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September 25, 2018

Short-changed!

GG is sitting in a secluded corner, a glass of half drunk scotch in his hand. I say hello and slide into the seat opposite him.

“Are you ok?” he asks. 

“I am, just a little tired,” I respond. 

A waitress materialises to take my order. 

“A glass of chardonnay,” I say, hoping the house wine is rich and full-bodied. 

“Anything to eat?” she asks. I shake my head as she heads off for the wine.

“So…” GG says. “You’re pregnant.” 

I nod, wondering if he’s the one that will demand a pregnancy test. The VIP didn’t seem to doubt me and neither did Mr N. 

“That is unfortunate,” he says. “But these things happen.” 

The waitress returns and places a glass on a napkin in front of me. She presents me with a bottle placed over her arm for me to read the label. 

“The house chardonnay that we serve by the glass is finished, but perhaps you’d like to order a bottle of Mirassou Chardonnay? It’s excellent.” 

I look towards GG. He shrugs. A bottle of wine means I have to stay here for much longer than I had anticipated. As though reading my mind, he says: “You can always carry it with you.”

I nod at the waitress and she quickly and expertly uncorks it, pouring a little into my glass to taste. I immediately taste the peach notes. The secondary flavours are melon, citrus and vanilla notes. I love it. I indicate to her to fill the glass.

“I’ll return with an ice bucket,” she says. 

“This is a lovely place. I’ve never been here,” I say. 

GG doesn’t feel like small talk. He passes me an envelope, there’s cash inside. 

“That’s Sh50,000. More than enough to take care of the problem,” he says.  

I take the envelope and place it in my bag. I then take a big gulp of wine. 

“I’m not sure you quite understand what’s going on here,” I say. 

“Really?” he asks. “Explain it to me.” 

“Well….” I’m interrupted by the arrival of the ice bucket. She places the wine inside it and covers it with a table napkin. 

“Another drink, sir?” 

GG nods as he swigs the last of his drink. She saunters away. 

“I don’t think 50k is going to be enough,” I say. “I’m going to need more. A lot more.” 

He narrows his eyes and I can see a slight tick and what may be an angry glint. 

“Is this some sort of shakedown?” he asks.

The waitress is back with his drink. She places it down with a flourish and then makes a show of topping up my wine. We sit there, patiently waiting for her to make herself scarce. 

“Yes, that’s exactly what this is,” I respond. “I want two million or I keep the baby.” 

He laughs. “Two million? Keep it. Don’t keep it. What do I care?” he asks. 

“Your wife may have a thing or two to say about it,” I respond. 

“Samantha,” he says, still laughing. “I’m going to pretend that we did not have this conversation.”  

“Pay the bill,” he continues as he picks up his phone and car keys from the table. “You can afford it.” 

He stands up. “You’re leaving?” I ask. 

“You’re a real genius, aren’t you?” he responds, the sarcasm dripping as slowly as the droplets from my chardonnay. 

“I don’t know what you think you know about me, but I’m not the guy you try and blackmail.” 

With that, he turns and leaves. Just like that. No goodbyes, nothing. Elvis has left the building. I sit there, slightly embarrassed. Well, at least he had given me the 50k! I polish off my glass of wine. What do I do now? Call his bluff?

Poll of the day