Vanuatu II-By Edward Maroncha
(Continued from Vanuatu)
When Vanuatu regains consciousness she is in the pastor’s office. Pastor Musyoka is still in church praying for people. It is his wife and two girls from the ushering department who are with Vanuatu.
“Are you feeling better my dear?” Mrs. Musyoka asks her.
It takes a minute for Vanuatu’s mind to load. When she finally remembers the phone call, she starts wailing. She grabs Mrs. Musyoka and clings to her.
“Please Mrs. Pastor, tell me it is not true. Tell me my parents are not dead!”
Mrs. Musyoka and the ushers look at each other. They have already spoken to Janet, and they know it is true. The girl’s parents are dead, and the sister is in hospital. Mrs. Musyoka holds her tightly to comfort her, and Vanuatu cries uncontrollably. Pastor Musyoka comes into the office two hours later, having completed his spiritual duties. While he is fiery on the pulpit, he is a calm, warm and compassionate man off it. After being briefed by his wife, he takes Vanuatu’s hand into his own and prays for her. Then he suggests that they go out to take lunch.
Vanuatu has calmed down somewhat when she leaves the church compound in Pastor Musyoka’s car. They head out to a small eatery on the other side of Ruiru town. Pastor Musyoka is a middle aged man, about the age of Vanuatu’s father.
He has three sons. The eldest, who is slightly older than Vanuatu, is a lawyer. The second, who is Vanuatu’s age mate, is a sociologist while the last born is a police officer. Musyoka was a police officer himself. He resigned from the police force early in his career so that he could become a pastor. He started with twelve congregants, but his church has now grown and he now has about eight hundred. His wife Mildred works at the post office although she is set to retire next year.
Pastor Musyoka does not know Vanuatu personally , probably because she has deliberately remained anonymous since joining the church. A skilled conversationalist, he has extracted a lot of biographical information from her without making her cry. As a matter of fact, she has been laughing at his jokes.
When they are done eating, Pastor Musyoka confronts the issue that is looming over their heads.
“When do you plan to go home, Vanuatu?”
“Not tomorrow? It is getting late already,”
“I have to see my sister today,”
She is on the verge of tears, so Pastor Musyoka does not press the issue. He and his wife glance at each other. They do not say a word but Vanuatu can feel the currents of information passing between them. She should know because her parents are experts in telepathic communication. Were. It feels wrong to think about them in past tense. She still cannot wrap her head around the fact that she and her sister are now orphans.
“We are coming with you,” Pastor Musyoka says.
“You don’t have to…”
“Yes we do. As Christians we ought to take care of each other. It is our turn to take care of you. We will pass by our house so that Lawi and I can gather a few items, take you to yours so that you can do the same, then we will be off,” Mildred Musyoka says with finality.
“Don’t you have to be at work tomorrow?”
“Don’t worry about that. Right now you are my first concern,”
Fredrick is a church elder, but he suspects that he will not see the gates of heaven. Probably because he likes women too much, but most likely because his heart has always been consumed by hatred. Hatred for his younger brother that arises from jealousy. He conceals the hatred well. There are rumours that he sleeps with Karimi, his neighbor, but his defenders point out that his wife is an illiterate nag who does not even bother to take care of herself. It is only natural, they reason, that Fredrick would find himself in the arms of his beautiful neighbor who also happens to be a successful businesswoman. A small issue like having an extra marital affair is not good enough a reason to chase a tither with deep pockets from the church. Others argue that the story is not true and is simply told by his detractors to discredit him.
Karimi runs a Guest House. The Guest House is not very popular in terms of the volume of reservations, but it does host wealthy people who ensure that it remains profitable. There are rumors that the guest house is a brothel, but that has never been confirmed. Karimi is herself the Church treasurer and the third biggest giver at Evangelical Deliverance Church, behind Fredrick and his younger brother Festus. Festus is Vanuatu’s father.
What many do not know is that Fredrick owns Karimi. Far from being a successful businesswoman, she was a prostitute in the alleys of Meru town when he found her. But she was skilled at whatever she did to him in that cheap motel, and he sensed that he could make money off her. So he took a loan using the land that he inherited from his father and bought an old building in Nanyuki town. Except that he did not buy the property in his own name. He registered Asali Guest House as a private Limited company and opened a bank account for it with a small bank in Nyeri. He withdrew the loan from his account in cash and deposited it in the guest house’s bank account. It is Karimi who negotiated for the building and paid for it-using a cheque with the Guest House’s name printed on it. The signature on the cheque was Fredrick’s, but few people saw the cheque, leave alone bother with such a minute detail. As far as the seller was concerned it was Karimi who bought the building through her company.
But few people in Timau took notice of the transaction. Karimi only came to their attention when she bought, again through her company, an acre of land from Fredrick and constructed a beautiful three bedroom house. She integrated into the community, joining the local church and even getting herself appointed to the Board of Management of the local secondary school.
Unlike Fredrick’s wife Kanyua, Karimi is very likeable. She has a warm personality and genuinely likes people-attributes that served her well in her days as a prostitute. Because of that, her alleged affair is largely dismissed as a rumor spread by those envious of her, and some of those who know it to be true blame it on the mean character of Fredrick’s wife Kanyua.
They do not know that Karimi is a former prostitute, or that Fredrick owns her. He sleeps with her more often than he sleeps with Kanyua, which does not say much because he rarely touches his wife. It is possible that he loves Karimi, but he has never forgotten that she was a prostitute when he found her. She still is, because some of the Guest House clients demand to sleep with her instead of the girls, and Fredrick values money more than the sentimental possession of a woman.
