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He looked at me. I was scared to bits. On his face, he had multiple scars; an evidence of engaging in multiple gang fights. He lifted his left hand while gazing at me and formed a tight fist. By the look of it, I had underestimated his age. He was huge despite his young looking body. He gazed at me as if knowing am already scared and brought his formed-fist closer to my arm. I realized he was telling me to punch back as a form of greeting. The ‘gotta’ thing we usually did at campus. I formed a fist too and returned the favor by making our fists meet. However, even after I did that, Kevin did not smile a single bit. He waved at me, pushed open the door, and walked away in front of my car. I watched him in shock as he walked with quick short steps towards the corners of the buildings and disappeared along the Aga Khan Walk path just at KenCom Building.
I breathed out the air I had saved before he lifted his arm. My left hand was already on my chest as I sat in awe and wonder. I told myself I had to be extremely careful the next time such stuff happens. However, I was glad because I did something positive. Nevertheless, I felt bad because of the kind of work this young man who got full of life engaged in. I started wishing I had educated him or else assisted him get other ways to earn clean cash. I held my heart again. It had stopped beating as it previously was. I started imagining that I had sat inside the same car with a murderer and I could not believe it myself.
[THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF LONG DISTANCE TRUCK DRIVERS ]
Mombasa (Kwakiziwi Region)
Issa rolled on his king-sized bed with a bat’s eye and stretched his arm to the left switching off the noisy alarm. The time was 2am on Wednesday morning. His right hand was numb due to the spooning posture he had lain with his wife Alika. Alika in Swahili means ‘most beautiful’. He stealthy removed his arm from his wife’s bosom and sat on the bed; His feet touching the cold linoleum floor. He needed to be on his truck by 3am to kick off the long journey to Uganda. He was a truck driver whose return to home formulae had been critically disorganized. The last time he had managed to be home was 3 months ago. He had just arrived the previous night to meet his family; wife and two kids who are in nursery school. He had not even spent 24hrs at his vicinity. He was now getting ready to take off. Before he got out of the bed, Alika, his wife, tagged him using her leg.
‘Hey Babe? What’s up?’ she asked as she rubbed her eyes due to the effect of the bright fluorescent tube above them.
‘I have to be going. This is what we live on. It’s where I get my income.’ He responded as he stretched his hand and beckoned Alika to come closer. She was accustomed to these kind messages for some time now. She could not imagine the solitude-ness and how hard it was to stay without her husband for months. She had survived all the times. She felt it as a heavy burden on her. All in all, she had to agree to that fact.