It was bad! So bad I found it hard to
swallow. Spirits wasn’t my brand; hated
the d–n thing like a february curse but
I managed to smile back at him.
“Good!” I proclaimed! “Real good.”
“I knew you would love it.” He teased.
I managed to take another gulp. I
wanted him to feel I was his kind, a jolly
good fellow. I needed to ask him a favor.
“Where can I see Eve?” I asked.
The expression on his face changed like
he was shocked.
“You know her?” He asked.
“Yes, she’s been cleaning my room for
some days now.” I said. When the
expression didn’t change, I had to make
him relax a bit.
“She’s very diligent in her work and I like
her person. Want to say goodbye and
tell her thank you before leaving
tomorrow.” I added.
He relaxed his looks and smiled at me.
Maybe he had thought I wanted to make
an official complaints or something.
“She works the east blocks and I’m sure
she’s on duty because I’ve seen her
earlier.” He said.
“East blocks?” I asked.
“Yes, the rooms that way.” He said,
pointing towards a part of the hotel.
“If she’s on duty, she will be at the staff
common room down there.” He said.
“I can reach her on the intercom if you
want.” He volunteered.
“No need for that, I will find my way to
her.” I replied.
That was a lot of useful information. I
thanked him, payed for the drink, tipped
him some money and walked out.
“Your drink!” He called at me as I was
making a move towards the east-side.
“I hate spirits!” I said and watched the
look on his face change to its default
I moved towards the east wing of the
hotel. I kept walking around like a lost
customer until I saw a map on the wall,
indicating I was heading to a restricted
area for hotel staff only. The end of the
passage showed another section of the
hotel marked out of bounds. The info on
the wall indicated it was the Laundry
room, kitchen and common room.
I could hear some noise and clattering of
plates from the kitchen; and more
laughters coming from another part of
the condoned area. I sat on the chair
inside the corridor and waited.
I didn’t wait long until someone came
out of the restricted area. She was
surprised as she stopped abruptly in
front of me.
“Sir, this is a restricted area.” She said.
“Sorry, but I want to see Eve.” I said,
wondering if I would have to tell another
lie before I will see her.
“Eve?” She asked.
“Is anything the problem?” She quizzed
me once more.
Well, she was a girl and would
understand a guy would do insane
things for a girl he’s lusting after so I
played the love-struck card.
“I know this is against hotel rules but I
need to see her and tell her some things
that is burning inside me.” I said.
She looked at me like she was beginning
“Are you lodged here sir?” She asked.
“Yes, saw her once at the hotel entrance
and can’t take my mind off her since
“Please just tell her I’m waiting for her
here.” I said.
She stared at me for some few seconds.
“Stay here.” She finally said as she
turned back towards the restricted area.
Moments later, one of the attendants
walked past me. I knew she was staring
at me but maintained an innocent face.
She got to the end of the corridor, turned
and went back to the restricted area.
Noah had to send a raven and a dove
after the flood to make sure the coast
was clear before exiting the ark. The
raven had come, I was expecting the
Eve came herself. I stood as she walked
across to where I was seated. She was
wearing her duty rope, still as beautiful
and charming as ever.
“Its you again!” She proclaimed as she
got close enough.
“You will end up getting me sacked!” She
said with a firm voice.
“I’m sorry, but I needed to see you.” I
“What for?” She queried.
Then the ‘dove’ came out; another
attendant walking towards us, staring at
us as she walked past. I waited until she
got to the end of the corridor, turned and
walked past us again into the restricted
“Is there someplace else we can stay and
talk apart from this place?” I asked.
She looked at me like she was getting
soft: maybe she believed the tale the
other attendant told her, maybe she
believed I was there because I was really
tripping for her.
Or was I?
I didn’t have the luxury of dueling on
both at the same time but if I needed
that favor from her, I need to make her
believe I was seriously into her.
“Just give me some minutes, is that too
much to ask for?” I continued.
She looked at her wrist watch and back
to me. It was obvious she was uneasy
where we both were.
“I will be free from nights duty in the
next 10mins, wait for me at the lawn-
tennis court” She said.
“Were is that?” I asked.
She smiled at me.
“If you want to see me like you said, you
will find the place.” She said and walked
Just then, the next attendant walked
towards us. This isn’t a dove or raven
again; I’m sure the parrots have started
looking for gossip to repeat.
I took my leave before the ‘parrot’ could
I went to the atm machine for the
withdrawals. The machine was paying
1000 naira bills so I decided to make the
full daily withdrawal of 120k on each
account. Two bundles and half was a lot
more comfortable in my pocket, although
the bulge would be obvious to someone
who would look closely enough. I deleted
the messages and left the machine.
I asked one of the attendants where the
court was and was directed to the
courts. It was deserted and only a few
people sat at a corner, smoking and
drinking. I sat and waited patiently.
