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Blow by Blow

I toss the blanket and try to – I toss the blanket and try to sleep again.another direction this time.   Maybe facing mount Kenya will make God pity me and grant me some sleep. But i can’t. It’s near impossible under the circumstances.  The neighbours are screaming. Domestic violence.


Their noises take me to a haunted place. Deep within my memories of childhood. The first time i heard a woman cry. We were in my cousin’s bedroom. He was crying silently. A cry of someone whos been through this before. Routine tears. Out there his mum screamed, cried and wailed for help. Nobody came. I wanted to do something. Help her beat the daylights out of him. Go all hulk on him. Give him a DDT, stone cold Steve Austin.  i really wanted to  but i couldn’t. Back then I was a child. A seven year old with fantasies of robocop and stone cold.

I tossed once more getting deeper and deeper into my blankets. An assumption that the darkness of my sheets will wipe out the noises from the neighbours. It doesn’t work. I can still hear her. She’s a tough one this neighbour. It’s been around thirty minutes. He’s beating her. She’s insulting him “mwanaume bure kabisa. Hata boxer huwezi nunua. Kazi yako ni kulala na Hutu tusichana twa campus. Unadanganya nani hizi kofia…nipige. bure kabisa!”. The beatings get bigger. More rapid.

Their baby is crying.  It’s 3.am. somebody should do something. Anyone ….but not me. I don’t know why but I’m not interfering there. It’s there business. It’s their relationship. Her body, his pride. Nothing to do with me.

It’s silent. Way too silent.  Save for the baby’s cries. I hear screaming. It’s the other neighbour.  Doors unlocking. Something is not right. 3.30 a.m i open the door to my Bedsitter. Opposite my house is a pool of blood. A swollen body. Stiff. Her neck swollen.  A crying baby and a screaming neighbour. Someone’s called the police. He’s killed her. We’ve killed her.


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