Chapter 7 -Besties forever
The Kalaha club along Naivasha road was Koya’s pride and joy. It had taken her two years to open it. Koya could still hear her father protesting against opening the club. She’d managed to convince him to accept the idea. Now the club was thriving and she loved visiting it after hours with Ashi and Hana.
Tonight was no different from any other night, she thought as she entered the main entrance. The big burly men at the door had the ruthless job of regulating who got in. Young high school kids could get the pope in trouble and she was not ready to face fines for selling to underage kids.
The main floor was packed with people, some on the dance floor, others having drinks at the tables. The D.J. was great. He’d better be, she thought, thinking about the fee she paid per session. She watched a young man speed to a table with a tray laden with drinks, maneuvering expertly, and she wondered if she could pull it off if she tried.
Shaking her head, Koya headed to a discreet staircase that took her upstairs to a second floor. This area was quiet, and offered a more relaxed atmosphere. The seating was sectioned off: there were comfortable red couches and glass tables. Koya smiled when she saw Hana Wangu and Ashi Mwende seated at the couches by the window. They were laughing, enjoying coconut Malibu pineapple drinks.
Hana was her cousin, her uncle’s daughter. She’d moved to Nairobi from Nyeri and now worked at Avenue Ad as a creative director. Hana should have been a model, Koya thought. The girl was blessed with a tall slender figure, currently wrapped in a beautiful navy blue dress. Her hair was naturally long. Hana wore it down today, left to flow down to her shoulders. Hana’s laugh was infectious, and her eyes sparkled in the warm light. Hana’s tall elegance was the complete opposite of Ashi who was short, had lighter skin and a penchant for punk rock style. Ashi’s hair was in a short cut, and dyed blond. She wore a short black dress, and her nails were painted black.
They both seemed to look up and spot her at the same time.
Ashi grinned and lifted her glass in greeting. “Here’s to trees in offices.”
Koya laughed. “That’s funny.”
She sat beside Ashi, and accepted the drink they had ordered for her.
“Someone must be thinking about you,” Hana said.
“If they really cared, they’d have sent me lilies,” Koya said.
They all laughed and Ashi turned in her seat to touch Koya’s arm. Her hand was warm against Koya’s bare skin. Glancing down, Koya stared at the rock on Ashi’s ring finger. Her best friend was engaged to marry a doctor with a flourishing private practice. Ashi’s happiness seemed to glow out of her. Koya envied her for it.
“So, Koya, Kim called me,” Ashi said. Her expressive eyes trained on Koya, it was hard not to escape the unasked questions.
Koya sipped her drink to escape her rehearsed speech of ‘it-doesn’t-matter’.
“I didn’t want to be the one to tell you,” Ashi confessed.
“How did you find out?” Koya asked.
“I heard gossip from mum. I went home to Ndwaru, and the rumor mills are working overtime. Charlie is home for good.”
“Look,” Hana said, leaning forward in concern. “It’s hard to break such news to you. Considering—
“Considering nothing,” Koya said with a tight smile. “It doesn’t matter anymore. Whether he’s back or not, it has no effect on me. Stop acting like I’m going to pieces.”
Ashi and Hana stared at her with sympathy in their eyes. Koya wondered what they saw. She’d made sure to make every effort to impress tonight. She’d chosen a short stunning red form-fitting dress. Her braids fell down her back in curly waves, and her make-up was flawless. She looked good. She doubted anyone could see the cracks in her heart, but these were her best friends. They saw right through her.
“You’re right,” Ashi said after a moment, withdrawing her hand. “Let’s change the topic. Charles Dhali is old news. I received a shipment of those comics you like Koya. I will send them to your house.”
Koya was thankful for the change. “How’s the bookshop doing?”
“Very good, I should thank you two for your genius advertising.”
“Hana did it all, I’m just the decision pusher,” Koya said.
“I thank you still,” Ashi said. “Nic is free this weekend. We can do a barbecue, what do you think?”
“Is he still handsome as ever?” Hana asked.
Nic was Ashi’s fiancé. Their wedding was in three months. Ashi was driving them all mad with wedding plans and jitters.
Ashi glowed as she spoke about Nic. “What do you expect? He is so hot.”
Koya laughed, taking Ashi’s left hand to sigh over the ridiculous ring shining there. “You’re lucky. I give you props for making such a decision.”
Hana leaned closer to look at the diamond ring too. “I doubt it was a hard one. Look at this ring. It’s as gorgeous as the hunk who gave it. He has good taste.”
“In women and jewelry,” Koya commented.
“I want to get married now,” Hana said with a sigh.
Letting go of Ashi’s hand, Koya sipped her drink and shook her head. ‘Not me, I can’t imagine making such a commitment. I can barely keep a pet.”
“You say that now,” Ashi teased. “I’ll be hearing another story when you meet some guy.”
“She might fall for the tree guy,” Hana said.
“Hey, how come it’s now become a guy?” Koya asked.
Ashi laughed. “They can live in a tree house together.”
Koya poked Ashi with a finger. “Stop jinxing me.”
“They’ll have little tree children,” Hana continued.
“Okay, that’s weird,” Ashi said, still laughing.
Koya placed her glass on the table and got up. She took Ashi’s hand and Hana’s hand, pulling them to their feet.
“Enough with the teasing,” she said, leading the way out of the secluded area to the stairs. At least in the noisy dance floor there would be no teasing Koya.
“I love you gals. You get married. I’ll live vicariously through you. I’ll spoil your children senseless, meanwhile, let’s go dance. I need to unwind this day,” Koya said.
“Hear, hear,” Ashi answered.
Hana wrapped an arm around Koya’s shoulders as they reached the dance floor.
“I love you gals too,” Ashi said, as the joined in the fun on the dance floor.
To be continued…Thank you for reading