Bottomline: ‘Successful’ women in this city (Nairobi) driving away in German machines often part legs for financial favors from tenders to job promotions, rising up the corporate ladder they will tell you how hard they worked their way up not how hard their male bosses worked on them.
It’s 3 am who the hell was calling me multiple times at this hour when am having my fifth dream on how to escape from the shackles of poverty and bondage of hopelessness. Ignoring the calls wasn’t helping so I wake up to switch off my phone so that I could continue to chase my dreams peaceful.
21 missed calls accompanied by 3 messages, I only heard like the last four calls it seems I was busy chasing my dreams, the 17 calls couldn’t interfere with the dreams of my life. I abandon the thought of switching it off so I go to the call log to ‘sort’ out the nuisance of a person who doesn’t respect my banking hours rule when it comes to phone calls; only call me between 9 am and 4 pm unless you are within my close circle of friends who are less than 10, family or guys whom we roast meat together on Fridays…
Still sleepy I struggle with the pattern, in no time I had gotten my pattern wrong 5 times so I had to wait for 10 minutes before I could be allowed to try ‘patterning’ it out again, you all know how these upgraded Techno phone baptized Infinix operate at times. So I had to wake up stumble my way to the washroom to take a piss. What is it with short calls and sleep loss in the wee hours of the morning.
Ten minutes can be a long time, I had to wash my face in a bid to stay awake. Who was calling at this hour? Might it be Johnte? No it can’t be him we agreed I will pay up what I owed him in a week’s time or it may be my younger brother, Jeff? The last time I received numerous calls at such a time he had been arrested by boys in blue (Kenya Police) for being ‘drunk and disorderly’ loitering around a street famed for its overflowing flesh peddlers.
I had to send them Ksh 2,000 for him to be released yet he doesn’t take alcohol except when partaking the holy communion. The boys in blue ripped me off but it was fine as long as they didn’t take his finger prints spoiling his chances of landing the certificate of good conduct every employer asks for nowadays.
As thoughts on who had been continuously calling ran through my mind Infinix finally allowed me to draw the pattern again, this time I got it right. It was Faith, why was she calling me at this time anyway so I saw new message notifications thus I went straight to my inbox only to find the ‘call back its urgent’ message X3 from the same person.
Faith was my coursemate back in campus,we were very good friends from first year week one to date. We were in the same discussion group,sat together during exams, signed nominal rolls and covered each other academically (though I did most of the covering). We even went to the same financial institution for attachment, actually she is the one who had that crucial connection which secured me that slot. She put in a good word for me thus I got the opportunity to be interned at one of the best banks around thanks to her ‘uncle’ who was occupying the upper echelons in the organization. This was reward enough for our friendship……
After clearing campus I was called back,close to three months being in between jobs struggling not to freeze in the unemployment cold. Back to the bank where were interns or is it attaches for some 12 month contract. This time her hand wasn’t there, my outstanding performance during the internship period prompted the manager corporate services to recall me to fill in for a staff member who had been poached by a rival bank as they sought a replacement.
Faith was ‘lucky’, she had been recalled immediately, she hadn’t even spent a week outside here being unemployed thanks to her ‘uncle’ so I found her there already on a three year contract. She was surprised but happy with our reunion though it only lasted for a year before I received ‘marching orders’ when my contract wasn’t renewed yet the replacement they were sourcing all this while never arrived.
For a year I was doing a permanent staff’s job on a contractual pay only to be shown the door without any explanation, life can be fairly unfair at times. Faith on the other hand was promoted to the position on a permanent and pensionable basis thanks to her ‘uncle’, I was happy for her at least she had made a huge step professionally though I felt shortchanged I had a second class honors upper division yet with her second class honors lower division she was considered I was disposed……. This is what happens when you know people at higher places.
Yours truly called back it was about 3:30 am, she picked up immediately before I could even clear my throat to start the conversation, a clear indication she was waiting for the call plus she knew yours truly here never disappoints his friends so I came through for her.
I didn’t know how to begin the conversation so I began with the missed calls…
“I have seen your missed calls, I had been asleep whats the emergency that couldn’t wait for tomorrow?” I asked
“How free are you tomorrow?” She asked
“I may be free, but not available.” I replied to make myself feel more important
“Okay, how available are you tomorrow we need to talk?” She replied
“Can’t we talk right now that am awake?” I asked
“It ain’t something that we can talk over the phone, we need to have a sit down.” She replied.
