(Part 1)

The hotel receptionist was suspiciously eyeing the young man in the lobby. He had been pacing up and down holding his phone as if waiting for a call. She could definitely tell that he was waiting for a lady but did she care? She was used to these rich sorts who understood nought about courtesy. Just an hour earlier, she had called to confirm a dinner reservation for the wealthy but arrogant businessman Jackson mbure. Instead of thanks all she got were rude words and a hang up on the phone. She didn’t want to interfere with the young man’s temper. After a few minutes, he got a call and though she couldn’t hear the words the man’s face was definitely brighter now as he approached her window.

“Halloo lady, can I get a double room for the night? He asked impatiently.

“Yes sir, and what is your name?” she politely asked.

“Now, I didn’t want my name to appear on your register, you know, for personal reasons” he said.

“That will require security vetting sir if you don’t mind. Just wait for a minute”

The minute dragged on and at last a burly man with a ‘hotel security chief’ tag pinned on his lapels appeared.

“How are you sir? I am Alex and I gather you want an anonymous reservation.”

“Yes sir is it possible?” enquired the gentleman.

“Oh yeah, but I need to see your I.D though your name wont appear on the hotel register,” countered the security man.

The young room seeker handed his I.D and the security man scrutinized it for a moment. Lenny kavitu, the name didn’t click at all.

“This is okay sir, your room will be…yeah 222.thanks for choosing Crashers Gate sir,” he said.

As Lenny walked out of the hotel lobby he could even afford to thank his God for his small mercies. The room was just in the right corridor. In his mind, his ultimate revenge was rolling out. He couldn’t help but visualize the scene that would ensue later that evening. He could even smell the fear, the shame, and the horror that would fill the obvious tension…no he didn’t want to spoil the coming moment with undue anticipation. The fact that an innocent girl was to be thrust into the vortex of the revenge game did not prick at his conscience. His ravenous thirst for hunger was so intense that nothing else could assuage his hurt ego. It had taken a lot of patience and meticulous planning up to this day, he told himself and the drama had to come to a close. He recalled how he got the information about Jackson’s date with Shanice from his secretary who even gave him the room they would be spending the night in. his plan seemed to have the heavens blessings in spite of its ruthlessness.

At Brook side drive, house number B 13; a graceful lady was quietly preparing supper. She had received a call from school that her only daughter was coming home for the night. She knew that Monique loved chicken and the sweet aroma of steaming chicken pervaded the house. She knew it being a Friday; her husband would most likely spend the night out as he had been increasingly doing of late. She yearned for the time alone with her dear daughter. The wrinkle less face hid the distress in Mrs.Mbure’s life for she could see her marriage to Jackson was on its deathbed. She only cared about her daughter and had to win her over before the final tumbling down of the union. Her bad leg hindered frequent visits to her school though she knew her father always went for visits. The food was done and she sat down waiting.

The plane from Mombasa was touching down and even before the ‘belts off’ sign was on, Shanice’s was off. She knew she was late for the most important date in her life. She also knew Jackson would be mad at her but hey, the plane was delayed due to foul weather! Her whole being was excited…will he propose; will he agree to divorce that useless bag of a wife? Her mind was heated up as she dialled the all-important number.

“Halloo Shanice? It’s you at last! Why have you kept me like this?” Jackson asked trying hard to hide his irritation.

“Don’t worry sweet heart, the plane just touched down. Where are we spending the night?” she reassuringly answered.

“At the Crashers Gate Restaurant dear, I assure you it will be a night to remember” his irritation was already gone. A word from his queen was enough to calm him.

“Crashers? Isn’t it too close to town? What if Lenny spots us?

“Don’t worry, I am always discreet. Furthermore soon he will have to learn about us, see you there honey”.

The crashers resident band was playing the golden hits of the 1970s. The mood was lively as the, who is who in the city swooned on the dance floor. The aura of respectability and genteel veiled what was happening behind the lodging rooms. It was known as the ‘mistresses’ den’ where the wealthy indulged in their secretive liaisons. In Room 202 Jackson was preparing to take shanice to the dance floor downstairs. He was feeling ecstatic after a long talk with her. The haunting memory of his wife’s face on the family photo was now long buried in a plethora of sweet emotions. A few moments later, a call came through in a nearby room.

“They are in the corridor, hurry…” Lenny quickly took Monique’s hand and led her out of the door. A few steps ahead a rotund man and a young lady were engrossed in a tight embrace. Lenny didn’t waste a second, he cleared his throats he tightened his grip on Monique’s hips…

The intensity of the moment weighed down on the four of them. The tension could literally be cut with a knife. Jackson’s body had sagged, Shanice’s eyes were popping out dangerously and Monique’s hands had by reflex clasped Lenny. The lights seemed to flicker or a moment and the walls seemed to be closing in. the silence was deafening to a point of splintering the ear box. At one corner of the corridor, a cleaner nonchalantly went on with his duties feeling the warmth of a one thousand note in his pocket. After a long moment hoarse voices spoke,

“My daughter, why, why..?”

“Dad, how, why…?”

“Lenny you…how could you?”

At that moment, Lenny unclasped Monique’s hands and started walking away leaving three dazed people on the corridor. A wide smile adorned his now bright face and his steps had gained springiness in them. His heart was warm even as the others froze…it was the perfect rendezvous.

© chrispus kimaru (his work)