Several weeks after ghosting Luciana you find yourself in Mombasa for a series of meetings with potential clients. One of them would like you to spearhead a marketing campaign for a product they are about to launch. Immediately after the meeting, you call up Dan, a long-time friend, who lives in the coastal city so he can show you around the trendiest night joints.
Having insisted you want to have a taste of authentic coasto nightlife Dan takes you to a popular restaurant in Old Town for biriani before heading out to Nyali. You first check out Anuba Lounge, which turns out to be too bourgeois for your liking. Nonetheless, you have a couple of drinks.
At around 1 am he suggests you try out another joint, a walking distance away. Tucked on the 3rd floor of City Mall Nyali is Sheba Lounge. Sheba is essentially a huge balcony with a bar counter on one side, a DJ stand on the other and lots of tables and seats in between. You pick a table next to the counter & order for drinks. You scan around the club. A cocky smile forms on your lips. 80 % of the patrons are ladies.
The DJ is playing popular Caribbean hits, funny enough nobody is dancing. Screw it! You get off your seat and start dancing all alone. After about ten minutes a lady you have never seen before walks over and starts grinding on you as her friends cheer her on.
She is the glowing kind with an easy smile, tiny waist, and a sizeable derrière. Her long silky hair is tied into a ponytail. She is in a short red and black striped dress that ends mid-thigh and a deep neckline that highlights her enticing cleavage.
Holding her waist you grind on her like a pro. Thereafter, she bends over and gyrates as you watch. When the music ends she quickly disappears without saying a word. On moving back to your table Dan is eager to fist bump.
“Man, that chile is so fly!…Don’t forget to take her number.”
When you start dancing again the mysterious lady joins you. This time she jumps into your arms wraps her legs around your waist with her fingers interlocked behind your neck and wines. Holding her up is a struggle but you try not to show it. Several people in the club crane their necks to get a better glimpse of the two of you.
With her face inches from yours, you attempt to strike a conversation. Compliment her dancing skills, ask her name and even offer to buy her a drink. Each time, she just smiles back without responding. Maybe she is deaf! You decide to concentrate on dancing. Got to admit she is really good. Doused with exotic fragrance holding her close feels like hugging a bouquet of jasmine flowers.
She bends over, touches the floor and twerks. You hold her waist and sway in sync with all her moves. She then stands up, leans on your chest as you slow dance to some RnB. Meanwhile, your hands are exploring all her body contours. She bites her lower lip before flashing you an enchanting smile. The mixed signals throw you into a quagmire. What exactly does she want?
Sitting at the next table are two white men who must either be in their late 40’s or early 50’s. The slender one says something while pointing in your direction. Your enigmatic companion pushes you away and goes charging at him.
“What did you just say?..what did you just say?” She shouts on top of her lungs.
He hurls a whiskey glass at her. She ducks. The glass misses you by inches, smashing against the bar counter.
That’s when the chile goes berserk. She unleashes a steady stream of profanity, grabs empty bottles of beer, half-full glasses, ashtrays and flings them at the geezer.
You instinctively duck as glass projectiles fly overhead from either side. The old dude is also throwing stuff at her. On moving out of harm’s way you stand back and watch the unfolding drama.
After a moment of sheer destruction that leaves a trail of broken glasses & spilled liquor. Bouncers drag both the lady and mzungu out of the club. The man is forced to pay for the damages & barred from re-entering the bar.
The lady is allowed to go back to her table after a man you presume to be the manager intervenes. On witnessing how violent she is, you move to the bar counter in a bid to avoid her.
Towards your left is a lady drinking alone. She has an open bottle of Heineken in one hand & three tots of Rose Tequila before her.
“Go talk to her, she looks lonely.” Says Dan as he gets cozy with some other pretty mama.
You take a gulp of your beer, muster some courage & walk up to her. You slide into the seat next to her.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“You don’t look a single bit okay.”
She rudely checks you out from shoes, pants, shirt to face. She stares at your rugged hair for a couple seconds.
“Do you want me to buy you a beer or something?” She responds in a condescending attitude while beckoning the waitress.
You lose your cool.
“WTF?! You think I came here to hassle you for a drink?” you ask, jump to your feet and start walking away.
She stretches her hand to stop you.
“I didn’t mean that…I just want to buy you a drink.”.
“No thank you. I have two unopened bottles.” You say pointing at your drinks.
“Okay, can you at least sit down?”
“Alright Maish, I’m not okay. I’m freaking stressed out.”
Kristy narrates how she argued with her hubby earlier in the night, stormed out and came straight to the bar. Apparently, she was married at an early by some wealthy ninja. Although the husband has another wife he is very insecure and always away on business. She claims to be filthy rich but is extremely bored and lonely while repeatedly reminding you that she is neighbors with Governer Joho.
Afraid you might grow a pair of boobs if you continue listening to her relationship problems you shift your focus to her physical appearance. Kristy looks like she is in her mid-thirties. She has her hair chopped on the sides and dyed blonde on top. She is in a denim blue short-sleeved blouse, matching pants, brown heels and multicolored African beaded earrings. Beneath the makeup you can clearly see signs of aging, however, she has got a well-toned body for someone her age.
“Mbona unaniangalia ivo?” She asks while surreptitiously placing her hand on your inner left thigh.
