Jackson was looking out of his 13th floor office at the busy traffic below. It had fused to become one long interminable snake movement which broke at some points to show its real character; confusion. On his 29-inch J.V.C flat screen, a cantankerous politician was going on and on about a bill which he didn’t care a thing about. The confusion below mirrored that in his head but he didn’t want to admit it. The affluence oozing from every nook of his office seemed to shield his countenance from the motley of clashing thoughts that plagued his mind then. The leather sofa, the new h.p computer, the soft wall-to-wall Persian carpet, all watered down an otherwise brewing storm in his life. He manoeuvred his weight around to look at the only object that seemed out of place; the large gold framed photo, which now lay on one of the sofas. It was an eyesore to him in an otherwise austere setting.  He hurriedly untied his tie like one under a spell and threw it on the picture. It will end soon, his mind assured him, everything will be alright and Shanice will be yours forever. He went back to the window and continued waiting as he watched the foggy city. Behind him, the wall clock ticked; Tick, tock, tick, tock amplifying an already deafening silence and tension in of waiting the room. His fingers were twitching involuntarily filled with an impatient urge to do something. He was not used to waiting not even before the appointed time. He had always had his way and say in life due to his wealth and the whole issue of Shanice was mellowing him, but what to do? He was secretly in love and he had to carry it hidden! The phone rang and he jumped from the window and grabbed it,

“Halloo? Is it you Shanice dear?” he amorously asked.

“Excuse me sir, this is the crashers gate restaurant confirming that your dinner table and room reservations are ready,” a bored voice intoned.

“Did you have to call?” he was now irritated “I already knew they had to be ready!” he curtly snapped as he dropped the receiver. Jackson could now feel the tautness in his heart gnawing at his impatient nerves. Still, he had to wait for this was the day he was to consummate the love he had always harboured for the young lady. If only his wealth could wipe away all the stumbling blocks! He pondered. A glance at the upturned photo sent an icy shiver down his frayed nerves and he was numbed.

The school day was coming to a close. For Monique a form four student, it had been a drag. The increment weather was just one of myriad mishaps that marked the Friday. She was feeling down and out and as the young chemistry teacher went on and on and she felt an increasing urge to squeeze out of the window meshes and get out. Her open exercise book was full of drooling whose meaning she could not even fathom. However all these seemed to emanate from a locked cage in her brain.

“So on Monday, I hope you will have attempted the two exercises on molar concepts. Otherwise have a nice weekend and take care,” Ms. Kabugu said as she walked out. The two words ‘nice’ and ‘weekend’ stoked an already burning frenzy in the young girl’s mind and body. A lot had to be schemed all within a few minutes. Her mind clock was racing and no sooner had the teacher walked out than she hurtled towards the boarding master’s office. She was leaving nothing to chance…she had to go out at all costs. Mr. Kirui was in his office and as usual his mind was miles away,

“Yes young lady, you told me you wanted a leave out next week…”

“No no sir,” Monique hastily interrupted “ I had requested for a leave out today and then I will come back tomorrow.”

“And why again do you want to go home/”

“Sir, we are staging a play on Sunday and I need to get some costumes from home then make my hair,” she pleadingly answered.

“Why do you need to make your hair, aren’t you the one who is casting the role of a witch?”

“Yes sir, but we have a photo shoot for the magazine before the play, please don’t deny me the leave out.” The desperation was enough to stave of a ferocious wolf’s attack on a humble lamb. Mr. Kirui also knew which side his bread was buttered, after all she was Jackson’s daughter and he simply couldn’t refuse her plea. However, he could smell something fishy because the father had visited that morning and never mentioned anything about a leave out.

“ Mmmhh okay then, but I need to see you here at 12.00 pm without failure okay?”

Monique was over the sky now and her heart was doing a jig. Her dream was being realized. She would get out of school and then…oh! She didn’t want to think of it. Would it be romantic? It had to be, her first night out with a man, not just any man but Lenny, yes, Lenny her knight in shining armour. She lived for him since the day they had met at her father’s office blocks in town. What had started as a casual friendship had grown into something deeper. She remembered the birthday present fro him, a flashy Nokia 6210. She hadn’t thought he would remember the special day but he was always full of surprises. The gift had turned out to be their only source of contact while in school and her current euphoric mood emanated from an s.m.s she had received earlier in the week.

As the dazzling girl sashayed towards her dormitory, her erstwhile melancholy had been washed away like a bad nightmare on waking up. She didn’t especially want to remember her father’s visit that morning. She always shuddered when she thought of his visits. At 17 years she was metamorphosing out of a cocoon of ‘good girlhood’ into a rebellious teenager. The closest target of her wayward behaviour was obviously her doting father. Since she was a small girl, the old man had showered her with so much love that at her present age any more of it was choking. She hated his numerous visits o school though she never said this and loathed even more his open show of affection in front of the other students. Her relationship with Lenny, her father’s assistant was a way of hitting back at his father. Her face lit up when she the s.m.s… ‘Hi dear can you make it to town on Friday evening? Make up a story in school pliz and call me when you get out Lenny.’ As she packed her rucksack, she felt fully-grown. She was a woman and the words of her father that morning sounded like a long forgotten nursery school rhyme resonating from a million years back…‘mummy, don’t ever allow any man near you, do you hear me? Men are dangerous.’ The words felt like bile in her throat and she hated her father even more. What audacity? Who does he think he is to lord over me forever? In any case he isn’t so holy, doesn’t he have the mistress who causes mum all her distress? She reasoned. She felt an increasing urge to prove herself independent and what better way than to spend a night with Lenny?

(To  be Continued)

© chrispus kimaru (his work)