” A sit down, is it about a mortgage, loan or an investment plan from the bank?” I asked
“No, it’s about something else;something personal I just need your audience?” She replied.
“At what time?” I asked
” Over lunch at Java House Westlands Square be there by 1 pm.” She replied
“Okay I will.” I replied as I hanged up…
Having been in between jobs for the last three years, I was definitely free but availability is relative depending on who is asking. What could she want to talk about, we have been talking regularly anyway. We all know how this “we need to talk” statement sends shivers down men’s spines as it comes along with pregnancy scares, side chic exposes or a pending divorce for those in relationships, we weren’t in a relationship so I wasn’t tensed, was I. She had called me 21 times over something that can’t be talked over the phone between 2 am and 3 am, Kenyan women are surely the 9th Wonder of the World.
I went back to sleep only to be woken up at 8 am with another call as she inquired if our meeting was still on, definitely it was on I assured her. Faith belongs to this cohort of women sent from heaven by Angel Gabriel Himself who pay bills even when you are the one who invited her out so there was no way I was bolting from free lunch at Java, who refuses roast pork ‘carnitas’ fajitas platter accompanied with strawberry smoothie.
Lunch time down here is between 1 pm- 2 pm so in my attempt to minimize fare by moving around the city during the off peak hours. This enabled me to be there by noon. I always keep time more so when food is involved. To my surprise she was already there, you know women in this country are good in keeping everything from secrets, lineup of boyfriends in their inboxes to an assortment of makeups in their handbags but not time. She sat on a table adjacent to the entrance saving me the hustle of calling her asking where she was.
“Good afternoon, sorry for keeping you,” I began the conversation as I placed my backpack on the seat. Walking with a backpack around town earns you some sort of respect by the way even when it doesn’t have anything.
“Nope have just arrived.” She replied as she gave me a long hug.
When you get a long hug from a woman whom you don’t share a common bloodline (Mother, grandmother, aunt, sisters, cousins, nieces) just know she is distressed.
Hugs are very scarce outside here something that makes me miss campus. From the level of her chocolate shake, she had been there for sometime maybe she even had her breakfast there,who knows……
“What is this urgent thing you wanted to talk to me about that couldn’t allow me to follow my dreams?” I asked
“Imagine they showed me the door after everything.” She replied
“I thought you were confirmed as a permanent and pensionable staff a year into your three year contract.” I exclaimed remembering how she flooded our table at Club Rumorz that week she was confirmed to celebrate her promotion. I had to run away that day by excusing myself that I was ‘going to the washroom’ for if I stayed any longer alcohol would have surely killed me that day.
” What happened ?” I asked
“Imagine last month I was transferred from HQ to our Jogoo Road branch.” She replied
” Which is which the transfer or being showed the door?” I asked
Hardly had I finished the statement than the waiter came by to pick my order which is usually roast pork ‘carnitas’ fajitas platter accompanied with strawberry smoothie. This is my preferred food combination in Java so that I get value for money.
“Imagine after everything he dropped me, catalyzed my transfer before sacking me indirectly?” She threw tantrums at me,hitting the table continuously as her voice was rising making the whole restaurant turn their attention to our table. Some even had their phones ready for filming the impending scuffle with the expectation that the two lovebirds were about to provide a scene that would be enough fodder for Kilimani Mums and Dads and gossip blogs all over, hell surely hath no fury like a scorned woman.
What is it with ladies starting sentences with ‘imagine’ more so when they are passing bad news?
“Relax, Faith everyone is looking at us now could you please tone down if this conversation has to continue.” I humbly requested in soprano to avoid any dramatic scenes. She calmed down or so I presumed
“Could your uncle help you out of the situation?” I asked
“Which uncle?” She replied
“Uncle Sam, the one who got us the internship and secured you the permanent slot.” I replied seemingly surprised how she had quickly forgotten her uncle.
“He was no uncle of mine.” She replied with a seemingly disappointed face as she looked down.
“Who was he then.” I asked surprised how the ‘uncle’ had been beneficial to both of us but she benefited most.
“He was some guy I was introduced to by another friend of mine who knew him through another friend of her’s.” She replied
Ladies are the only magicians able to change your title from babe, handsome,knight in shining armor to some fool I met through some fool whom we shared a mutual friend. See how uncle Sam quickly turns to some guy. I never bothered asking what was in for uncle Sam now that I knew what was in for her. For you to get anything meaningful in this country you need connections, even a successful relationship.
