by Otieno Lynn
If you can picture a little dark puppy that has been kicked too many times and is lost in a crowd of strangers, then you’ll have Ted, my ever so quiet colleague. This morning he is looking a little more beaten than he usually is, perhaps he had a bad weekend or he forced himself to come to work today.Wait, maybe he went out on a drinking spree last Friday and woke up on Monday morning at the same spot he was when he ordered his last beer.

Ted’s desk is situated directly opposite mine and that makes me quite uncomfortable.Uncomfortable because each time I look at him, I am reminded of my own self, my sick in the head husband, his family which is ever sticking their noses into our affairs and the constant emotional and physical abuse that I have had to take from him for four years.

 I’m pretending to be concentrating on typing nothing on my computer but behind all the pretense is a broken nose, a black eye and several bruises hidden under my turquoise blouse. Last night was just like any other; Anger, insensitive words, jabs, knives, brooms, insults, rape.But tonight, for the sake of Ted and every other black puppy out there, I will kill Joe. I bought some poison last week but I didn’t get to use it because after leaving for work on Friday, the next time I saw him was on Monday evening. Then I told myself that he deserved a slow, painful death, so I bought a knife.A butcher’s knife.I am going to skin him like a pig is skinned before it’s meat is cut into pieces and sold to the rich and the poor alike.Except I won’t sell his pieces.I will stack them up in my fridge and dissolve him in nitric acid, a piece a day until he is all gone.

His nosy family which always defends his actions will call me and ask about him.I will tell them that he left last Friday the way he usually does and I haven’t seen him since.

We will look for him, together, like a family does.I will be the one to report his case to the police as a missing person and gracefully pay the most popular daily to put up his picture on the front page.We will cry together like a family, except we will be crying for different reasons. Mine the tears of a widow mourning her husband and theirs the tears of the uncertainty of what could’ve happened to your loved one.

It’s a busy day at work, but my mind is not settled. After tonight it will be all over.I am excited and scared at the same time.Excited because Joe will never harm me again and scared because I have never murdered anyone in my life, I have had some thoughts cross my mind but I have never pre-empted and planned one.

At exactly 4.32 pm my phone beeps with a message notification. I can see it’s from Joe but I am hesitant to read it because as usual he is either asking me to prepare supper for his boys or he is informing me that he won’t be coming home tonight.Nevertheless, I make up my mind to open it and shock on me, he is asking me about what time I’m getting home.Is he planning to kill me too?Has our marriage reached a point where he thinks we can both take poison and die for love?Did I do something wrong?Did I forget to blend him some juice for when he comes back from work?With all these questions competing for answers in my mind, I simply text back and say “I’m leaving the office in ten”.No response.Anxiety.Ted is observing me wondering what’s up while at the same time trying to hide beneath his geek glasses. Where did he buy this pair of shitty glasses though?

I pass by Karanja’s Kitchen Household Shop and ask for the sharpest most expensive butcher’s knife they have.Karanja is not in but I am met by a lousy looking, very light skinned girl whose eyebrows look like they had an argument and each is walking in the opposite direction.She’s bubbly though.She says in a thick Kikuyu accent “Umeamua kufanya upgrade ya kishen? “I nod in agreement while giving her the kind of smile I give Joe when we are out in the public attending some wedding or doing barbecue with his friends.

I get home at about 7.30, the weapon that is going to brighten my life safely stacked in the inner pocket of my trench coat.Our  Luhya watchman is looking extremely jubilant, perhaps he was given some before he left home for his night shift.My hands are shaking and I’m sweating profusely but I manage a “Habari ya jioni”.

