Walking out of his home by the Eleventh Street, Valley View estate, Mack Fredrick felt proud of himself. Finally, he was able to take a tour to the city by himself. A mission that could have been impossible only a week before.
For long now, Mack had been tolerating his father, mother and annoying big brother’s big city horror stories. They constantly mentioned to him that the people of the city were dangerous. Conmen, thieves, robbers, gunmen, drug addicts, and deceiving prostitutes. All, which he had never seen before in his life.
Yeah, sure he had sneaked to the city before. A few times in deed.
However, in his unauthorized city visits, he did not find anything exiting, yet. All there was were men and women walking around fast, coming from nowhere and going to nowhere. He had to keep pardoning people to pass, as they seemed in more of a hurry than he was.
On his journey back home, he would end up regretting a waste of his money for bus fare, instead of using it for something more productive. However, come a week later, he would be on the same bus back to the city.
Now, he had joined a university school just past the city. Somewhere in ONGATA RONGAI. Of course, he had to board a bus, travel to the city, where he would look for hours for the right bus to take him to school.
On this particular Saturday, he received a go permission from his parents, who had given him a one thousand shilling note, and two five hundred shilling notes to take the bus and buy food with it for a whole week while boarding at school. He felt proud of himself.
He walked past their brown gate, and closed it hurriedly before he was called back to finally shake the whole family’s hands goodbye. He walked hastily and took the first Corner, where he started walking slowly.
No sooner had he reached far than he heard his younger brother calling.
“Mack, Mack! Mum wants to talk to you.” He said.
He felt disappointed since he had to walk back home. He had to since his brother had seen him. He knew no matter what he told his brother, he would tell the truth if there was a cane placed on the table.
His mother was waiting for him at the gate.
“How could you forget this,” his mother held to him a laptop charger. “Keep forgetting your stuff and we you will have to stay without them for a full week. I cannot keep sending you bus fare.”
He did not know what he was afraid of, but he sure, as hell was afraid of being questioned something else.
He appreciated his mother and started walking away. This time he was calm. He walked on and on until he disappeared from the view of his mother. She stood there looking at him walk away, wondering how he had been able to make it this far being such a risk-taker. If it were up to her, she would not have let him go to the town school. It was full of troubles, as she had heard.
After 30 minutes, he finally alighted at the roadside. His peripheral view assured him he would not get a bus any time within the hour. The road was empty. The only vehicles travelling in the direction of the city were some heavy vehicles and personal cars.
As he walked towards the bus station to wait hopelessly for a bus to come, a personal car pulled up near him. Being the only one who was near, he moved a little bit closer.
The windows rolled down the driver was the only one in the vehicle. As he looked at him, he could not familiarize him; this man was a total stranger to him. However, being a grown up man now, he was not afraid.
He looked into the drivers eyes and watched for any uncertain moves. However, the driver was not afraid of the eye too. Instead, he pulled out a bundle of notes. On top, Mark could see a one thousand shilling note.
“I am proud of the work you did at my yard brother!” He exclaimed joyfully. “I am really sorry for I did not have any cash then yet. See, the bank had delayed my salary. Therefore, I could not have paid you then.
I am sorry. However, I am glad I found you here today. Therefore, I cannot leave without giving you an appreciation.” He pulled out one, one thousand shilling note and returned the rest in his pocket.
Pointing the note at him he said, “Look, I wanted to give you a five hundred shilling note for I do not have that much money, you see. I am not that rich. If you could possibly have a five hundred shilling note, you could give it to me as change for this note.”
Like a goat to it slaughterhouse. He reached to his pocket, pulled out a five hundred shilling note, and handed it to the stranger.
No sooner had he received the one thousand shilling note than the driver took off and the vehicle disappeared off in the main highway. He was left holding the one thousand shilling note in his hand confused whether to worry or be happy about it.
A closer glance at the note, he realized the note was a fake. Just a piece of paper, which he could not use to fool anyone. Even if it was possible to fool anyone with it, he sure had no guts to do it.
“What if I get found out,” he wondered.
Desperate, he sat down to think about it. He was not sure whether to go back home and ask for another note, or go ahead to school and have to survive for a few days.
As he was thinking, a bus came and stopped next to him.
“Tao?” He the bus driver call out.
He turned and got inside the bus, navigated to the backbench sit where he would be alone for the whole journey. As the bus took off, he tore the fake note and dropped on the floor.
“Dangerous people are not even close to the city,” he thought. “Plus they sure as hell do not look dangerous.”