My Stupid Dress II

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If there is a second time I should have fainted in my life it should have been that moment when my husband said, ‘I think they found her.” I thought, found what, her her or her the body. But then he said, “She’s alive.” We sped to the cop station. It was an afternoon with thick, dark grey clouds hanging precariously over us. It threatened to rain any moment and motorists were somehow all out on the roads, climbing over each other to get home faster. We were silent in the car. I don’t know what he was thinking but I was wondering if my baby had changed, where she had spent the previous night, if she was scarred, if she would still be the same.

At the cops’, I literally jumped out of the car before it stopped. I was in house sandals and track bottoms. I didn’t have a bra on and if you have big boobs like I do and you run without a bra, you know how your boobs bounce all over, like they are on a trampoline. I was led into the inner sanctum of the police station to the OCS’s cramped office with old files stacked over old steel file cabinets.

And there was my baby – feet suspended from the floor, sitting on a wooden chair, drinking a soda. The soda bottle looked bigger than her. She was in a different dress, an oversized dress, a dress that I would not have dressed her in.  She had no red ribbon on her head. She looked older or maybe the dress made her look older. I wanted to wash her face with water and soap. Soak her in a bathtub. Scrub her hair, towel her with the cleanest white towel I could get my hands on. I wanted to hold her and wear her skin, to make her and myself one so that she would never ever have to wander off like that again. I wanted to imprison her in my body, in my heart. I wanted to return her to my womb where she would be safe. I’d feed her whatever I ate, she’d sleep wherever I slept.

When she saw me, her face barely registered recognition. For a moment I was afraid she’d forgotten me. After looking at me for a moment her eyes finally lit up and she wanted to jump off the chair but realised that she was too short to get off it herself. With one hand trying to hold the soda, she lifted the other hand up, like she wanted to be lifted. I was on her, knocking down the soda, holding her, squeezing her, and crying. She smelled like something that had stayed in the cupboard for too long without use. Her hair smelled of bar soap. She started crying because I was crying but also because I was squeezing her too much and too long. I lifted her up and walked out of the room with her and on the way I met my husband and I walked past him to a small square with a bench. He followed us and stood aside, wiping tears with the back of his hand, trying to be a man now. I inspected her body. Inch by inch. Looking for cuts. Looking for bruises. Looking for hurt. I looked at her fingers and behind her ears and her toes and I cried as I felt her scalp and touched her cheeks. She was unperturbed.

We took her home, then we took her to the doctor. I don’t know why, it was my idea. I’m extra. The doctor said she was okay. I don’t know how she ended up in the hands of the lady who found her. I don’t know how she ended up in her home and how she took care of her and took her to the nearest police station. I don’t know because I didn’t want to ask her questions. I don’t want to piece together her movement from the mall to her place and to the police. I didn’t want that narrative. I wanted to forget it. My husband on the other hand did. I told him not to tell me.

The woman who took her to the cops is an angel. That’s how God works, through men and women. I called her a week after the ordeal to thank her. She said she was a mother too, a single mother with three children of her own. She was from a modest background, and worked as a Help. Her eldest, she said, had just completed primary school and was getting into high school the following year. Our paths crossed for a reason. I suspected that God had negotiated the return of my daughter by giving me a chance to also help this woman.

So we paid for her daughter’s high school education right through university. She’s now working. She gave me my daughter and I gave her daughter an education. I didn’t have to lose my eyesight or offer a kidney in exchange. I think God let me off easy in this trade-off. My daughter is now fifteen years old. We fight all the time because I’m the mother who wants to know where she is, who she is with, when she will be back home, who she is talking to. I stifle her. She likes to say, “Mom, you are too much!” I’m not too much, I’m afraid of losing her. But the strangest thing is that I might not lose her in the mall again but now I’m losing her to life. She’s no longer my baby who wore a red ribbon on her head, she’s a child of the world, she was never mine in the first place.

 

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208 Comments
      1. Did they go for therapy as a couple after? That blame game did it end their relationship temporarily na mr man moved to guest room? Did they kiss and make up with some steamy sex? We need Stupid Dress number III Biko pleaaassseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Do something.

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  1. God always works for good. His ways are beyond ours.

    That being said, the ending is both sad and true. Our children are ours, but at the same time they aren’t.