Lights are on in my house and that means Joe is home, probably cussing and smoking his lungs out.He is definitely practicing out the kind of insults he’s going to hurl at me when I open the door.
“Well boo, you’re having your last supper tonight, and when we slip into bed to sleep the day off, Imma slit your throat, slit your stomach open and say hi to your intestines. The intestines that I feed with my 10k salary while you spend all your money on booze and women,” I mutter to myself as I ring the doorbell.
Joe does not hesitate to open the door as he usually does when he gets home before I do.I don’t have a spare key and sometimes I have to wait at the door for 30 minutes before he drags his feet to open up.Joe is handsome.He is not averagely handsome.He is handsome. He has these eyes that are always saying “hi good to see you” or “goodbye I can’t wait to see you again”.His full lips are to die for and Johnny Depp has nothing on his nose. My husband is quite a looker. This evening he looks a bit sassy, unsettlingly sassy actually and as I walk in he gives me a light peck on the cheek and I reward that with the same smile I gave the girl at Karanja’s shop.
I lump my handbag and laptop bag on the sofa and what I see on the floor almost makes me lose my breath.If I recall correctly,  I almost choked. Dinner is all set with beautiful scented candles all laid all over the floor.Before I can even process this, he reaches out behind me and helps me take off my trench coat.Joe bought me this trench coat to appease me one time after I found a strange luminous green thong in the pocket of his leather jacket.He had insisted that the thong was mine and I knew it wasn’t.We both did.That afternoon he had a pretty navy blue trench coat and a bunch of flowers delivered to my office, then we lived happily in unforgiven lies everafter.So I remember the knife and quickly snatch the coat from him saying “I’ll take it to the bedroom” He interrupts and softly says ” No, tonight I need you to rest, I’ll take it”…

My throat ran dry and at that very moment, I wanted to call Ben, his best friend, and colleague and ask him if Jesus had paid a courtesy call to their office.I let him have his way and as he briskly walked into our bedroom a light streak of panic ran through my heart.What if he finds the knife? What will I say?is this the night I die?He’d severally beaten me something good for very trivial things.What would he do if he figured out that I wanted to kill him?

Several seconds later he emerged from the bedroom with a familiar grin on his face and I knew that all was well.My game plan was still intact.We spent the next several minutes munching our food in silence. The food was super delicious, I wanted to compliment him, but then again I  told myself that you don’t say such sweet things to someone when you know pretty well that later you’re gonna kill them.So I kept silent and once or twice I caught him stealing suggestive glances at me.His smile is so heavenly it can make you forget how much of a bad day you’re having. I remember teasing him once that his smile can make cramps go away in an instant. Oh, Joe.There was a light moment in my head and I didn’t even notice I had a smile plastered all over my face; Not the one I give him when we step out, but a genuine, real smile that came from my heart, not until he softly asked why I was smiling so shyly.
Before I could utter a word, he held my right hand, with all the food all over it, and looked into my eyes like he hasn’t in ages, perhaps the last time he looked at me like this was when he asked me to marry him.I froze…
I woke up at 6 the following morning, two hours later than I usually do, the air was filled with Joe’s cologne and so was our bed and the living room and everything in between. I had to skip breakfast because otherwise, I’d be late for work.When I got to the office Ted was there, in his usual spot, looking as beaten as usual.I felt sorry for him but then I said to nobody in particular : “Suck it, last night was the best night of my life!”

You may also like


John Kalya June 21, 2017 - 12:30 pm

Next time…happy Imma be ready for the loving-hating…

ronald yego June 21, 2017 - 3:30 pm

Yeah, I knew suspense was coming but not at that point. Great piece.

Otieno Lynn June 21, 2017 - 3:33 pm

Thank you, Ronald

Otieno Lynn June 21, 2017 - 3:34 pm

Lol…it never ends John

Anonymous June 22, 2017 - 4:56 am

Wow…'re talented..very great piece mwalimu Andrew says "u woke up late for obvious reasons"��

Cess Osore June 22, 2017 - 4:56 am

Mmmh! Awesome read!

Otieno Lynn June 22, 2017 - 5:02 am

Thanks Cess

Otieno Lynn June 22, 2017 - 5:03 am

Thank you

Unknown June 22, 2017 - 10:48 am

I hate you, I love you 😎

Otieno Lynn June 22, 2017 - 10:50 am


George Agak February 20, 2018 - 4:32 am

I enjoyed reading this. What a night!


Leave a Comment