Pushed

Kanini just sat there staring at every person who passed by her wooden kiosk. No one bought anything from her. That never stopped her restocking her groceries, they would rot and burn from the heat, but she held on to the possibility that one day, just one day, someone would buy groceries from her. She had sat in that shack for so long that she had learnt people’s routines. For entertainment she would parrot people with a deliberate strong ethnic slur. It was like watching a Spanish soap opera with Kenyan accents; phenomenal! Some cleaning ladies had befriended Kanini mostly out of pity. They would religiously join her after their bosses left for work to watch the neighbourhood soap opera by Kanini.

This particular morning Joshu from across the street had come out shirtless in his shorts to get the usual milk, eggs and bread. Kanini wanted to spice things up.

‘Wewe! Joshu! Leo umeparara kupita kiasi, si uje nikusaidie na ka Vaseline.” And then she gestured in a very lewd manner then wrapped it up with a wink and kiss in the air. The house helps burst out laughing, Joshu walked past them to his flat, he pretended that he did not hear them cackling like witches. Kanini’s brow lifted and she began to tear from her joke. She was holding her tummy with tears streaming down her cheeks. She loved every moment of the walk of shame and the embarrassment that Joshu wore on his face. It was what he deserved after what he had done repeatedly to her.

The laughter was abruptly cut short by Kanini screaming and running from the car that had rammed into her shack and was stopped by a large jerrican of water. The driver said nothing he just rolled out from behind the steering wheel, flung the door open and threw up on the ground. He crawled out partly falling on his vomit. He eventually stood up with much effort and leaned on the car with his back against the driver’s window and lifted his head to the blue skies. The sun’s morning beams shone warmth on his face.

Kanini had run about 300 metres away in shock; the house helps were now nowhere to be seen and Kanini stood enraged as she looked at her now damaged shack. “What luck!” She yelled. She looked at the shack, then at the drunk who had wrecked it. Looked at the shack and then at the balcony of the flat facing her shop where Joshu now stood sipping his tea with a smirk on his face. Kanini was seething; her business was taken from her, but her shack, her nest, her centre. She wasn’t going to let anyone else take that away from her.

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