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  2. Thank God for the happy ending….I wish we could also know if and how the relationship with the husband was after that ordeal.

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  3. Boy, am I glad for that ending. That cliffhanger made me think another shoe would drop. Like going to the station and finding it’s a different child.

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  4. Too many unanswered questions. How did she leave the mall? How did she meet her savior? Give us the story from the father’s perspective. Happy she found her baby!

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  5. Okay, first of all, thanks for posting this second part.

    Secondly, seriously Biko, you could have finished this one yesterday if you wanted to. I was expecting a 10 minute read – fast-paced, enthralling, heart in my throat type of stuff – instead you posted an abstract. A summary.
    I zipped through this like a fly in Kajiado. Do you know how fast those things go? No? Really fast, Biko!

    Anyway, in conclusion, thanks for the conclusion.

    .
    .
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    Although you could have just finished it yesterday.

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  6. That ended well. Sometimes a nicely narrated story with a nice ending is all you need to have a great day. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. i just let out a breath i was holding since yesterday hahaha, oh my! this was short, Biko you had to let us wait while you could have just ended it jana,
    Anyway, God’s ways no one can fathom, i love happy endings. awsome read Biko.

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  8. Thank goodness for a good ending. And Bee is now all grown up. And i know the parents will never forget that nightmare. And that, that lady was truly an angel used by God, coz with the crazies walking in this world,…. I dont even want to think of the worst.

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  9. Am in awe of this couple! These that get vulnerable before each other and even before the child.
    On another note, did the partial lose of the baby sting that much because she’s called Bee?

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  10. Thank goodness for that lady….Thank goodness she was found safe and sound…
    ” I didn’t have to lose my eyesight or offer a kidney in exchange. I think God let me off easy in this trade-off.”.. God is always merciful….

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  11. You Sir, played us dirty yesterday… ungemalizia tu hii kitu jana… been refreshing my email since morning… Glad she got her kid safe…

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  12. Ahhhhhh, what a complete fade! Mr Forehead hapa hujafanya poa. How very like a premature ejaculation(i would know!) Omera hii ni hujuma! What was the cry baby wearing, what was the back story, whose story is this anyway, who are your parents?! Ah! Lakini ni sawa tu and thanks for keeping your word.

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  13. Biko woke up yesterday and chose drama.
    Yaani..the way I came up with alternative endings to this story… Acha tu
    A happy ending though.. Yaaay!!

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  14. oh my. That is a difficult experience. I recall when my cousin’s child was lost and everyone was looking for her in the town. Finally she was found sitting outside a shop taking a soda that a stranger had bought her. Everyone had gone crazy but the little girl had no idea that she was lost!

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  15. Happy ending, but grossly underwhelming. Maybe I’m not a good writer, but the author owes us an explanation of how the Good Samaritan ended up with the baby.

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  16. I finally breeeeeeeeeaaaatheeeee oooooooouuuuuuuutttttt.

    To the hubby….we wan’t a man’s perspective now amidst this chaos…What were you bottling up through this? Where did you go that night? How did you try to unwind this?

    Asante Biko for this story.

    Cheers Gang!

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  17. I feel this conclusion is missing key pieces. Like, why didn’t the “angel” go to the mall security officers to report that she had found a missing child and leave her phone number incase they couldn’t find the parents? Who keeps a lost child in their house for two nights? Didn’t the child know her parents’ phone numbers?

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  18. Yaani the way I was holding my breath! Thank goodness for happy endings. Kidogo I thought this would be one of those stories that end with a ‘that’s what would have happened had I had a trace of luck that day’ or ‘that’s what I wish had happened’ but really what happened will be in part 3.

  19. Biko,
    Bika.
    Don’t ever do this again
    I was like a father in the waiting room anxiously awaiting news from the labour ward/Wednesday story.

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  20. Biko!
    I slept and woke up thinking about this child, and her mother and father.
    But I’m relieved they found her, alive.
    Weeh, I’ve never thought of life through this lense. See, I got lost in class four, well, my guardian told me I got lost, personally, I was just out exploring my environment for a few hours, six hours of torture for them.
    Difference between this little girl and me is I was beaten like nonsense.

