On a Devil’s Night

5 min read

It is with less wonder that our pub scrawl is at risk of being held to an end by some bar in Lilongwe’s Devil Street. And indeed chances of being done so tighten as I finally and strenuously drive in first gear looking for parking space.

At the end of the parking lot, a taxi dims its lights, and out of it comes a heavily bearded driver who soon signals that there is space next to him. I roll the vehicle into the space and say thanks.

I twist my arm to elbow Gwedemula who is asleep on the passenger’s seat.

“Is this the place?” he asks, smiling.

“Hey, wait,” the taxi driver shouts as we bang the doors shut. “I have two beautiful ladies here,” continues the taxi driver as he opens the back door, letting out two heavily hipped women.

I stand there looking at the women from top to bottom, and finally admit to Gwedemula that I see no mistake on them. Then I hear Gwedemula say, “I find no excuse to make. This is one of the reasons men cheat. I will take the one in miniskirt.”

I am left with no choice. “No problem. I like the one in the trousers.”
The bar is exceedingly full. The neon lights are revealing the beauties of tonight, artfully dressed in crimpy and provocative clothing that they look stylishly professional amid the deafening sound of local songs that have also won the night.

I sit on a long bar chair on the counter, and the lady, Anita, sits on a small stool to my right. Gwedemula is sitting to my left, and his woman opts to remain standing.

Gwedemula is a six-footer, and has skillfully managed to perch himself on a chair as high as mine. His old fashioned decent attire coupled with his deteriorating health can tell that he has been rotting in prison.

“I haven’t had sex in a while,” says Gwedemula as if he has been asked. “How many times do you go to the bathroom when you are in here?”

I choose to stay quiet, avoiding the conversation from slipping to the women who are now together drinking on my side.

“Why the bathroom? I have a fiancée, brother. Moreover we have women here,” I say. It is a fast response that turns out of earshot on top of the blaring Undiberekele Mwana hit that has now won the queens on the dance floor. And our women join the dancing.

“I have been there thrice already. I mean the bathroom, yeah. Three good times, abusing my d*ck,” says Gwedemula in a high voice now.

“You have a real material you can work on the whole night, man. That bitch needs you. Can’t you see?”

“I can manage three of these at once,” he goes on. “Perhaps, masturbation is the only greatest adventure I have known.”

While dancing to his own laughter, Gwedemula jumps out of his stool, walks to the dance floor, grabs a woman by hand, and soon they are making their way out.
“I have to try this one,” he shouts as he curls his arm around her waist, placing his hand flat open on her buttock.

I now raise my voice, “What about the other one you are with? And let me keep your cash.”

I get no response.

I continue working on my beer as I still keep my eyes to the dance floor, searching for Anita in the crowd.

Gwedemula is back in five minutes, with the woman he went away with.
“Oh, man, she is very nice. Look at her,” he starts. I rest my elbow on the counter, feeling a little loose in the joint.

“Can’t we talk about something else?” I shout at him.

“Well, then, why can’t you pay for me?” says Gwedemula.

“Paying what?” I jerk in surprise.

Gwedemula looks at the woman, and then at me. “I am not using my cash tonight. You are the one who suggested this place, remember.”

“Oh, man, let’s pray we don’t run out of cash,” I say as I reach for my wallet.
“God will see us through, brother,” he says as he pays the lady.

Gwedemula jumps in his long chair, signals the bartender for one more beer, then turns to me. “You are still strong? Your lady Anita is in the corridor to the rooms waiting for you.”

“Seriously?” Gwedemula is not joking. I jump out of the chair. Anita is indeed standing in the corridor, looking at me with the rarest sexy eyes.

“I have already booked a room. I need you,” Anita says as I draw closer as if to kiss her. Oh, man, it appears I hadn’t spared enough time to study her completely. She is standing well in the silky trousers, her hips complementing the swell of her breasts. I can no longer hold myself. I let her lead the way. I stagger behind, allowing her defense mechanism to do me some stabs of disbelief.

***

It is clearing outside.

I stagger fiercely down the steps. Checking my jacket’s pockets, I find two sealed packs of manyuchi condoms. My wallet isn’t there. I drop to my hands and knees. Didn’t I use any? Or I used hers? Oh, Jesus, help me believe that I didn’t do it.

Where is Gwedemula? Still, he isn’t showing up.

In weariness, whilst struggling with the destructive realisation, I lift my eyes above the bar, and somewhere there my eyes are glued to the words ‘Mugasa’.

I still kneel down there in paralysis. Then someone pushes me to the ground, but his mocking laughter instils in me some strength. Gwedemula is finally here, yelling, “That’s where we have been, buddy, and this isn’t our end. We will still be in there even when Christ is crucified. Let’s go home.”

“But I don’t have any money with me,” I complain as Gwedemula extends his arm to pull me up.

“Don’t worry, brother. I am keeping your wallet. I even paid your bitch,” says Gwedemula, signaling a moving taxi to stop. “Destination Area 25, boss. How much?”
“Hey, you parked at the end there,” shouts the taxi driver.

Aubrey

Aubrey Chinguwo

Aubrey Chinguwo is a Malawian award winning author. He has published a lot of short stories in the country’s local newspapers, magazines and anthologies. His short story ‘Closer to the Sun’ is also featured in the international anthology ‘Imagine Africa 500’ edited by Billy Kahora.

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