• The plight of a pregnant girl weighs heavier on Sgt Makini when she is stranded
The Jiji Ndogo chief has kicked out his daughter Millicent for getting pregnant out of wedlock.
I tried to play Good Samaritan, now he thinks I’m the father of her unborn baby. She’s at the post, luggage and all.
“What do we do now?” I ask my boss, Inspector Tembo.
“We?” he asks. “There’s no we, son, it’s your mess. Sort it out.”
He leaves. I turn to Millicent.
“There’s got to be somewhere you can go. Don’t you have friends?”
“I do. There’s Tall Tina.”
“Good. You can go stay with her. I'll take your bag.”
“She’s dead. Got hit by a donkey cat near the market.”
“Geez! Sorry. Anyone else?”
“There’s Short Suzie. But she’s no more.”
“What happened to her, got hit by a mkokoteni?”
“Don’t be silly.” Millicent frowns. “She fell from a mango tree. So sad. She was the only one who knew how to climb. No mangoes for us that season.”
“Is there anyone else? Petite Patricia, maybe?”
“Are you making fun of me?”
“No. Trying to help.”
“I could go to Large Lydia, but she got married and moved to Mombasa.”
“Did all your friend come with adjectives? What were you, Mouthy Millicent?”
She looks offended.
“No,” she says. “I was Fat Millicent.”
“Tall Tina, Large Lydia, Short Suzie and Fat Millicent? How come yours didn’t rhyme?”
She shrugs. “We were young. We couldn't come up with a word for fat that began with M.”
“You sure don’t look too fat now,” I tell her.
She shakes her head. “You’re quite the ladies magnet, aren't you?”
I blush. “Thank you?”
“It’s not a compliment, dumbass. Never call a woman fat.”
“That’s not fair. So, now I’m the one supposed to come up with another word for fat that begins with an ‘M’? Let me see… Misty, Moldy, Mildew… Nope. Can’t think of any. You'll just have to remain Fat Millicent.”
“I’m not fat. I’m pregnant.”
“Pregnant Millicent? Nope. Still doesn’t rhyme.”
She shakes her head. Exasperated.
“And you are the one I’m stuck with?”
“Oh, no. No one is getting stuck with anyone. We find a place for you to crash tonight. Tomorrow, we have to figure out how to get you back home.”
She turns away from me.
“I can’t go home. You heard my father. He’ll kill me before he allows me back home with a bastard child.”
“What about the father? There’s gotta be a way to find him.”
“I don’t want to talk about him.” She curls up on the bench. “I'll just sleep here, if that’s okay with you. Tomorrow I'll be out of your hair.”
As much as I want to settle the matter, I can’t let her sleep on a hard bench at the post. But I’m running out of options.
“I could invite you back to my place,” I say. Doubtfully. “But it’s a small single room. Really crumped. And I don’t have a bed yet, so the mattress is on the floor. It’s thin, too. Four inches. And I have only one blanket I’ve been using since Kiganjo. It’s so worn it’s practically a mesh. Also…”
In my preoccupation, Millicent had stood up, picked up her suitcase and now she stood at the door, looking back at me.
“What are you still waiting for?” she asks. “Let’s go.”
“But I’ve never slept with a woman,” I blabber.
“Well, there’s always a first time, right?”
I slap my forehead.
“I meant to say no girl has ever slept at my place.”
“Yeah. That’s what you meant.”
Edited by T Jalio