Turbulence III-By Edward Maroncha

Continued from Turbulence II

Geoffrey wakes up feeling awful.  His head is hurting and he is feeling disoriented. He opens his eyes slowly and is surprised that there is light in the room. And this is not his bedroom.  He also becomes aware that he is not alone in the bed. When he turns to see who it is he is sharing a bed with, he gasps in dismay. It is his own mother-in-law, and she is naked. That is when he becomes aware of his own nakedness. What is he doing here? Did something happen…

He gets off the bed slowly and starts looking for his clothes. He finds them neatly folded and placed on a chair in the room. What happened? How did he end up in bed with his mother-in-law? And why is he feeling so horrible? Whose house is this? Why can’t he remember anything? Where is Brenda?

The thought about his fiancée makes his heart skip a beat. What if she has tried to call him and couldn’t reach him? What if she knows what he has done? He rummages through his clothes and finds his phone. He wants to see if he has any messages from her, but finds that his phone has a dead battery. He dresses up and briefly considers waking Florence up. But he drops the notion almost as soon as it lands in his conscious mind. This is way too embarrassing.

He steps out of the bedroom and finds himself on a corridor. He walks down to another room that turns out to be a sitting room. A sitting room that is full of people; people who are definitely camping her waiting for him and his mother-in-law to come out of their comfort-of-shame. Geoffrey wishes the earth could just open up and swallow him. The first person he sees amongst the sea of faces is Brenda. The muscles of her face are taut and her jaw set; it is obvious that she is furious. As she should be. The second person he sees is his own mother, who is slumped on a chair looking tired and deflated. Even his own father, a proud man in most circumstances, looks embarrassed to say the least. One of his uncles is also present.

Brenda’s grandmother Agnetta is also in the room. That makes Geoffrey even more embarrassed. He admires the old lady, who has been very good to him since Brenda introduced him to her. Brenda’s uncles Philip, Johnson and Anthony are present with their wives. Her aunt Rose is also there with her husband. Brenda’s uncle Michael is not there, and it is not surprising because he is almost always drunk. Brenda’s sister Alice is there, but mercifully their cousins are not present.

He now knows he is in his mother-in-law’s house, which makes his embarrassment even more severe. All the sofas are occupied and they have add to bring additional plastic chairs so that everyone can fit. Geoffrey wonders how long he has been asleep. If they have been able to mobilize all these people, it means that he has been asleep for quite a while.

“Please have a sit, Geoffrey,” Agnetta says politely, motioning to one of two empty chairs that seem to have been strategically placed. “We do have a lot to discuss today.”

“And where is your girlfriend?” Alice asks sarcastically. “You shouldn’t have left her in bed alone.”

“Shut up Alice,” Agnetta says firmly, but Geoffrey knows that Alice is not the only one who is harboring resentment. In fact, she might be the only one who is not resentful of his behavior, although she is resentful of him as a person. Early in his relationship with Brenda, Alice tried very hard to sleep with him. He always resisted her, and at some point he told Brenda and a nasty confrontation ensued; harsh words were exchanged between the sisters, and Geoffrey stood by his fiancé. Since then he knows that Alice loathes him, and she must be delighting in his public humiliation.


To Brenda, this entire scenario is bizarre and surreal. She still cannot believe it is happening. She still feels as though she is dreaming. A lot of questions have been running through her mind. Why would Geoffrey do this to her? She has dated him since she was in the Kenya School of Law and he has always appeared to be a solid human being: totally dependable, honest, God-fearing and a man of integrity. Since last night she has tried to review their relationship to see if there are any red-flags that she could have missed but there are none.

That is why, when Agnetta and Leah mentioned over dinner that Geoffrey could have been drugged, she believed them. She wanted to believe them. She still wasn’t sure she wanted to go on with Saturday’s wedding, because she doesn’t know how she will make love to a man she knows has slept with her own mother, but she was glad to know that at least his actions were not voluntary. But that theory was crushed almost as soon as it was mentioned because it emerged that the phone that Leah had discovered under the table actually belonged to Geoffrey.

It was while they were taking dinner that Leah mentioned that she believed that Geoffrey was drugged. Brenda, Agnetta, Alice, Leah, Edith, Phillip and Johnson all took dinner at Florence’s house. The food was cooked by Michelle and Lydia and was carried over to Florence’s house by Brenda and Edith at Agnetta’s request. Agnetta supported Leah’s idea that Geoffrey was drugged, and that discussion carried on for a while with everyone, including Alice, supporting that notion. Brenda is the only one who did not say anything, although she knew that everything that was being said was being mentioned for her benefit. That discussion had gone on for about ten minutes when Alice asked casually who the phone that was on the table belonged to.

