When I was younger (read, between 7 and 11 years old) I talked about running a way so many times. Especially when I was in trouble with my mom and I thought that I could threaten her. I mean, who wants their first born to live in the wildnerness that is the streets of Nairobi?
So it wasn’t unusual for me to be screaming, ‘I will run away tomorrow’ when I was receiving a beating.
I guess she got fed up with the threats. So one day after such beating, she requested me to make good my threat and run away. I promised her that I would. I would run away the next day in the morning.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I love my sleep. And that was my downfall. My mother woke me up the next morning and asked me why I hadn’t run away. Maybe you should have seen her face when I told her the reason why I didn’t run away was because I had overslept…..
The next time I decided to run away I came up with a better plan. I thought that due to the aborted previous running away plan, I would leave in the evening. So I waited for my mother to come back home from the office and I told her, ‘Okay, this is it. I have packed my rucksack, I am leaving’. She said, ‘Okay, bye.’ I couldn’t believe it! She thought I was joking? I would show her!
So I left the house and when I was about to reach the gate she called out, ‘Njenva!!’ I was smiling on the inside, you see, I knew she would not be able to live without me! So I went back to the main door and she said, ‘All the best in your new journey. Since you are leaving me and you are not interested in me and all that is mine, I would like you to start afresh. So please take everything that you own and leave behind everything that I own’. Looking at her in confusion she continued, ‘If there is anything in that bag that you bought with your own money, please carry it. If you didn’t buy it, please leave it here because you know, I have other children. And by the way, the dress you are wearing was a gift from me so please take it off too’.
Needless to say, I never ran away from home.