I CAN'T BREATHE

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SHORT STORY Nov. 28, 2021

Joel has a theory he stands by. He says that there exists only two people in this world – the ones who think they are political, and those who think politically.

The ones who think they are political are irrational – always looking for wrongs in the justice system, always ready to be the vigilante.

The ones who think politically are the quiet ones, the stealthy ones, and, in his words, the more dangerous ones.

This group, he says, will have your mama in the village urging you to be more like them, but in secret, they can murder their spouses and close friends without blinking.

Joel’s theory makes sense when you look at it, except, and this is one of its major flaws, it does not take into consideration one more group. 

The group that does not, genuinely and wholesomely, give a shit. The unbothered ones. The group I belong in and the one I personally consider to be the most dangerous. 

I guess if there is one thing that bothers Joel about me, it is that. My unbotheredness.

He cannot, for the life of him, understand how someone can be so unambitious, so immune to the power right there in front of them, ready to be grabbed.

I don’t blame him really. Politics has always been in Joel’s life whereas it has never existed in mine.

When he was young, his grandfather was an MP in some local constituency in Makueni, and then when his grandad died, his father became the MP.

As the firstborn, being the next MP was expected of him and it is all that he has been preparing for his whole life. Like some Lion King bullshit.

When he met me, I tried to talk politics with him, and because he was thinking with his dick’s head, he misunderstood my tolerance to the topic for enthusiasm.

A few months later, he asked me to be his wife and when I asked him why he wanted me, he said that I matched his interests.

 I almost asked him what he was talking about, but my mum and my aunties were starting to get on my nerves with the whole unmarried thirty-year-old thing, so I said yes instead.

He is a good person though.  And a great husband. That is if you manage to get past his constant political speeches.

Seriously, every time the only thing he talks about is Ruto this, Raila that, Kiptoo this, Jubille that. It is utterly exhausting.

I have come close to telling him a couple of times that if he likes talking about old men so much, perhaps he should be fucking them instead of me.

But I know he would have been wounded by that and then I would have felt bad and that would lead to numerous apologies and pity sex and, ah, it was even exhausting to think about.

If there is another thing Joel also likes to preach about, it is American black politics. He can talk for hours and hours about black oppression and how, we, yes we, him included, have suffered long enough because of racism.

I am not even kidding. Do you remember when George Floyd died last year? I swear I didn’t hear the end of it.

 For like two straight months, I was forced to watch numerous rallies, listen to a million speeches, and that is not counting Joel’s.

He also got Black Lives Matter posters printed and hang them all over the house so that everywhere I turned, a picture of an angry black man or woman stared right back at me.

And when we weren’t listening to speeches or looking at posters of oppressed black people, he would put on these songs about black injustice and black modern slavery and shit.

There is this one particular song that he especially liked during that period -  I Can’t Breathe by H.E.R. He was obsessed with that song.

Every day for months, he would wake up and just put on that song on replay and it will go on and on for hours and hours and hours until finally, I was the one thinking I CANNOT REALLY BREATHE.

Narrating all these stories about Joel is not me trying to justify what I have done, of course. I know what I have done is wrong.

But you have to understand, when you approached me in my office and told me you had a proposition concerning getting rid of Joel for good, I was already at my limit of exhaustion with him.

I could have done anything, anything, just to hear him shut up about politics for once.

Wait? What did you say your name was again? Henry? It doesn’t matter, right?

What matters is that we did it. Killed two birds with one bloody knife.

You got rid of your next Makueni MP competition, I got rid of my exhausting husband and, silver lining, I can finally breathe.

Do you know how refreshing that is?

 

by Amanda Nechesa 16

Comments

  • Mike

    Nov. 26, 2021, 2:35 a.m.

    You have a very creative mind. You've got yourself another fan. Kali sana

    Reply

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