It wasn’t love at first sight. It was lust. An instinct so real that he didn’t even bother fight it anymore.
Pure, unadulterated throbbing rippled within him as she gyrated her hips against another man’s crotch on the dance floor. He was enthralled. There was something about the permanent grin on her face as she held her knees and rubbed the lucky drunk bastard vigorously, forcing him to move one step behind to maintain balance every time she changed rhythm. It was her, it had to be her.
He sat at the corner of the bar facing the main entrance on the one hand and the dance floor on the other. The Club, Rhythms, was less than two months old on this new spot on Moi Avenue. The premises it once occupied once hosted a church, then a bank, then a random shipping company that everybody said was the Devil’s Den. It was dingy really, until a keen entrepreneur saw its bland potential and its ability to attract the lustful and the drunken. Build, and they will come. Stock, and they will drink. They came and drunk, and danced until the sun rose and the city below woke up.
At the door the burly guards would frisk you so hard they would know what you had for dinner. It was most likely chips, fries from that fast food joint on the opposite side. Sonford, home of the drunken and where the city goes to eat tonnes of cholesterol before going to the club to hunt and home for the final romp. Most of it, the fries and the kuku porno so wildly cut by a guy called Kanisa at the chicken stand next to the door, would end on the back seat of taxies. Or a flowerbed right outside the gate as the frisky pair waited for the watchman to wake from his slumber. Even more would end up in toilet bowls, at least for those who had avoided that last shot of whisky, or on jackets and bedsheets, for those unlucky to have gotten their marks for the night higher than was necessary. In a nocturnal system of sin, food was a carnal need only second to sex.
They should have called this club Decadence. Or a club like they do in Angola, a proper brothel where straight men go in through the main door and gay men use the back alley. Women, well, they were less subtle and had the young things delivered via taxis. But here in Rhythm it was less obvious. During the day, the silence almost reminded one that there was once a church here, and that the pastors pulpit had been right where the bar now stood, backlit by a system of shelves with as many different forms of alcohol as human beings are legally allowed to produce.
The grinning girl on the dance floor was as bland as they come, at least to the common eye. Other than her slightly inebriated eyes, there was little to read from her when she was not moving. Or when she took pauses to rest her over-strained backbone. The lucky drunk, clearly turned on by the pseudo-masturbation he had experienced in the last twenty minutes, was tired but confused. To leave her now would be to release her to the pack of hounds that was clearly eyeing her for the night. The boys and girls on the hunt in this dimly lit club. Hunters and huntresses united in one accord, to get laid. To get laid like bricks, like a railway line. But he looked like he needed to take a piss.
“Don’t move, Ill be back in a minute.” He said, shouted rather, in her ear as he grabbed her ass and walked away. She looked back at him and for a moment, remained in the same position her had left in, slightly bent forward, holding her knees and in mid-motion. As if her spine hadn’t understood the message.
Almost immediately, a pack of hounds did descend on her. She was not interested. She was on the hunt too and she had made her mark for the night. He had a thick wallet and keys to a Mercedes. The gyrating to her was the first phase of her service, and she knew how to read a man like a children’s book. As she waited for him to stagger back, she made her way to the bar, right next to the man seated at the corner, sipping rum and coke from a short glass and looking lonely.
“A glass of red dry wine please, whichever you have. Add two shots of tequila, and bring salt and lemons. Usisahau ndimu, sawa?”
She then scanned the bar, looking for a quick mark before her main mark came back. Then she saw him.
A smartly dressed awkward man sitting alone right next to where she was standing as her glass of wine came. He was slender and wore rectangular glasses. He wore faded blue denims and a spotless black T-shirt, and seemed to be struggling to fit in. There was nothing intriguing about it, other than the fact that he was seated alone in this house of decadence, staring at the bottles upon bottles of whisky and rum and tequila and vodka and other hard drinks that graced the wall behind the barman. There was also the way he fiddled with something on his hand, something she couldn’t quite see.
He knew she was looking at him, although she thought he was too focused on whatever it was he was staring at. She was the kind, the kind to make the first move. It had been a while since his last one, a bar in Mombasa, but his favourite had always been the one he picked up while on a business trip to Eldoret. The short girl had thrown herself at him, literally, in the club as he made his way to the bathroom. But this one, this one looked like she would be an experience. It had been a while, but he had not lost his vigour or interest, he hoped. She would be a rebirth, a thirst sated. Maybe after her he would stop again.
“Niaje! Why are you sitting alone in this house of opportunity?” the lady asked while touching his hand lightly to get his attention. He turned slowly and smiled at her, smirked.
I like to sit and watch. What is your excuse?
I am not alone, just on a break.
Yours or his?
His of course, but the wine is so tasty. Do you mind getting me another glass?
Oh no, get another. Get two actually, you seem to be ready for quite the night. You must remain well-hydrated.
He smiled, she smiled. For different reasons.
Her main mark came back and scowled at the man seated at the corner. It had taken him longer to take a piss than it should have, he had been so hard and there were four people in front of him at the urinal bowls. Someone had blacked out on the bathroom floor and the urine was slowly making its away up his clothes as he lay desolate, dreaming and unaware of the drunkards stepping on him every now and then.
But he was back now, ready for Phase 2. Only to find a geek with spects, sitting alone and with no boys, buying his woman for the night drinks.
“Yo Man! It is not good manners to buy another man’s woman drinks!” he said with as serious a growl as he could muster.
The man just smiled and continued sipping on his rum.
