I have a racking headache this morning. Yesterday was a tough, nay, gruelling day. Yeah, and so much so. It was Election Day; the most competitive, much anticipated issue-based election since independence.
I was among the last people at the polling station having stood in the hot sun for almost half a day. Yeah, and the turn out was something to behold. Scores of people stood in queues, braving the hot sun, to ultimately cast their votes!
I hardly slept a wink last night. My neighbours next door (three bachelors who stay in the same room) just wouldn’t let me. Their high-pitched radios (as they kept count of the number of votes from polling stations the country over, thanks to the leading channel), raucous laughs, guttural voices and frequent screams as beer bottles fell to the floor, were just tormenting.
Everything is quiet this morning save for the throbbing headache between my ears. The throbbing is as if tangible. And for no apparent reason at all, my heart is pounding savagely (as if I am climbing a precipitous mountain).
Now I start recalling. A day before the polls, I wagered my friend Mark ksh 5000/- that my choice for president would win the polls with a landslide victory. I was more than confident that this would be the case. Then, where is this jittery feeling coming from?
If my choice for president does not win the elections, then, I'll have to part with my precious five thao. Not a pretty picture at all.
But, then, who says he will not win.
Just as this thought takes its form in my mind, two pictures (so vivid and life-like) suddenly cascade in my mind’s eye; one from left to right, the other from right to left.
The two pictures are those of Raila and Kibaki. Both of them are smiling. In fact, one of them is grinning like a Cheshire cat. Their lips are moving as if trying to tell me something.
I strain my inner ears but fail to hear anything.
I look at the wall clock. It is 6:30am. I think it is time to put all my fears to rest. I ‘trudge’ to my wall unit and almost simultaneously switch on both my TV and radio.
The news on radio and TV is replete and inundated with election-related news. Reports are coming in from all parts of the country. The number of votes each candidate has received in various parts of the republic is mentioned.
My heart lurches. No, no, what I am hearing can’t be true. Those unflattering number of votes can’t be those of my chosen president. No. Never.
Almost instantly I decide what I‘ll spend the rest of the day doing.
“Counting the votes. Yes, that’s what I am going to do the rest of the day. I can’t leave anything to chance, can I?”
I also decide to call on my neighbours later in the day to compare my notes with that of their vigil last night.
I fetch a pen and some foolscaps and get ready for the task ahead of me. Oh, I had almost forgotten. I usually take a hot cup of coffee at around this time of the day. And today it will do me a whole world of good.
A steaming cup of coffee.