‘Hi Hun. Viva has booked a 4 pm appointment today. You better be here at 3. Kisses.’ the text message read.
Although Makena was expecting to hear from Juma, the message lifted her sulking spirit a little. She had been pursuing Viva the famous singer, together with her friend Dougie, for the past few weeks. Dougie and Makena were childhood friends. Dougie had not been as lucky as Makena at pursuing higher education but his hard work coupled with his attention to detail attribute saw him rise from a local hairdresser to a most sought after celebrity hairstylist. He now owned a chain of salons and spas in Nairobi high end shopping malls. He spent most of his time on his first shop on Kimathi Street, managing clients.
“I know Viva personally, she is so down-to-earth,” he emphasized when Makena sought his help.
“She can’t blast you sweetie. She likes using the private room. When she comes I will personally introduce you,” he reassured.
Dougie had so many female friends growing up but he had never dated any of them. Even now that he was rich and famous and with a refined taste in fashion, he was never spotted in public with a girl. The rumor mills had it about his sexuality but his excellence in business surpassed all the rumors.
Are you available for a meeting tomorrow afternoon at my office？Say 3 pm?
Makena reread the email again. A sense of relief swept through her. She was sitting at the finely decorated lounge at Dougie’s Salon and Spa using the free Wi Fi connection. Soothing music was playing in the background and a glass of red wine she had been sipping made her cozy. Everything was coming together nicely. Viva’s consent to be their brand ambassador would seal it.
‘Hun, I’m in with a client. Might take long. Stay entertained. Kisses’ Dougie texted. She summoned the light skinned lady at the reception to pour her more wine. The lady walked towards her smiling. She moved with so much grace her 6 inch heels notwithstanding.
‘Money is good,’ she contemplated, ‘It makes you hire the best talent in the market.’
She compared the light skin with her pair of nerds whom she had proudly referred to as staff. She thought about her friend Dougie and the life he was living. He had the personal cell phone numbers of almost every face on TV including politicians and he still reported to work every morning dressed up and with so much energy. His business had grown and expanded and he was still the same old Dougie, warm and loving. Passion must have kept him here all these years.
She visualised her life, her tiny space at the corner of her house that she called office. She looked at the MacBook strategically placed on the elegant glass table. It felt worthless. There was no one to impress with gadgets, the red leather couches seemed to whisper. She felt small and emptied her glass of wine.
She felt dizzy.
“Where is the bathroom?” she asked as she walked past the reception.
She grabbed the bottle of wine placed behind the counter as the light skin directed her to the bathroom. It took her less than 5 minutes to empty the bottle. The reality of her current situation was slowly kicking in. Impressive academic qualifications! And nothing to show for it! Maybe I’m cut out for employment. Maybe!
“4 o’clock. No Viva! No Dougie! I think I should leave,” Makena whispered to the receptionist. Shocked at the empty bottle in her hand, she reaches out to her.
“Oh Hun, what happened?” Dougie embraces her drunken body.
“Dee your office is awesome! Hehe” said Makena amid sarcastic laugh. “You should come to mine too, a little corner in my house haha…” she continued.
“Hey! Sweetie, sorry Viva cancelled. Something about a concert tonight,” said Dougie.
“No worries Hun, I will talk you up when she comes tomorrow,” he consoled. “Let me take you home.”
Makena sat quiet at the back of the car, a little embarrassed. It was only 6 o’clock and she was drunk.
“Dee, I moved!” she shouted as Dougie took a right turn on Museum Hill.
“I live on Riverside Drive House no. 16,” she said. She knew Mark’s house address by heart. He had to be home.
“Nice place by the way. I should visit soon sweetie. Take care Hun,” Dougie shouted from inside his car and waved her goodbye.