We’d been living in Nakuru for about 2-3 months now, and had settled in as best as we could. E had been asked to come back and play for the national rugby team so he kept busy with that. I was occupied with attempts at learning a new language (unsuccessfully), raising a baby (successfully), and adjusting to life in a completely different environment then I was used to. E’s old local team asked him to come play with them when he was in town and normally I took our son Little E to watch. But on this one occasion I was just getting over my first experience with Malaria and so I had to pass. E went to the game and said he’d be home early since he didn’t feel like staying out late with the guys. No big deal.
Normal game time passes, plus an hour or two and I don’t hear from E. I tried calling him to see how it went with no answer. 2 hours turn into 4 then 6 then its overnight… and nothing from him. I’m going through every scenario in my head about where he could be, what could have happened, is he ok, what can I do? Everything. I’ve been calling his phone practically every 15 minutes since 3 AM with no response. At first I figured OK fine they won and he’s partying with the guys that’s fine. But after no answer. No text. No call. And no E. It got scary. By the morning I called his sister to see if she had heard from him, but she was in Nairobi for the weekend and no, hadn’t heard from him and gave
little no advice about what to do to find him. So my next option was to go out looking for him.
E had told me stories about him growing up and being arrested a few times walking home from rugby with friends just because they looked like a bunch of guys up to no good (making trouble in the neighbourhood 😉). Or being beaten up on the way home by a group of guys and getting robbed. (Again probably lies) So I’m thinking the only reason he hasn’t called is because he’s locked up, or half dead in a gutter somewhere, while at the same time trying to maintain my own sanity and logic and not freak out before I figure out whats actually happened.
So I strapped on Little E in a sling and set out to find my husband. Still half sick with a deadly disease and all. In a town I barely knew. In a place where I was literally the only white woman there. I had no idea where to go first so I decided to head towards the rugby club. All the way across town. I went on foot so I could keep a closer eye on the sides of the road for E. My thought process was to check the gutters one way on the way there, and the other side on the way back if needed. Morbid, but true.
I made a stop at his sisters house to see if maybe he had stopped there for the night and was greeted by a guy I’d never met, but somehow through a bunch of marriages, he knew we were related. I realized by now, that everyone knew me, and I knew… like 4 people. Anyways, I explained what was going on and he agreed to take me to the police station.
At the station, the long lost relative left me, to go back home to sleep, I’m pretty sure he was hungover. It took about an hour for the cops to go through all the guys they’d locked up the previous night, while I waited nervously in the waiting room, trying to ignore the catcalls and other offensive things coming from the cells, to determine that E wasn’t there. So, now I guess it was off to the rugby club. Another hours walk away all while lugging Little E. Turned out to be completely empty. I had no other ideas of where to look or what to do, so I headed home. On the opposite side of the road. After about 5 hours of wandering the city and repeatedly calling E, I was still no closer to knowing where he was or what had happened to him, so I went home.
I got to the house and took my son off who by then felt like he was 100 lbs. I took my medication for the malaria and did my best to sleep considering I was supposed to be resting, you know to not die and all, but it alluded me. Until there was a knock at the window. There was E. Casually trying to stroll in at around 3 in the afternoon.
I was so relieved and SO mad at the same time I didn’t let him in. He stood out on the back porch and explained through the window that he got so drunk he went and slept at his sisters house in the backyard because he didn’t want me to see him. I told him everything I had done to find him while trying to control my anger. All he had to say to me was not thank you, but instead he had the balls to say that when I went to his sisters I should’ve thought to come to the shed in the backyard to find him.
What the? So now it’s my fault I’m sick and carried our son all over this foreign city to find your drunk ass and I didn’t look in the right place!
I didn’t care that he got drunk. People do that.
I didn’t care that he didn’t come home. Although a call would’ve been nice.
But to blame me for not thinking of looking in the shed? Fuck off.
I opened the door. Handed him the baby, and finally went to sleep myself.
His hungover ass could deal with making himself dinner that night. I had had enough E for the day.
–Cage The Elephant/Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked-