“So, actually this didn’t bother me. What bothered me was that she acted like we are friends!” She turns from the dresser mirror and looks at you. “Can you believe that?” You shake your head. You can’t believe it. It should be on Ripley’s show.
“So, anyway. Today we had this ka-office thing where we have lunch out of office every two weeks. The company pays half. It’s meant to bring us all together, you know, gel and whatnot because on any other day, most of us just eat from our desks. Me, I don’t see the need to eat with colleagues to be honest.” She lifts her slender shoulders in a shrug.
She’s just showered and has a towel tied right to the under of her armpits. Her back glistens with little beads of water. “Anyway, so we go to this new place just outside our office that sells seafood but then when we get there two guys say that they don’t eat seafood. Meanwhile, an email had been sent two days earlier asking if everybody was fine with seafood. Nobody said a word. Not one person. Now all of a sudden they realized that they swell when they eat seafood, so we had to leave and find another place. You know that restaurant that is past that building that burnt?” She looks at you through the mirror.
“Si you know that building where Mugo used to work?”
“Me I don’t know the names of roads. Anyway, leave that road and take the opposite road and use that back route that sometimes matatus take and it will lead you out to the mall.” She adjusts her towel and you catch a quick glimpse of her breasts as she does that. “Anyway, there is a new restaurant in that building. The food isn’t all that. She sat next to me and this chick was just acting like we are best of friends! I mean! She even asked to taste my steak!”
She makes a face, the kind of face one makes when they have had too much vodka and they want to throw up in a bush.
“By the way, I wanted to just push the whole plate at her and tell her, you can have it. It’s like when a fly dies in your soup. I was full of her up to here.” She touches her forehead with the edge of her palm. There is a brief lull as she opens a drawer to the dresser and rummages through it. You take this opportunity to pick your book to read but as soon as you open a page she says. “That environment is too toxic for me. I don’t see myself working there by June. I just can’t with those people. Do you think I’m overreacting?”
You shake your head. “Not at all.”
“I can’t deal by the way. If it’s not her it’s our COO, he’s so exhausting. I told you that he increased our targets.”
“I told you!” She exclaims as she applies some ointment from a small pink tube written Vitamin E. It’s supposed to be anti-wrinkles but it’s also anti-ageing, anti-carjacking, anti-constipation, the only thing it can’t protect her from is office politics. “By the way, I forgot to tell you the venue of Christine’s wedding has been moved to Naivasha -”
“You told me.”
“I did?!” She looks at you with surprise.
“Yeah, jana. You called me, remember?”
“Me I’m not going to Naivasha by the way.” She says. “Sijui the accommodation only is going to be like 20K, we have already forked out 30K in the committee and then there is the dress to think about…kwanza this reminds me, I called my fundi and she never called me back. Aki fundis will be the end of me. This guy keeps saying the dress will be ready in a few days times and it’s been…when did I take the fabric to him, do you remember?”
“For the…are you even listening to me, surely?” She walks to the wardrobe and fetches her nightdress. A flimsy netty number that can’t stop a swarm of bees from passing through. “I hate it when I speak to you and you are just reading. Am I boring you with my stories?”
“No. Come on.”
You – propped against the head of the bed, try as interested as you can.
“Did you ask your guy if he can get my friend a car?” She unties the towel and stands there naked as she slips into the scandalous nightdress. You didn’t ask your guy but you can’t say you didn’t ask your guy because that will open a Pandora’s box. So you say you did and he will get back to you tomorrow with some pictures of possible cars.
“She really needs a car of her own,” she says, closing drawers, closing closet doors, locking the bedroom door with a key, hanging the towel on the hook behind the door and walking back to the mirror to inspect her teeth in the mirror. “ I need to see the dentist.” Long pause. “Anyway, that story of sharing a car with her husband isn’t working. At all! She just can’t deal. Also, her husband is causing because he’s not being consulted on what car she wants to buy. Why are guys like that?”
She gets under the covers and places her leg over your thighs and stares at you, obviously waiting for you to answer why guys are like that.
“Guys have issues.” You mumble unconvincingly. Her legs are warm, like she had been walking in the sun.
“My mom called me today.” She says, lowering the timbre of her voice. “Apparently she discovered that my dad sold a shamba without telling her. There was this shamba that they bought sijui when we were in primo – kitamboo – and she thought it was still there. Kumbe he sold it in 2015! She is pissed off! So pissed! Even I would be pissed off. Where is my phone, by the way?” She looks around the room. “I think I left it in the sitting room, si you go get it for me?”
