A Short Story By Austin Kaluba

January 13, 2024
2 mins read

By Austin Kaluba
Sunday, June 13,
, Jane Njeri. jambo ndugu! I hope you are fine? Can’t believe five years have
gone since you left. One of my friends said you were in Kisumu.
By the way, I have somehow
reconciled with my former husband Mr Robinson. We meet from time to time though we
do not live
together. I still use his name for prestige and for papers, you know.
 Jane, I know you are bitter
for being deported but I feel it is the Lord ( I am a believer by the way),
who saved you
from this life of shame. The business is now hard for us old women.
As you know this malaya business is only good for young women.
 The Police are also clamping
down on the trade and so many brothels have been closed. Oh, you  remember
the Kenyan woman who
used to run  brothels in Soho – Mrs Osborne. Yes, Mrs Osborne,
that is her name – the one who was married to some Whiteman. She was caught and her name appeared in all the
papers. What surprised the Bazungus was not her trade which is not news here but the money she made. Imagine £2
I was in Manchester when I heard that you had been arrested and taken to Dover. I
prayed for you the all night and cried like a child.
Jane, life is hard and
strange. I thought I had escaped life in Majengo but I have entered another Majengo that eats at your soul.
It is strange Jane; all the same I have got used to life
here. It is
Africa which will be strange to me if I was to come back. How many
years have I been here. I used to celebrate birthdays but the last birthday made me realise that I have aged. I
am 50! Just like that.
Luckily, these Bazungus are
strange people. I have a few clients who like black flesh even that of an old woman like me.
There is this old man, Father Sean O’Donoghue. He enjoys
being whipped and
he cries out like a child calling out my name ‘Do it Anna,  you black
bitch! Whip me, bitch!
You can’t believe what madness these white people
have. And imagine this same man conducting Mass on Sunday using the same blasphemous  mouth
to say Ave Maria.
Oh, I wish God could strike
him down with lightning like he used to do in the Old testament. I have never met a man who has such a dirty
mouth like Sean. It is men like him who are delaying the coming of the Son of Man.
You remember the brothel
called Dirty Dick in East London. We used to go there together, remember? There is
this white man we
have nicknamed CCTV who pays a fortune just to see women naked
without sleeping with them.
What happened last night when I
went there was worse than what people used to do in Sodom and Gomorrah. If I had something else to do to make
the kind of money I am making, I would stop.
Some of my friends have stopped selling their bodies and are doing care work. I
used to call care work dirty but I am not the right person to call any work dirty because I have seen
dirtier things in life.
I pray for forgiveness. Is it
not Jesus who forgave that prostitute in the Bible. I will write you later. Keep on praying and don’t come
back here. Kwaheri ndugu.
Anna Gachiru.
Austin Kaluba is a short story writer studying creative writing
at Oxford University. His short stories have appeared in online and
print publications, including the UK-based black newspaper, The Voice.

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