Walter looked at the bag he’d set on the table. It was black and empty. There were three t-shirts and a pair of jeans next to it. There was also a black notebook with cut outs of his favorite recipes sticking out of it. He looked at the wall.
He looked around the room before pushing the clothes inside the bag and zipping it up.
His leave was denied but he knew that going to work would not hurt him. Being home and staring at the blank walls hurt his conscience more. When he was handed his salary and bonus, his mind had gone back to his own pastry shop but it took one call from his mother to render him broke. The Bishop was going to visit her and she had to prepare him fish. Did he know that the best size of fish she wanted cost around a thousand shillings? The Bishop was coming with two Deacons, three Lay Readers and some Church members. It would be a shame if they ate ugali and sukumawiki at her house. She would never show her face at the church after that.
He sent her all the money he’d earned for the month of November.
“Listen, my son, you always embarass me with your kindness, are you coming home this year?”
“I wanted to Mama, but I am working over the holidays. How is everyone doing back home?”
“Everyone is just as they are. Mama Nancy’s cow gave birth to two calves and she cannot stop talking about it. Your Uncle broke his leg again running away from some men he’d stolen from, that man will die running I tell you. Hey, your sister, says she needs some money for tuition.”
“How much does she need?”
“Three thousand two hundred and seventy.”
“Okay, you can use some of the money I have sent you to pay for it.”
“Ai! This money will not be enough to take us through Christmas and if I start spending it on everything, what will my visitors eat? Wallie! You know how I like to treat my visitors.”
“Yes Mama. I will see what I can do and thank you Mama for taking good care of us. God bless you.”
“Wallie, are you okay?”
“I am Mama, why do you ask?”
“You sound different my boy and I know you. Something is bothering you, listen do not worry about your sister’s fees we can always work something out, you work hard and it is more than enough. Listen, I want you to come home soon, we have to sit down as a family my son. Please, tell me you will come.”
“I will come home for the New Year, how does that sound?”
“That’s the boy I gave birth to, Wallie! God bless you my son and do not forget to pray, and give thanks to Him.”
He sat back and checked the time by his phone. It was almost noon when he walked out of his bedsitter and made his way to the Restaurant for the afternoon shift.
Each step he took felt lighter, like he was walking away from something that he couldn’t see. He only knew one thing for sure, this time he was not walking away from his dream, but he was rather running towards it.