On Tuesday afternoon of the attack, Meli was in class at Kenyatta University’s main campus on Thika Road. Her phone was on silent mode.
She said that after her class, she checked her phone and realised she had missed eight calls from her love. She called him back but could not reach him.
Meli said she went online and that is where she read about the terrorist attack on dusitD2. That is where her nightmare started.
Marcus Rodriguez landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 8.40pm on Sunday, looking forward to seeing his Kenyan girlfriend Esylovians Meli.
Mr Rodriguez had first met Ms Meli, a university student and fashion designer, in 2017 when he first came to Kenya from Australia.
A small difference arose between Rodriguez and Meli on where he should stay for the close to two weeks he planned to be in the country.
The 36-year-old Australian insisted on putting up at a hotel in Karen, but his girlfriend was for the idea that he lives in a hotel nearer to the Central Business District. She settled for dusitD2.
It is at this upmarket hotel on 14 Riverside Drive that fate conspired to have the life of Rodriguez brutally snuffed out by terrorists who stormed the establishment on Tuesday afternoon.
“I regret making him change his mind. He could be alive now if I had not put my foot down on having him stay at dusitD2,” Ms Meli told The Standard at the Chiromo mortuary yesterday, fighting back tears.
The third year student at Kenyatta University was among hundreds of anxious friends and relatives who had thronged the mortuary to identify the bodies of their slain loved ones.
“I insisted on the hotel because it was easily accessible for me from town. I checked him in on Sunday night,” Meli said.
Yesterday, Meli recounted that on the fateful afternoon, the love of her life planned to go out swimming. But for the second time, she had a contradictory idea.