When she came, she had removed her
work cloth and wore her casual wears.
“You found the place?” She teased as
she came to where I was seated.
“You need to see the stress I went to
before finally discovering this place.” I
joked and she laughed.
“You’ve given my colleagues something
to talk about for the rest of the year.”
I knew that was why the raven, dove and
parrot kept hovering over me. They
wanted to see this ‘love-struck’ guy
“How did you find me?” She asked.
“I asked around. I really needed to see
you.” I answered. She was staring at me.
I knew she had lots of questions in her
mind: especially the fact I was fvcking
an elder lady inside the hotel room.
“When I am done with this fake life I am
in, I need something real…as real as
you.” I said to her.
“And when will you be done with the fake
life?” She asked.
“Tomorrow, I get to enjoy the last of the
fake life. After that, the fake life will be
gone and I will be as fresh as new.”
She stared at me like it was hard to
“I want you Eve.” I said to her and
caught her blush.
“Why are you living the fake life if you
know you wanted something real?” She
asked, still eager to discuss the lady.
“They say when the desirable is not
available, the available seem desirable.
But right now, the available has led me
to the desirable and I’m certain I don’t
need the fake again.”
“I want you Eve!” I said again. She
looked away, like she was meditating on
the entire scenario.
I moved closer to her and held her
“Don’t let me continue with the fake life.”
I said with a pleading tone in my voice.
Even I was impressed by my show! Been
long I ‘toasted’ a girl and I was
beginning to feel I was out-of-game until
this night. It was obviously working.
“I don’t know.” She said.
“I know its quite a lot to take in at the
moment but I’ve thought about it myself
and I’m convinced it is you I want.”
“How are you so sure?” She asked.
O’boy! This was going to take longer
than I had anticipated. Seems I was
really out-of-the game like I had
“Because I won’t be doing this if I wasn’t
sure! I wouldn’t be risking a fake life for
a new one if I wasn’t sure.” I said.
“Its you Eve, its you!” I tried to assure
“You need to purge yourself of the old
fake life first before the new life you
seek. After that, we can see how it
goes.” She said.
“Does it mean you’re willing to give it a
trial?” I asked with a fake smile on my
She smiled back at me. “I said we will
see how it goes.” She replied still
I reached over and kissed her lightly on
the lips. “I will be cleansed of the fake
life, and I will come for you.” I said.
“That’s better.” She concurred.
I stood and made to leave.
“I wish I can spend the night with you
here, but my old fake life needs to be
sorted out once and for all.” I said.
She looked up at me like she was sad I
was leaving. After a split second, I sat
“There’s something that tied me to the
fake life and I need you to help me break
it.” I said.
“What is that?” She asked with eyes lite
up, like she was willing to help out free
me from the old life.
“Do you trust me?” I asked.
“I believe you’re honest.” She said.
“I already took this decision the morning
you came to clean the room.” I said to
“Remember the morning I asked you to
leave one of the toiletry carton for me?” I
“Yes, and I thought you were crazy.” She
answered with a smile on her face.
“That was when I decided I was going to
end the fake life. I have placed every
bloody thing that makes me want to
continue the old life inside that carton.”
“Really? What did you do with the
carton?” She asked.
“No, not yet. Its in the bathroom, and I
want to get rid of it.” I said.
“That’s simple, throw them into the trash
can.” She said, smiling like she just
solved the world’s biggest crime.
“Not that simple.” I said.
“Why?” She asked.
“Do you know why people burn stuffs on
31st night?” I asked her.
“Yes, to chase the old year away and
usher the new year.” She answered.
“Yes, you are right. It is believed that
when you burn stuffs, you burn away
stuffs you don’t need in the new year.
Since most of those stuffs aren’t
physical, you end up burning anything
physical and hope the flames still
consume the failures and
disappointments of the previous year.” I
She paused and thought about it, like I
was beginning to make sense.
“So you want to burn away the stuffs?”
“Yes. Tomorrow is 30th, that’s the last of
my fake life. By 31st mid-night, I will be
burning that carton with everything
inside it and I want you to be there with
me when I burn it.” I told her.
“Wow! That’s great, I’m not going to be
on duty by 31st night.” She announced
to me with excitement in her voice.
“Great! So we will burn my old and fake
life on 31st night, and usher in a brand
new life together with you for the new
year!” I proclaimed and she laughed out
“What exactly is inside the carton you
are burning?” She asked after the
excitement had died down.
“Stuffs I’m not proud of; some gifts I got
courtesy of my old life; some intimate
stuffs I’m not really… proud…proud of.” I
said, breaking my voice like I was sober.
She nodded her head like she
understood; or she didn’t want to probe
further maybe not to hurt me.
“I need you to help me evacuate it from
the bathroom of the hotel room.” I said
to her. She stared at me confused so I
had to persuade her.
It was bad! So bad I found it hard to