I know that there is no excuse for tardiness or laziness, but between my bout with the flu and a two close friends weddings, I have been very late in penning this.
Sorry for the wait ladies and gents, but here is Part 9……
Flabbergasted I digested the scarred chin as the cream suited man exited the station. My head turned in his wake and as he stepped from the dark shadowy station into the bright grey daylight outside. He did not turn around, not until he was out of the station.
That was when he craned his neck around, squinted his eyes and looked in back at me. Whether those dragon like eyes could see me or not, I was petrified and I was fixated on the scar on the man’s chin. Despite the cool climate outside and the cooler condition in the station sweat formed on my brow.
“Yes, habari?” enquired a squeaky mail voice from behind the desk. I turned to face the police man who had been assisting the gentleman before me. I was sure he could see me trembling. His blue uniform was crumpled, despite having been on the shift for under an hour, and it was also sweat stained at the armpits. He was balancing his cap on the tip of his index finger as he got up to receive me.
He was looking at me with resigned interest as I was probably a meal ticket for the day or hindrance depending on the nature of my reason to visit the station.
“I.. err.. want to make a… err.. report” I managed to stammer despite being in shock as I walked towards the high desk.
“Yes, yes, off course you’ve come to report something” he impatiently answered. “No one comes here to compliment us on our work or spend time with us.” The same police man was smiling and guffawing with the other gentleman, the protector and enforcer of the law was studying me with contempt. Not mock contempt, but very highly noticeable contempt.
There was a greasy smell about me which I noticed was a half eaten mandazi lying flat on a polythene bag on his desk. In retrospect I smile at the thought of how policeman (especially American) are depicted as lovers of fried dough foods and here was our very own boy in blue with his mandazi, the east African doughnut. Very befitting.
“I was robbed yesterday evening” I lied through my skin. I don’t know whether it was the shock of seeing the man with the scar that I was very sure I had met in the alley or the events of the previous night that made me lie through my teeth.
What had come over me I did not know, but I was going to go with it. He looked at me, turned the page on the large occurrence book register in front of me. He took out a pen in his pocket (even policemen are scared that their pens will get stolen at the work place – not reassuring at all I tell you), and looked down and jotted the date. He flipped the page to see the previous number and wrote the preceding one as my reference number.
“What is your full name, address, telephone number and can I have your national identity card” he ordered. It was a gruff voice and the statement was uttered in automaton but it vividly brought back memories of Mr. Mbugua, my secondary school English teacher.
Yes, you can go to the toilet but you MAY not he used to say whenever anyone enquired “Can I go to the toilet”. Teaching English to this uncouth policemen was neither my profession nor wise at this time. He picked his teeth with the back of his pen as he awaited my details.
I fished out my wallet gave him my dog eared card and narrated my personal details slowly and spelling out most of it. The pressure with which he was writing, I was sure the next five pages would have an indentation of my report.
I gave him the story I had fabricated regarding the SIM in the alley but I changed it slightly. Instead of dropping the phone, I narrated that a chokora – a street boy – snatched it from my hand while I was using it in the alley. I gave chase but was not able to catch up with him.
“Were there any witnesses?” enquired the bored policeman.
“Can you describe him and what he was wearing” he continued before I had even finished my one word answer. He had heard cases like these, day in day out, and I was losing my anxiety. He was bored of me already (and probably his job too) I could tell but could not do anything about it.
“He was wearing a very dirty yellow shirt, jeans of an undeterminable colour, a cap as well” I lied. “He had two different shoes, torn with broken soles and no shoelaces.” That probably described every single chokora in Kenya but I was trying to be as genuine as possible.
“What was the make, model and colour of the phone?” he asked after a long writing spell. He was writing slowly and carefully because if he made an error, he would have to restart the statement.
“Nokia E75, sliver and black”
“How old was it and what is the value of the phone?” he said with his pen poised. I gave him the details and he continued etching. He ran his fingers over the statement underlining each word with his finger and mouthing it. when he felt it was satisfactory to continue, he looked up at me and asked “is there anything you wish to add before we continue?”
“No, there is isn’t” I responded.
He looked up from the book, scratched his head with the pen giving me an unsightly view of his armpits and dropped the second largest bomb on me that day.
He said: “You do know that I know you are lying, right?”
<<< To be continued >>>