When Maina came to, he was dazed. He realized that he was lying on the floor. He got I unsteadily, brushed his dusty jacket and felt for his money. His pockets were empty. That when he recalled that he had been part and parcel of the gang that had decided to destroy the Nation Centre.

As events unfolded in his mind, tears stung his eyes and came rolling down his chubby cheeks in lines of two’s and three’s. He was a third year student at Jomo Kenyatta University and was studying law. On the day he was to sit for his exams, the Nation print media had a second page story that the students were drug addicts. Determined to prove the journalists wrong, they decided to go and destroy the Nation Centre. It was clear that they had forgotten the English saying, two wrongs do not make right.

When they had the windows at the centre all destroyed and shattered, they were ecstatic. They even pelted workers at the centre with a volley of stones. Once they had brought the city to a standstill they broke into song and dance that every Tom, Dick and Harry knew and stopped a lorry before commandeering it. When the police arrived, all students of the campus who were at the scene fled different directions after realizing that the police were armed to the teeth.

All those memories made Maina disgusted. He felt very low. He thanked his lucky stars that had not been arrested like some of his colleagues who had rioted in the past. He knew he would anything to get back to campus and apologize to the vice chancellor because where there is that there is a way.

He looked down at his tattered, disintegrating attire. He realized that he had his student badge on and this could betray him. Before he could stand up and do something about it. He saw two policemen make a beeline for him, leaving a gust of dust behind. He knew we had been caught off guard. It was time to face the music with the rough and tough “boys in blue.”

His small forehead that played host to two innocent aqua eyes  that attempted to plead mercy, did not move the police. He tried smiling innocently but perhaps the police knew to judgi book by its cover. They grabbed him by his collar and asked, “You are Maina Kariuki, aren’t yoi Maina nodded solemnly. The police then proceeded to tell him that he was under arrest for participating in the ghastly demonstrations and he had no obligation to deny. Talking, they told him, would do him good, it was like flogging a dead horse.

He was handcuffed and frog-marched to a nearby police station where he found some of colleagues who had also been nabbed. He regretted why he had not refused to join in the demonstrate which his friend Tom convinced him to join the bandwagon. Tears welled in his eyes as he was boot and told that he would appear in court in two days time, pending investigations indeed, he thought, every dog has its day.

He shook his head sadly and made a mental swear never to join anyone’s gravy train again. His dreams of becoming a lawyer were shattered because no university would ever admit him with, such a nasty record. It was too late but he had learnt a lesson because experience, come to think of it, is the best teacher.



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