So you go and fetch the phone like a good dog.
“I will set the alarm for 5:30am, I want to wake up early and finish that proposal I was telling you jana.” She sets the alarm and puts away her phone. “What do you think she should do?”
“Who should do what?”
“Oh, I don’- “
“Because me I don’t want to ingilia their issues.” She says switching off the lights. “ Because then I will be forced to take sides and I don’t want to take sides. The problem is my dad is just recovering from that surgery so it’s also not a good time for my mom to start that story, and you know how my mom can talk someone’s ear off, she will bang on about that story for the next five years, you wait and see.”
You grin at the pot in darkness. Or maybe she’s the kettle and her mom is the pot.
“But it’s not fresh, what he did. Not fresh at all.” She turns away from you, “please scratch my back?”
She doesn’t say where, so you use your acute superpower of sixth sense to guess which part is itching and scratch the area below the neck. “Not there…” she mumbles. “Further down…no, a little to the left….not your left, my left….yes there. Sawa. Thanks.”
“I just remembered that I have a nail appointment tomorrow. I think I will just hepa the office.” She switches on the lights and picks your book . “You haven’t finished reading this book kwani? I need to buy a Kindle for my niece. The other weekend when I had gone to drop off my sister at home she had just come back from the salon, she had done braids, she has that beautiful long hair that we don’t have. You know that beautiful long kinky hair? Yeah, so adorable. I think she takes her hair from Chris’s side. Imagine how unfair God is, giving a man great hair and eyebrows and my sister such bad nails. Have you noticed my sister’s nails?”
“No.” (A lie).
“Are you sleepy?”
“No.” (Another lie)
“Is your car still making that noise?” She asks not because she wants to hear the answer, you suspect, but to try and not let you fall asleep.
“No.” You mumble. She switches off the lights.
She’s now absentmindedly playing with the hair on your chest, holding one and pulling them, trying to unpluck them as if testing if they are indeed embedded in your body or they are fake. That shit is painful. If this is foreplay it isn’t working. At all.
“Tomorrow I will have to go see my dad. You want to come?”
“I have this mee-”
“I will get him pears. I saw pears the other day at the grocery, I think they are back in season. He loves pears. In fact, if it was up to him he would only eat pears, that’s why he’s so skinny. Do you know he weighed himself before the surgery and he was a mere 65kgs, the way he’s tall, he now looks like a pine tree. How much do you weigh now?”
“I’m even scared to stand on a weighing scale. Judy told me ati we start that intermittent fasting this last week but aii, I shuku those things ati sijui juice fast, intermittent fasting, it’s all a fad.” You don’t know who the hell Judy is but it doesn’t matter, she could be called Nancy and the story wouldn’t change. “You know my colleague did that and she lost five kilograms after three weeks only to discover that it was water weight.” She giggles. “Are you sleepy?”
“No.” You mumble, your throat full of sleep. You are grateful that it’s dark in the room so you are listening with eyes closed, but are only looking out for questions, which might come from the blue.
“Will you wake me up tomorrow?”
“You already set the alarm.”
“Oh, but you can still wake me up.” She says.
“How?” You rub her thigh seductively. She ignores you.
“I plan to do pap-smear tomorrow by the way. I think I’m due. I was hoping my period would have come and gone by now so that I do it after, but they seem to be waiting to see who will blink first. They have become so erratic lately, I think also I need Maria to check out the coil, sometimes I feel it digging into me.”
You don’t know why you thought her gynae was Lucia. But Maria and Lucia are not too removed.
“Time flies so fast, it’s only the other day that I put this coil, can you imagine it’s been four years already. I remember putting it when I started my last job at that Indian place. By the way, I ran into the Indian boss of mine juzi, I told you? At Serena, I was putting my bag and phone through the security thingi when I heard someone call me. He was with his wife who had on a long beautiful sari and a dot on her forehead. They looked so cute together. He told me that the door was open for me to go back. I would have to eat all my earrings first to go work for that man again. If I remember how stressed I was working there! Waah! Do you recall that time we -…are you sleeping….Tim?…”
“You are sleeping?”
“Yeah?” Your eyes fly open.
“You are sleeping and I’m talking to you!”
“I’m not sleeping.”
“What did I say?”
“You are sleeping.”
“OK, a little.”
This could be how it feels like to have Safaricom’s Postpaid; 400mins of talk-time and 5GB data for 1000 bob. That’s like a marriage.
Visit https://www.safaricom.co.ke/PostPay/ for more information on the NEW post-pay packages and select your preferred plan.