Her hips curved harshly on that black minidress. I couldn’t help but notice her calculated sashays as she passed through the metal detector door at the airport. She gripped her suitcase in the left hand as her handbag dangled on her chelidon like the balls of an old bull.
The buzzer went off as soon as she passed through the frisk.
“You have a gun in there?” The guard asked.
“No, I have a metalic hip.” She replied, then flashed a grin.
“You got that from Afghanistan?” The guard asked, then chuckled.
“You guessed right.” She replied as she sashayed towards my direction. I turned my head to look at a different direction. It would have been rude being caught looking at them makIng dry jokes, or maybe awkward. One of those.
She took a pew next to me quite heavily then breathe a sigh. Just when I thought of throwing a line at her, she fished out her phone and started scrolling through her social media feeds. I dived into my thoughts and pondered the best way I could start a conversation with her. No idea came to mind.
“Howdy, might you be knowing…” I felt a tap on my shoulder, I turned to look at her, “…sorry, hi, could you be knowing of any affordable hotels around Nairobi?” Her voice was craspy, like she had been yelling the whole night. Her blue eyes shone bright as she spoke, and her eyebrows couldn’t stop dancing up and down. I was getting attracted to every piece of her. Call it love at first sight.
“Hey” I replied, stretching my hand to her for a handshake.
“Corona…” She whispered, gesturing a fist bump.
“My bad…” I said while fist bumping, “Yeah, there are many hotels around. You are new here?”
“Yeah, I am from Canada. It is my first time coming to Kenya. It is a dream come true.” She quipped.
“Welcome to Kenya. I can show you around if you don’t mind.” Things were falling into place, I thought. She seemed friendly and the hyper type. The ilk that you’d never get bored when you hang around with.
We scrolled through a few hotels before she settled for Kempinski Villarosa. We delved into knowing each other; she asserted to be a business lady with a few businesses running lucratively in Canada, divorced and with no kid. I felt like I had hit a jackpot. We exchanged contacts and promised to link up for a tour around Nairobi.
“What did you say your name is?” I asked as I got into the Uber.
“I didn’t say. I’ll tell you when you call me.” She replied then waved.
I kept on thinking about her. It felt as if I had met her in another lifetime, or I had known her for almost a decade already. Everything about her fascinated my desire – from those hips that I first noticed, to her well aligned eyebrows, to her blue eyes. Everything.
That night, I called the number she had given me. Her voice was still as sweet as it was during the day. We talked for almost an hour, sharing experiences, cracking jokes, asking each other questions. She later introduced herself as Alexis. The phonecall exhumed a part of me that I never thought existed; for a minute I was pacing up and down in the room, the next minute I had my legs up in the air, and for the best part of it I was smiling at everything she said. I was either falling in love with her, or I was just being infatuated. I couldn’t figure out which.
The communication was tight for two weeks straight. We could call each other daily. Text on WhatsApp every minute and meet for evening coffee whenever I got off work early. It was not long before we decided to move in together. She left her hotel room and came to stay with me. I waved a bye to my bachelor life.
Life was fun having her around. Coming back home to her felt heavenly. I always found she had prepared food and cleaned the house. If that was how marriage felt like, I really wanted to get married that very minute.
After some days, I realized she hardly used her phone when I was around her. We could chat during the day but the moment I got back home her phone was always off. I couldn’t fathom why she did that. Maybe she just wanted to give me all the attention, but still it felt like something was a miss. I figured, if I confronted her directly, she would get offended. So, I schemed a plan.
“Alexis, I have a game tonight,” I said.
“It better not be the usual truth or dare.” She replied amidst chuckles.
“Naaaah… It’s a crazy one, we used to play it while in college.”
“Ehe, tell me, tell me.” She said, taking an upright posture.
“Alright, so the game goes like this, we take each other’s phones, then head on to Google and check each other’s history. I am sure there’s some crazy search history there.”
“No, I can’t play that.”
“I feel like that will be invading my privacy.” Her tone changed.
“It’s just a game, no judging.”
“No, Ben, I can’t!”
The plan turned a debacle. I went back to my drawing board again. Everything about her was becoming suspicious. I became more worried. Even though I had began falling in love with her, I felt a voice in me rebelling to my heart’s decision.
