These events took place exactly one month ago. It’s 9:30PM Saturday night. We have had dinner and the girls are already tucked in bed after brushing their teeth. I want to grab a shower and slip into my soothing pair of blue cotton pyjamas. Then we can catch a movie or something. My husband being the more adventurous one ,has other ideas…
“Let’s go out”, he suggests as I step out of the shower.
I am thinking that there is NO WAY we can go out because we have no house-help and going out would mean locking our sleeping children inside the house and leaving them alone.
“We are just going to the sports club,” he says, reading my mind and referring to the club in our estate a stone’s throw (literally!) from our house.
I dress up. As in really dress up. A sexy little number, heels and all. I throw on a jacket. It’s a typically cold Limuru night. Locking the door behind us, we get into Sporty.
We drive slowly enjoying the music. Hot 96. Volume up. Life is good. We get to the sports club. No sign of life there. It’s locked! How now?? It’s a weekend for Chrissake!
“Let’s go to Kentmere.”
Kentmere is this members only club that’s a little less than 10 KM from Limuru along the 116 route. We did our wedding at Kentmere – magical place.
“Are you sure?” I must have asked
If you live in this part of Central Kenya, you must have heard that Route 116 to Limuru is not recommended at all after dark. It is considered dangerous. As a result of this, or otherwise, there are very few cars on this particular road at night.
“Just a few minutes, we’ll be back”, he assures.
We head to Kentmere. Very little traffic.
In no time, we are at Kentmere. Warmly ushered in, we head to a small lounge and take a place near the fire place.
We settle in and order a drink.
As we sip our drink we talk and reminisce and try to relax. I say try because we have left the kids in the house…alone! OK they are asleep but once in a while either of them wakes up with a bad dream or something and decides they would feel safer if they slept in mommy & daddy’s bed.
Three quarters of an hour later we are headed back home. Hardly any traffic. I can feel the fear creeping in into my mind. I try to replace that with a silent prayer – a prayer for our safety. Hubby senses my fear and he puts his hand on my knee and assures me that we’ll be fine.
Soon we are cruising towards Limuru.
Then we see them. Some deserted place beside the road, we notice some suspicious – looking guys. They are waving at us to stop. The knot in my stomach gets tighter. I am on the edge of my seat. I am not the one driving but I press the imaginary gas pedal beneath my right foot even harder. Of course we don’t stop. We would be out of our mind to.
We are moving really fast.
Then it happens. Not very far from where the could-be-robbers/murderers/carjackers had tried to stop us we hit what seemed like this really huge pothole and there is a loud burst. WE ARE NOT HAVING A PUNCTURE. I die. No I don’t actually but you get what I mean.
Sporty is trying. She really is. But proceeding like this is hurting her. We are approx. 2 KM from Limuru and we are approaching a hill. We come to what seems like a homestead entrance to our left. We turn left and drive that way. It turns out to be another smaller road paved with bushes both ways. We come to a halt. It’s drizzling lightly.
This is not happening! We are out in the night with two sleeping girls at home. We are on a deserted road and we are having puncture. And guess what, we left our phones at home!
“Relax.” Hubby is saying.
“Listen, I am going to come out and change the wheel. You will stay in the car. Lock all doors. If I hear anyone, I will run this way and look for help” he says pointing to the homestead nearby.
We are in agreement.
He walks out and assesses the damage. To our shock and horror it is not one tyre that burst, but two. Our goose is cooked.
What to do? Think!
Plan B. Let’s try to get help from this homestead. Leaving me in the car, hubby walks into the open gate to a lifeless home. There is no sign of life here at all. Not even a knock on the door seemed to wake anyone up. Lord have mercy!
Back in the car we hold hands and say a Prayer. It is now 11:30PM and it is raining heavily.
Wait! there is a light at the far end of the road. There is a vehicle coming towards us. Someone remind me that verse that says that God, never goes to sleep. Hubby walks out into the rain and flags it down. Luckily, it stops. It’s an old Toyota Pick-up. Understandably, the driver is very suspicious of us. We would be suspicious of him too, but the way things are, we simply can’t afford that luxury!
Hubbs is trying to convince him that we are not thugs. He is explaining that we are two peace loving Kenyans who had just gone out for a drink dinner. To add an emotional twist to the story, he tells him that we have even left our kids in the house. He is gesturing towards our car and telling him. “Hata tuko na wife hapa.”, to which the guy sarcastically asks “bibi YAKO?”
Now, here is the thing : looking at my husband and I, you would be forgiven to think that we
are probably two kids still in or just out of college. We get amused and feel flattered when people at first think that our girls 6 and 4, are our siblings or at best…our nieces. Anyway, my husband’s excellent persuasion skills are at play here and the guy believes us…almost. Hubbs explains that we have two tyre bursts and asks if he could lend us his spare tyre. If we can replace the two offending tyres then, we’ll be on our way soon.
He agrees to help us. He turns off the engine of his car and comes out.
Hubby is rummaging frantically through Sporty’s boot. Jerk? check. Wheel spanner. Wheel spanner? Where is the wheel spanner?! Tell you what, there is no wheel spanner in this car.
When it rains, it pours.
“Kijana, umenunua gari na hujui gari yako?” Mr. Good Samaritan is even more suspicious. He is not convinced that we have not actually stolen this car. He doesn’t have one himself – a wheel spanner that is. After some deliberations, he agrees to drop us at Limuru from where we can sort ourselves out. We leave Sporty there, alone in the dark.
It’s now past midnight.
We are approaching Tigoni Police station and he is suggesting that we report what has happened to the police, for them to tow our car. That is what he is saying. What we are hearing is that he is threatening to take us to the police station…for suspected carjacking. And we are not about to let that happen. Did I mention my husband is a good negotiator? Yes, he manages to convince Mr. Good Samaritan not to make a left turn to Tigoni Police Station.
Home Sweet Home
We reach Limuru town in a few. God you are awesome!
Good Samaritan is in a hurry to drop us in Limuru town, but hubby convinces him to drop us at our house. “Na msiende kuteta!” he says, as we alight. Finally, he is convinced that we are husband and wife. Hehe.
Hubby picks his phone and an umbrella and Good Samaritan drops him at Limuru town. Later he told me that he begged him to take some money but he refused. To cut the long story short, hubby got help from a friend and at 2:20AM he drove Sporty through our drive way.
The next morning we got a chance to really look at the damage done. There was a bent nail lodged in one of the tyres. (Didn’t I tell you those people beside the road were up to no good? ) As for our wheel spanner, it had actually been stolen. It was unfortunate that we hadn’t realized.
Travel safe this Easter!