I was feeling restless on Sunday night so I stepped out for some air. It was one of those chilly Eldoret nights with no clouds and plenty stars to stare at. I love these nights. They bring out the weirdo in me, like a full moon does a werewolf. So I took my weird self for a walk outside.
Victor saw me as I was leaving the compound and he followed me outside. We stood right outside the gate, along the murram road. Trees were rustling in the wind. It was slightly dark outside and all I could see were vague silhouettes of people passing by. Even on a Sunday night people are rushing up and down.
Victor and I just stood there staring at these busy humans. I was wearing this long pale green jacket I usually sleep in. I could only imagine how I looked in the dark. Awkward, suspicious maybe. This elderly woman with a flashlight passed me and slowed down to look at Victor and I. She was so close I could smell her. She smelled like chapatis. Seriously. She is probably one of those people who cook chapatis on Sundays. I know these people exist because my mum was not one of them. She would make us eat ugali and murenda on Sunday as my neighbors cooked chapos. Anyways, she shone her flashlight at me, then Victor, then walked away mumbling incoherent things. I giggled and looked at Victor. He looked at me and seemed to shrug. We probably had the same thought about that lady.
I was wearing my glasses so the night looked as clear as day. Victor saw it before I did so he signaled me. “A bird? No, birds aren’t nocturnal.” It was a bat! Blind, winged, fanged mammal, known to be a carrier of rabies. It was flying my way. I couldn’t move. Not out of fright, just out of laziness. I didn’t want to move and disrupt the sense of oneness with the earth I had cultivated but eventually I ducked right at the last minute. Victor gave me a look that said,”SMH.”
More people pass and stare. All sorts of silhouettes of people. I swear I saw a man smoking a pipe pass by. Then this man who was going down the murram road stopped in his tracks and stared at us for close to 5minutes. We practically eyeballed each other. Then he started walking towards us. I couldn’t move again. This time out of fright and realization. I should have known a night like that brought out weirdos far worse than me. Crazies, psychos,…..serial killers And my companion is a passive aggressive K9.
“The two of you paint quite a picture. The dark background, the stary sky. You could fill a canvas,” he said as he walked towards us.
Victor was on edge. He stood up and got ready for whatever was to happen next.
“Um, thank you. I didn’t realize,” I said, trying to conceal my fright.
“What’s his name?”
“It suits him,” he said and walked away. I think even Victor breathed a sigh of relief.
I thought it was high time I went back inside. Victor looked like he wasn’t ready to go. As I walked back inside, I looked back at Victor. He was staring up the road at something. He set off at a trot and all I saw was his chopped tail, like a bunny’s, disappear into the darkness.
I shut the gate and walked towards the house, thinking of the strange man and what he said about Victor and I. He is probably an artist.
We did make quite the picture , a girl and a dog standing in the darkness.
Ps: Happy birthday to Muthoni Maina♥ Lol( yaani Lots of love) brother,ha♥