The newspaper articles were long on speculation but short on facts. Muthoni Janani tried her best to piece together a story given the scanty info at her disposal. The story seemed more like an Instagram page – more images than words. It tells you just how limited her sources were. In page two, just below an old unappealing photo of mine, she stated, “Mr. James Mukoma declined to take part in any interview leading up to this story.”

Damn right I did you bitch!

The press seemed overly excited with the case. And with good reason. This was developing into the hottest piece of news in the country. The scarcity of details fuelled the curiosity by the media and public. The CID spokesman was to issue a formal statement later in the afternoon. The governor’s family as well. Reporters were having a field day criss-crossing the counties to cover everything.

I hurl the newspapers across the steel table in the room. Some pages fell over to the floor and Odour picked them up. He understands my frustration, and above all, my despair. He’s witnessed my emotional highs and lows from when we were kids. Arguing over football and bano and who called dibs over the new chic on the block.

Sisi maintains a cool demeanour as Odour lays down the legal options ahead. We discuss them with two other lawyers he came with.

After almost four and a half hours of treacherous legal talk, we call it a day. Somehow, I feel confident about our chances. The two lawyers exit first. Oduor and I shake hands as he grabs his satchel. Sisi is still visibly shaken. We embrace, and they are off. Sisi has a weekend shift while Odour has to assemble a team for the case – the dream team.

One thing about whiskey, is the bonding that comes with it.

Alcohol is the one thing that’ll bring guys, even the worst of enemies, together. Goes way back to ancient Rome and Egypt. Several portions of scripture can back up this claim, I’m certain.

Whiskey’s like a common tribe, a unifying language.

It’s also great for important ceremonies such as weddings. Remember the one at Galilee graced by the Messiah? Where He ended up turning a few drums of water into wine. In case you didn’t know, that was His first miracle. Well, at my wedding I made sure there was plenty. Good wine, great beer and the best of whiskey. Smokers had a segregated patio where they could enjoy as may Cubans as their lungs could take.

Maya’s dad, a drinker himself, surprised me with a 5-year-old bottle of Jack Daniel’s. I vowed not to open it until our first child was born.

I am a whiskey collector. Our house, even though it’s not that spacious, has a small room next to the kitchen where I keep all of my most treasured bottles. My oldest and dearest one being the Jack Daniel’s from Maya’s dad. After some quick math, I’d estimated that we’d be opening it around the last week of April.

That was the plan. But God had His and He sure had a good laugh up there.

Once we moved to a more permanent house, where I didn’t have to worry about paying for a roof over my family’s head, then I’d build a cellar in the basement. There I’d slowly grow my collection over time.

I’m sure Maya would have detested but I always threw the idea in conversations just to gauge her reaction. I was also preparing her mentally so that when the time came, she’d be so used to hearing it, it would be impossible to veto the idea.

My inspiration was actually her dad. Like me, he was crazy about good alcohol. Mostly wine. Needless to say, it was one of the few common grounds that we both struck with each other. Usually, our conversations were quite awkward, mostly punctuated by long gaps of silence. But once we opened a bottle of whiskey and said “cheers,” all the walls came down. Suddenly we were like two old friends that talked about almost everything. Well, the conversations were one-sided. He mostly talked and I listened. A quality I have been blessed with since birth and it came in quite handy during marriage. I digress.

My father-in-law boasted about his wine collection and his travels all around the world; from Capetown to Paris, Rome to Adelaide. He has a bottle from each city and of course each bottle has a story behind it. He does not pass the chance of telling all the tales. And I never stop him. He’s a great storyteller, especially when he’s had a bit to drink.

Regardless, I admire his collection. He has a beautiful cellar that houses the most expensive wines from all his globe-trotting. If I ever make it to his will, I hope he leaves this collection to me.

Like me, he’s into watches. Another common ground. And yes, you guessed right. A 2010 Rolex was part of my wedding gift from him. Judge me all you wish but his watch collection is another thing I hope the old man leaves me when time comes.

Besides catching a game and drinking, we talked women and business, but mostly wine.

“How’s my daughter treating you? You know she can be quite hard-headed at times, she gets it from her mother.”

“We are good. I know how to handle my wife.”

He always joked about how Maya (apparently) bosses me around. As a former army guy he finds me too fragile.

We usually hang out once every couple of months. We’d go to either one of four spots that he fancied. Three were golf clubs that he was a member of. The other was Seasons, which was his least favourite.

In fact, he’s the one that introduced me to the joint. The joint that would change the course of my life forever.