“I want to bang you.”
“Mmh…You really don’t want to do that!”
“I’m not even sweet.”
“Well, that’s for me to decide.”
“For real, I know plus I have two kids.”
Dan comes over and bids you farewell. You promise to call him the next morning.
You feel really buzzed having surpassed your alcohol limit. You know it’s time to call it a night but then your smaller head has taken charge of decision-making.
Kristy blathers on about her mundane life till you can’t stand it any longer. You excuse yourself to visit the gents. She must have realized you intend to ditch her because refuses to let you go alone. She quickly pays her bill, accompanies you and insists on getting into the gents with you.
“We are on the third floor for heaven’s sake. It’s not like I can jump out through the toilet widow!”
Finally, Kristy agrees to wait for you right outside the washroom door.
You walk into the gents only to bump into a man with bloodshot eyes staring back at you. The man is impeccably dressed complete with a pricey timepiece and a stylish jacket. His gait and posture are that of a self-assured man, however, the look in his eyes betrays the pain behind that perfect facade. A wounded man. You can tell he is desperately trying to keep it together, hoping for a miracle before that perfect image he is trying to hold shatters to smithereens. You take a step closer. So does the man. You stretch out your hand towards the man, perhaps to let him know you understand what he is going through. He mimics your exact movements. That’s when you realize that you are looking into a mirror. And you are the wounded man.
The pain comes back flooding. All your life you naively believed every human is inherently good. Despite people taking advantage of you multiple times, you tightly held on to your beliefs until she came into your life. You embraced, loved and trusted her with every fiber of your body. She played her part perfectly well until she got that one thing she desired the most then pulled the disappearing act on you. You felt betrayed, used and discarded like a soiled diaper but as an African man you aren’t allowed to show it.
Your manly ego wouldn’t let you grieve or learn from your mistakes instead you bottled it up, allowing the acidity of her actions to erode all the goodness in you. Having resigned to the fact you might end up a lonely old man, you hook up with random women every month for short-lived flings. Bestowed upon with fairly good looks and the gift of the gab you shuttle from the arms of one stranger to another hoping to numb the pain.
The irony of it all is that whilst your social life is an inglorious mess, your career is flourishing. People hardly look beyond the accolades. You are a role model. Many look up to and envy you in equal measure. However, they are all too distracted by your flawless veneer to realize how wounded you really are. You don’t want to disappoint them hence keep you battles secret. A dynamite-laden train hurtling down a long dark tunnel without any brakes.
Kristy pops her head into the gents door.
“Why are you taking so long?”
“I will be out in a sec.” You respond with a fake smile.
You splash cold water on your face then walk out without drying your hands.
She gets all touchy in the elevator much to the annoyance of fellow passengers. You suggest that she takes a cab home so you can go separate ways but she wouldn’t hear any of it.
On getting to the ground floor, she grabs your hand and literally drags you out through the back exit. Behind the mall is this long, well-lit, straight, deserted street running parallel to the massive building. She takes off her heels, picks them up before taking your hand in hers. You both join the street and turn left.
“Can we at least go to my hotel?” you plead with her.
“Maish, I can’t go all the way to your hotel room when my house is close by.”
You walk for a couple of meters in total silence save for the sound of your feet pounding on the asphalt. The night is eerily still. It feels like the universe just stopped to watch you make another silly decision. Suddenly Kristy turns towards you and cups your face. Without heels, she is pretty short so you have to bend down your neck. She goes for your lips.
She takes both of your lips into her mouth, sucks too hard, bites your lower lip and smears saliva all over your face like a wet mop. That must the sloppiest kiss you have ever had.
You try to avoid kissing her but boy she is persistent. She slides her right hand into your pants and grabs your member. Momentarily, you ignore her disgusting kissing. With one hand under her chin and the other on her waist, you make out with her. Luckily, the street is too lit for some roadside action.
She pulls away.
You walk a few more steps then cross the road. She leads you to some house with an imposing black gate, surrounded by high perimeter walls and an electric fence on top.
“Shhh be quiet my kids are asleep.” She says while fumbling through her handbag for her house keys.
“What about your husband?”
“My husband usually gets home at around 6 am.”
Your watch reads 5:35 am.
“What will happen if he finds me?”
” C’mon stop worrying. We are just going to sleep nothing will happen between us. If he asks I will tell him you are just a friend.”
She opens the gate and pulls you in. Two steps into her compound and you stand rooted to the ground. The hairs on the back of your neck stand. Unlike the seductress in hot pants, Kristy’s house is inescapable. A kill box is what it is. Suddenly you have a moment of clarity.
What the hell I’m I Doing Here? It’s barely 6 am and I’m sneaking into a stranger’s house with a married woman whose husband is on the way. If the hubby finds me he will definitely kill me and probably bury my headless bloody body in his expansive garden.
Family & friends will never know what really happened to you. All that risk for some bed action with a woman you would never hang out with in public during the day out of shame?
Kristy shoves her phone and handbag into your hands before going through the massive wooden door into her house probably thinking you would meekly follow her.
For a moment you marvel at the beautiful architectural design. Soon after, you gently put her belongings on the perfectly manicured grass then walk back to the mall where you take a cab to your hotel.
You might be a wounded man but you aren’t ready to end up a dead one.
Written By Mark Maish