Two days to Valentine’s day
She calls me at around four thirty in the evening. I am just waking up, feeling groggy. “Hello,”I whisper into the thin cell phone that looks like a Samsung but is really a brand from China. ‘Hey Girl,’ Wairimu’s voice squeals from the other side. She sounds excited, and that is scary. “Hey,” I respond back, the smell of stale Malt and cigarettes from my mouth, makes me think its time I brushed my teeth.
“I have a deal that could pay your rent!”I am excited before she says what it is although my gut instinct says it is probably danger. Its the twelve-nth of February, my rent is two weeks due and I would do anything for money, well most things.
My name is Nsela and I am a twilight girl that used to work on Koinange street. I have since quit the street; too much sex and little to show for it. I have now become a club prostitute, which means I hit the club looking like I have come from work. Wait for a suitable fellow who thinks he will take home a career girl, engage in some boring conversation, get bought for beer and get laid in a good hotel with the hope that in the morning he will be gentleman enough to offer some cash. It is not as easy as it sounds. Most mornings, I land home dead drunk having escaped rape by some idiotic drunkard with a huge mouth and no money in his pants.
The last one month was horrible. It is as if all the rich men in Nairobi migrate into other counties in January or stay at home to atone the sins they did over Christmas There were no clients. Things were so bad I ended up most morning chilling at Eureka Hotel waiting for the night to end so that I would catch a mat home.
Wairimu wants to meet at Tribeka. She is buying, which means she is with a man with money. She usually buys alcohol at Eureka and when I say buying, I mean two beers and that’s it. Wairimu is one Kiambu woman who feels pain when using her money. She would rather die than spend more than five hundred on you.
I shower, brush my teeth and comb my afro weave until its straight and looks better. I apply a bit of sheen and it looks as good as second hand new. That would do. I look at myself in the mirror. My boobs are small with always erect nipples. My stomach is a bit on the heavy side from drinking one two many beers over a long period but nothing that a corset wont hide. I turn around and look at my greatest asset, my behind. It is round, huge, bubbly and a pinch confirms its still firm. I smile.
I put on a tight flowing dress, that accentuates the ass. I apply light mascara and a touch of pink on my African full lips. I look great and I know it. I just hope that looks pay. I could do with the rent because the thought of sleeping with my caretaker again so he lies to the landlord that he has padlocked the house is gross in itself. The skinny old man smells like roster cigarettes and fucks like a bunny; non stop. I fucked him once when things were bad but vowed never again. Every time the month nears the end, he gives me one of those awkward smiles and sometimes even winks suggestively before asking if I will be late again.
Thoughts about him push me to the edge. In fact, I am sure I can do anything Wairimu suggests if it means I avoid another three shots from him.
I leave my house walking slowly to ensure my shoes do not get dusty. Usually when am this well dressed I hail an Uber but things are so bad. I take a Forward Express minibus, which are probably the worst minibuses in Nairobi. They are noisy, badly driven and inside they have adverts for where to buy bedbug medicine. Which tells you they are most probably the distributors of the parasites. The matatu takes an hour to get to the city. I alight at O.T.C and walk slowly towards uptown, turning heads of hundreds of broke asses on the way.
I arrive at Tribeka and head straight to the toilet to fix the foundation and mascara. I look healthy. I then head to find Wairimu and I see her seated next to some Asian fellow. The table is beautifully set with tens of Tusker Malt and Snaps. I smile comfortably. Wairimu gives me the Nairobi greetings. A kiss on each cheek and a firm dry one on the mouth. She then turns at her friend and introduces us. “Khan,” she says. “Tracy,” the friend I told you about. Tracy is my fake name. You never give clients your real name cause you never know. You could go to the room and find they have a lot of money. Then you end up drugging them with Mchele. When they go to the cops, you don’t want them recalling your name. Khan stands and extends his hand to me.
His hands are long and warm. I notice the gold ring on his index finger and his expensive watch. The man is loaded. I offer a wider smile, looking into his eyes then turn away as if I feel shy. I sit down and he asks what I want to drink. I look at Wairimu. She smiles that okay smile and I point at Snaps.
“I don’t drink much,” I pipe and Wairimu is struggling not to laugh. I give her a blank look and she looks away. The waiter comes and opens a bottle of Snap for me. Khan asks if I want something to eat and I nod like an excited baby.
