The Midnight Office Moaner; Part 1


The man standing next to me is well groomed with a well-trimmed beard but boy oh boy, the stink coming from him is enough to make me throw up. The elevator stops and the doors slide open; 4th floor. A man in his late 30’s walks in muttering, “Hii kitu imejaa. It’s just that I’m late, I wouldn’t have gotten on board.” Arousing so much anger within me, I stare at him and roll my eyes the minute he looks my way. I mean, what is wrong with Kenyans and giving lame explanations especially when not needed. Just the other day I was in a matatu when a young woman sitting next to me opened a bag of chips and after her first three bites she looked at me saying, “They are so disgusting. I hate how they cook fries in these fast food restaurants,” Immediately after saying that, she took another bite and smirked. Such are the things that make you lose it and when asked to explain why, all you can say is that the devil took the wheel. But seriously, what went wrong? Anyway, the lift stops again and this time it’s at 24th floor, three more floors and I’ll be walking out of this joke of a lift like a queen. However, my joy is quickly turned to anxiety the minute I lay my eyes on the figure waiting to get in.

His purple designer suit makes him look masculine and bold while the cheeky smile on his face makes him seem warm and approachable. As if it was planned, his eyes meet mine making me blush. Reading the mood, the man closest to the door intercedes, “You getting in?”  “No, it’s too full,” he responds. As if that’s was the doors cue, they immediately close on completion of the utterance of his words. The sigh of relief I let out makes me feel as if I just got a second chance in life (maybe I just did). In less than a minute, the elevator stops at 27th floor. Finally, the gods have answered my prayers. As the doors close behind me, I quickly glance at the watch which says it’s 9.00am. (Dang it, I’m late) Hastily walking towards my desk, I say hi to the cleaner. Every glance at the heap of files waiting on my desk sucks the life out of me. (They said securing yourself a good job is every man’s dream but God no.)
 “Morning Linda?” goes Ian (my colleague)
 “Morning Ian,” I respond
  “Susan was looking for you,”
   “What was her agenda?”
   “Not sure. She said she’ll look for you around noon,”
    “Okay. Let me see the much I can do before then.”
With those words, I settle down to do what makes me earn my daily bread. However, my mind is distracted. Not by the noise of typing keys or the to and fro movement of people. It’s by his image. The image that earlier stood in front of the elevator. The image of the person that passionately held me like his lover the previous night. Apparently, my mind starts replaying the events from the previous night. It was around 9pm and everyone but me had left. Though, the light in the manager’s office was still turned on. Exhausted. This was one of those nights that made me want to riot demanding a bonus. ‘One more hour,’ I kept consoling myself. At around 10.05pm, my phone alarm went off. “To hell, they won’t pay me for these extra hours,” I said to myself. As I was putting my phone and keys in my bag, the manager’s door flew open. Word around the office was that he was a handsome man with a lot of ego but didn’t talk much. Of course I knew he was handsome, it was written all over his face but he not being talkative was something I never approved. I mean, every time we bumped into each other he always said hi and asked how I was doing. (Or maybe he had other intentions) Pretending not to count his footsteps that were headed my way, I busied myself by arranging things in my handbag (Pretty lame, right?)
   “Hey, someone’s very hardworking. These guys should give you a bonus,” he said
   “I know right? A promotion would be more like it,”
    (Laughing) “You will have to work your ass off to get that,”
   “How encouraging. What are you still doing here? Your wife must be worried,”
   “I see you’re one of the funny ones. If I had a wife I wouldn’t have food in my office. Want to join me?”
   “I’d love to be modest and say no but I’m too hungry so yes.”
Like a lost puppy, I followed him to his den. Two boxes of pizza were placed on his table though one was open with only a few slices left. As soon as I sat in the seat that was at the front of his desk, he courteously pushed the unopened box to my side. The meal was great (It was pizza; it had to be great). We engaged in deep conversation that was filled with laughter. If anyone was eavesdropping, they’d think we were two souls that had found each other after a long period of separation. See, as much as the conversation felt real, a part of me felt that there was more. More than what was being said and done. Maybe my body was speaking my thoughts because out of the blues, Abel changed the topic.

  “Not to pry but do you have a fiancĂ©?” he asked
  “Hm. Now why would you be interested in knowing that?”
   “Because I am interested,”
    “I’m pretty sure it’s not in me,”
(Walking towards me) “I’m saying exactly what you think I’m saying,”
    “I’m having a hard time believing you,”
    “Why do you think I always say hi to you?”
    “I don’t know. Maybe it’s because we’re workmates,”
     “Well, word around here is that I don’t talk much,”
     “OK. Then let’s cut to the cha___.”
Before I could finish this sentence, he pulled me towards him and kissed me. It was the type of kiss that not only leaves you confused, but also thirsting for more. I guess my eyes gave me away when I stared into his in surprise or rather enticement. Maybe they said ‘I need more’ or ‘don’t stop’ for he leaned in again but this time, I was prepared. The touch felt better, the kiss was deeper. Deeper to the point of me getting lifted up and placed on the desk. Lustful kisses turned to passionate kisses. Then the gaze. You know, the gaze that occurs when two people pose before doing all sorts of nasty things. Yes, that gaze. One by one clothes fell; deeper and deeper the kisses got. Though, the kisses weren’t the only things getting deeper. The feelings within me seemed to be erupting. They were the kind of feelings that make you think of having a litter of kids. When all was done, smiles were exchanged and clothes returned to their initial position. Goodbyes were said like those of real lovers. (I guess working late had its rewards.)
  “Hey Linda, quit daydreaming,” went Ian’s voice bringing me back to reality
   “Look who’s heading our way,”
Looking up from my desk, I met face to face with My Man. As our eyes met, a smile began folding on his lips. I couldn’t tell if he was just being a man and feeling proud of his achievement or if he was actually happy to see me. Like a weird gentleman, he walked to my desk and dropped a folded note then walked away. On opening the note, three words caught my eye making me smile, ‘Dinner at 9pm’. See, there’s a kind of peace that we all seek. The kind that whispers ‘everything is okay’ when things are completely haywire. The kind that makes you dance in the shower to a song that’s playing in your head or makes you hum to yourself as you walk in the streets or as you drive. As I looked up to watch him leave while wondering where this new fling was headed, three questions rang in my mind; had I just met my Kenyan Christian Gray? Had I just found the source of my peace? Or, had I just become the midnight office moaner?