Tuesday, 14 March 2017


EDWIN KIPTANUI CHIRCHIR edchirchir@yahoo.com edchirchir85@gmail.com


It is 10 hours past midday (that is 10 pm, for those who do not want to think too much).

 I have just disconnected a phone call to the missus. Just then the message pops in, 'Dear customer, congratulations, you have just received fifty shillings 'storo' bonus airtime.' I smile wearily, like a HELB loan beneficiary who has received a reminder from HELB, to repay his loan and he is yet to get into any meaningful employment. I smile knowing that the 'storo' bonus will expire in the following two hours.

Getting fifty shillings 'storo' bonus at that hour is a great fortune, but then the big questions is, whom do I  call at that hour of the night? I cannot call the missus, because well! we just talked a few minutes ago and exhausted everything we had to talk about, including whether the children have eaten or not and whether she is sleeping, even though she is just there talking to me. Besides, calling her too much is like acting suspiciously. You will look like you are hiding something, hence you are overcompensating by making frequent phone calls. Of course I can call her and request to speak to the kids, but what do we talk about at 10 pm assuming they are not snoring away already? Homework? Besides, the kids (boys in my case) are rarely in talking terms with me. The only time we seem to be in agreement is when I am providing money for yoghurt.

Then to the next question. Should I call mom? calling mom at such an hour is a no! no! situation. She must be asleep by then after a hard day building the nation. Besides, every time I call her during odd hours, she gets worried. She will ask whether I have eaten, as if she will provide food should I answer in the negative. She is yet to understand that I am a big man now. A big man with a broad chest and a fully grown beard.

My kid brother is in high school. so I can not assist him in any way. Not when schools are yet to accept mobile phones among students. Even if he was around in the case of school holidays, he would still be busy in that prayerful contemplation, trying to force his brain to absorb the concept of organic chemistry as well as intergration and differentiation, so I let him be.

Calling my colleagues at work, whether male or female is unacceptable, if not suicidal. Remember, most of them are married and I do not want to be a major contributor to the rise in cases of domestic violence, just because I called a female colleague who happens to be someone's wife, during odd hours. Besides, we spend most of our working days together, hence we exhaust all there is to talk about, during the day.

What I am trying to say is that it is practically impossible to call anyone at that hour, so I sit, sulk and watch as time runs out and my bonus airtime expires, just like that. 


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