Papa Sucrae II-By Edward Maroncha

(Continued from Papa Sucrae I)

Salome sees the pocket knife and reacts instantly. She snatches a knife that her father had been using to slice an avocado, grabs her father’s hand and places the knife on his wrist.

“Drop the knife dad,” she hisses. “Or forget you have a hand. Both you and I know that I am crazy enough to cut this hand.”

Wayne drops the pen knife.

“Jeremy, just let him be,” Salome instructs her brother. “He is not worth the trouble.”

Jeremy releases his father, but his eyes are smoldering with hate and fury.

“Okay,” Jeremy says. “But he is not going to spend the night in this house; not after saying all those nasty things to mother.”

“You cannot kick me out of my own house.”

“Yes we can, and we will,” Salome hisses. “Even if it means dragging you out of this place by force. Right now I want you to go to your room and pick your clothes, and then get the hell out of this place. Go and live with your girlfriend. We are better off without you.”

“I will not be bossed around by brats I sired,” he says contemptuously. “If you and your mother don’t want to live in my house, then get out. Go and find somewhere else to live.”

He starts moving towards the sofa set, but Jeremy grabs him by the collar and pulls him back. At 49, Wayne is more heavily built than his son, although not by much. Wayne is obsessed with his body. He goes to the gym four times a week, and is very choosy about what he eats. He doesn’t touch alcohol, he doesn’t take soft drinks, he takes sugarless tea and generally does not eat junk. He is pretty sure he can handle both his 24-year-old son and his 22-year-old daughter.

He clenches his fist and throws a punch at his son. But with surprising speed and agility, Jeremy ducks and then grabs his father’s hand and twists it until the older man grunts in pain.  Had he taken any interest in his children, Wayne would have known that his son is a black belt karateka. Jeremy is a very athletic boy. While in primary and high schools he toyed with almost every ball sport, including rugby, basketball, volleyball, handball and football. Because he could not compete in all of them, he settled on rugby and football and played the rest as hobbies.

In football, Jeremy is a dazzling middle fielder, but while at the university he dropped football to concentrate on rugby. He plays for the University of Nairobi’s rugby team, the Mean Machine. These days he only plays football as a hobby. It has been years since he played the other ball games, so football was the only hobby he had, until he got an interest in karate.

Jeremy and his sister escort their father to the master bedroom. They find Nancy already in bed, sobbing softly.


Nancy has known for years now that her husband doesn’t love her any more. She has tried everything to please him, but it simply does not work. As a coping mechanism, she has over the years chosen to focus on her memory of the man she married twenty six years ago.

Wayne was a dashing young man in college. Like his son, he was a star athlete. And he could sing! He was the Christian Union Worship Leader. Naturally, he was a magnet for girls. Even back then, Wayne had a very smooth tongue, the same tongue that would serve him so well later in his career as a salesman and businessman. Back then though, what that tongue did is that it left a trail of broken hearts around campus.

Nancy was therefore very surprised when he asked her to be his girlfriend. She had assumed that he would date one of the models on campus; one of those classy campus babes who looked and smelled like a million dollars. It is not like Nancy didn’t think she was beautiful; it is just that she had no resources to groom herself. She could not afford fashionable clothes and shoes, exotic perfumes or classy weaves; neither could she afford to go to those high end salons for manicure and pedicure. In a nutshell, she was an ordinary girl who went about her business on campus wearing jeans, T-shirts and rubber shoes. She had four dresses that she wore to Sunday services and other important events; but by and large her life was about simplicity: jeans, t-shirts, rubber shoes, cheap braids and cheap lotion.

But he chose her.

Wayne was romance personified. He did everything to make sure she felt special. He had a part time job so he had some cash. He took her out to posh restaurants for dinner; he bought her beautiful dresses; flowers and chocolates flowed, to say nothing about the sweet words that came forth from his mouth. Nancy glowed under such attention for the first two years of their marriage.

The narrative of their marriage started changing when Jeremy was born. Nancy stayed in the maternity ward for four days, and Wayne did not appear even once. He had told her on the day she went to hospital that he would be away on a work conference, and although she would have loved to have him by her side when she left the delivery room, she understood and did not make it an issue. At the time she was working in a bank, and her employment contract included a medical cover. So her hospital bill was not an issue. On the day she was discharged, she took a taxi home.

Wayne came home two days later, and his attitude had changed. He became more aloof and in the coming months, she realised that he was no longer interested in footing bills. He started complaining that his salary was getting delayed. Rather than engage him in a confrontation, Nancy stepped up. She started paying rent, utility bills, buying food and basically footing all the expenses of the house.

When she discovered that she was pregnant with Salome, Nancy realised that the house expenses might overwhelm her at some point in the future. That is when she suggested that they should build a home on Wayne’s piece of land in Ruiru. Wayne bought sand, ballast, and about half of the stones and cement needed. Salome took a loan and bought the rest of the stones and cement and paid laborers. As the construction expenses mounted, Nancy soon realised that what Wayne had done was a tiny fraction of what needed to be done. But she took it in her stride. She bought everything that was needed to complete the house: metal rods for the lintel, wooden frames for the roof and the doors, iron sheets, tiles, windows and metal doors, wooden doors for the inner rooms, paint, ceiling materials and everything else that her foreman said was needed. Then she realised that she needed to engage a plumber. She also needed to apply for electricity connection from Kenya Power and also get an electrician to do the wiring.

By the time she completed the house, the loan money she had taken for the construction was long gone, and she had had to dig into her savings. But she was happy. Her salary would now be reduced because of the loan, but since she would no longer be paying rent for the three bedroom house Wayne had rented in South B, she would manage. Besides, she knew that by the time her children started schooling, she would have finished paying the loan, and so she would manage.

Still, she hoped that the old Wayne would come back. She longed for the super romantic man who would always surprise her with gestures of love; the responsible Wayne who would foot all the bills and not let her worry about anything.

But it has been twenty four years of waiting. And now, this version of Wayne that she has been living with has just sunk to a new low. He is sleeping with girls the age of their daughter. As if that is not enough insult, he has the guts to verbally insult her. Nancy is heartbroken and furious at the same time. But all she can do is cry.


Wayne is seething as he is marched upstairs by his children. These are kids who were on diapers just the other day. And now they think they can kick him out of his house? These children are mannerless. He had rather spend time in prison than face the humiliation of being evicted by his own children.

When they get to the master bedroom, Jeremy and Salome lead him to the closet so that he can take his belongings and leave. He starts with the bottom drawer, where he keeps his boxers and vests. He carefully removes all the clothes and places them on the floor. Then he lifts the false bottom of the drawer and pulls out a pistol. He cocks it and aims at his son’s chest.

“You really thought you can kick me out of my house?” he sneers. “You are the ones who are leaving, right this moment; the two of you and your stupid mother. Out now!”

He pulls the duvet that is covering Nancy.

“I said get out! You are taking nothing from this house. I want you to get out the way you are and walk out. You have 60 seconds to be out of the gate.”

(Continued Here)

Image by Leroy Skalstad from Pixabay:


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