Celebrating East African Writing!
Written by Daniel Nyairo
A security guard directed me to a free parking space. The expansive Spicy hotel parking lot was not yet full. But, like in any other Friday evening, it was just a matter of time.
The sun had slid behind the six-storey tall hotel building. Its golden light rays sieved above and beside it, defining an overbearing shadow of the hotel building across the parking lot. Street lights were coming on again. The full moon visible to the eastern largely clear skies, amid a few golden patches of clouds, produced light that gradually grew in intensity to take over from the sun that was closing for the day. The meeting of the three sources of light was spectacular and a rare scène. It was a special evening.
I pulled the hand break and reached for my Ipad. I clicked on the twitter icon on the screen and the page was displayed. I tweeted Daisy, “I’m here babe. At the parking”
“Come on up. I’m anxiously waiting babe”, she tweeted back.
Up to this moment, I interacted with her only through my fake twitter handle. I thought it not wise to bare myself before strangers. I was especially avoiding falling into traps set by my enemies to plunge me into scandals that could assassinate or injure my good reputation in the business circles and the public at large. I planned to introduce my true self after being sure of the kind of person I was dealing with.
I came out of the car, locked it and made towards the crowded main entrance. The chauffeurs and security details of men and women inside mingled and told one another coarse jokes and stories as they wait for their bosses who, as usual, were having a good time as they cut and closed deals of all types; Political and business, formal and informal, official and casual, legal and illegal and anything that lay in between. This is an environment that I knew like the back of my hand and had taken to like fish to water when I took over my family’s business.
“I see you are here too, sir”, the door attendant extended a hand for a shake.
“Thank you”, I said.
I decided to visit the restaurant’s washrooms on the ground floor to compose myself before what I considered an offensive on an enemy I knew little about. Inside the gents, I emptied my already almost empty bladder before washing my hands under the running water in the sink and splashing some on my oily face. I looked at my image in the mirror and a tall dark young man stared back at me. He looked splendid in the black tuxedo, white shirt and dark blue neck tie. “Are you out of your mind?”, I questioned the young man,” Why would come to a blind date with a woman who is as old as your mother?”
When it came to women, I had a devouring monster to control which would often break out of its confinements. I relished sampling what the city had to offer; from the high-class-self-made queen to the fake-till-make gold diggers and from the bitchy Delilah to the moral conscience princess, all added up to my conquered grounds that defined my kingdom. In this particular day, I was here to extend the limits beyond my territory.
I looked at my wristwatch and realized it was getting late. It was unlike me to keep a woman waiting especially on our first date. I literally ran out of the toilet to the lift lobby. I stepped into the elevator and, to my relief; I was going to use the facility alone. I did not trust myself in presence of people at this moment. I fought hard to control my shaking body in vain. The anxiety was high and it reminded me of my first date, six years earlier. Then I had to run away from a restaurant before the waiter served us dinner, because I could not take the anxiety any longer, leaving my date perplexed.
I took a piece of paper from my pocket and confirmed the suit number, my destination. I pressed seven, returned the, now sweat-soaked, note back to my breast pocket, and waited. The bell went off and the lift opened. I wished it had taken a little bit longer to reach the seventh floor, to give me time to pull myself together. I bumped into someone stepping in as I dragged myself out of the lift.
“Sorry”, I mumbled and hurried on.
Eventually I stood before the door of the hotel room as one could before a judge who is about to deliver a verdict following ones accusation of committing the most heinous crime inviting the most severe of punishments. I surveyed myself; as if to be sure I was still myself, from the feet to the chest, right to left and straightened up before pressing the bell. I took a deep breath and wished that no one answered the door regardless of the trouble I had taken to reach there. I pressed the bell again and took a step back. Beads of sweat were forming on my forehead, making me have a look and feel of one having a workout. I wiped them out with the back of my hand.
Someone walked towards the door from the inside. The lock gave in and the door moved slowly to open. I did not yet see the face of my host. She seemed careful or may be shy too.
“Sorry for making you wait”, I apologized as I anticipated seeing the face.
“May I …?” I heard my host fall behind the half-opened door. I stormed in to help.
“Are you hurt…mum!? What are you doing here?” I came face to face with my own mother .She passed out.