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The East African : Sep 12th 2015
The EastAfrican MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 12-18,2015 sho≥t sto≥y IX A yea≥ning fo≥ peace By SHEM BEVERTON MUKALO T he night is still. A stillness that fills me with a sense of dread. I just can’t sleep. I have tried but I keep failing. I am lying in bed staring blankly at the wall. My heart is in turmoil. Besides me, in deep slumber is Kate, the woman I regarded my soulmate. I am not sure if that is still the case. In the stillness of the night, I can hear her tranquil breathing. Her lovely plump cheeks, usually choco- late-hued, are now crimson with streaks of tears. We just had an acrimonious exchange that saw her accuse me of all manner of things. In a fit of unbridled fury, she hurled a glass at me, which shattered on my balding head. I nearly passed out. Blood gushed out, but I made no attempt to wipe it off. I have stopped bleeding, but the pain is still maddeningly intense. If she thought that her act of senseless violence would beget the same from me then she was mistaken. I am a gentleman, sensible enough of her cunning friends over mine. “I am toying with her heart,” they say, but nothing could be further from the truth. Despite my weaknesses, which is typical of any man, I have never contemplated infidelity. I am sure Mercy, who I gather also doubles as Kate’s confidant, is behind all the troubles plaguing my love life. ‘‘ to know that an act of violence against a member of the opposite sex is a sign of weakness, an unforgivable abomination. That’s a principle I have practised all my life, a philosophy I consider inviolate, almost sacred. As if her first act of violence were not enough, Kate provoked me further by clasping at my bloody shirt and shaking Kate has chosen to believe the words me violently, while tearfully demanding answers that I couldn’t provide. She seemed certain of my guilt and no amount of explaining could assuage her baseless anger. I chose to be silent, hoping that it would prove golden. Our young relationship is buckling under the weight of her unreasonableness, her unjustified suspicion and mistrust that no amount of cajoling has succeeded in placating. I have gone to unimaginable lengths to keep it from imploding but Kate has other ideas. This is now beyond me. I yearn for peace. Peace of mind that only walking away from this mess of a relationship can provide. My sanity is on the edge. I have to do what a man with sense in my shoes would do, take flight from this pain. Kate has chosen to believe the words of her cunning friends over mine. “I am toying with her heart,” they say, but nothing could be further from the truth. Despite my weaknesses, which are typical of any man, I have never contemplated infidelity. I am sure Mercy, who I gather also doubles as Kate’s confidant, is behind all the troubles plaguing my love life. I rejected Mercy’s many diabolical overtures and now I think she is the one filling Kate’s mind with lies about me. It is the best way for her to get back at me. Her sweet revenge. My instinct tells me that Kate isn’t worth fighting for. “A woman of doubtful breeding isn’t worth this pain and emotional blood-letting,” I tell myself. I have reached the end of my tether. I tried to patch things up but, unfortunately the more I tried, the more things fell apart, escalating with every attempt. Perhaps I was not up to the task. When she wakes up, I will have gone. To where? I don’t know. But it will be far away from her reach. With her nervous disposition and fragile psychology, she may contemplate suicide. I just hope it doesn’t get that far. With time, if she chooses life, she will come to grips with the fact that we were never meant to be. Fate had other plans. Her ageing, widowed mother who suf- fers from high blood pressure, will never forgive me for walking away. In my mind, I can see her cursing me, wishing me ill for leaving her daughter. Strange how much rides on this unprec- edented decision I am about to make. Too much for one man, but I will bear it all like the man that I am. As for Kate, only time will tell what will become of her. The cautious kiss that I plant on her cheek will be the last of the many that we’ve shared. I wish her well.
Sep 5th 2015
Sep 19th 2015