Chapter 3: Women from Kenya make the best wife's...

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Commercial Fiction  |  House: Free Verse

Reads: 104

Nyambura Columbo is a wonderful woman and mother, I’m so proud of my son for choosing such a wonderful partner, and being such a good man to be chosen by her. My father always said, “Women from Kenya make the best wifes” and of course my dear mother Duni was Kenyan, and also Tony’s mother Nijeri, and so, with all that good modeling, of course Tony would fall in love with a wonderful American girl…

Makes me chuckle when I say that, since Nyambura was born in New York, but both her parents were born and raised in Kenya…

I’m thinking all this while sitting in the backyard with my Bobee, in my usual spot underneath the Fig tree, and watching Nyam and Kat bake cookies in the kitchen. I turn to Bobee, waiting for a response to the question I asked; “Can I tell you a secret?” Bobee looks at me and smiles, then I knew we were on the same page. I always suspected Bobee knew I was pretending with all my shenanigans over the last month, but did not know if he understood why…

I then asked him, “Bobee, have you been worried about your Mom & Dad?” Bobee shakes his head, yes. And I say, “Is that why you stopped talking” and with a frown on his face, he shakes his head, yes. “Do you understand your Gramps is ok, and I’m just trying to make things better for our family” Bobee smiles and shakes his head yes…

Would you like to help me Bobee? Again yes Bobee shakes his head with a big smile on his face. Ok then, it’s a deal, let’s shake on it, I hold out my hand to shake, and Bobee jumps up and gives me a big hug, then Bobee whispers in my ear, “Everything’s going to be ok now Gramps, right?” Yes Bobee, we’ll make everything ok… “ I love you Gramps” I love you too, my beautiful and very smart grandson…

But don’t start talking until just the right time, I’ll tell you when ok? Yes Gramps said Bobee. From then on, I started to plan the final stage of my shenanigans. Tony comes home that evening, walks in and hollers, “where’s my babies,” and they came running into his arms, Kat said, welcome home Daddy, how was your day? Tony says in a very proper voice, My day was quite fine Ms. Kat, and yours? Well daddy Bobee and I have had a wonderful time playing house, Bobee didn’t want to, but I made him, it was fun, we yelled at each other and everything…

Tony and Nyam looked at each other unhappily, then Tony turned to Kat and said, you know Kat, yelling is highly overrated, it doesn’t do anyone any good… Kat said, “but daddy you and mom yell at each other all the time.” Well Kat, even mommies & Daddies make mistakes sometimes, I’ll make you a promise, Mommy and I won’t yell at each other anymore, and you can play house and don’t have to yell either, ok?  Ok daddy…

I sat at the kitchen table listening to this conversation and smiled, thinking to myself, we’re on the right track, one more good bit of shenanigans should bring it home… It’s the last week of April and a beautiful day, Nyam’s sister Grace and her husband Djimon (Jee-mon) are visiting for lunch and to plan what to do for Nyam’s birthday next week. The Rossman”s from next door came over and it turned into an impromptu party, everyone laughing and talking, drinking margaritas Djimon whipped up, and even some virgin ones for the kids.

I’m outside manning the grill, making my world famous, African Bonnet Grilled Chicken with Tamarind barbeque sauce, an undisputed championship dish for over 40 years… When I hear Lilly Rossman ask Nyam, how’s Gramps doing? Nyam says, about the same, sometimes he’s Gramps and sometimes he seems like a completely different person. I’m grinning, when Tony walks out and says, Pops I’m going to put on some music, any requests?

I say sure son, let’s hear some Hot Grits Green… Sure thing Pops… As soon as Tony puts on Al Green, everyone starts singing and dancing, even Kat and Bobee started dancing, so of course I had to shake a little leg while putting my finished chicken on the table, Nyam hollers, Go Gramps, Go Gramps, so I show out a little bit… It was a great day had by all. It was decided that we would stay home next week and have a Birthday Barbeque for Nyam, I’m sure my chicken had something to do with that decision. 

