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Effervescence

Episode 4 – Bottoms Up

It has now been a month of paradoxical euphoria. The intricacies of fooling around with an older woman are enigmatically undescribable. Especially when that older woman is at the top of the organisational structure you are proud to be at the bottom of. It makes you egocentric. It blows your balls out, fueling you with a great deal of misguided confidence. You think you are the alpha. The macho man. You dictate the mood within your environment. You initiate most of the squad’s plans both on and off work. Your robust personality is at the centre of nearly each activity taking place around you. If it is not happening to you and with you, it is happening because of you. Your squad follows your direction diligently. They lionise you and deify you like little puppies to their owner.

Who can blame them? You seem to know your way around. Your way of dressing already sets you apart from them. High – priced and well-cut fitting suits. Exorbitant designer perfumes. An original Rolex. Snappy shoes. And that haircut that announces that the owner of the head below it is a big deal. On top of this, you have a Subaru Impreza. It’s a little old, but still in great condition. Hey, how many young men your age drive a Subaru? You have also moved from your little bedsitter in Juja and are now a proud resident of the Kahawa Sukari estate. ‘How did you make all this happen?’ your colleagues keep asking. Well, the pay here is great. But it’s not enough for a new MT to strut around like some sort of Arabian prince. There must be someplace you grab an extra penny. Gambling, you tell them. Gamble big, win big, you say.

They seem to believe you. They don’t have any reason not to. You and Natasha have managed to act very professionally around each other and nobody would suspect a thing. Not even Lilian. It’s a little strangely difficult for her to call you out and to unforgivingly boss you up in front of everybody, without expressing some form of reluctance. It’s also weirdly hilarious for you to join your colleagues as they gossip about Natasha, unashamedly dissecting her, both the bad and the good.

I hear her husband impregnated a certain girl and then denied ever seeing her.

” No, that can’t be true. The husband is infertile and he can not sire a child.”

” But they have a daughter!”

”She’s adopted, silly!”

‘You are both wrong! I hear she was married before she met the politician. The daughter is from her first marriage,’

”And how do you know that?”

”You should know people, my friend”

And this would go on and on. You would give your two cents on the discussion and they would teasingly agree with you. ” Natasha seems to like him. They are BFFs. He must know the truth,” they would make sport of it. And that was all they thought you were to Natasha. A professional BFF. It had to remain that way. Otherwise, you would become the subject of their gossip. And you would lose your credentials as the alpha. Your two cents would no longer matter. Everyone would ridicule you. Lilian would leave you. You would probably lose your job. Your career would crumble, taking down Natasha’s with it. Magazines and bloggers would have a field day with your name! This was motivation enough to keep your mouth shut. And to not stare at Natasha’s ass whenever she walked by, picturing it naked and sitting comfortably on your face like it normally would.

***

Normally, the squad would wait until payday to go to Kiza Lounge. What with their over the odds prices. Who sells a beer at Ksh 500 during happy hour? Well, it is kinda worth it, though. The crowd is a cocktail of spoilt upper-class folks entertaining wannabe upper-middle-class fellows. There are occasional strands of lower-middle-class folks, like you and your squad. Dressed in your expensive attire, and buying wine and cognac by the big bottles, no one would tell that you are two paychecks from abject poverty. You blend in perfectly. It is a great feeling. A feeling you feel like having today. Samuel Kibe does not wait for payday. He does whatever he wants, whenever he wants. So you round up your squad and confirm it is your treat. The Subaru Impreza coughs its way to Kilimani, followed closely by a Suzuki Uber. It is a big squad. And you can afford all their cravings.

You order two bottles of Hennesy, a bottle of Glenfiddich, a bottle of Ciroc two bottles of Chardonnay, six Turbogs and a shisha bong. Your table looks like an artiste’s impression of a major city, with skyscrapers towering above it with no organisation or decorum. The music is impressive. It makes you feel expensive. Important. It speaks to your soul.

Heey! Everybody’s got a dream!

So what do you say? Are we making history?

May our hearts be full, like our dreams tonight

May we sing and dance, till we lose our minds

We are only young if we seize the night

Tonight, we own the night

You gather the squad around and serve everyone shots. You make a small speech before shouting the two words everyone has previously heard from you.

‘Bottoms Up!’

Everyone raises their glasses, links them with each other and sanitize their throats.

A couple of shots later, the drinks kick in. The boys start confessing how much of a brother you are to them. They promise to return the favour one day, when fortunes warm up to them. The girls eye you. They tell you how lucky your girlfriend is to have you. This talk kind of makes Lilian uncomfortable. It always does. She does not like to hear about Joy. Of course, everyone around the office knows there’s a spark between you and Joy but no one dares talk about it. You do not ruffle the feathers of the alpha just like that. You risk being left out during the next road trip. Or the next office excursion. Or the next time they come to Kiza Lounge.

But no market enjoys the absence of a mad man. Give the mad man a little liquor and his lunacy manifests quite recklessly. Silas starts giving Lilian a hard time. He holds her, tries to whisper something in her ear. Lilian brushes him off and tiptoes to the dance floor. Silas staggers behind her. He projects his pelvic area towards Lilian’s behind. Lilian keeps shaking her haunches rubbing them against Silas’ groin, unbothered. Silas grabs Lilian by the thighs and pulls her closer. He awakens Lilian’s demons. She turns around and lands a hot slap on Silas’ left cheek before striding back to the table, drawing everyone’s attention. Silas blinks for a moment, dazed. He then follows her, galloping across like a scared antelope. He holds her by the arm and tries to lift her up.

‘Leave her alone, man! ‘ you step forward and throw Silas’ arm away.

