I know, I know, I know it’s been forever but here is Part 12. It’s a little hazy as I’m getting back into the swing of writing and catching up with the story myself. Your views, comments and shares will be appreciated.
The phone went through its dial up routine, with the luminous band flashing from the radio signal, and connected to the number I had on the scrap of paper. One ring, two rings, three rings…
“Hello!” said a smooth voice, almost as good as a radio presenter. Crisp and clear. The intonation had no inflection of dialect giving no hint of who the caller may have been. I did not know what to say or what I should say so I pressed on the red button ending the call.
David, the cab driver was annoying me with his unnecessary delays by having his entire car inspected. He was busy pointing out the disadvantages of using detergent powder to wash cars versus shampoo to the attendant wiping the windscreen. My attempted phone call had made me nervous and uneasy; I was restless in the backseat.
I pulled out a can from the cheap plastic bag and pulled the tab off watching the perspiration on the side of the can for a few seconds. The small drops became larger as they joined other droplets and then raced down the side of the can. I put the cold can to my mouth and took a couple of large sips, letting the frothy liquid cool my throat.
I let of a sigh of relief and started rummaging in my jacket for a smoke. I found the box of cigarettes but could not find a lighter. Seeing that the cab-driver was just about done I decided not to make another run to the convenience store. I thought I would wait for him and use the car lighter.
Grumbling half to himself and half to the petrol station attendant, David finally got into the car, adjusting himself into his seat. “Can I use your lighter?” I enquired as soon as he was settled and belted, adding “Please.” a little later as he was just staring at me in disbelief. Incredulously, he told me (at the top of his voice) “Nobody is allowed to smoke in MY vehicle, you understand!” with an accent so thick, you could cut it with a knife.
I held my hands up in surrender and let him cool off. It took three tries and one prayer before the car did start and once again, we were on our way. I slid over to the right side of the back seat so that I wasn’t in David’s direct view and sneakily kept sipping my beer. Just in case he had objection against my drinking beer in the car, judging from his earlier reaction and variety of religious stickers on the inside of the car.
We were driving at a slow pace and all along the way, I watched the city prepare itself for another night of wanton debauchery, of alcohol induced euphoria and greed related thievery. Despite the unrest, things were still pretty normal. Gangs of university students dressed in jackets and sweaters, walking and swearing; each of them on a solemn mission to outdrink his mate and hopefully “bag another hot chick.” Men in sharp suits and shiny shoes, men in jackets and sports shoes, men in t-shirts and jeans each walking around in different directions, each to his popular sin den, each with a personal agenda, each with a personal vice to quench.
The lights from the billboards that were still intact and the lights from the street lamps made for a surreal effect as David’s car stereo added a soundtrack to the journey. Although the volume was pretty low, could make out the incessant strumming of a guitar been put through some serious torture. All I needed was a cigarette or better yet a joint to make it perfect.
I looked at the Cathy’s phone wondering if I should call the number again. I didn’t. I put it away just as David slowed the car, looking up I realised we had arrived. I pulled out my wallet and paid the usual fare I paid any cab ride from BGA to here. David grumbled putting the money away, but I didn’t bother hearing him out.
The first thing I did was put a cigarette in my mouth, lighting it from the cigarette of a passer-by. This what I loved about Nairoberry, behind the cold hard exterior people were always warm and forgiving inside.
The parking was full and cars were parked all over the kerb outside, a busy night. There was the prerequisite rank of taxis outside, the drivers huddled near a lamp reading from one newspaper. There were scattered groups of people walking towards Jimmy Choo’s (no, not the expensive designer shoe brand – this was the clubs name).
Jimmy Choo’s or Jimmy’s was an all in one place. It could easily have been a shopping mall, but was in fact a night club, a bar, a restaurant, a pharmacy, a butchery and a motel all in one. The patronage was varied but it specialised in meaningful overnight relationships. I didn’t doubt for a second that I would score some weed here.
I walked on towards the entrance of the huge compound that enclosed Jimmy’s looking out for the usual peddlers of all things illegal. There was a group of chatty girls walking in at the same time. Chirpy, loud pitched and noisy, they were definitely intoxicated probably in their dorms before heading out. They were described in what I could only call thick belts. They had the figures for it and one of them definitely had the legs for it. I pulled my jacket collar up feeling the chill more from empathy for the barely dressed women than the weather. Shapely legs was scoping me as much as I was sizing her.
I smiled as I usually do when caught, sheepish and cocky as we crossed not more than a metre away. I saw what I was looking for. A t-shirt clad hustler selling peanuts. I stopped where I was letting the girls walk by. She turned around and I was sure that this avenue would be worth pursuing further.
“Promote me some business” said the late teen offering me his basket of peanuts. I pulled out my wallet and flashed a hundred shilling note at him and whisked it away just as he was about to grab it. His eyes followed the note. Bingo I thought. I asked him “Can you get me some weed?”