Faith, Lifestyle

Backlash IV-By Edward Maroncha

(Continued from Backlash III)

Philip looks at his parent’s house one last time before stepping out of the gate. This might be the last time he is going to be here. He is deeply hurt because his mother has always been his best friend. But now she has chosen her errant husband over him. At some level, Philip understands. Agnetta has been with Alexander for thirty seven years. They have raised three children, with the thirty year old Philip being the last born. Agnetta and her husband have always trusted each other, and to be honest, he (Philip) hasn’t given her enough evidence to breach that trust.

But that is the problem.

She has not given him enough time to explain, and that is what hurts the most. He knows he is right, and his father is wrong, but his mother has chosen to believe the liar. Philip had the evidence in his phone, but he lost it when he lost the phone. He walks the short distance from his mother’s house to the small market of Mumbi. He doesn’t know what he should do next, and he doesn’t want to call Jerusha. The woman has done enough for him as it is. She even bought him another phone and helped him to replace his sim card. He needs to man up and figure out what to do on his own.

He finds a familiar café and sits down.

“Welcome, pastor,” a waitress says. She is one of the youth members that he used to minister to at Miracle Shepherds International Ministries, which is the name of Pastor Moses’ church. Her name is Mary, and she is the daughter of the owner of the small establishment. Her mother had also been a member of the church, but she quit a few years ago and joined the Presbyterian Church.

“Thank you Mary.”

“What can I offer you?”

“Ugali and cabbage is fine.”

The girl disappears and comes back with a platter of ugali, beef and greens and places them on the wooden bench that is serving as a table.

“Mama said I serve you this. And she wants to talk to you. She will be coming shortly.”

The girl’s mother, Mrs. Gitau, is a recently retired primary school teacher. She used her retirement money to start this café, which has become very popular especially amongst motorcycle riders, farm workers, construction workers and mechanics at Jua Kali Centre because of its delicious meals and affordable prices.

Mrs. Gitau comes and sits opposite Philip. At 61, she still looks youthful enough to pass for a woman in her forties. But she has five grown children, the oldest of whom is 41, with Mary being the youngest.

“Have you gone to see your mother?”

“Yes,” Philip replies cautiously.

“It is God who has brought you here. I called your mother earlier today wanting to talk about you but she dismissed me.”

 “She doesn’t want to talk to me about me either. She has kicked me out her home,” Philip replies with a sad smile. “This is probably the last time I am eating your delicious meal because I am no longer welcome at Mumbi.”


“Why what?”

“Why did she kick you out of her home?”

Philip hesitates. He realises that he has probably spoken too much. He doesn’t want to badmouth his parents.

“I am sure you heard what happened.”

Mrs. Gitau smiles.

“I know you did not sleep with that girl, my boy. That is the reason I wanted to talk to your mother. I know your mother is a reasonable woman, so I don’t understand why she would kick you out of her house. What happened?”

“How can you be so sure that I did not sleep with that girl?” Philip asks, still trying to deflect the question. He regrets mentioning that fact.

“First, I have always known that Moses is a crook, and that is why I left that church. Second, I have seen you grow up and I now you are a good boy. In fact, when Mary refused to follow me to PCEA, I was not very worried because I knew you were her pastor. Third, when this whole thing about you having sex with Anne came up, Mary told me that most of the youth members knew it is a lie.”

“How would they know that?”

“Anne is Pastor’s Moses’s mistress. She had confided that fact to her friends a few months ago, and you know how gossip works. Within no time, everyone in the youth group knew…”

“I heard none of that…”

“Of course none of those kids would tell you something like that. They know that Moses is your boss. But the bottom line is that Moses is a dangerous man. I am sorry to say this but he and your father are very connected in this county and beyond. Son, if you had been fooling around with Moses’ girlfriend, you would have wound up dead. I have heard rumors, unverified of course, that he was responsible for the death of my husband.”

Gitau was knocked down by a speeding car as he rode home one evening in his motorcycle. The car and its driver have never been identified to date.

“But why would he do that?”

“Two reasons. First, because my husband was opposed to the hefty bonuses the board was receiving as sitting allowances and he wanted the church to be more accountable about its revenue. If you can remember, he was quite vocal about it. Second, Moses probably thought he would have me if my husband was out of the way. I am not saying that he killed Gitau, but that is the story. I am very inclined to believe it though, because after Gitau died Moses really pressured me to start sleeping with him. I chose to leave his church instead. He is not a good man.”

“Why didn’t you expose him? You could have saved many women.”

“I had planned to, but then I heard the story about him being behind my husband’s death, and I told myself that I did not want to die. So I left quietly. I did not even tell my daughter why I left. Anyway, back to you; why did your mother chase you from your home? What is going on with her? She is one of the few people I could have sworn are sober and sincere in that church, even though her husband is as shady as the word itself.”

“I told her that her husband stole my wife from me.”


“My father has been sleeping with Daisy for years. I confronted Daisy about it and she did not deny it. But she threatened to teach me a lesson and stormed out of the house. The following day I was arrested. Neither my mother nor my father came to visit me in the cells. When I was released, I found that Daisy had taken off with all our household items. Shortly after, the landlady kicked me out of the house. I was depressed, to tell you the truth. I almost took my own life, but God sent one of his angels to pull me back from the brink of death. I found out about the affair about six months ago, but I did not want to expose them because I was worried about my mother. But today when I went and told her, and she kicked me out of the house.”

“So where are you going now?”

“To be honest, I don’t know. Daisy emptied my bank accounts so I am broke and homeless.”

“Don’t worry about all that. You are a talented young man, so I am sure you are going to bounce back. You have served God faithfully, and I am sure he will not let you down. Here is how I can help you. My husband left me some rental properties. I have some rental houses in Mukuyu, Kenol and Thika. I think I have three vacant houses in Thika. You can stay there as you figure out your next step. You can go with Mary. She will show you where the houses are.”

“I don’t know how to thank you, Mrs. Gitau.”

“You know son, some of us were skeptical when we were told that you would be the new youth pastor at the church. We thought your father had flexed his financial muscle to get you the position. But almost all of us now agree that you are called of God. And the same God that you have been serving will go ahead of you and lead you, just as he led the children of Israel from Egypt.”


They are still speaking when Mrs. Gitau’s phone rings. She picks the call and after listening for half a minute, exclaims in disbelief.

“What is it?”

“That was Fides, Anne’s mother,” the now distraught woman says. “She tells me that her daughter has been missing since yesterday. She has not been picking calls and none of her friends could tell where she was. They reported to the police this morning, and her body has been found in a hotel in Nairobi a few minutes ago.”


“But that is not why she was calling. She was calling to ask if I had seen you.”


“Because she has called your mother and Agnetta has told her that she doesn’t want to hear your name mentioned, and then terminated the call.”

“What does she want with me?”

“Apparently Anne sent her sister a message last night, telling her to find you and tell you to be careful because your father has hired thugs to kill you. But Anne’s sister’s phone has been off, and she has just switched it on. After your mother terminated the call, Fides decided to call anyone who may have seen you. I was the first person she called.”

“What has come over my father? He has taken my wife and now he wants to kill me? What wrong have I done?”

“Like I told you son, Pastor Moses and your father are both very dangerous men. They are criminals, in fact. But I will admit that I am also puzzled, because I wouldn’t have expected him to try and kill his own son. He must be demon possessed.”

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