‘You can’t tell me what to do! You are not my mother!’ Silas snaps back, voicing his lungs out over the banging music.

‘I’m warning you bro, leave her alone,’ you shout at him.

‘Or what, Sam? Or what?’

‘Bro, go sit down. You are too drunk!’ others join in, holding Silas by his arms, trying to drag him away.

‘No! Enough is enough! Why does he have to have everything!’ Silas asks, pointing at you, ‘Am I not good enough for her?’ he points at Lilian.

‘Now you’re tripping, bro,’ they try to drag him away but he stands firm.

‘When will you guys stop booty licking Sam?’ he demands. Everyone goes quiet. ‘He can have any girl he wants but he still won’t let me have Lilian,’ Silas continues, ‘ we all joined Symbiotic PR at the same time. Why does he get to be the leader? Aren’t we good enough?’

‘For how long have you wanted to say that, Silas?’ you ask and take a step towards him.

‘What does it matter? I already said it,’ he retorts.

‘Say it again. If you really meant it, say it again,’ you take another step towards him. Everyone puts their drinks down and turns their head to watch. Lilian stands and tries to squeeze her way between you and Silas.

‘Calm down, Sam. He is drunk,’ she says.

‘So am I,’ you shout at her.

‘You are a fraud, Sam!’ Silas declares.

This works you up. You have not sacrificed the peace of mind required to live this opulently, only to be disrespected like this. Hell, he only had the balls to tell you this after getting intoxicated. From alcohol that you were kind enough to buy him. You swing your right hand towards his face. It misses and the inertia pulls you forward, bumping into his chest. You try to wrestle him to the floor but he wriggles his body around, making it difficult even for you to catch a firm grip on him. Lilian tries to shake you off him but you are determined. You push her away and she falls on the floor, spilling a few drinks on her way. In a moment, security guards arrive and drag both of you out. They ask you to go home and not come back.

But you are not done with having a good time. It’s just 1.00 o’clock. You open your wallet and the bouncers who threw you out suddenly become good friend of yours. They let you in and you head straight to your table. Everyone has gone back to their revelling selves as if what just happened did not just happen. However, Lilian is packing her stuff into her handbag. She is crying. You try to hold her back. She pushes you away and walks out, her girlfriends in tow.

‘How could you slap her?’ they ask.

‘Slap her? I only pushed her a little bit..’ you defend yourself.

‘It doesn’t matter. I thought you cared about me!’ Lilian is not having any of this.

‘So now you are leaving because…’

‘Suit yourself, Sam!’ they say and disappear into the elevators.

You are distraught. You were supposed to sing and dance till you lose your minds. You were supposed to own this night. Everyone around you is coupled up. You walk to the bar and order a bottle of water. Maybe it’s time to sober up a little.

‘Was that your girlfriend?’ a voice asks from behind your ear.

A stunning young woman is standing behind you. She is dressed in a short black leather dress, with an open back. A pair of grey knee – high boots match the grey handbag hanging from her bare shoulder. She smells nice and her smile is inviting.

‘Uh, you saw?’ you wonder, sipping your water.

‘Everybody did,’ she defends herself.

‘Good for all of you. Free entertainment’

‘Don’t sweat it. It happens to everyone. Sometimes, we girls are just dramatic for no reason,’ she chimes, taking the seat next to you.

‘So, you happen to be that type?’

‘Depends on who I am with’

‘How so?’

She is interesting. She gives you her theory about women and their behaviour. She tells you her thoughts on why women complicate every facet of their lives and how to circumvent it as a man. She interprets the meaning of the actions of the women in your life. You start with Joy. According to her, the only way to get Joy back would be to ignore her for a while. If she really loves you as she claims she does, she will be intrigued by your silence. The mystery of your absence will drive her nuts. He has not called to apologise in three days. Has he moved on already? Is he with another woman at this moment? Is that woman Lilian? You have not had such an awakening conversation in a long while. She fascinates you. You buy her a drink and the night fades away.

Not only is she a great conversationalist, but she is also a great dancer. She teases you by coming close to you then taking a step back for you to see the full view. She holds your hand, raises it above her head, turns around slowly, then releases your hand softly, leaving her warmth and fragrance itching you. Itching you to hold her and hug her tightly against your thorax. Itching you to lift her slim body and turn it around in your arms. Itching you to rub your fingers through her dreadlocks. Itching you to kiss those lips that spoke so much sense.

‘You wanna get out of here?’ you ask her.

‘It’s about time,’ she responds.

‘By the way, my name is Sam,’ you say.

‘Lovely to meet you, Sam. Samson the strong..’

‘Actually, it’s Samuel, not Samson,’

‘Oh. My bad,’

‘It’s okay. Many people make the same mistake,’

‘Could you guess what my name is?’

‘Uh. You look like a Mitchelle. Or Stephanie,’

‘Not even close,’

‘Victoria?’

She shakes her head.

‘Patricia?’

‘Wrong,’

‘Okay, I give up,’

‘Josephine. My name is Josephine,’

***

END OF EPISODE 4

Episode 5: Friday, 15th May, 2020

***

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7 Comments

  • Reply Janerose May 8, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    The great conversationalist is Josephine? I beg to differ but I definitely look forward to the next chapter. My day has just gotten a bit brighter

  • Reply Waitara Jane May 9, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    Why does it have to end this way😪😪😪😪😪😪😪😪😪

  • Reply Dennismwai May 14, 2020 at 9:16 am

    Looking forward to the next episode man

  • Reply Mark Njeri May 15, 2020 at 12:48 am

    Why dp I have a felling that Josephine ain’t who she says she is?
    Let’s see the mess Sam is digging himself into.

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