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 As I tucked in the envelope and was getting ready to leave, I remembered I had only my fixed blade knife with me. I started doubting myself and paranoia set in. If I was going to meet them, I should be prepared and I felt unprepared. Was this the path to self destruction? I asked myself. Doubting yourself. What if I took a sip of a the whiskey in Peter's kitchen? I had to chuckle at this thought since am Muslim and don't drink but I had to acknowledge where the thought originated from. It originated from a fear that was long neglected due to a misplaced self-confidence. It was time to face my fears and test the theory of a plan I crafted 3 years ago. 

Sensing all these questions and emotions on my face, Peter called out,

" You know if you are going to be facing them, asking for your mentor's advice is not a big deal"

"You don't even believe that yourself" I said

It was true. He and I knew we couldn't involve my long time mentor Mr X as I did not invlove him in the beginning of all these shenanigans. He would rebuke me and be scarred for life if he knew what his favorite student was upto. How deep he got in with the swamp of degenerates. How his stubbornness landed him in bed with the 'devils of the night' as Mr X used to call them for they would only do business during the cover of darkness. 

"Instead of resting after a long day , you get called by these devils of the night and you get ready to see them? You don't even rush to see me when I call you and now all of a sudden they are more important?"

He was right. I would hurry to see them as if they had my life in their hands or something. I was in a hurry now to see them too although this time, I was scared. Mr X never brought them up after I told them that I will not get involved in their business no matter how lucrative it was. This was a lie and a betrayal on my part on the trust between me and Mr X. Going to him with what seemed like the biggest mistake in my life now would break him. I was not ready to inflict pain on another person for mistakes that were mine. Consequences from actions that I had to answer for. Me alone and no one else. It was almost 8 when I was finally able to compose myself and head out to the meeting point. 5 KM away from my warehouse and office. 

I didn't like the fact that the meeting was going to be in my backyard because almost everyone within a 8 KM radius of the warehouse knew of me somehow and would pick out my silhouette if need be. We would normally meet on the outskirts of the city or in the many hideouts dotted across the city but tonight was not a normal night was it. The contacts on Peter's phone were now also in someone else's possessions and that was a big NO considering who we were dealing with. I could feel my breathing becoming laborous. My palms were sweating and no matter how hard I rubbed them against my jeans, they would not dry. The cool air of Nairobi at night could not keep me cool but instead my forehead was heating up, nerves stinging, chills running down my whole spine that I would uncontrollably shiver. 

Nah!I couldn't drive to the meeting point alone. Peter was dealing with getting back the information that slipped his hand and I was paraylzed with anxiety. Did they really have my life in their hands? Did I somehow sell my soul by being involved with them? These thoughts were racing in my mind at a time when thoughts did not matter but action was king. I needed to act. Who was familiar with the inner runnings of my various businesses, knew of the many people I would shake hands with other than Peter that I could call right now? Aah! now I was finally acting and it gave me a temporary relief which led me to calm myself down a bit to initiate a phone call to none other than my brother-in law. He was going to be my wild card tonight. 

" Are you at Layla's?" I asked

"She kicked me out bro. You have to talk to her for me man"

I couldn't help but burst out laughing hearing that my brother-in law had his own ordeals going on. Maybe this was what I needed to ease my situation. A heartfelt moment of laughter and joy. Either way, I was sharing a moment of joy with my brother-in law cracking jokes to forget about the meeting and whatever went down earlier that day. I was normal now. I could breathe, I could relax. I could focus on the moment and live in it rather than anxiously looking forward to a future event or looking back in time. Things that were not in my control. The security guard Mr Oti even came up to the office to ask me how my night was going bringing me a cup of tea in the process. I always liked Mr Oti for he was a kind hearted man who was outgoing with everyone just like me. But he was better than me for his personality did not land him in bed with the people I know.

" I need you tonight and I will talk to her for you I promise. Don't forget to bring me what I asked and meet me in the cafe." This was the cafe opposite the street from my office where I would meet potential clients and entertain them. In essence it was a high end restaurant but the cafe was its nickname as a way to shorten conversations and remind the other person the type of hidden business that was to go down there whenever appointments were set. 

"Mr Oti, thank you for bringing me the tea. Say hello to my brother-in  law."

"Why didn't you come back when you said you'll be back yesterday?" Mr Oti asked Ali, my brother-in law as he took the phone from my hand although he could clearly hear him as the call was on loud speaker. 

"He's having trouble with my sister. The man is too busy to remember what he ate for lunch." I said as we all laughed. If life would remain this way I thought to myself sidelining myself from the banter between Mr Oti and Ali.



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