When her foot hit the wet tarmac she immediately regretted not picking her car from the garage the previous evening. She had made peace with living in the city and could not imagine herself elsewhere. She knew to always leave her house at the break of dawn to beat the traffic. On this wet Saturday there was not much traffic to beat, the city was still stirring from the events of Friday night.

She called her mechanic to confirm he was on schedule for her to pick her car. As she put her phone away a call came in. She got excited, her heart fluttered and her stomach was filled with butterflies. His husky voice made her legs weak, they had made plans to meet up outside town. He was just checking to confirm she was on schedule. She stopped to talk to him and noticed her umbrella was rusted and needed replacement. Three years is a long time to own one umbrella but she is a consistent lady. He hang up and as she walked to the bus station she wondered what would happen if she didn’t show up. She shoved the idea as fast as it occurred. Getting into the matatu was a task. She had recently joined the gym and every joint ached.

She remembered the first time she met him. He was exactly what she always wanted; tall, dark, handsome and smart. He was always dressed for the occasion and his cologne was always subtle. Their sexual tension was so tight you could cut through with a blunt razor. She remembered their first date and how part of her heart was shuttered when he said he lived with the mother of his child. She could not wrap her mind as to why he would want anything more. What did she have the mother of his child lacked? She wanted him and he wanted her more but she had to take a step back and think over it. He would not let her be, he always called and she always picked. Her voice was always excited to speak to him and she couldn’t help it .They talked about anything and everything. It was like each of them had found a missing piece of themselves.

In three years she hadn’t had an emotional connection with anyone and had never felt attracted to anyone. She wondered if she was normal, but with her PHD classes and a new promotion it was easy to overlook romance.

She picked her car and drove into the building traffic and couldn’t help but worry why him. Would she drive all the way to see him? What will he think of her? Was she desperate? Deluded?  Stupid?  She got to Gilgil and remembered the Alfred Keter debacle and felt sorry for her country. It was a welcome distraction but made her sadder than the trip she had decided to take. Was she such a cheap lay? Couldn’t she get an easy one night stand in the city? An emotional connection is important so she drove on. At Salgaa with the numerous numbers of lorries driving by she remembered the numerous accidents and wondered might she be just another statistic? Every police stop she saw after Molo she remembered a cop who once harassed her ex-boyfriend and how he kept asking him, “gijana unajua magosa yago?” (young man do you know what you did wrong?).Do they all speak this way?

She called him on arrival and he got into the car and they drive away. The hotel is pristine yet homely. She loves the swimming pool and makes a mental note to take a dive on her own time. He is friendly with the receptionist who welcomes them like a couple who are taking a break from the city for the weekend. “Karibuni sana”, he says. She responds with a short calm thank you, eager to get away from the crowd filling up the reception.

The room was painted white with navy blue curtains. She collapsed on the bed like she hadn’t slept in three days. She would live in this room for as long as he wanted her there, they always operated on his schedule. He removed his shoes, socks and shirt like he was home. He lay beside her and touched her lips like he wished to kiss them. He drew her closer and felt her boobs and moved in for a kiss. She responded with a hunger only known to her. Her jeans slid off her long legs effortlessly her blouse and bra had long been discarded. Her fingers trembled and she labored not to show it as she unzipped his trousers. His skin felt cold against hers. It was chilly and he got up to close the windows.

For a moment she forgot who he was – pleasure can do that to you. The thrill of the forbidden fruit. His manhood was begging for release from the prison of his boxers. She was wet. They moaned and heaved then lay next to each other spent and breathing hard. On turning over her arms ache. She wonders whether to stop going to the gym or keep at it. He smiled and kissed her.

I missed you, she said.

I missed you more, he chimed in.

Dusk was slowly creeping in. They lay in the warmth of each other talking about nothing and everything. He switched on the TV and news about an attack in France was on. They talked about it,how they met, the weather and the beauty of this town. She felt empty and lonely. Before she could mouth her thoughts he was licking her lips again. She once again threw all caution to the wind and savored the moment. She could feel him swell up, he dipped into the cookie jar and murmured how sweet she was. She felt hollow and alone yet he was here.

Why had she driven all the way to him? They freshened up and went for dinner. Not wanting to let him have her again so soon after dinner she changed into her swimming costume and went to the swimming pool. He opened his laptop and tried to catch up with work. She didn’t swim but lay on the sun bed. The sun had gone down yet here she was. What exactly was she looking for? He came looking and they walked back arm in arm like long time lovers.

Her phone screen lit up. A text message from her best friend lit up her face. She thought back and wondered why she never saw her best friend in this light before? She’s instantly attracted to him even being miles away. How does she tell him, does he like her? The sky lit up from lightning and it looked heavy with rain. She would let it weep for her.