“If he wants you, and is willing to pay a steep price, give yourself to him,” he told her when he introduced her to the business.
The Guest House is a high end brothel that caters for the needs of wealthy men. The brothel never solicits for clients-the esteemed gentlemen come only through referral. Karimi personally trains the girls on the various ways of pleasing their clients. The guest house is so successful that Fredrick paid the loan he used to establish it two years ahead of schedule.
But owning a brothel and sleeping with a harlot are the least of Fredrick’s sins. It is the hate in him that has led him to commit his more recent and heinous sins, which also happen to be crimes that could make him spend his entire life in jail if he is discovered. Except that he will not be discovered. At least he doesn’t plan to.
Fredrick has always despised his brother Festus because their parents did not hide the fact that Festus was their favorite child. Festus was smarter in school, always scoring straight As while Fredrick languished near the bottom of his class. Festus finished top of his class with a straight A and went to the University to study Medicine, while Fredrick used every brain cell and a little cheating to get a B+ and secure admission to Kenyatta University to study Bachelor of Education (Arts). What more, while they were both footballers, Festus was a star in Mangu’s football team, and carried his school to the national championship in his third form, becoming the top scorer in the country that year. Fredrick made Nkubu Boys’ football team B by a whisker. He was a substitute who was never used because the star player who shared his position hardly got injured.
Fredrick hated being compared to his brother. He always felt like he existed on Festus’ shadow, even though he was the elder brother. When it came to marriage, Festus had an elaborate dowry ceremony, followed by a lavish church wedding, and everyone kept mentioning how beautiful his bride was. Nobody noticed when he, Fredrick, got married, because Kanyua simply crept to his house when she discovered she was pregnant for him and they started living as man and wife.
When their parents died in a grisly road accident, Fredrick insisted that he ought to be given the bigger share as the first born son. He wanted to take eight acres and leave two to his little brother. Festus told him to have it all. He could not believe his luck. At last he had outsmarted his younger brother in something.
But then his brother bought thirty acres a few years ago and established a successful dairy farm. Fredrick felt that his brother did that to spite him, and vowed to revenge. While Fredrick is wealthy in his own right thanks to the guest house, it is his brother who gets the social plaudits for his business acumen. After all, it is not like Fredrick would acknowledge that he runs a brothel, neither does he flaunt his wealth for fear that KRA will be on his case.
No one knows that Fredrick has always harboured dark thoughts against his brother, because the two men have always enjoyed a warm relationship. Fredrick has mastered the art of concealing his true emotions towards his brother.
That is why nobody suspects that he is behind the attack on his brother and his wife Kananu. He hired two gunmen from Somalia to do the job. He recommended that they spend their night at Asali Guest House, where they would get entertained before getting their payment.
Somewhere between eating dinner, drinking beer and losing themselves in the throes of passion with the girls at the Asali Guest House, the two gunmen were poisoned and their bodies dumped in a river inside a stolen Probox. It was deemed an accident, and following the discovery of the murder of Festus and his wife, the police concluded that the two gunmen plunged into the river while escaping after killing the two. No post mortem was conducted.
Karimi had reported the Probox as having been stolen two days before.
With his brother dead, and the crime perfectly covered up, Fredrick celebrates by spending the night in Karimi’s arms. He tells her all his secrets because first, he owns her. Second, she is loyal to him because he took her off the streets and gave her a measure of respectability. Third, she is street smart and can come up with and execute the most wicked of plans for their mutual profit. Her moral conscience died eons ago. Fourth and most importantly, because she understands that he is capable of killing without remorse. He can send men to kill a rival on Saturday night and preach with a smiling face on Sunday morning. She knows she is only safe with him as an ally.
Fredrick smiles to himself while gently stroking Karimi’s hair. He will preside over the burial of his brother and his wife, looking like a grief stricken brother, holding the hands of his nieces like a concerned uncle. He will earn the girls’ trust before systematically defrauding them of their father’s property. He has already bribed most of the senior employees of the farm and milk processing plant and they are dancing to his tune. His late brother’s lawyer is a corrupt fool who he has already bribed. All he needs now is to manipulate the naïve little girls, and their father’s ranch will be his for the taking.
He does not plan on stopping until he takes it all, including the girls’ dignity. He will block all their attempts at getting decent jobs…until both of them are forced by poverty to become prostitutes at his guest house. That will be the ultimate revenge against his brother.
To purchase a copy of last month’s novella, Pitfalls of Love or this bonus novella A Woman Scorned you can follow either one of two ways:
- Digital Method. Log in to the bookstore- register if you are new-(https://www.maroncha.com/book-store). Select the book (Pitfall of Love or A Woman Scorned). Add to cart, check out then pay. You will be able to download instantly from the bookstore. A copy will also be automatically sent to your email.
- Manual Method. Pay Kshs. 100 to Buy Goods Till Number 297264. Send us an email at email@example.com telling us your M-PESA name and the book you wish to purchase (Pitfalls of Love or A Woman Scorned). It might take us some time to process your order, but we will email your copy once we have verified your payment. If you are using the manual system and wish to buy my previous books, just log in to the bookstore (https://www.maroncha.com/book-store) and you will see all the previous titles. You can then pay for any of them.
Remember you can always inbox Sanctuaryside on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a query or feedback.
See you all on Tuesday.