He is staring at me with those clear brown eyes, he must be four or five months old,a bundled dude with a small perfect inquisitive face. I couldn’t help but wonder if he knew how messed up his situation was, from the look of things though I could tell he didn’t give a rat’s ass.
“mommy is coming back soon,”he doesn’t seem convinced as he scowled his face preparing for the second round of screaming and wailing.i have to act fast before my ear drums turn to mush
“cm on Alec…cut me some slack here…”i pleaded picking the boy up from the chair and bobbing him up and down like i saw the moms from our flat do when their rug rats threw fits.Alec although is not moved by my efforts,starts to feel kind of personal now,like he knows what i have done and he wants to show his detest the only way he knows how.i lift him high above my shoulders and look into his disappointed watery eyes again,
“what do you need nigga!!”i try to appeal to his street side but nothing,i could foresee this situation escalating, i needed help pronto.This being the first time i had been left alone with him apparently for an undisclosed period of time,i was aware of all the reasons his mother might have had to wanna bail,i mean,i didn’t serenade her with dance and song when Alec was born,nor did i stand beside her holding her hand as she was being urged to push but i didn’t deserve this,don’t get me wrong,i would have done all those things if we were together together but at that moment all that mattered was the fact that i was way out of my league.Alec could sense my weakness,bobbing was not doing it for him,the milk i was advised to give him by his mother was like rat poison on his lips,he kept spitting it out and i was about to shit a brick.
just then a knock on the door,
“where the fuck did you go???!i blow up even before opening the door with a live siren in my arms.
“HAHAHAHAHA!!!BABA ZERO!!!bellowed Carl my neighbor as he took a step back to fully take in my predicament.
“what the fuck is so funny ass wipe”
“wah msee…this your kid?”He asks trying to deduce how a baby ended up in my questionable care.
“naah,i ran a baby care now asshole”i was getting irritated by the crying.
“dude relax…kwani ni mimi nilikuambia unyeshe ndani?”Carl was spotting on of those beaming thank heavens this isn’t me smiles, i didn’t like it.
“hold the negro for a bit,maybe he just doesn’t like me.”
no no no…i have to go to class msee…
don’t be an ass just for a few minutes,my hands are cramping
“yeah…Al make sure unaenda chuo na shati haikai ni kama umeitoa kwa mdomo ya ng’ombe”holding back what looked like a lot of wise ass remarks and a good laugh he took the boy from me,the switch must have helped because he went quiet,as though sizing up his new victim before dropping his signature finish move.
“sly you’ve been pinching this kid you evil wanker”
“now why the hell would i do that to myself!”
“have you fed him?and i hope you know they don’t eat indomie msee”
“he is like five months old dude,no solids!”
get off my back!!…he is five months old…
so…baby mama ako wapi?
“uskii alinishow ameenda shop like three hours ago”and that’s when i realized how fucked i was,here was a kid i barely acknowledged who at the moment was either passing a kidney stone or working on crying for sport
“hey i think he is crying because he needs some air”
“yeah,twende roof,let’s get some sun in him tuone itakuaje”
“yeah that’s a good idea,at least i aint doing this by my …”
“eer sorry dude,al be going to class in like fifteen minutes”
“what the fuck dude!!!cmon!!!”
“i have exams!!”
“well am taking my biggest exam right now dude!!!, na sina mwaks!!!”
i didn’t know if Alec was scared of the bickering or fascinated because he looked like he was listening intently as we ascended up the stairs.it was a cloudy day,a few streaks of sunshine penetrating through cumulus clouds here and there,we removed some of the bundles of wrapping that made him look like a giants turd, exposing the little guys tiny legs and arms,he seems to like it.i took this time to compare his features to mine,see whose genes took the lions share.at least he had my face and skin tone,the legs are his moms,sadly i didn’t do him any favors on the hair.even at five months old i could tell that he would suffer the curse all men in our family suffer,steel wool hair.
“At least you aint a girl or you would hate me big time”i say to myself as Carl unveils a “cigarette”
As we all settle into our new environment and the “cigarette”starts making rounds(blowing smoke away from the baby of course)he starts squirming uncomfortably,the sort of discomfort i imagine one goes through when they check your prostate,he was not having fun anymore and i could see him preparing to let us know the only way he knew how.
