Abandoned baby stirs parenting urge

Makini is excited as Sophia airs cravings for one of her own

In Summary

• Stranger shows up looking for father of her baby, leaves it with cops to go in search


For the last two and a half years, I’ve been trying to get my fiancée, Sgt Sophia, to cross the final line and become my wife. To my chagrin, it’s been a steeper uphill battle than I expected.

Given that, like the rest of my generation, my idea of romance stems from popular media, I had hoped more for the ease of Before We Go, not the rigorous When Harry Met Sally. If only I knew it would take a minor tragedy to settle matters once and for all.

“This is why women don’t help out other women,” says Sgt Sophia as she rocks a small bundle in her arms.

It all started this morning as we went about our daily business of Utumishi Kwa Wote for the denizens of Jiji Ndogo. A usual day in our police post consists of sitting around, waiting for something to happen.

When something does come up, it’s as monumental as the Mona Lisa being stolen, or a daring break into Central Bank. Nah, just kidding. The greatest heist to ever take place in Jiji Ndogo under my watch was the time 13 chicken disappeared from Mzee Karanga’s coop, which remains a mystery to date.

Oh, and Nyaguthii’s goat that disappeared a few days before my deployment (Nyaguthii would have a goat if I failed to mention it).

It has been a while since something of note happened, and when a stranger showed up at our door today, carrying a small baby, we never thought her a break to the monotony.

“Natafuta baba mtoto wangu,” she said.

“He lives in Jiji Ndogo?” Sophia asked, before launching into more sophisticated info-gathering enquiries, like, “What’s his name? What does he do?”

“Anaitwa Stevo na tulipatana Coast. That’s all I know.”

Such bare-bones intel would be nothing to go by in some places, but in Jiji Ndogo, where everyone knows everyone else, a name is almost as good as DNA evidence.

“There are two Stevos in Jiji Ndogo,” I informed our guest. “One has never left the village, and the other is in Kericho. In jail.”

“Labda alinidanganya.” Our visitor looks a tad confused. “But nikimwona nitamjua. Here, hold my baby and I’ll ask around.”

And that’s how Sophia and I were saddled with a strange baby for the better part of the day. Until now, the mother is yet to return.

“What if she’s gone for good?” Sophia voices the worst, changing the baby’s diaper for the fourth time. “The bottled milk is almost gone.”

“Maybe you could…”

“I swear to God, if you say I could breastfeed him—”

“Him? I thought he was a she. Doesn’t he have the… the…”

“They’re there. Just very small. Is this the kind of father you’re going to be?”

“Am I going to be a father?”

“Not if you don’t get off your butt and ask my father my hand in marriage — properly — soon. I want this.”

“You want that baby?”

“I want one of my own.” She turns the most beautiful eyes to me. “One of our own. And soon, Makini. Soon.”

Despite the bliss that storms into my heart, I feel the need to clear up some things. “Sophie, you do know how they are made, right? Like the actual process involved between a man and a woman so that—”

“If my father says yes today, you will have the whole night to—”

“On it!” I shoot for the door.

“Makini!” Sophia calls. “The baby!”

“Oh, yeah. I guess we have to deal with that first.”

“Saved by the bell,” Sophia says, pointing. “Here comes the mother.”

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