In which Rogers Balamaga meets the guy who bullied him in school and karma happens to be walking down the same street.
A while ago, I met a guy I’ll call Bosco. While I hadn’t noticed him, Bosco must have identified me a couple of meters away before he put on a smile, the kind you would wear when you pump into a former friend.
“Ki guy?” He stopped me. I flinched a little before discreetly sizing up the presumptuous stranger, right from his unkempt afro following the visible trails of sweat running behind his ears into his somewhat tired T-shirt. His apparently pre-faded jeans seemed to undergo a second, but natural, fading phase and his dusty sandals testified to a not-so-cushy living. My first instinct was I was having an encounter with a conman. You know, the kind that stop you for your opinion, asking if they should return this envelope full of money they’ve just picked. But on close examination, something about this guy was familiar.
“It’s me, Bosco.” He offered a hand for a handshake.
“Umm…Bosco…Bosco…?” I shook his hand with a little hesitation
“Mwiiri, Nadiope house?” He offered more clues with a ridiculously wider grin.
“Oh, right. Nice to meet you, Bosco.”
“Man, what’s with the suit? Let me guess, accountant, lawyer, banker?”
“Lawyer, actually.” I wanted to follow that with a how about you? but I thought it modest not to ask.
“How is that whole law thing going? Minting dime, huh?”
“Well, something like that.”
By now I’d gleaned the pieces and finally placed an identity on Bosco, but it was not a good one. Quite honestly, I felt a little jittery at the realization. But I was confident because I knew the circumstances were different now. Had there been a pedestal, I would be the one on top of it and him adulating from down below.
I watched Bosco forcing small talk as he smiled like a retard and all I was thinking was; does this idiot really remember me or he mistakes me for his former friend? Does he remember the times he made me fetch him water and wash his cloths, the day him and his friends distributed my grub amongst themselves on my watch? Where did he gather the courage to offer me a handshake?