coffee · creative · kenya

Hooked up

Jack stretched out his feet off the coach and placed them on a stool that had on it his phone and a glass half full of juice. Under the table, folded twice in a rather awkward way was a newspaper and by the look of things the reader had not found much fascinating in it or maybe the lazy Sunday effect had taken charge, judging in the manner in which it had been carelessly shoved under the table.

He tried to concentrate on the television screen following up on a repeat match that had actually happened the previous day while he was busy in the field running errands but often than not his eyes wandered about the living room as if he was unsure if it was actually his house or perhaps wondering how on earth so much had changed in the past one year.

He would have fully concentrated on the match but considering that this was a repeat match and that he already knew the outcome and his team had terribly lost, he was less concerned. Worse he had lost the bet! All he could do was simply catch up trying to keep his mind preoccupied. Too bad ‘everybody’ else had disappeared from the living room, apparently ‘they’ did not like football.

All this while a part of his mind still nagged him about the conversation he had had with his father the previous week. His father had called him and informed him of his desire for him to pertake in the management of their farm where the major crop to be managed was coffee. Jack had always hated farming, especially coffee, since way back in his teens ,when he and his mother had spent hours drenching in the early morning dew during coffee harvesting season, plucking coffee beans to take to the factory for processing while nothing much seemed to come out of all that hard labor money wise.

Now that he was grown and with a good job in the city, he considered the coffee farming activity a rather dirty and tedious job meant for old folks like his parents. For goodness sake he was a millennial and his father of all people should have understood that!

“With all my education and a well paying white collar job why would I want to indulge in such a soiling dirty job?” He wondered and shook his head in disapproval at the same time wondering why the term ‘white collar

… Whatever, he had a job and that was all that mattered, whether purple or maroon collar.

Unfortunately being the only son he knew too well that convincing his father otherwise was out of the question. The old man being a strict conservative wouldn’t bulge for any reason in the world, not even for a taste of the Canaan milk and honey…he had been good enough to extend his hand to his son anyway, that was rarely seen from his peers

For a minute Jack wished he had more brothers, or better yet his sisters were considered his equals, at least someone else would be sharing his tribulations since maybe his father would have preferred one of his other imaginary brothers or sisters and chosen one of them to take over the farm leaving him the hell alone…if wishes were horses…

One of the few instances he loved coffee is when a cup of it, freshly steaming hot was placed in front of him ,especially during one of those mornings after a night out with the boys and for some reason the Johnie Walker in his head had refused to sit down! In such situations a good cup of coffee had proved useful in forcing one Mr.Johnie to sit and he undeniably loved it for that…

He had been having a hard time coming to term with his old man’s wishes but he knew too well that sooner than later he would have to comply. In the meantime he intended to buy himself as much time as he could

Suddenly his wandering eye caught a tiny piece of paper under the table , he picked it up

Monday 10.30 PM

‘What the heck?!’ He wondered .

Something in the handwriting haunted him. A part of his mind remembered the handwriting but could not place it to the owner.

After his head, his brain cells must have been balding too!

He got this uneasy feeling about it and although he tried so hard to shut it down, it would not go away, it was like all his future depended on it. He had to do something about it, fast.

It annoyed him so much that he did not know whether the note was addressed to him or to his fiancé, if anything they were the only occupants of that house.

His demeanor suddenly changed from already uneasy to totally uneasy. He could not just sit and do nothing so oblivious of the goal being scored in the television screen ,he strode to the bedroom to pick up his coat. He had to get out.Fast!

His fiancé heard as he turned the knob of the bedroom door and feigned sleep. She snorted soundly so he just picked up his coat slowly not to wake her up as he did not have time for interrogation. As he was about to leave he was sure he saw her trying to open one eye and peek at him.

’These women! One can hardly understand them. She snores with her one eye open!’

He silently lamented as he slammed the door so loudly as if to send her some signal. She was left staring at the door with a mischievous look in her somewhat sleepy eyes. She snorted and threw off the blanket then headed to the kitchen to get herself something to eat.

After a short deliberation within herself she got a cup of coffee and grabbed some biscuits then headed to the living room ,placed her eatables on the table and with a heavy sign stretched herself on the coach switching the television to ‘la mujer something’. She put her phone on silent mode and literally threw it to the furthest end of thecoach where she would not have been able to see it.

She nibbled her biscuits as she sipped her coffee and in no time the biscuits were over and she desired more. She placed one foot down off the coach about to drag herself to the kitchen to get more biscuits …but wait a minute, wasn’t she checking her weight!?

Damn calories!

She was about to put the other foot down when her eye caught the newspaper under the table, she picked it up and flipped it randomly. On the almost last pages, near the sports section a tiny headline caught her eye ,in small letters, a by the way kind of news.

’Coffee farmers debts written off’

“mmmh ,maybe that is one of the very minor advantages of this campaign season…these politicians! “ she silently signed , in her head an image of one of the roads leaving town getting an upgrade. She then flipped the pages more and landed to the editorial cartoon page. It had a picture of a plump man who looked important and wealthy,he had bitten on an apple as he gazed out of the window staring at a tornado forming a distance away with a funny grin on his face!

She did not get the message and she did not like thinking much on a Sunday so dismissing the cartoon on face value she folded the newspaper and reluctantly threw it back under the table. Ignoring the extreme urge for more coffee and biscuits she concentrated on the television . She somewhat enjoyed the current program but when it is done she could hold it no more.

She went to the kitchen for more biscuits and coffee. After all not all days were Sunday, why not relax? Every other day she was expected to be diverse and resourceful. If anything she would be taking the stairs the following week… she justified herself.

Three hours later. 7.35 P.M she checked her phone and found twenty missed calls, seven from Jack and the others random, but wait ,one number was quite alarming. She shakily took a sip from an almost empty cup of coffee, savoring the bite of the drink wanting to wash the taste of fear in her mouth.

Then the door bell rang…

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