Friday, October 30, 2015

When I got the papers to go to Saudi Arabia, I did not want to believe the horror stories told by those who had been returned home hollowed out, relieved of their better parts. Before this, I was living in Ukunda, Kwale. I was tired of trying to keep my four children from watching uncensored pornography courtesy of my mother’s shenanigans in the single-room makuti shack we lived in. I was tired of prostituting in Chobingo forest to provide for my children. I was much concerned of how my eldest daughter would turn out to be when she bloomed more than what I was going to feed them. My daughter survived an attack on her innocence by one of my mother’s men, endured X-Rated sex talk, and cut my mother’s mattress into pieces to stop her first period, as heavy a bleeder as she was a sleeper, the red seeping through the mattress and the fabric of her torn pants to trail down her legs leaving pockmarks on the path wherever she travelled.

I sacrificed a lot for the money the agent in Kenya needed to get me the job. My inspiration was Vera Sidika, but with my pea-sized boobs and lack of derriere my hopes were dashed. At the Dammam King Fahd Airport in Saudi Arabia I realized that my Saudi Dream was not what I imagined. We were many. After almost starving at the airport for a fortnight our employers came for us. I ended up in Sakakah, a town in the north western Saudi Arabia.

The Sayidati of the house treated me well, but her husband was the terror. You know, the silent ones are the dangerous. When their twenty-year-old son started frequenting where I used to work the horror stories those who had returned to Kenya narrated started replaying in my head: the Indian woman whose hand had been cut off by her employer, the human skull that one Njeri of Nyeri had seen buried in a kitchen coop, the body of a Kenyan girl hidden in a deep freezer, an Ethiopian girl tied upside down to the roof and whipped, starvation, and worse, sexual abuse. For all I knew, Khalid could be the serial killer of the family, or a rapist.

He used to sneak up to me when I least expected as I cooked, washed dishes, and moved around the kitchen in bare feet. I regarded him and avoided his eyes though I surreptitiously glanced at him marveling at his beautiful skin. When he tried to start a conversation, I cringed, but secretly wished I spoke Arabic.

Khalid and Sayidati showed me so much kindness I doubted the media stories about Saudi Arabia. Was it media propaganda just to sell their stories? Were they retaliatory stories by fired employees? 
Then one day he did something unexpected, and totally insane: he confessed to have feelings for me. The idea was as crazy as it was impossible. I, knowing of where I came from, did not entertain the foolishness. Was he trying to get me fired? Nonetheless his visits increased, almost began following me around like a puppy.

Me who was well versed with the myriad ways of sexing knew that when I opened my Coastal honeypot for him he would want more. I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, that’s what I told myself. But when this day he came to my room in the dark of the night and touched me all hell broke loose—it was like I had received my first kiss. My almuhabbal cried rivers of pleasure wanting nothing but his qadib to enter me and claim territories inside me.

Reaching for him I untied his white eaba’a. His qadib’s head glazed my hand just for a moment and my whole body melted.

When I lay back, raised my hips and opened my legs like gates, Khalid entered me with such gentleness I momentarily thought he really wanted me. I felt each and every movement he made inside me, felt every aperture and faucet of my womanhood being torn asunder and tickled all at the same time. We didn’t stop till the orangish rays of dawn speared the sky and he sneaked out and went to his room.

That morning he did not come to his corner in the kitchen to watch me as I prepared breakfast. I felt so alone and missing his company not because I wanted him to watch me but because I thought his presence could stop the trembling of my almuhabbal.

When I was ready to serve the breakfast I heard a heated debate in the dining room and I stopped and listened.

“You think I don’t know about you and that slave bitch?”

“Don’t call her that. She deserves respect, dad.”

“Says who? She’s just a slave.”

“Yes,” Khalid replied. “And because of that I want to buy her. Sell her to me. I’ll pay anything…”

“And what are you buying her for? The work or the pussy?”

There was a commotion in the dining room. When I peered I saw the man of the house on the floor shielding blows from his son with his hands. At that moment I realized what had happened – a man had fought for me, and that man had just killed me.

That day in the evening, when I finished my work, I retired to my room. The terror of my life, with a kitchen knife in one hand, kicked the door open and forced himself into the room. He looked at me with portent eyes and before I could say anything, he was onto me. I did not know how I fell on the ground, but he made sure I stayed there. I pleaded with him not to kill me, but he stabbed me, over and over, as I hopelessly screamed for help which I knew was never coming. I felt blood seep out of me, and when I was swimming in it I smelt the pungent aroma of death. The last thing I remembered was his swinging hand, whether it was blows, slaps, or whips, I never knew.

When I came to, I was bandaged all over, immobile, feeling like I had been run over by a truck.

“Welcome to Al-Jawf concentration camp,” the voice said in fluent Swahili. “I have traded my chance for you. You can’t make it here in the Camp, you will die. They are taking you to Jeddah for repatriation back to Kenya.”


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