We climbed down the ladder and hurriedly got into the hot tub and took bathe in perfumed water. She patted dry and grabbed the phone to call the reception to obtain some medication.
“Join me!” she climbed on the bed gathering her folders and laptop.
I wrapped a fresh towel and sat down on the bed beside the naked woman. Sophie turned the folders and produced some large prints of colour photographs.
“You just witnessed this guy,” she said, “making love to a shemale. His name is Don Mohora. And now we have photographic evidence. The boy is not our concern. Take my laptop and transfer those photos to it and save them to this pen drive.”
“Who is he?” I asked.
“I am getting there,” she spread the photographs on the bed as I got busy transferring the photos from her digital camera. “See this restaurant! This place is called Mirihi. Can you recognise this man standing next to Don Mohora?”
“My dad!” I cried in shock.
“Yes. Colonel Keré Manik is a broker and he sells land. I asked for his help but he cheated. This entire land comprising Mirihi and many shops around belongs to me. At the time we were running the restaurant under a share business with Don Mohora but we did not keep a written agreement or anything signed other than the lease itself. Don Mohora registered this service business on his own with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and for years without my knowledge.” There came a tap on the door. “Come in! It’s open!” she called.
“I have Merbromin,” she came in with an amber bottle of Mercurochrome in her hand.
“Wear it on your bruises, Kawla!” she suggested, “And can you run a hot iron on my orange dress!”
I knew from my working days that this stuff was banned, “Isn’t it outdated?”
“No longer available, never outdated,” said the girl in the grey blazer.
Amelia treated my face with the medication and picked Sophie’s dress to go.
“Please don’t stain my dress!” cried Sophie Nadz in horror.
Back to our study on the photographs. “This is another lot called Malibu. I was awarded this land by the government from the reclaimed area in swamp land.”
Can you believe it! I was sitting next to a deputy minister of the fucking government lying naked in bed. I glanced at those rising mounds of her buttocks and thin legs beyond.
“What are you looking at?”
“Nothing, ma’am! Carry on!”
“I demanded on the colonel to exchange this lot with another lot in Azul. He did it with Don Mohora and I was sceptical at the beginning but alright it seemed in the end because it went smooth. All paperwork done and signed under court supervision. So, he took Malibu and I took his Makar in the heart of Azul in Fresco. But when I had to register this new lot of Makar, I discovered something from an oversight and I wanted to call it back.”
“Wait a minute!” I uttered, “Why are you getting into this mess?”
“Yes, it sounds like a mess to me, miss!”
“I’ll show you!” she picked a green card, “There is only one way to know whether your land is state owned or privately owned. It is here on the cover. See this slot! It says ‘Estado’ meaning ‘state owned’. My place of Malibu given to me by the government was solely given, meaning it was given as my own private property. See! It is on the cover of the registration card. It reads ‘Privada’ meaning private property, ‘privately owned’.
“Do you understand the difference?”
“I think I do,” I said, “If you for instance want to own an estado you have to pay in millions.”
“Precisely!” she pulled up to a sitting position, “I did not know it. I didn’t see that. But Colonel Manik knew. And he collected one million from Don Mohora to get him this deal and took it as his own commission.
“Now, the problem is, I want to call it back. Don Mohora says he is ready to return it but he must get that one million from the colonel. And the colonel is not going to budge. He won’t let it go. So, I’m stuck here. Get it?”
“Yes ma’am,” I said.
“These photos are for Mirihi project. We entered Mirihi business when I was married to Gabi. Mohora was his partner and I thought everything was running smooth until I found out after my divorce that Don Mohora owns the business. No Gabi nor me has a share. I wanted it back and he is not budging. Anyway, I do have a lease contract signed for twenty-five years, twelve years in the balance. It’s too long for me so I’m going to use these photographs to blackmail him and get it done. Or else it will terminate automatically after twelve years.”
“Fine,” I shrugged, “But how are you going to get the colonel budge?”
“You are going to marry me.”
I jumped out of bed, “Mi falda! I am not going to marry you!”
“Yes, you are,” she said, “And the colonel will be left with no option but to budge. Give up his million. He would not do it for me. But he can’t stop it from you.”
“Fuck it!” I uttered and it was rude, “You want to blackmail me!”
“It’s not blackmailing,” she swung her legs, “You heard that, the way to heaven is between a woman’s legs!”
“No, I did not. I heard it’s beneath your mother’s feet. Holy shit!” I hopped around crying filth.
“Oh yeah!” she exclaimed. A small heart-shaped face and full lips framed in boyish-cut hair, no expression on her face whatsoever, “There’s no Wheel of Fortune for us. We believe in wealth, goodness, blessings and beyond.” She rested her palms on the mattress behind and leaned back slightly, “For us it’s the bonus hole that matters. See this!” She spread her legs. She was awfully naughty.
She did not bring them together, “Take a look at it again!”
“Oh ma-damn!” I looked straight into her eyes.
“Kawla! Listen to me!” she said, “You do not have to marry me. You just sit with me and tell them that we are getting married until the colonel is convinced. Is that too much to ask?”
“And your mother knows.”
“My mother!” I was shocked.
“Yes,” she narrowed her thin legs, “because I do not want to promise you anything I can’t give. Honestly, I can’t. I have responsibilities too. I mean my child. Your mother knows all this is just a deception and, in the end, we go separate ways.”
“Separate ways! I do not get any benefit?”
“Not in that manner, no.”
“Then what the hell…” There came a tap on the door and I opened for Amelia who entered with Sophie’s dress ironed.
Sophie Nadz continued to say, “You do not get a bonus but you can get to the hole. Fair enough!”
“I need a fag.”
“Is everything arranged?” she asked Amelia.
“Yes ma’am. It’s all arranged,” replied Amelia.
When Amelia was gone, I asked, “Why do I have to do this?”
“For your mother,” she stated.
“For my mother!” I uttered smoking the cigarette inside the bedroom with no respect for her at all.
“I am going to give her a place in Azul. And I can afford it. It’s already planned. Don’t you think?”
“Is this a deal?”
“Then why should she get a place in Azul?”
“Because I’m doing her a favour.”
“If you are doing her favour, you just do it.”
She turned towards the bathroom, “She will get it even if you don’t do anything for me.”
I dropped the butt into the ashtray. She got me right there. I believe her.
It is not the other side of midnight, the coquette, but in real life this is the family I knew. I do believe everything she said. And she will do what she said she will do. It will help mom. Seeking residence in Azul is not a big deal or starving capital for a lady like Sophie Nadz.
“I will do anything for you,” I called stubbing the cigarette in the ashtray and poured a drink.
“Then get dressed. We go out for dinner.”
“Where are we going? It is raining outside.”
“Did you get the photos in the pen drive?”
“Don’t mind the rain.”