The flood lights went on and blinded Kimani, he had been in the stadium for the last four hours. He walked all the way to Kasarani Stadium from work. He had just been fired in unclear circumstances and was told that he would receive his pay in 90 days. He had nothing, no money for transportation, food or even rent due today. The landlord wouldn’t hear of it, he needed to go home with rent. He had nowhere to hide; he lived in Pangani but kept walking along Thika road over 10 Kms to where he was now.
No one had seen him enter the stadium or noticed him when the floodlights went on. No one probably would have cared. There he was knees clasped to his chest, clad in an oversized and short suit, socks peering through his trousers inches above his now dust worn shoes. Kimani just stared at the track and repeatedly played the day’s events in his mind in a mental reel.
“I walked in on time; I had always been on time never late. My shoes were polished and shinny, my suit well pressed. I brought in the newspaper on time, his tea was hot…I didn’t tell him I was looking for another job.Well, I wasn’t. I have been his right hand man for four years what changed, things were looking up! I was being trained to be his new personal assistant extraordinaire…I…”
Over and over again he ran through it in his head. It didn’t make sense.
“Wewe! Wewe!” a voice emerged with a torch pointing in his direction. Kimani lifted his hands to shield his eyes from the extra blinding light. He sat mum.
“What are you doing here ey? How did you get in? Are you a thief?”
“Like I would admit that to you?” Kimani mumbled.
“Ati nini?” the man tapped his head with the torch.
Kimani shoved him off. “Look, I have no ill intention, I just, just needed a place to sit and think, it has been a long day.”
“Then go home,” the security guard tried to nudge him off the bleacher.
“Ok fine! Fine! Guy! I have nowhere to go. Sina Nyumba!” The security guard began to rough him up and yank him off the bleachers. Kimani lightly pulled the guards grip off of his wrist and silently walked to the gate. He raised his hands as he approached the gate.
“Na usirudi tena hapa!” Kimani wasn’t about to go back there anyhow. He had been mistreated enough for one day. As he walked out of the flood lit stadium to the dark, mean streets, like you may have expected. The next thing he knew his feet were dangling in mid air, he was choking with a smelly armpit raised with what felt like a wooden plank pressed against his windpipe. He was gagging and foaming at the mouth.
“Hana kitu mzeya!” And just like that, the thugs dropped him to the ground foaming at the mouth, eyes popping out and seizing. Everything went dark for Kimani.