Mr N has just given me a ticket out of poverty. A five million bob ticket and all I have to do is sleep with four of his friends, and essentially do to them what I did to him. I don’t know whether to be offended or grateful.
“Deal or no deal?” he asks again. “I don’t have all day.”
He wants me to stay pregnant as part of the scam. “Do I also accuse them of rape?” I ask.
“No!” he says. “What is it with you and rape?” he asks sounding irritated. “These men all married into wealthy families. It’s their wives, not them, who hold all the cards. If another lady showed up with child, they’d be tossed out in an instant. Trust me, they’ll pay.”
“What if they are not attracted to me? Or they use condoms?” I ask.
“Samantha, that’s for you to figure out. From what I have seen you are very industrious,” he says as he signals for the bill. “Deal or no deal?”
This is not how I saw this meeting going. But I suppose men like Mr N don’t get to be as successful as they are by not always seeing a gap to make money - even in extreme circumstances like this, where they are the target.
“Deal,” I say wondering if I’ve just signed a pact with the devil. The waitress sashays to our table with the bill. He pays and gives her a Sh1,000 tip. “Can I borrow your pen?” he asks.
For a Sh1,000 he should keep the damn pen! She hands it over and he writes his phone number at the back of his receipt. He leaves both on the table, flashes her another smile and stands up. I follow suit wondering why I’m irritated that he’s picking up someone else in front of me.
We walk out of the restaurant. “My bank has a branch here. I’ll get you the million now and then you need to call your boss,” he says walking away briskly. I follow him into the banking hall and take one of the offered seats as he fills out a withdrawal slip.
This is actually happening! One million bob will be in my hands soon and another four million to follow! I can finally clear my credit card bill! I can move out of my SQ! I can buy a car! No more matatus! I can hardly breath from the excitement.
He goes to the counter and starts to chat up the girl behind the screen. Doesn’t he ever stop? The man wants everything in a skirt. I’m beginning to wonder if pregnancy is the least of my worries and I should get tested for STDs. A few minutes later he walks towards me with a bulky brown envelope and hands it to me.
“Thanks,” I say. He gives me a cold stare. The smiles I take it are only reserved for those ladies that are not blackmailing him!
“Just make sure I get it back with interest,” he says curtly. Yup! How can I forget that he is getting 50 per cent of my ill-gotten gains?
And both that morning equally lay.
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way.
I doubted if I should ever come back.
This is it. I have opened the Pandora’s box and unleashed evil into the world. I have accepted his money, agreed to a pact to do this again to four other people and with that, smashed into smithereens my moral compass.
Mr N may have deserved this but what I’m about to do to his friends, is entrapment. I took the road that is leading me further and further into a dark forest and Robert Frost would be sad. How will I ever find my way out?