Surviving The Streets



I gave her 50 shillings for the little nicety she had offered. It was my first time. I was 16; sort of felt nice to kiss a prostitute. It was then that I realized they’re human. She looked to be in her early twenties, seemingly lost as I was, standing there by Kenya Cinema, winking at potential customers. I had no idea how unforgiving the streets were, wouldn’t even treat its own kindly. That girl was beautiful. Her shy smile somewhat gave an impression that her conscience knew she was not in the right place, but what to do? I did not know her story. Perhaps with my situation, I would have been wearing her shoes if I was a female.

The walk to Riruta was after all fruitful. You see, when you are in trouble, you never think twice about going the extra mile. I had barely rested from the previous night’s trek on Mombasa Road. After having a word with my uncle, Calipso, who gave me favourable clothes to survive with in the cold, I trudged to Margaret’s house. She was my mother’s close friend. Her fiance was at home, I think preparing to leave. Can’t quite recall his name, but he was a good man. After making me feel comfortable, he left for the bathroom, which was outside the house. Immediately, some demon took over me and I rushed to their bedroom. I was looking for money. I can’t explain what led me to check below the pillows first, but it seemed God was on my side. Two 200 shilling notes lay there as if waiting to be freed from suffocation. I’d like to believe they gasped out some air of relief. I quickly tucked them into my side pocket and went back to my innocent face on the sofa. The mister came back with a towel wrapped around his waist and a fairly wet chest. I begged to leave before he entered their bedroom. Could not give him a chance to suspect anything. Of course he couldn’t. I was a good boy. In fact, I also passed mother’s greetings to him and his girlfriend, Margaret. Yet mother was looking for me.
I got into a barber shop for a haircut. It was time to look different, to feel different. When you live in the jungle, you dress for the jungle. You become the jungle. 30 shillings to town in a matatu did not hurt. At least I came back to town a little richer and could afford Dairy Fresh Milk, Vanilla Flavour, and some cake. I was empty inside and I knew it. I could tell how lonely I was, how desperately my soul craved for peace, for love. It astounded me how hard life could push a human being. What was I thinking running away from home? How could I come to such a conclusion, so young, so naive, so fragile, so broken? I’d feel the million sighs my mind breathed as I walked up Moi Avenue through Tuskys Pioneer. For a moment, I forgot the cold.
This silky voice stole me from my thoughts. Someone was calling out- from afar. My eyes met a stunning body of a woman sighting me up flirtatiously. My clothes were not dirty yet, so I was certainly admirable. And with the clean shave, I imagined I was attractive. She surely wanted business. I hadn’t interacted with a prostitute ever before, but movies had helped a lot. 
”Ukona ngapi?” She bluntly asked, after I had shown interest in indulging.
”Finje tu.” I responded. I was not ready to burn all the remaining money for five minutes of pleasure.
”Ai! Hiyo haiwezi.” Shaking her head. That ostensibly shy look on her face.
”Hata munju tu?” I asked in quiet desperation. Munju is Swahili slang (sheng) for a kiss.
She gave in for the kiss, a touch here and there, after which I paid her the agreed amount, then we both walked to continue with our journeys, never to see each other again. I wonder where her soul is today.
I’m glad the streets did not destroy me. I lived to tell my stories. I live for my stories, and I want to keep telling them. There are many kids who never get out, and most who never live to tell what they saw or the things they felt before they met their death.
In all things, I give thanks to God.

Post Author: Eric Onyango Otieno

17 thoughts on “Surviving The Streets

  • […] never thought my life would amount to anything. When I ran away to Mombasa to commit suicide I was done with life. 16 was […]

  • gamefly free trial

    (May 2, 2019 - 7:30 pm)

    I love what you guys are usually up too. Such clever
    work and exposure! Keep up the awesome works
    guys I’ve added you guys to my own blogroll.

  • gamefly

    (May 3, 2019 - 8:23 am)

    Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to
    assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Any way I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently

  • gamefly free trial

    (May 4, 2019 - 2:32 am)

    Thanks on your marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author.I will make certain to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back
    in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage that you continue
    your great work, have a nice day!

  • gamefly free trial

    (May 4, 2019 - 11:41 pm)

    Right away I am going to do my breakfast, when having my breakfast coming
    again to read other news.

  • gamefly

    (May 6, 2019 - 2:43 am)

    I’m not sure why but this website is loading very slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem
    on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  • minecraft free

    (May 7, 2019 - 5:45 am)

    Hello, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Opera, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, excellent

  • mojang minecraft download

    (May 8, 2019 - 8:53 am)

    If some one wishes expert view about running a blog afterward i recommend him/her to pay
    a quick visit this webpage, Keep up the nice job.

  • minecraft download free pc

    (May 8, 2019 - 11:17 am)

    It’s amazing to pay a quick visit this site and reading the views of all colleagues regarding this
    paragraph, while I am also keen of getting experience.

  • mojang minecraft download

    (May 9, 2019 - 8:21 pm)

    I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a
    very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit
    more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
    Great work!

  • free minecraft download

    (May 12, 2019 - 5:52 am)

    Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog
    with my myspace group? There’s a lot of people that I
    think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks

  • g

    (May 12, 2019 - 4:21 pm)

    I’d like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website.
    I really hope to check out the same high-grade content from you later on as well.

    In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal site now 😉

  • g

    (May 12, 2019 - 8:00 pm)

    My spouse and I stumbled over here different web page and
    thought I might check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
    Look forward to checking out your web page for a second time.

  • minecraft download free

    (May 14, 2019 - 2:25 am)

    These are genuinely wonderful ideas in about blogging.
    You have touched some pleasant things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  • g

    (May 14, 2019 - 3:25 am)

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed
    browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  • how to download minecraft free

    (May 15, 2019 - 10:24 am)

    I’m not sure exactly why but this website is loading extremely slow for
    me. Is anyone else having this issue or
    is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  • how to download minecraft

    (May 16, 2019 - 12:17 pm)

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website
    yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to design my own blog and
    would like to find out where u got this from.

    thanks a lot

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *