[Part 1]

Inside Moonlighter, a brief argument ensues. She shouts at him asking why he forced her into the Matatu. Nixon quickly tries to calm her down. All the passengers are now staring, curious about the spectacle. The driver shouts back at Nixon “Nini uchokozi? Wachana na huyo manzi”. To the girl he says “If you are going to town, just relax tutakufikisha tu”. The girl finally takes a seat in a huff after giving Nixon a piece of her mind.

Meanwhile, Nixon feels safer now…more confident. The girl is now on “his” turf. Her anger seems to spur him on. A scheme of sorts begins to spin in his mind. He’s got to have her and he’s got to have her today. He looks over to where she is seated, carefully studying her face. You can still see the anger from the severe frown on her brow and the tightness of her lips. He laughs! She briefly glances at him and then looks out towards the window. He realises he needs to change his game plan to get her to be more co-operative. He decides to follow her when she alights.

Moonlighter swiftly jets into the hassle and bustle of the City centre. With pedestrians everywhere, littered streets, loud hoots from Matatus and hawkers lining its streets, it is still a place to behold. Nairobi is at it’s height and peak.

The girl alights at one of the roundabouts and Nixon swiftly follows her. It takes her a bit of time to realise he is right behind her. She stops and arms akimbo proceeds to give him his matching orders. Nixon manages to interrupt and out comes his story…”Madam, please I need your help. I need to explain to my dad where I have been for the past two days”. She pauses “And where do I come in? That is your own business”. Nixon continues to weave the tale “Siwezi kumwambia nilikuwa ndani. Please please just help me. Just take me to him and I will explain that you are a friend of mine and we were celebrating your birthday in Mombasa with your family and just got back. Please Madam…just help me. It won’t take long”. Nixon then puts on his best “pity-me” face. Please madam…nakusihi tu”. The girl turns around as she says apana” and walks off. Nixon follows her, begging and pleading. A few people pause to look at the two but then walk on.

Nixon decides to give it one last shot. He tags at her arm, pulling her and causing her to stop again. Madam, please tafadhali tu. It will only take you 5 minutes and you can be on your way“. The girl seems to consider the idea seriously, keeping quiet for a minute or so. Finally, she says “Sawa. Lakini I don’t have time. You had better make it quick. Where is he, na ulikuwa ndani kwa nini?”. Nixon gives a wide big smile and proceeds to tell her how his dad is based down river road, not too far off where he has one of his many offices, this one specifically to take care of his matatu business and other interests in the area. He begins to guide her towards Ronald Ngala street as he asks her name. It’s Millie. Nixon converses with her as they walk briskly, repeating severally how kind she was and how she must a wonderful person. He tells her that he was arrested on his way home for alleged “Loitering”. “Siunajua hawa makarao. Wanapenda kuonea vijana sana. Plus they wanted a bribe and I had no money other than bus fare on me”. Millie nods her head at his stories and explanations as they walk down, never saying much. She seems to believe him. Nixon thinks about the real reason why he was arrested but swiftly moves his thoughts to the task at hand. No need pondering over such unpleasant thoughts when his day was looking up, he thinks.

Nixon plans his next cause of action. Fact is, his dad is nowhere near his River road office. He only comes once a day at between 12.00 noon and 1.00pm. It was now headed to 2.00pm. Knowing his dad, a stickler for time, Nixon was sure he had already made his visit and went on to take care of other matters. He has no idea what he wants to do with Millie. All he knows is that he has never gotten a girl that was this classy and polished to even say hello to him. It was turning out to be an awesome day.

They are now deep into the heart of “downtown” Nairobi and they arrive at one of the busy matatu stops. Nixon stops to say hello to a few of the touts milling around. They all know him, for he is a familiar face there. One of them even gives him a congratulatory tap on the back as he gestures towards Millie, who by now is standing a few feet away looking uncomfortable and constantly glancing from left to right, as if she was on the lookout for an attacker. Nixon quickly finds out if any of them had seen his dad that day and finds out that he had been in the area about 45 minutes prior to their arrival.

He walks over to Millie and informs her that his dad was on his way and that they could go across the road to a place owned by his Uncle to wait. Millie shakes her head and proceeds to walk away saying that she had done all she could and did not have any more time to waste. Nixon follows her and grabs her hand whisper into her ear “If you don’t do it, you will be in trouble. Nitakuitia hawa machali wengine tu kufundishe lesson”. She stops in her tracks. Unknown to him, this is Millie’s first visit “downtown”. She lived a sheltered and protected life and hardly ventured out on her own. Being in this part of town made her nervous and scared. She takes Nixon’s threats seriously. Turning around, she allows Nixon to guide her across the road towards a narrow doorway with a board above it that says “Kirimwe Boarding & Lodging”. Millie concludes that she is better off dealing with this one “ruffian”, than a group of them. She decides to cooperate. As they go up the stairs, Nixon explains that his uncle owns the place and that they would only be waiting there. “One of the touts will call me when dad comes” says Nixon.

At Kirimwe, they find two ladies seated behind a drab reception area, busy chatting and looking as if they had just woken up. Nixon says hello and they clearly recognize him. “Perhaps he is telling the truth” Millie thinks. As she familiarises herself with the surrounding, she wonders how her day has turned out to be so different. “I am supposed to be at Aunt Wairimu’s place by now”. Kirimwe looks like a scene from a bad movie. Paint peeling off the walls, dirty, smelly corridors, old broken down furniture. Millie wonders how a place like this can still be in business. Glancing at her watch, she notes that time is swiftly passing by. “How long will your dad take to come?” she asks. Nixon responds and says that it will be just 15 minutes and she needed not worry. He converses to the girls in his mother tongue, Millie can’t quite tell what he is saying and one of the gals points towards the right, nodding her head.

He leads her towards a long corridor and stops outside one of the rooms whose door stands ajar. She hesitates and pulls back. Nixon turns around Don’t worry, I will leave the door open, just have a seat as I get a cup of tea for you. Please…relax”. He steps back and allows her to walk in, as he walks back towards the reception. Millie gingerly steps into the room. A chill goes down her spine….”I really hope this guy is trustworthy”, she thinks but already feeling so stupid for being there in the first place. Just then, Nixon walks back into the room and swiftly pushes her towards the bed, as he gets into the room and shuts the door behind him, turning the key and locking it. He pulls out a knife and faces Millie who is now on the floor.

[Part 3]

2 thoughts on “Down River Road – Part 2

  1. Anything with a storyline gets me reading over and over, I read part 1 and loved it, I’m looking forward to part 3, I feel like I’m watching different episodes of a program, nice!

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