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Watchman lets cat out of bag

By | July 4th 2010

By Stompie Mkandawire

The office was shocked that although my phone had been on at the time I had been reported ‘missing’, I had not called to explain my absence from work. Glorious said a messenger and driver had been to my house to find out what had happened.

"You know Stompie, there were many possibilities. We feared you could have been carjacked or kidnapped. The empty compound made it worse. We were relieved when your watchman told us you had returned, but without your family," Glorious said as bemused police officers looked on.

Eager to hear what else the watchman had told them, I asked: "Is that all he told you?"

"Mmh, well, he also said your wife left the house angry. He senses there’s a rift between you and that you may have separated. He must be a gossip that one," she answered ingloriously.

My conscience was pricked. I had been dumped and Glorious the shrew, as we called her, would amplify it.

Two-week suspension

Then I began to recall how I had driven into the compound. I had no patience with the watchman who had the habit of saluting me every time I drove in or out. I parked the car in the garage and made straight for the main door.

After opening it, I headed straight to the bedroom. I didn’t remember locking the main door, which explains why my workmates and police made their way into the living room with ease.

Having confirmed I was fine, Glorious dug into her handbag and handed me a white envelope. I opened it.

In two terse sentences, my boss slapped me with a two-week suspension for absconding duty but, more importantly, for missing to attend a meeting where I was scheduled to be the main speaker. I passed out.

When I came to, I found myself at a Nairobi hospital recuperating. As I lay on the bed the following morning, a pint-sized doctor with a wiry hairline approached me.

"How are you feeling, sir?" he asked, almost in a whispering tone.

"Much better," I replied nonchalantly.

"How did I come here? Who brought me?"

"A woman and three men. I think two were police officers," the doctor replied.

Sure that I had rallied from life- threatening depression (I overheard the doctors discussing me the previous night), he sat down.

"What do you do?" he asked.

"I’m a communications guru," I told him.

My response was met by a long sigh.

"For how long have you been married?" he stared impassively into my face.

After a long pause, I replied: " It has been 20 difficult years. A few days ago, my neighbour eloped with her and took my children."


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