I was sitting in the back of a car, wondering how I’d gotten there. My friend at the time was riding shotgun and our driver could be described as wearing a black turban with his white hair peeking out beneath it; a Sikh. I don’t know how they’d met each other but she’d asked me along, now that I think about it, to bring life to their party. Not a well thought out move on her part. He was very quiet, sure, but I can’t say I’m much better.
I’d bumped into her the previous Saturday night. I was out with my roommate, as usual, dancing. Then I’d seen this brunette figure up ahead, bent at the waist, fingertips on the floor, grinding repeatedly against a pair of cargo pants-encased male hips. His hands holding hers in place. The brunette’s head had lifted and she looked up, saw me and smiled. I had to stifle a laugh. Erica stood up and straightened her thigh high light blue patterned dress and after a quick word with her partner, walked over to my table.
“Hi!!!” she yelled at my face.
“Hi! I see you’ve been busy,” I replied with a meaningful glance. “Where’d he come from,”
“Oh, you know. I just met him, and we’ve been going out,” came the reply.
She could have said more but I decided not to follow up. It was a party after all.
“So, how you been?” I asked instead.
She sat down next to me and we talked for a while until her guy friend came for her. She got up and kissed my cheek, her hot whisky breath snaking up my nose. I didn’t see her for the rest of the night until I was almost leaving. I heard my name over the toned down reggae music at around three in the morning. My purse was clutched to my abdomen and I was bending over to tie the laces on my sneakers. Straightening up, I saw her zigzagging toward me, holding the straps of one stiletto shoe in her left hand, and an empty snifter glass in the right. Her eyes were crossed, and her gait clearly confused. She stopped three feet away from me and blinked.
“I need you to – tomorrow. I need company. He’s taking me on a hike and he’s too quiet to walk alone with. Can you come?” she said.
“Where are you going?”
“Naivasha, Mt Longonot,”
It should be noted at this point, that although I was exhausted and more than a little high, the concept of a long walk up a small mountain in the crisp August air was very appealing to me, against my better judgement. So I said yes and ended up spending the night with them on account of the Logistics involved the following day.
This guy, whose name I can’t remember to this day, had a nice large place in the countryside a few kilometres from my campus. I remember being grateful that his car was warm despite the cold outside. I was nearly asleep by the time he pulled up to his main gate, and Erica had taken off both her shoes and was drooling on the dashboard. Pushing hair off my face, I fumbled with the locking mechanism and when things swang open, I trudged after them towards a pair of heavy-looking wooden front doors. Inside was painted all white with light brown furniture. It was divided into what might have been three levels (not that I recall). The floor we were currently on was the topmost, containing the living room and the bedrooms, and a den. Too tired to really pay attention, I’d dumped myself onto the nearest cushy seat, and started fumbling with my laces. A little while later, Erica then came and showed me into a room that looked like it had been recently vacated. The mattress was turned out, bare of sheets, and the drawers similarly empty and pulled out. The closet had no hangers or clothes and the vanity table inside it had the usual powder and nail polish blotches on the top, but that was about it. In my state of mind though all I was really concerned with was the bed and whether or not I could sleep in it. The mattress looked next to new, with a pristine white cover, and there was a white duvet crumpled up at the headboard. Erica came with a pillow and helped fix the bed for me. After a sloppy goodnight, I took off the majority of my clothes, shivering against the cold.
I walked to the bathroom door, opposite the bed next to the built-in closet. Finished, I washed my hands and face, turned off the lights and crawled into the bed. The countryside was especially cold this time of year so it was a while before I stopped shivering. My breath quit coming out in steam and then finally, when it must have been at least five in the morning, I drifted off to sleep. Only to be awakened two minutes later.
Light streamed in through the liners revealed behind parted curtains at the window, and then my bleary vision showed Erica parting those too. I groaned. Loudly. It was early morning. It was cold. I was sleepy. I was tired. I was sleepy.
Burrowing deeper, I pulled the duvet over my head and curled into a tight ball in the middle of the bed. Erica sighed and pulled it back. She shook me up and said, in an enviously non-sleepy non-tired, bright as brass voice.
“It’s a long drive to Naivasha, you need to get up now so we can leave early,”
I might have mumbled something relatively undiplomatic in response, but she’d opened the windows then tugged the duvet completely out of my grasp so the blast of cold air on my mostly naked skin was sufficient provocation.
And that is how, after an awkward breakfast between the three of us on the lower level, we were in his Subaru, on the highway to Naivasha, with a mostly sleepy me softly snoozing in back.
to be continued.