Mimi woke up that afternoon. She started to flail and scream until she saw her mother then she collapsed in tears. Faustina fed her daughter, helped her bathe and then waited. Mimi fell asleep again. Faustina’s impatience got the better of her. She had George make the calls and she went down to the post office.
Mr. Nyanga had been an aid worker. He worked in remote areas of the country. Faustina had just been appointed Foreign Affairs minister when his report was published. It documented mass killings of marginalized communities by the police and army. He never made it back to Nairobi. The news said that bandits had ambushed him on the way.
The ‘bandits’ did not find what they were looking for. Her husband had collected evidence supporting his claims. All of that was now in the hands of the International Criminal Court. She had refused to give it up.
That government never touched Mimi, someone had now. She stopped at the safety deposit box and sent out a few packages, then went back to Mimi.
She was playing scrabble with George. A little bit of a smile showed when she got the triple word score. They had supper together for the first time in years. Faustina could not understand how they had come full circle.
“We were happy. But then he became general, and every time we went out, people would come to me before they did him. We started having arguments, he wanted me to take his name and drop Nyanga.” Mimi said. Faustina sat by the bed.
“He was jealous.”
“Yes, but it was more than that. He started telling me what to wear. He didn’t invite anyone from the old days to parties, just his army friends and others that were in the revolution. But he could still be good.” Mimi said, “Then a few days ago he was talking to his friends about the takeover and how the country owed him. He said even you owed him for storming the city which led to your release. I could not take it. I told him that you saved the country, you made the African Union and United Nations impose sanctions and gave the evidence for the arrest warrant.”
“Then what happened?”
“He laughed and blew me off but I could tell he was angry. After his friends left he lost his mind. I tried to calm him down but he would have none of it. He broke my vase and I got mad too. So we were both shouting and he backhanded me. I left.” Mimi said.
“It’s ok. You’re safe with me.” Faustina said.
Faustina owed a lot of people in the country. She had been in those dungeons with other ministers, a rural chief, and a green grocer who wrapped his produce in the wrong newspaper.
She could not remember others, there had been dozens. The real revolution was theirs. They had endured. They had refused to break.