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  21. Why did you hurry to bring it to the end…anyway we do stupid things like put a cup of hot tea next to the baby only to realize later that they’ll get burned…the stupid things. Glad bee was found though

  22. Am at some company waiting to be interviewed, but instead of preparing for questions like where do you see yourself in 5years…. I kept checking biko’s page. Am happy….

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  23. I just can imagine the girl’s side of the story, her point of view, and how scared she was when she could not find her way back to her mother.

  24. ‘She gave me my daughter and i gave her daughter education’. I felt for her. Circa 2012, we lost my younger brother one evening, he was about 7 then and had speech impediments. It was a harrowing night of trying to trace his steps, i was sent back home since it was late. I beat myself up for losing sight of him. I couldn’t function. My hands shuddered. By a stroke of luck, he fell on the hands of a wonderful woman who ran a small restaurant. She fed him and draped a shawl on him. My mom and her friend eventually found him, eating his meal. I was always overprotective of him from that day onwards. The world has misfortune, but God gave us mothers, biological or not.

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  25. Thank God for a Happy ending. I would still be interested in knowing how she ended up in thé hands of thé lady who saved her.

  26. Nice Read,

    How I wish we could have a closer read into the two parents’ relation after the ordeal. I mean, there was a rift already after the loss. But now that Bree was home, how was the relation between them?

  27. Why I’m I even crying tears of Joy. Why do I feel o relate to this lady. Mimi I could have burnt the mall down untill my Chloe is found. I’m the kind of mama that reacts and freaks out so fast. I dread such moments.
    Biko I’d like to read about the husbae since that time he received the call that Bee is missing.

  28. God had to make sure their paths crossed and because God is God, he will use anything including pain and turmoil to ensure his will is done! Nani kama yeye!

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  29. Biko!!! Thank you for a beautiful ending. I didn’t sleep well last night…. I played out many scenarios in my head.

    I now understand why my parents were always super over protective. I was once stolen from our home. The lady didn’t go far before she was caught. It affected my parents so badly.

    To Mama Bee…. God has got your baby covered. HE covered her then and will always do so. Trust in HIM.

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  30. As I was having a morning conversation with my cousin, I happen to enquire if she read the blog I had sent her

    She says no, but promises to read it later today

    I quickly inform her how the gang is waiting for part two of that story…

    This is not what I was expecting. A happy ending yes, but where are the twists?

    Like finding a kid who really resembles her daughter, yet she not the one.

    Where is that “switched at birth” drama

    But then again…this is real life , life sometimes isn’t that complicated

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  31. Today I started with the end. Incase I saw something like, ‘let me sleep..’ I would have postponed reading it till the whole story was complete.

  32. This story oh man! Since yesterday I have been goggling on microchip technology, if need be I will track my child till she’s 40 okay 47 huko… a parent never stops being a parent

  33. It’s normal to want to take your child for a medical checkup if she was lost. That’s not being extra. That’s being a mother. Wearing a ribbon and setting her up on the back seat is normal too. I don’t see what the big deal is.
    Let’s normalise being honest. I find this woman extremely careless-to say the very least
    And then how the hell do you leave your child unattended to then want to shout at the staff WHO HAVE THEIR OWN JOBS to cater to when it didnt matter to you to take care of your own child. Something’s very wrong with this woman
    I won’t even touch on when she coveted and took some else’s husband to teach her some sort of lesson. Trifling as hell
    Never thanked the police poured the soda they got her child and walked right out of the station like nothing happened
    Ma’am check your ways.

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  34. Wow, this has reminded me the importance of being nice and kind always, even if it seems stupid or unaffordable. Strange but true, there are people out there who see kindness as a weakness; but good will always overcome evil.

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  35. Wale pressing Biko arefushe script please find contentment in knowing the girl is now wearing a mask and sanitising like the rest of us. The good end justifies itself.

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  36. My sister has been crying since yesterday, my friend doesn’t want to let her son out of sight…this is what you did to us yesterday.
    Glad this another happy ending!

  37. Biko, mamake Bee just taught you to be extra. You didn’t need to sleep on this story but hey! thanks for completing it. I love happy endings.

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  38. I read this post with a mixture of dread and fear. So scary. Reading part two has been such a relief. But I could relate to this story. I also wandered off when I was kid. Just walked out the school gate with a friend and was found wandering in the streets alone, God is merciful because I ended up with a lady who had three kids and she took me to her place where I spent the night.

