Kevin

Last month I got very close to the cliff-too close.I was ready to jump.I was hanging there staring at the other side,the dark one.I went through a break up,I thought I had found the one but in the end he was just one.I am not one to sit mopping around wallowing in self-pity going through the what ifs but after  that I was becoming the one person I swore I would never become.Of course I would follow my mantra in life,to dress up,show up and smile but when I was alone the questions and the what could have beens would bombard me.I would question my decision for calling it off, feeling like i jumped the gun,i started thinking that my reasons for ending it were after all trifle,petty and childish.i would chide myself telling myself that  i would never get a good thing.i stopped smiling as much and those close to me told me I was angry all the time.I was a real bitch.

Then I met Kevin and everything I was dealing with became a drop  of red ink in an ocean of whiteness.

A friend of mine asked me to take her to see Kevin,in juvenile remand.She told me he is fifteen a form one student who just moved from his rural home in Molo where he was staying with his grandmother to come stay with his mother in Kawangware.He is not  a badly behaved teen,at all,yet in remand does not make sense,right?Kevin is in with false charges,defilement of a three-year old girl who happens to be the neighbors child.So this is what went down.Kevin came to live with his mother on a Sunday,started school on Monday and on Friday he was in jail!The neighbor wanted to rush somewhere so he asked Kevin to babysit for him,as Kevin was home taking care of his brother who is seven years old,and has cerebral palsy.When the neighbor came back she said that the baby had been defiled,she took her to the hospital where the doctor confirmed that indeed the baby was defiled but that was not a fresh incident,it had happened at least two months before.That did not stop her from having Kevin arrested and  locked up.

Kevin denied the charges in court but he still had to go to remand to allow investigations to be carried out,That is how I got to meet him.When I heard that story I pictured him as a big ferocious teen strong and mean.I was shocked when  he was called and asked to  join us at the waiting bay.My baby brother Ian who just turned eleven is way bigger than Kevin.He is short and really tiny,he is so thin and looks a little over ten,He does not look like he has it in him to hurt a fly.He has the most gentle eyes and the most kind voice his personality brought tears in my eyes.His plight was so heartbreaking.He was so strong and kept telling us to stop crying that he was okay,that it would get better.I did not see how all that would get better.A well-wisher had gotten him a lawyer who was representing him.He had petitioned the judge for a bail,and it had been set at a hundred thousand which was too high.Kevin’s mother is a casual laborer,she lives in Kawangare in a  single dilapidated room with Kevin,his brother David and a baby she had after Kevin was arrested.It was impossible to raise that kind of money for his bail.The judge was petitioned to lower it to a reasonable amount.He did,a well wisher offered to pay it.But Kevin would still not go free,there was a hitch somewhere,see the accuser was still leaving where she was before the whole thing happened,so it was conflicting.Kevin’s probation officer had to look for somewhere for Kevin to stay seeing he could not go home.While all this was going on Kevin’s younger brother,the one with cerebral palsy died.

It was hard to understand what people mean with,”it will get better,it cannot get worse than that” because for Kevin everything that could go wrong went really wrong.He was devastated,when He heard the news he  wailed like you have never seen or heard  the poor child was breaking everybody’s heart.Can you imagine how he felt at the time?How sad,alone angry and confused he was?

He knows by and large what hard life is.He went from an innocent teenager to a hardcore adult in one bus.He had to got to his brothers funeral accompanied by a guard you would think he is a bad hardened criminal.He might be set free if things at home change but this will probably be the hardest thing he will ever have to deal with. He will still be required to go to court until he is cleared,and catch up with his studies.

My point is,I quickly got over my issues,I realized that here are people with real issues,issues that they did nothing to deserve,that the worst has happened to others. Every time even a whim of self pity engulfs me I remember
Kevin and what he has had to deal with so I brush it off dress up,show up and smile!

Try it too,it always works!