It was a cool calm morning in Kinde village. Children were laughing and playing on their way to the river to fetch water. Odero was the laughing stock of the children in the neighbourhood, his speech was like a bust engine, it was all about fits and starts with him. Owino always teased as always.
“Yyyyyyou cccCan’tt tttalk ttttto mmmmmmme lllike ttttttttttttthat.”
By the time he had completed his statement with a series of chest thumbs and foot stamps to speak, the other children could be heard splashing around in the river 100 metres away. Odero hung his head and fought back his tears dragging himself to the river. He was tired of the taunting and teasing. These boys were meant to be his friends; well they were till Owino showed up in the picture.
Owino had been living in “Town”, that is what he called it but Odero’s mum had told him that their family lived on the outskirts of a major town in a slum. “There is nothing BIG about being in a town when all you do is relieve yourself in a plastic bag!” Odero’s mum would retort when he would ask for clothes like Owino’s “From Town”.
Owino’s family relocated to Kinde village after his mother was fired. Rumour had it that she was doing more than just cleaning the home. Odero had not heard the details; he would attempt to eavesdrop on his mother when the other ladies came over to gossip, but would barely hear anything. “Stole…..thief….man…..10,000…..imagine….fired…..nothing……useless……prostitute” That really was all he could pick out every time he would eavesdrop. But after the taunting he had faced that day, that was the last straw, Owino was going to have it.
He ran to the river to catch up with the rest, he didn’t strip his clothes like the rest, he went straight in and rammed into Owino. The next thing the other boys saw were bubbles coming up to the surface with Owino’s bright eyes poping out of their sockets in water and Odero’s hands clasped round his neck under water.
They did nothing; they stared helplessly at Odero stunned. Owino’s hands were now flailing at the surface of the water, splashing the water around violently. Owino then attempted to dive deeper, he dragged Odero in the water with him and grabbed Odero’s waist under water and clasped him between his legs. Odero attempted to wriggle out. Now Odero was under water trying to break away giving Owino time to resurface and gasped for air.
Then out of nowhere Sam broke free from his frozen state with the other boys, grabbed Odero’s plastic jerrican and hit Owino on the head, Owino broke hold and Odero kicked to the surface. The other boys ran to the shore, grabbed their clothes and fled butt naked.