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He was already thirty and with no carnal knowledge. For this, he despised and hated himself. He had been a dull boy since his birth, and peers disliked him. For some reason, his head appeared to attract unwanted attention, and thus, it was more of a burden that the master of his body. “Go fetch water big head” his mother would shout at him when she fixed an eye on him and imagined that he was being unproductive. Playing was unproductive, sleeping was unproductive. Practically, any leisurely activity he indulged in was an unproductive activity, and thus, disapproved by his parents. He could not avoid this, for he could not stay away from home, for the fear that his mates should pour scorn on him, and make cruel jokes about his poor head. So he was contented with running errands for his mother who was always vexed with him and regretful that she had given birth to such a silly child, a thing she often mentioned even in his presence.
He had loathed his parents and learned to live with this hatred, for he could not communicate it to them, or even insinuate, by the virtue that they were his breadwinner and his benefactors. He was the loneliest child that ever was born, and that which knew of this ruinous fact by heart. Like a pauper he led his teenage life, withdrawing from his mates, and having to content himself with watching girls from under the protection of bushes. These he desired, and these he knew he could not have, and thus hated them, and fancied having them under his strong hand, and doing to them all the things he had imagined without their approval. But since he knew that he had no will to effect these thoughts, he was contented with watching them, and dreaming the more, and returning to his home which was always almost like a torture chamber.
Now, being thirty, and upon reflecting on his life, he realized that he had amounted to nothing. He was out of a job, dirty and always carrying shame and dislike with his person. His parents had turned him out, upon claiming that his mouth had been a drain for a time too long. Finding himself homeless, he turned to the streets, and there, during night time, made his bed. But the man had big dreams, and these he dreamt of every night. He would marry a beautiful wife, he would have beautiful children, and they would be a one big happy family living in a big castle. Often, after a blissful sleep full of these phantasies, he was always woken up in the morning by the town sweepers, and have their insult for breakfast.
Each day, he would visit the town’s bakery bin for a burned crust of bread. This too, he had to share with his unfortunate mates, and sometimes he would be cheated out of the small fortune, sometimes beaten and kicked, sometimes spat on. He never fought back, for it had been known that he was quite a sickly chap, and silent, and with no friends to defend him. So he went on, taking the little he would get from the bin and carry on with his day, which mostly involved many rounds in the town district admiring things from shop windows. Sometimes he would run errands for the big boys and they would give him a meal, which he would gobble up without much thought. When unlucky, which was almost always the case, he was contented with feeling sorry for himself, and nursing these feelings with the big dreams that filled his head. And yet, it can be said that despite all his troubles, one thing troubled him the most. He was thirty and with no carnal knowledge.
Having never had a relation with a woman hurt him the most. During his idle moments, he would turn thoughts in his head, and sometimes he had unpleasant conversations with himself. He mentioned to himself that hunger did not trouble him much. He said to himself that he was already used to debasements and human abuse, and that these had no toil on him. But having no relation with a woman, at his age, was the most hurtful thing, especially when he remembered or rather saw himself in his teenage years, hiding in the bush to see girls walk to and from the village stream. Once he had tried to dismiss the thoughts with laughter at his stupidity, but then the thoughts never went away. Each growing day, it became such a troubling concern that it ate into his mind so, denying him sleep. So, most of the nights, he would lie on his makeshift bed, counting the stars, and telling himself that everything would be well. He would meet the woman of his life, and they would make wild love under the moon, with the witness of the stars above them and the bushes surrounding him. Yet, when he woke up, he was always unsatisfied, worried and sad.
It was long since he had been labelled the town’s outcast. It was a hurtful thing, that he had been driven out of polite society, and that each day he had to endure their vile comments about him, and to walk on the same lanes as them, only that they considered him as a despised town mongrel, pushing him off corridors when they met him. Sometimes women would clutch their handbags close to themselves, and sometimes mothers would warn their children to take caution of the “mad man”. Each night, under the stars, he nursed these feelings without any bitter resentment, for his big dreams were always there to comfort him. He only regretted that he had never had any passionate relation with a woman, and fancied that if at all the moment should present itself, then he should improve his rank in the society, if not in the eyes of the town folk, at least in his own. But then something at the back of his mind whispered, and informed him that he should die as if he had volunteered his life to chastity.
There comes a time when even the best men in the society are driven out of their principles and self-built walls by certain circumstances. They try to fight, but it is always that one impulse that drive them into doing the undesired thing. And this is what happened with the boy, upon hearing that girls of tender age sold themselves for a small coin. At receiving these news, he reminded himself of the woman of his dream, of the children, the car and the castle, but his burning heart refused to be convinced. Here was the chance to redeem himself. And therefore, wild passion swept across his heart, and indescribable images of naked women filled his mind. He could feel his manhood hardening, and his blood boiling. In this state of high passion, he made a promise to himself that when darkness struck, he would seek one of the girls out, and fulfill his desire.
So that day, one of the gang he worked for had some errands for him to run, after which he was awarded with food and drink, and because it had involved much work, tossed him a coin, which to him, was a gesture of approval from heavens. So he prayed that the three hours separating him from the night should gallop, so that he would help himself.
“We will not watch our girls used at all cost. As a society, it is upon us to defend them. We must join hands to fight this evil. And to do this, we must begin by showing this man how to better behave.” The people cheered, and the crowd surged forward in frenzy. All wanted to have a feel of the convicted man. Some with clubs, others with stones, and others with their bare hands, until the man dropped dead. Then they left, only looking at him as an unwanted man. That night the streets were deserted, and unusual calm rented the air. The man had died in his weakness, a sacrifice of nature.


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Mutegi Ben

Such a fine story Ghitto. The streets are deserted…
I envy