“Why do you always have your phone off whenever we are together?” I asked, when we were about to sleep.
“Is that why you wanted to check my history?”
“No, but it got me thinking…before you moved in with me, we used to talk and chat till late…then…then now your phone is always off, I just…I just don’t get it.” I stuttered.
“What do you even mean? You want to be calling me while we are here together?” She slid her hand on my chest.
“I know this sounds petty, but you’ve been acting so strange offlate… We haven’t known each other for that long but I feel it’d be better if we…”
“Are you proposing?” She asked.
“No, uhm…I don’t feel comfortable living with…”
“Wait, you want me out of here? Right? Okay, then I’ll go!”
She threw the duvet on my face then stormed towards the wardrobe. She grabbed her suitcase and started stuffing her clothes. That was fast, I thought. She jumped into conclusion faster than I had imagined.
“No, Alexis wait. Listen to me. I don’t want you to go…listen.” I begged.
“Then what is this?” Her voice was cemented with anger.
“I just wanted us to talk.”
“That’s not talking, that’s being petty.” She flipped her hair backwards then gave me a harsh look.
“Actually you know what…” She said, pushing me with her index finger. I moved back two steps as she went to bring her phone.
“Here is my phone…” She unlocked it then gave it to me. I didn’t have the courage to do anything with it, neither was I even able to utter a word. I stood there confused.
“Look, I just wanted…”
“No, I wanna tell you something, Ben… I know they say ‘trust your instincts’ and all that crap. I am starting to believe that. You see, when you first asked me what I do … I went silent, right? And then later told you I owned a few businesses in Canada, I lied. It has been haunting me. I know we both have feelings for each other but…maybe you think I’m rich, wealthy and successful and that we’ll live a happy life together, but I lied.” She walked to the balcony then started gazing at the silent neighborhood. I followed her there.
“You lied?” I asked.
“Yes I did.”
“Then, what do you do for a living? You sell drugs? What do you do?” I asked, panic rising in me.
She turned to look at me. Her hair danced to the rythm of the breeze. She looked prettier in that dim-lit spot. I felt the urge to just erase what had happened in the last 10-minutes and start things over again.
“Let me have my phone.” She stretched her hand.
“No, what do you do?”
“I wanna show you something.”
I gave her the phone then stood there still, with my arms across my chest. I felt tensed. I didn’t know what to expect. A million houghts crossed my mind.
“Here.” She handed me the phone.
Her name was all over Canadian tabloids and news outlets. Apparently, she was a wanted person by the Canadian government. I clicked on a few of the links. It turned out that she was a renowned musician in Canada who was married to a government official.
“I know, I know…” She said “… He worked for the government. We weren’t divorced like I said. We were happily married and I knew a lot of secrets that happened in the government. So, when I wanted to break up with him, he tried to kill me thinking I’d expose all the secrets but I ended up killing him.”
“Wait, so…you…ran…” I fambled with my words.
“It was self defense, Ben. But the media made it look like I picked up the gun and pointed it straight to his face intentionally.”
“Isn’t that what you did?”
“Whose side are you on, Ben?” She said, walking back to the bedroom.
“Why didn’t you tell me this earlier? You know what, tomorrow I’m taking you back to the hotel. I can’t…” I said, turning to look at her.
“No, you know what, you are going to be my next victim,” She said, pointing a gun at me. “That is why I kept my phone off. I didn’t want to involve you in this. I didn’t want you to know what was going on. ’cause I knew you’d turn against me…” She held the gun firmly. With every word she said, I dropped a sweat.
My heartbeat went from 72 to 180. It felt like a dream. I raised my hands to surrender, then moved closer to her.
“Don’t kill me, Alexis. Listen…”
I rushed to her before she could think of pulling the trigger then snatched the gun from her. I pushed her towards the balcony then out of tension, I pulled the trigger. The bullet went straight to her chest. She lose balance and fell off the balcony. I couldn’t believe what I had just done.
I went back to my room and sat on the bed. I was sweating all over. One could think I had been rained on. I figured, if I continued staying there, I would be in a total mess. I would be arrested for murder. Worse, I’d be linked to the killing of her Canadian government-official husband.
I had only one way out, running away. Far, far away. Maybe to another country where I’d start over again. I packed the essentials then disappeared.