“I thought it belonged to you or your mother,” Leah said. “I found it under the table.”

“No, it doesn’t belong to either of us. If it belonged to mother I would have known. Maybe it belongs to Geoffrey. He is the only visitor we have had this week.”

“Geoffrey doesn’t have a phone like that one,” Brenda said quietly.

“Who could be the owner then?” Alice asked, examining it. Then she seemed to freeze midway.

“What is it?” Agnetta asks impatiently.

“This phone has only one contact in its contact list, and that is the only number on the call logs. It is my mother’s number.”

“You shouldn’t be surprised, Alice. You know how your mother is. Maybe the phone belongs to one of her boyfriends and she mistakenly carried it home,” Edith said.

“Probably a married man” Philip added. “If the phone has only one contact, then it means it is a secret phone, which in turn means that it is probably a cheating phone.”

Leah gives her husband a side glance that seeks answers about his knowledge on such matters, and he instantly knows that he has made a mistake. But he is saved by Alice who has not even been listening because she has been busy scrolling on her phone.

“You will not believe this,” she says, pretending to sound astounded. “My mother’s lover is actually Geoffrey. You don’t want to know the kind of dirty things they have been discussing. I am so sorry siz, but it appears that your fiancé may not be the saint we all think he is. We were all ready to blame my mother for what is happening, but it seems my mother did not drug him at all. They have been having a ka-thing going on between them for a while.”

Brenda took the phone from her sister and started going through the text messages and then started crying softly. There is no doubt that this is a secret cheating phone, or that it belongs to Geoffrey. This is clear from the messages themselves, because there are some crude comments about Brenda herself and her upcoming marriage. Geoffrey has been using the phone for months to carry on his affair with Florence, her very own mother. In a last ditch attempt to try and clear his name, she runs the number through Truecaller app. The name that came was none other than Geoffrey Kithinji.


Florence wakes up feeling awful. She has been drinking since her early twenties, but she does not remember ever feeling this bad. This is worse than awful. She rises unsteadily from the bed and realizes that she is naked. That briefly gives her a pause as she tries to remember which man she brought home from the club. She cannot even remember which club she visited leave alone which man she left with.

She doesn’t even remember whether they used protection. That is the one thing she hates about her drinking. Whenever she sleeps with a man when she is sober she always insists on using protection but when she is drunk she cannot tell whether she insisted or not. That is the reason why she freezes at the idea of taking an HIV test, and the reason why she freaks out whenever she falls sick. She knows that she should take the test so that she can start medication in case she is positive, but she is too scared. More urgently, she knows she should probably stop drinking so heavily because it is affecting so many parts of her life. Last year the school she teaches at posted an improvement in KCSE and the school board threw a party for the teachers.

The party was held at a local hotel and there was a lot of food and alcohol. According to what she was later told by her colleagues she got drunk and really misbehaved at the party. At one point she went and sat on the lap of the school principal and then started kissing him and touching his private parts in front of their colleagues. He had recovered quickly from the shock and pushed her away, but that brief moment when it happened was humiliating enough. Till today their interactions are always awkward. To his credit, the principal did not frustrate her later neither did he try to make her life unbearable over the incident. And when she gathered courage to apologize, he was gracious about it.

Florence rises from her bed and walks to a cabinet that is right there in her bedroom. She gets a couple of painkillers and swallows them with water from a water bottle. She dresses and walks out of the room. She desperately wants a drink. Her best friend Ruth has been warning her that she might be becoming an alcoholic but she doesn’t believe it. She is certain that she can handle her drink. Okay, she is not certain because these days she takes a glass of wine before going to class. But didn’t she hear that whites take wine with their meals everyday?

She walks to the sitting room, on her way to the kitchen to grab a glass of wine and is surprised to see her house full of people. Her mother, daughters, brothers, sister, sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, and her daughter’s fiancé and his parents.

“Welcome, Florence,” Agnetta says. “We have been waiting for you to wake up.”

“What kind of a joke is this?” Florence asks. “What are you all doing in my house early in the morning?”

“It is midday, Florence” Agnetta replies. ‘And if we are here, it is because we want to know why you have chosen to bring shame to your daughter and to the whole family.’

“What are you talking about?”

“Don’t pretend you don’t know. Take your seat next to your boyfriend so that the two of you can tell us who the bride on Saturday is. Is it you or is it your daughter?”

Florence looks at her son-in-law and then realization hits her. The last man she was with was Geoffrey, right here in this house and she was kissing him. Now this is a scandal worse than her debacle with the principal earlier in the year.

(Continued Here)


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