I think that'll be a good time for the last bit of shenanigans… It’s May 1st, the day before Nyam’s birthday barbeque, there’s a knock at the door, and It’s Suzi and her son Jack, over for a visit. Nyam’s thinking to herself, (Oh my goodness, what is she going to say… since Nyam has had suspicions about her and Tony before…) Bobee comes running and gives Jack a high 5, they take off running back to his room to play, meanwhile, Nyam showed her guest into the living room and offered her a glass of wine, she accepted, and they sat down to talk. 

Suzi says, Nyam I just wanted to come by today and have a talk, Tony told me last week that you weren’t very comfortable with him hanging out at my place when he brought Bobee for play dates. Nyam said, well it did seem a little odd, since he hadn’t really shown an interest in that before, yea Nyam I can understand that, but I wanted to set your mind at ease, there’s never been anything between Tony and I but friendship, there’s never even been a thought of anything… Most of the time we talked about the kids, and sometimes we talked about you, but really only in a general way, the fact is, we would discuss how relationships go through rough patches sometimes, and couples have to work through it, referring to his and mine. 

Nyam said, you have a relationship? Yes, my boyfriend Jimmy, most of the time Jimmy was over when Tony was there, they get along great, so I just wanted you to know that, and drop off this invitation, Jimmy and I are getting married this summer, we would love if you and Tony could attend, and I hope we all can spend some time together soon. Thanks Suzi, and congratulations, it really wasn’t that serious, (I think Nyam was crossing her fingers behind her back when she said that) but I’m very happy we had this talk together, and we’re having a barbeque here for my birthday tomorrow, I hope you, Jimmy & Jack can make it.

Sounds like fun, we’ll be here, and by the way, Happy Birthday Nyam, Thank you Suzi, see you tomorrow… A beautiful day dawns May 2nd, It’s early morning and Nyam’s still asleep when she hears chatter around her, she opens her eyes to see Tony, Kat & Bobee there with a beautiful breakfast tray, flowers and the works, Nyam smiles brightly, and they all say Happy Birthday in unison… Later that morning, while everyones preparing the house for the party, the doorbell rings, Tony answers the door and it’s Tom my friend from the Senior Center, Tony hollers out, Pops it’s for you. I come over and see Tom and say, what’s up old buddy? Tom says, Hey Tony, just checking on you, you haven’t been over to the center in awhile, wanted to make sure you were still above ground, I tell him, oh you got jokes…

And we crack up… I started thinking to myself, Tom’s coming over could be just the opportunity I need, yea, I think that will work… So I introduce Tom to the family, and we head to the back and hang out under the Fig tree. We talked for awhile, then I said let’s take Buddy for a walk, (Buddy is the Rossman’s dog, and a very good friend of mine,) Tom and I head for the door and tell Tony & Nyam we were going to take Buddy for a walk, Nyam says ok but don’t be too long, we’re going to start about 1pm. I tell Tom, hold on for a sec, I gotta hit the head, I go and find Bobee and whisper in his ear, (I’m going to be gone for awhile, I’ll be ok, but I’m going to miss the party, but I don’t want you to worry, it’s just a part of the plan… Ok?

Bobee smiles and gives the thumbs up. Ok Tom good to go, we head next door to pick up Buddy, knock knock on the door, and Lilly answers, Hey Gramps she says, I say hey Lilly, this is my friend Tom from the Senior Center, can Buddy come out to play? Lilly laughs and says, sure he can, just the three of you don’t get into any trouble… We all laughed and off we went… We headed toward the park, then to town no more than a couple miles away, we walked and talked and had a grand old time catching up. We were passing by a mom & pop grocery store and I handed Tom Buddy’s leash and said, here Buddy, hold onto Tom while I go to the restroom…

Tom looked at me kind of confused as I walked into the store. 5 minutes went by, then 10, Tom was wondering what was taking me so long, another 5 minutes goes by, so Tom heads into the store to look for me, He asked the clerk if he had seen me, and the clerk replied no, so he headed to the back where the restrooms are with Buddy in tow. Restrooms were empty, Tom’s getting worried now, he frantically looks all over the store, then back to the front and up and down the block, no Gramps anywhere…

Tom tries to settle his nerves, and calls Gramps home… Hello, Tony answers, This is Tom, I just left there a couple hours ago with your father, Hey Tom, Tony says,

Tony, your father has disappeared…

Submitted: January 22, 2020

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