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this out-of-wedlock thingy. The prudes and puritans grimace at it. The liberals feel it’s no biggie. They know life is no straight line.

I’m proud that my bro, young or old as he is, yet to get a steady job, owned up and took responsibility of his actions. However, there are guys who don’t. Cowards, that take off. Mangy raccoons… There’s a deadly story here, grab some coke and a bowl of popcorn…

So last Sato I was seated in my local watching el-classico. I was flanked by two friends. At half time, they started discussing something I considered to be mundane and banal. The cliché’ about who’s better between Messi and CR7. I fished out my phone and thumbed a text to my former student who’d whatsapped me the previous week saying that she intends to write a book. I wanted to know if she’d had an epiphany yet. {Most would be writers wait for a moment of inspiration, an epiphany, if you may, to start writing. It hardly comes. So they remain just that, would be writers.}

So I go like; “hey, how’s it going? Started scribbling the draft yet?”

Her: no. I discarded the thought. A lot’s going on in my life.

{The previous week she’d been all cagey and rather paranoid, repeatedly asking me if she can trust me with the contents of her plot. I asked her to listen to her intuition, though my clan is famed for secret keeping. We can keep ocean deep secretes for generations. For instance, we know where our masemeji’s, pet, omieri went and we ain’t telling no one}.

Me: Tell me, what’s cutting?

Her: I need to trust you though. Can I?

Me: sure.

Her: I’m not certain I can trust you.

Me: {Feeling desperate and curious} you know you can. Ask my grandpa. We keep secrets.

Her: {Clearly not in the mood for dry jokes}. Please let me trust you…That’s possible, right?

Me: Right.

Her: I’ll let you know. Later.

Me: Nkt.

Her: ok. Hate me, judge me and think all kinds of things after this… but just keep it to yourself. So, I have a male human growing inside me.

Silence.

Me: {Shell shocked, but keen not to betray that}. Wow. How old?

Her: Six months.

Me: Is the dad supportive?

Her: Yes. In a way.

Red lights right there!

Me: Are your folks aware?

Her: Yes, but they loath me to death.  I just haven’t told them who’s responsible. I’m staying with my aunt upcountry.

Me: Why haven’t you told them? You need to.

Her: I don’t see the reason why I should? It won’t change anything. Will it?

I feel like I’m in a trance here. She’s a smart girl, an A student. But her reasoning baffles me today. Her judgment is just flummoxing. I feel like calling the pope.

“I’m really scared,” she presses on. “I won’t lie… I’m afraid he might shut off if I tell my folks everything. I’d rather he tells them himself.”

So I gather that the guy in question is a law graduate preparing to join KSL. He’s old enough to take responsibility and I tell the girl as much.

She floats a lot more excuses why she can’t ‘offend’ her guy. Hehehe. Girls can be funny, I tell you.

The guy is clearly not ready to own up here. I can see him taking to the hills.

So I impress on her that her parents ought to know the guy responsible. That no parent really hates on their child. That she should be remorseful towards her folks. And that the guy’s reluctance to own up is suspect.

She says she’ll think about it.

Sigh.

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