Stories on a Map

A Scarred Personality

A Scarred Personality largePeter Kimani


Rejection, isolation and misfortunes are his plight. Sleeping on the cold and dirt-infested pavement, yawning and with stomach rumbling from accumulated hunger, since the last time he had a decent meal was three days ago – from an encounter with a rotten bit of ugali in a council dustbin.

Seated on a rough stone with right hand supporting his bent face, the term betrayal crossing his congested mind. Facing rejection, not only from society but also from his family, if lucky to have once had one. Hatred for his parents is broadly written on his forehead, echoing a deep regret that they awarded him the gift to live and denied him the right to survive – was it not because of the unbearable conditions at home that he ran away?

On the semi-spacious pavements of Nairobi’s outskirts, where nature has isolated him from others, men, women and children change direction at the sight of him, because of his unorthodox dress code and his odour from lack of washing – the last time he had had a bath was during the rainy season when the rains caught him off guard, exposing him to a pathetic cold without medication. Because of his soaring coughs everyone, including his fellow street children, is evading him as if he is suffering from a killer airborne disease to which he might succumb the next minute and so end his lifetime suffering.

His first wail had been when he was born to a desperate child who was a school dropout. Just like any other child who inherits his parents, he inherited a priceless basketful of fate and misfortunes as that was the only thing his mama could afford. Prior to his notice his young mother had tried to abort him without success.

His mental scars are permanent reminders of the world’s brutality in the face of his past attempts to change his life. With a limp to his left leg, he walks up and down the city towards unknown destinations with cobbler’s glue on his lips, his eyes half closed and his right hand clutching a rotten mango on which he intends to feast.

On the dimly lit cityscape he fades into the darkness in search of bedding; the pavement, and dream, till he exhausts all his dreams.


© 2014 Peter Kimani
Image: Sam Stearman

Kimani 150Peter Kimani is a Kenyan writer of fiction. Born in 1991 in Nyeri, Central Kenya, he was educated at Wamutitu secondary school before moving to Nairobi, where he studied Fine Arts and Design in the Buru Buru Institute of Fine arts. Betrayed Future is his first short story to be published online. While continuing to write, Peter is extensively involved also in illustration and painting.