The drunk eyed him for a minute, figured he was not worth getting thrown out of the club for and bought himself a beer. He guided his mark back to an empty chair where he could begin his process. Perfected in Eastlands and then in Amsterdam, before he did two-years in Abidjan and then flew back to run his old man’s business. He had been to Paris once but didn’t remember much because he was drunk throughout the two days. Here, in Nairobi, he was king of the nightlife, as all men who roam the night think themselves. He hunted like a hungry tiger, waiting, sneaking, pouncing, and sometimes winning. His thirst, his insatiable thirst.
She was getting drunker and drunker, he could tell. I might just take this one home now and then come back for another one. Or to the car. Once she sees that Merc her knickers will fall off and I will fall on, right there in the parking lot, like that time in Machakos to that girl whose name he had never bothered to know. He hadn’t used a condom that time and had stayed for three months without sex. Ninety days of his entire life he would never get back, tense and almost going crazy with anxiety on whether he had caught the bug. He hadn’t. Now all his glove department had were condoms and a random pair of pliers.
The man seated at the bar eyed his mark and her mark. Two people meet in a club, he thought, and dance together in a dance of lust that ends up in a reckless romp before one throws the other out in the morning. If he is a gentleman he will call her a cab or drop her at the stage. Hell, if she impressed him he might take her home just so he can know where she lives. She would have seen where he lives and what he has. Everywhere. She would come back, or maybe never. Hell maybe they need not even exchange numbers. This was the nightlife and each one was the others fast food for the night. It is the entire concept of chips funga. To be eaten hurriedly and then forgotten in tens of good and bad meals ever eaten.
He followed them with his eyes as he led out of the club, leaving his half-drunk beer and the second wine glass he had bought on the table. The tequila shots had come but the lady had not picked them from the bar so they sat there, on the table next to the mans glass of rum and coke. She looked like she had had more than she intended, or she played it well. The horny drunk man was probably thinking of nothing but getting frisky, as was she at the time. For different reasons. When they went down the stairs to the main entrance, the man with rectangular glasses stood up, paid his tab and wiped his glass as the barman searched for change. He wiped the edges of the seat too because he got fidgety, and then followed the randy couple.
The Merc E200 was parked on the opposite side about fifty meters away from the main entrance. Sin Street was alight with bliss, inebriation and couples to and from carnal and related activities. There were the hooligans fighting a few hundred metres away, and the taxi drivers seated in groups whiling away time waiting for the proverbial 4-6 am, the two hours when manna in the form of drunken randy couples and angry girls whose dates had found other marks, poured from main entrances with nothing in mind but how to get home.
The drunken couple from the club was making its way to the car when he suddenly buckled and started throwing up. One minute he was thinking of quenching that thirst with this lass he had picked up on the dance floor and the next the vomit was rushing up his gut. He stopped, let go of her and then bent to throw up. She turned away disgusted only to hear the hard thud as he crashed on the hard tarmac head first. She looked around, saw no one had noticed and lifted him slowly, directing him to the car as she frisked his pockets for the keys. The poison she had tossed in his last drink would take about 5 minutes to kill him if he didn’t choke on his own vomit first.
She opened the car and threw him on the back seat. She then removed his wallet and drained him of his identity cards and bank cards. She stole everything from his pockets except the money, placing her loot in a small paperbag she left in the footwell of the backseat, next to the dead man. Then she removed her phone from her bra and made a call. By morning all the askaris who guarded the bank would find was a half naked man with no name, dead from what looked liked too much alcohol for so young a person. The car would never be found, and all his accounts would, in any other scenario, be drained within a day or two.
Like a hawk the man with the spectacles watched her make her kill. She was an identity thief, a good one at that. Perhaps the best in the business. People disappeared and then appeared at her will and with her machinations. He knew the kind, he had had one in Kilifi on New Years Eve five years before, a young girl in her fourth of campus who did it for her side job. They always thought themselves brilliant but very few actually worked it into an art, this one seemed to have it under control. He watched as she got out of the car, tossed the keys at a man in a black coat who seemed to appear out of nowhere, straightened her dress and started walking back to Rhythms.
On her way back she bumped into him and smiled. Two marks in one night, and the second one looked easy.
Hey you, you are leaving already?
I have to be up for work later. What about you? Where’s your date?
Oh, he left early, had to go suckle from his mama
Aaaah, so, you are headed back to seek opportunity?
I think opportunity has found me.
A knowing smile, then she leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek. Without another word she turned and walked with him, holding on to his wrist. There was a mystery about him that turned her on. Maybe, for once, she would actually let loose and just fuck him.
When they got to his car in the basement parking of a mall a few hundred meters away he opened the passenger door for her and ushered her in. He knew what she was thinking, lust was blinding. She would open his zipper as he drove and make her hand, then her mouth, busy. By the time they got to a hotel, if he managed to hold out that long, he would be ready to consume her. But that was not what he was thinking. The moment she buckled her seat belt, the last hour began, the hour when she would be transformed into a curse.
The click of the seat belt was the start of the ticking time bomb. Tomorrow, or the next day, a curious pedestrian would find a something wrapped like a pack of fries in a parking lot in Naivasha. On unwrapping it he or she or they, if they dared, would find a quarter of something fried in hot recycled and dirty cooking oil. It would look like a quarter from the upper torso of a human being, too well-done to tell if it was once a man or a woman. Anywhere between that parking lot and the last millimeter of tarmac in the country would be the other three quarters. Nobody would ever know her name too.
One story is good,
till Another is told.