We’re married, papers be damned

Sophia has some making up to do after starving Makini for two years

In Summary

• Unluckiest man in the world is on a winning streak for a change


The morning after my fiancée Sophia and I ‘officially’ consummated our yet-to-happen marriage, she wakes up in a better mood than I’ve seen her. Actually, I didn’t see her wake up per se, I wake to a sound at the door and see her enter the room, a bag in one hand and a thermos flask in the other.

She raised both. “Coffee and sweet cakes. It’s not Java, but it’s the best I could get.” As I try to get out of bed, she says, “No, no, no. You get breakfast in bed.”

I know it’s supposed to be a romantic gesture, but I’m a country boy and some things just don’t make a lick of sense to me. Like Spiderman kissing Mary Jane upside down in the rain. How is that romantic? And why is every woman supposed to like flowers? And matching bands? Eating on the bed is tacky, to say the least, but to each his own.

“I love it,” I say as Sophia arranges the sheets around me and pours a scalding cup of coffee into a mug.

“There’s supposed to be a tray, but, well, beggars can’t be choosers, right?”

In all fairness, there isn’t a table in the lodging, so eating off the bed makes sense. And surprisingly, the coffee tastes good and the bread is delicious.

I’m not a picky eater and the closest I’ve come to gourmet eating is canned meat wrapped in a chapo. My mother used to say I’d eat kokoto if cooked well enough.

“We should go on a honeymoon,” Sophia says through a mouthful of bread.

“Sophia, we only made love last night. We didn’t get married. And we’ve made love before, remember?”

“We didn’t make love. We had pity sex after you almost killed me with flowers. Last night was a celebration of freedom. Why do we need a piece of paper to ascertain what we already know?”

“You know what? You’re right. We can have a traditional wedding.”

She laughs so hard coffee snorts out of her nose. “Are you kidding me?”


“That’s worse than a Western wedding. At least with modern rites we can hijack two guys from the street and make them witness it. A traditional wedding means involving the family, friends and any idle passer-by. You know what that means? My mother.”

“Fair enough. Come-we-stay it is, then.”

“It’s more than that.” She whips out a piece of paper. “I did some reading while on the coffee errand. “Section 3(1) (c) of the Judicature Act30 acknowledges common law as part of law in Kenya,” she says.

“Therefore, cohabitation has also been included as another form of marriage despite its exclusion from section 3(6) of the Marriage Act, 201431. There. Per Kenyan law, we’ve been married for the last two years, Mr Makini. Get used to it.”

“In that case, I should sue you for denial of conjugal rights. We’ve had sex twice in two years. And according to you, the first time doesn’t even count.”

She smiles. “I’ve had sex with you in my mind. Many times.”

“Oh my God!” I almost spill my coffee. “You, too? Oh, boy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve… Hey! Wait a minute! That doesn’t count. I’ve imagined shacking up with Shakira just as much. Does that mean we’re married, too?”

Sophia makes a face. “Shakira? I thought it was that other musician. The one with big hips.”

“Don’t change the subject, Mrs Makini. You have some making up to do.”

“Is that so?” She takes the coffee out of my hand and kisses me on the cheek. “Can I start now?”

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