“I do sympathise with your loss if that’s …..”
“Save your sympathies for your own self and don’t say another word to me. Consider carefully the butterflies that fly from a pool of tears…You’ve been running the show but believe me, I am running it now.”
“That’s enough! Now you are on my property and you dare speak to me as to your kid?”
“My kid-you-took-away-from me… don’t ever forget that!!” thundered Ndumbi. He turned to walk away, but Ron’s pride had begun to flare up.
“Get your filthy feet off my ground.” He threw the envelope through the bars to Ndumbi who was now walking away. “….and if you ever put your feet on this ground again you’ll know who I really am.
Your wife will never know what ever happened to you! And collect that puny thing you call money off as you leave.”
At this, Ndumbi stopped and turned to Ron, walked back close enough so that the guard whose attention was now fully drawn to them couldn’t hear what he said.
“Putting my filthy feet on this ground again I won’t,” he said softly staring straight in his eyes “…but my wife not knowing what ever happened to me, that, my friend, will never happen.”
At this he turned and walked stepping on the envelope as he walked past the guard and away.
“Close that gate and don’t ever let that monkey in ever again!” Ron shouted to the guard.
“Did you hear him threatening me? Did you?”
“I barely heard a word from him,” answered the guard.
“You didn’t you idiot sycophant.”
In the evening of the Friday that followed, Ndumbi got into a fight at the club he used to go.
Officers on patrol saw the commotion from a distance and rushed to investigate. They helped stop the fight. Ndumbi was clearly in the wrong but they hesitated to arrest him because even though they did not know him personally, the tragedy that had befallen him had made him well known. He was not calming down; his friends could not get him to contain himself.
He became more furious, punching everyone near him. The officers had no choice but to arrest him to save him from himself.
Nikki went to see him the morning that followed. He was pleased to see her. He had to spend the weekend behind bars as the courts remain closed over the weekends.
But that Sunday afternoon, the sun blazing down at the hilly land of Wamarungu in all its majesty, the black Volvo sliding down and up the hills, the kids and their mother were chatting all the way, happy that the holiday they had been waiting for so long had finally been such great fun.
The driver was having a nice time flying this chariot. The little girl was getting sleepier. They had had a wonderful time at the two-day vacation.
Now it was time to rush home before dusk, the older girl still wished Dad would have come with them and Mom tirelessly explaining how he had to work.
An hour later, the girls were quiet, the little one asleep, the older one leaning on her window watching the trees pass by; the mother now had found a quiet moment to read her magazine. The driver still wondering whether his boss would give him the day off he had been asking for.
Then there was a weird soft ‘click’ sound from the steering wheel. It alarmed the driver from his day dreams. He looked at the speedometer and thought “whoa! These roads are very good”.
He drove for another half hour and the chariot come to the 500 metre stretch of the road that ran steeply towards ‘Kwaheri’ bridge. Down it rolled.
Halfway down and there was another ‘click’ sound, this time a little loudly and heavier.
The middle part of the steering wheel went loose letting out some whitish vapour. Trying to take stock of what was fast happening, the driver hit his head on the steering wheel, falling unconscious, his foot rested on the gas pedal and the vehicle rolling in full speed down the hill, swerving left to right screeching on the rail that ran on the middle of the highway then across the road full speed heading to the rails on the other end of the road.
The loud bang that followed sounded more like an explosion than the crashing steel of the vehicle. It was an unbelievably horrible scene.
Ndumbi could not be persuaded against going to the joint funeral of the mother and her children. It had become the talk of the town, everyone convinced it was the work of God.
He had pushed through the crowds, close enough that he would stand within view of Ron.
In just one week, Ron had become a shell of his former self. He found it hard to believe that this was the work of God, or poetic justice as everyone had been saying to him.
He suspected Ndumbi had something to do with it, only there was no way he could prove it. But standing face to face with Ndumbi now, his suspicions was confirmed.
The riddle that Ndumbi had told him about butterflies that had haunted him ever since, the light in Ndumbi’s eyes that, not of joy but of a vengeful man, Ron knew he had ran himself into the hands of a clever scheming man.
He now could not tell whether he feared Ndumbi more than hated him. He blamed himself for what had happened. He should have seen it coming, but he was too preoccupied with his indulgence to read the signs…
Everything was vague and cloudy to Ndumbi. He was not sure of what he felt. His expertise in electronics and a little knowledge of chloroform had helped him to give God a little help in executing justice. But he now felt indifferent.
He knew he had just started on a journey that he did not quite know or understand. This is not what he had expected to feel.
The more he stood there listening to wails and screams of loving relatives, the more he thought of Danny; His gone Danny.
He was soon overwhelmed by the urge to vomit. He could not hold himself, nor understand what was happening to him. He started running away from the crowd. Running to throw up, running from himself and what he had become; running because he did not want anyone to see him break down again for Danny.
So he kept running.