My hands. They start to shake. I could use another cigarette. I think of everything this fool has done. The drugging. The killing. The raping. And now the condescension.
Cop or not, he deserves to die.
I pull the trigger. I only know how to do it because of the movies.
I expect a bang. A loud boom as a bullet leaves the barrel and hits him perfectly on the chest. I expect him to fall back and grab his chest. Maybe even scream like a bitch! I expect there to be pandemonium and for my hands to shake even more. I expect to see blood. And for him to soak in it.
I expect finality.
I expect calm.
I expect relief.
The relief of expended revenge.
But this is not the movies.
I get none of that.
Instead of a boom, I get a measly click as the gun expends not a single bullet.
Of shitty nights guys. Of fucking shitty nights!
I throw the useless gun at him instead. Hit that chest that I so badly wanted to hit with a bullet. He picks it from where it lands on the floor. He reaches to his pocket, fetches the bullets which he feeds inside the gun.
One by one.
As he looks at me. Still smiling.
He opens the door.
“Where am I?” I will not hide the tears now.
I let them out. Together with the anguish, the fear, the frustrations, the hurt, the humiliation. They all flow out in tears.
They are heavy. Too heavy for me to carry anymore.
I sit on the bed.
“Doesn’t matter. We’re leaving” He is not smiling anymore.
“I – I need a shower”
“Yes you do. Follow me”
I pick my purse from the floor and do so. The door opens to a corridor. We go down a flight of stairs. The lights are off in the other rooms. He switches them on as we go.
I can’t stop crying.
“Get yourself together.”
He shows me to the bathroom downstairs.
I go inside and close the door.
“Five minutes” he yells from the other side
“Ten” I yell back.
I undress and step into the shower. The water is warm. I need this.
The tears won’t stop. It’s okay. More tears. I will be ok. Waterworks. I will be fine. I will be fine. Everything will be fine. Felicia. You will be fine.
My body shakes.
My chest burns.
My throat hurts.
I can’t breathe
Breathe Felicia. Breathe!
The water hits me faithfully, thankfully. I close my eyes and turn my face up to receive the droplets from the shower. I need this. My mini fro is drenching in water. It all feels good.
The water mixes with my tears. Both exiting at the drainage.
Shampoo goes to my hair. I wash it and lather my body with soap. Then the best part; I stand and let the water run over me. Head to toe. I need this.
I think about Kev. Upstairs.
I think about his faceless wife and children. Oh, the sadness that awaits them!
I think about me. If I will ever be able to walk away from this. Will my life ever be ‘normal’ in the way you guys define ‘normal’?
Mum. Does she miss me sometimes? Daddy? Does he wonder where I am? What I do? They must assume that I got married to someone. Will I ever get the guts to call them?
“Time is up!” yells the murderer from the other side.
“My phone. Where is it!”
“We’re late! Come out!”
I step out of the shower and pick a towel from a small pile in the bathroom cabinet.
I sniff it.
I wrap it around my boobs. I pick one more for my dripping hair.
He opens the door.
“Are you done ye…”
Seeing me standing in a towel, he opens the door wider.
Shows me to one of the other rooms.
“Dress up. Two minutes” he looks at his watch.
“Why the hurry. Where are we going?”
“Do as you are told and we will get along”
I am not sure I want that. To ‘get along’ with this sonofabitch.
There is a dress laid out on the bed. A short sleeveless dress. It’s my size alright. I dry myself up. Hair and all. I open a closet. As suspected there is lotion. And perfume.
I’m all dressed up. I smell good.
Mirror mirror on the wall, who is…wait.
Lipstick. Maroon lipstick.
Mirror mirror on the wall, who is…
Door opens. His head peeps.
He reaches into his pockets and retrieves it.
Hands it to me. I switch it on.
He stands aside, motions me to go ahead of him.
“What happens to Kev?”
I still can’t say his name without wanting to cry.
Fool says nothing.
He switches off all the lights and we walk out of the of the house. He locks the door. It is dark outside. Wherever this is, it is nowhere near the city. No way I could have left this place alone.
I look at my phone.
2:43am is the time. There is a message from Fiona “Leaving early tonight girlfriend. Biashara mbaya. See you kesho”
The sound of him unlocking a car startles me.
I get into the passenger seat. He starts the engine.
Headlights reflect the vastness of the compound.
We are out.
He drives in silence.
“Can I ask you something?”
“Why did you not use a condom?”
“You were clean”
“You had me tested!?”
He looks at me.
We drive in silence.
We are not in darkness anymore. Lights litter the city of Nairobi.
I look outside the window.
My eyes see nothing.
We eventually stop outside a gate. Two security men come out. They recognize the fool and open the gate for him.
My phone says 3.23am
He parks inside the compound that is full of lighting
The house. The lights. The opulence. The grandeur.
Fool’s phone vibrates. He kills the engine and answers it.
He hangs up.
“How did this position become vacant” I ask.
He did not expect that question.
“You are a smart one, aren’t’ you?”
“My mother did not raise a fool”
“Don’t worry about it”
“I thought so”
I step out of the car. Lean on the open window and look at him.
He recovers and gets out too.
I follow him inside the big house. There is a butler at the door to usher us in. Fool motions me to go ahead of him.
I have a throbbing headache.
“Can I get a glass of water?”
“Sure. Get the lady a glass of water” he tells the male servant.
“Right away sir”
“Give me your phone” Fool says curtly.
He sticks out his hand.
I fetch the phone from my purse and hand it to him.
“I will give it back when you’re leaving.”
My water arrives and I swallow two painkillers taken from my purse.
We go up the stairs.
A security man sits by the staircase. He greets Fool.
We go down a long corridor.
Another security man in a black suit is seated at the far end of the corridor. He nods at Fool.
We stop at one of the doors along the corridor.
“Ready?” he asks me.
“Fine. I will knock on this door; you will go in.”
“Does he use condoms?”
“Why do you think we had you tested?”
A response comes from inside.
He opens the door and motions me to enter. Third time he’s doing this tonight.
“What happens to Kev…?”
“I will take care of it”
He closes the door behind me.
I am now inside a dimly-lit room. My eyes take a while to adjust to the lighting. There is one big exquisite bed smack at the centre of the room. A ginormous TV screen is tuned to CNN news. The volume is low.
I take it all in.
I remind myself to breathe.
He sits on a chair next to the bed, watching the screen.
He has a drink in one hand.
You can always sense when an important person is in a room. The air in here is different. As if it converges around him to serve his lungs first, before that of anyone else in the room.
I smell power.
He looks away from the screen and we look each other in the face. The face of a man I had only seen on TV.
He waves me in.
…I wonder what I am supposed to do; do we get right into it? Do we talk first?
He stands up and fetches a bottle from a minibar next to the TV stand.
…talk about what? Politics?
His robe is open revealing a pair of white boxers
…thank goodness he is trim. No protruding tummies.
He refills his glass of whiskey.
…a good number of you, the early risers, will be up shortly.
He pours a glass for me too.
…raring to face your day.
Hands it to me.
…but for me and this power-wielding Mheshimiwa.
“Hello” he says before putting his cigarette between his lips.
…the night has just begun.
“Can I have a cigarette please?” I finally find my voice.