I order chicken and chips and start wondering why Wairimu is not taking this man for herself. I know she likes me but she loves money more. This man is money. Wairimu would never give someone else a goldmine unless there is a catch.
“You look lovelier in person than in the pictures.” Khan says and I look at Wairimu questioning. She smiles and stands up. “Its time we powder ourselves,” she says and leads me to the toilet.
“Pictures?” I ask her.
“Sasa,” she says when we are inside the toilet. “Huyu guy is a friend of that lover of mine. He wanted a Kenyan chick and I thought of you.”
I roll my eyes at her. “Hear me out,” she starts. “It is only for Valentines Day and he is paying you a thousand dollars.”
I nearly choke on my saliva. A thousand dollars. The highest money I had ever received from a client was two hundred dollars and even then, it was for a three some and I had to pay Njeri, another colleague who was in the arrangement five thousand Kenya shillings.
I look at Wairimu straight in the face. “So what’s the catch?
She smiles that almost perfect smile of hers. “Is there a catch really? The guy is Asian, which means he has a small dick and all he wants is some from the back on Valentines day and you asking what’s the catch? ”
“You mean doggy?”
“Of course not you clown.” she responds laughing.
I laugh back as if its normal and walk out of the toilet. I head straight where Khan is and sit close to him. What Wairimu does not know is that I have never had it from the back, but why should you tell a friend in our trade that. I am nervous, I take a huge sips of the Snaps and then ask Khan for his number.
“Are you in that much of a hurry?” he asks.
“Yes. I have to head somewhere but Wairimu tells me we are meeting on Valentine’s Day.”
“Yes we are and I would love for you to stay. Plus you have already ordered for food” His face has a knowing smile that sends chills down my back. I sit and drink another of cider listening to small talk.
The waiter brings in the food and I eat slowly. The use of fork and knife slowing me down. I want to gulp down the chicken but you never do that with a client.
After the food, I bid goodbye the second time. Khan looks at me with a resigned look.
“I will see you then,” I stand up. He stands up with me, as a gentleman and hands me a card.
I wonder why I am lying about another appointment but I am embarrassed.
“I can hardly wait,” he says in his thick accented English and his left hand gets into his shirt pocket and pulls out a hundred dollar bill.
“Your transport home,” he says. I nearly tremble from disbelief. “Thank you.” I mutter looking at Wairimu who is seated giving me an evil eye. Khan walks me to the door and kisses me on my cheeks.
I rush to the nearest bureau and an hour later I am back in my house, watching a rerun of House girls of Kawangware and thinking of the offer.
VALENTINES DAY EVE
I hold off calling Khan for one day as I battled the drama Wairimu started on phone because one, I left alcohol on the table and two, I did not Mpesa her a commission.
“Send me something?”
“Like what now. He only gave me a hundred dollars and I had to pay half the rent.”
She clicks at me and swears never to give me another client. I know that Khan must have given her something but I pretend to be an idiot and promise to pay her after Valentines Day. It is a lie and we both know it but we have been friends long enough to know how far to carry a grudge. I then shower before calling Khan.
“Hello,” he answers after the second ring sounding very professional.
“Nsela here,” I respond in what I think is a sexy voice and he laughs with pleasure.
“I was waiting for your call all day,” he says. “Are we still on tomorrow?”
I am scared. I want to say no but the thought of my caretaker pinching my nipples so that he doesn’t lock my house is more scary than some man getting in me from the back. After all, Wairimu said he had a small one and I am hoping that it will be an affair for a few minutes.
“We on,” I say in a voice that is a bit louder than normal. We agree on a place and time and after the conversation I spend a couple of hours on google looking up ‘anal sex’. The results are both good and bad. Google can be such a bitch.
The evening ends quickly and am in bed by ten. I wake up twice shaking and sweating. Both times I dream Khan is inside me and its darn painful and sweet. I keep screaming stop, then don’t stop and he keeps shoving it in deeper and deeper until I feel it inside my stomach. My last nightmare ends at three O clock in the morning and I wake up to watch Nigerian movies. They don’t do any good especially when the main character starts talking about God and sex. Its bad enough that am a prostitute but do they have to make me feel guilty about it daily?
I go back to bed on Valentines day at around eight in the morning. I wake up at eleven sweating in fear. We have an early afternoon date with Khan. Wairimu has already sent me a text reminding me not to bounce the charming prince she has found for me. I click at her choice of words.
(Check out tomorrow for the Date itself)