    Next morning she took me back to school and I was reunited with my folks.

    Thinking about it now, I can’t imagine the anguish and anxiety I caused my parents and siblings. It must have been a nightmare.

    Thank God for good samaritan’s…. And kind ladies.

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  39. I don’t think I’ve ever posted a comment but today I will… You killed us with suspense – out of choice – Yaaani —- ningesema ni roho mbaya, but because you make our reading lives worth living, thanks for making us wait for this beautiful happy ending. 🙂

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  40. Thank God you found her…. she’ll always come back even if she’s a daughter of the world…we always go back to mama no matter what!

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  41. Finally mastered the courage to read part 2 after you left us hanging and heart pounding fast. Don’t we all wish we could hold time when it comes to our kids growing up and now being ‘ours’ anymore; I do. Sometimes it’s the little things like a toddler who doesn’t want cuddles anymore, oh and when they put grow chums (kisses not money) Great finish though, happy for that happy ending!

  42. There is a part that is missing. The part where the OCS drank his tea for “job well done.” Maybe, am assuming, the husband ‘saw him aside’ loosely translated as “Alimwona kando.” In our Kenyan systems, cops are appreciated for doing their jobs or let me put it this way, for helping their clients.

    Nwei, am glad you finally found Bee and she is alive and kicking and now a grown up starting her puberty.

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  43. And now I’m crying, not yesterday, today and I can’t seem to stop. I’m happy the little girl was found none the worse for wear.

  44. “He followed us and stood aside, wiping tears with the back of his hand, trying to be a man now”…. uum.. trying to be a man she says! wow

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  45. Wheeeeeew!!! This was a lot of story.
    .
    I need a drink.
    .
    I cannot imagine the agony of those few days and the scars a decade later.

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  46. I want to know, did this one event change your relationship with the husband? These were very traumatising days. wah!

  47. Eee wuod kendu, the way I eagerly waited for part two. I could not eat, was just impatiently waiting. In her words “I’m extra like that”

  48. Biko I liked the Extra…..a very short Follow up postposy Holding us in suspense loke the worn out flag that hangs by abthread at the chiefs camp.

  49. Biko I liked the Extra…..a very short Follow up post Holding us in suspense like the worn out flag that hangs by a thread at the chiefs camp.

  50. Seriously Biko!!! Are we just going to sit here and ignore that there was a ‘strange perfume?’….aaai kirudiwo!!!

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  51. Phew!! But really this was put in really short words… what of the story in between, where she got lost, found, and dropped off at the station. Are they still together? Did they get more kids?
    Some things change you and your relationship forever.

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  52. Biko…. a soul and a half,

    you all have forgotten the part where he says she is now getting lost to the world…… where the love treads and why we remain children to those who brought us forth.
    Thanks for the inspiration. This one…. second person or first whatever …. you did it

  53. I feel the ending was a bit rushed…how did she not want to know what happened? That would literally be the first thing to do….we need a part three for closure

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  54. I’m so happy this ended well. ❤ PS. At the end of Part 1, while hoping, I braced for the worst. With Biko it can go in any direction…

  55. Show kindness always, God could be reaching out to you through different people …. “She gave me my daughter and I gave her daughter an education.”

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  56. If that’s bee on the cover photo, then bee is a goddess.
    Biko this should be a movie…. the suspense yawah!! Tafuta tyler perry.

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  57. Mimi kuna mtu nimekuja hapa kutafuta. BUBBLE BEE. Kama unasoma ii hapa, Happy New Year.
    Lakini ni poa Bee alipatikana. Sijawaijua mabuda pia hukua emotional juu ya watoi wao ii design. Mubarikiwe lakini.

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  58. I was five when my dad and my brother boarded a bus home to High ridge at the then Nairobi International Show. I was hosted by the sweetest policemen I have ever met anywhere till dad came back for me later that evening. From that experience, I am unable to denigrate police officers…

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  59. Oops!atleast it ended well,I was so scared…am a mother too and I dread ever losing any of my children,may God of the heaven’s protect them.

  60. What suspense that was!! I wish the story went as far as how the relationship with the husband was like after the ordeal.