“sly,you sure this kid is okay?
“i don’t know!!”
did you try his mother again?
“ni mteja” i was getting agitated.
Alec was crying again,trying to reach for an invisible life line with his tiny hands,i looked over at Carl who seemed to be counting down the last seconds of his thirty minutes,i was going to be alone again.i looked at baby Alec and his exposed gums,hell i could see down to his stomach he was crying so hard.
“yoh sly,i have to go…”
“sure…sure al be here”
“call your sister msee”
“cant…yuko machakos and i don’t want to disturb her”that was a lie,hell i would have tugged on a lion’s mane if that’s what it took to calm him down
“so,utado?kesho you have to go to work and he is too young…you cant do this alone”
yeah,Carl had a point and it seemed as though Alec wasn’t doing too good,his tiny red lips were drying up.he seemed to be in pain,i was slowly starting to lose my cool.we walked back down the stairs as i listened for my sister to pick her phone,
“Hey small bro,whats up?”
“I need your help sis”Alec looked tired,but the crying was still audible
“do you have a kid with you”
(oh yeah,i hadn’t told her…)
“yeah…his name is Alec…your nephew”
“hey…am sorry i didn’t tell you but he is here…his mum is not …and he wont stop crying!!!”
just then the connection was lost,apparently my phone ran out of juice,Carl was already gone and i really had to take a piss.
“first things first…keep your son alive”i told myself out loud as i tried to recall a lullaby from my kid years…nothing came to mind.
“Aerosmith will have to do”pacing back and forth on my door step as i sang to him “i don’t wanna miss a thing”was all i could think of.(the name of the song and my predicaments irony was not lost to me.).My boy was passed cute baby crying,he was making an eerie heartbreaking noise i never thought a human being could make.I felt so useless.
One of the super mommies who strutted around the building glowing with womanhood and the pride of bringing two babies into the world(at the same time)was walking from her house,i think Alec’s crying had made her super mum sense tingle or something,she casually glanced my way and met my gaze as i took a pause from my pacing and horrible singing to compose a ‘i got this’ expression which turned into a please save me faster than shit through a goose.she started walking towards me with her generous burst swaying with every graceful step.
“Ameshinda akilia,sijui nini mbaya”i pointed out the obvious,
she took him with a cool collected swagger that only came with experience,held him up to smell for a number two,
“maziwa kidogo,i replied sheepishly scratching my head.
“amenyonya leo?”i could see her eyes trying to connect the dots as she tried to peer through my curtains for any presence.Unwillingly i glanced at her breasts for a second or two,
“eer mama yake ametoka kidogo”i said looking at Alec who seemed to be reaching for one of her impressive mammary glands,for an uncomfortable few seconds we all looked at them.
“So anataka kunyonya ama?”
“not really hehehe just give him some water sawa?”
“sawa”i could not believe that’s all the negro needed.”
“halafu try to give him more mil…”
cutting her short,
“lemme get the water” i was not going to risk another failed theory,she would stay and do this with me whether she liked it or not.I was in completely dumbfounded when he grabbed the small cup with his tiny T Rex claws from my trembling hands and like the tiniest lone survivor of a plane crash in the Sahara desert started taking king size gulps.super mum was at hand to control the cup when he got too over eager.With that Alec went quiet.i moved close to see what magic she was performing on the boy only to see his eyes shut,he looked tired.
“wacha alale.akiamka,maziwa.don’t forget”with that my hero walked slowly back to her house.i managed to whisper a horse thank you before she closed her door.
After our first father son bonding experience i believed the worse was over,i knew there was an angry big sister who would be blowing into town with the wrath of mother Gaya herself; a baby mama who i imagined was maybe on a bus to Mtwapa with a guy named Marvo or something,maybe Marvo was better than me,maybe he had convinced her that a dead beat dad like myself deserved to know how it felt to raise a child on his own.
“fukin marvo…”i hissed vehemently when i thought about that non-existent worm.
there was a lot that was not okay in my life,alot of questions that needed answers,a diaper that needed changing…later but i didn’t care,at last Alec was sleeping peacefully,in that moment,everything was perfect.