‘Successful’ women in this city (Nairobi) driving away in German machines often part legs for financial favors from tenders to job promotions, rising up the corporate ladder they will tell you how hard they worked their way up not how hard their male bosses worked on them.
“So why did he sack you indirectly when he could have just sacked you by raising his pen?” I asked
“You know he promised to divorce his wife and marry me, he was supposed to marry me last year but he didn’t I was willing to be married as a second wife but he kept taking me in circles until I called his wife a month ago to tell him about our affair.” She explained
“So you really believed he was going to marry you as a second wife after he refused to divorce his first wife?” I asked
“Yes he told me he wasn’t happy with his marriage.” She replied
“Any married man who wants to sleep with you will always vend you lies of being in an unhappy marriage, you even decided to settle for position two?” I satirically asked
“You know you wouldn’t understand because you are not a lady; I feel used,misused and abused.”She replied
In my mind I asked myself if I wouldn’t understand why did she request my audience urgently she could have just called her mother,sister and battalion of aunties for the meeting, women though.
“Now that you don’t have a job how will you survive?” I asked
“I want to blackmail him for a colossal amount of money which he shall pay or I start sending his wife explicit texts,videos and photos of our time together including vacations.” She said innocently
“Do you have them?” I asked
“What?” She replied
“The explicit unholy matrimony exhibits?” I asked
“Yes, some are on my phone others are backed up on my laptop and cloud though I want you to have some as a backup plan.” She confidently replied
“So am to play the wing-man in your blackmail venture?” I asked
“Yes what are friends for I need someone I can trust to cover my back, and that someone is you?” She replied
“There must be another way to sort out this misunderstanding as grown ups?” I offer some glimmer of reason
“No there isn’t,imagine after talking to his wife about the affair things started going south for me a day after being sacked my car was seized by the bank before I was served with an eviction notice by my landlord in a house he rented for me. It seems the wife is now pulling all the strings, both real and imaginary so I must blackmail him for compensation.” She replied seemingly angered that I wasn’t on board with the idea
“Have you been following news of late?” I asked
“News ain’t my thing you know as long as I have TV series to watch.” she arrogantly replied
“It seems you aren’t aware how young women your age have been sent to their creator under mysterious circumstances. You have forgotten what happened in Migori?” I asked
“What happened in Migori?” She innocently asks.
Before I could answer the question my roast pork ‘carnitas’ fajitas platter accompanied with strawberry smoothie arrived so I began eating immediately observing table manners, I don’t talk while eating. As I was eating I pondered what answer should I give her concerning Migori.
Many things have been happening in Migori anyway should I just tell her about Jakadala farce or Macalder mines collapsing now that she seems to be in the dark about how the Sharon-Obado affair ended in Kodera Forest with Sharon and ‘baby’ Joseph dead. Here was a similar movie with different characters, I wasn’t going to be part of this blackmail should Uncle Sam decide to tie loose ends as he seeks to maintain his reputation. Prominent people know the fifth law in 48 Laws of Power thus they will guard it with their life even if it means taking a life. Mine wasn’t to be taken her’s maybe.
As I finished I answered her indirectly ” Do you know what happened to Sharon?”
“Sharon, which Sharon?” she innocently asked
“The one who had an affair with the governor?” I asked
“No, I don’t?” She replied
“She was murdered when pregnant with the Governor’s child.” I explained
“How does that concern me am not Sharon am Faith.” She answered
Faith surely had faith in herself but I was not boarding as her accomplice so I offered to be a mediator between her and ‘uncle’ Sam since I knew him pretty well during my time at the headquarters (HQ) but she was also not boarding so it was a stalemate. Dusk was setting in with the nimbostratus clouds already bringing precipitation that had already lasted for some hours now giving matatu operators reason enough to double fares.
I had to return home before fares became unreasonable thanks to the profitable chaos in the transport system. We exchange pleasantries as she paid the bills before we left promising to deliberate further before she takes the next step.
At 8:30 pm I called her to inform her of my arrival; she wasn’t picking, my calls went directly to her voicemail. As my laptop connected to home fiber I received a 32 GB file sent by WeTransfer,she had emailed me. A decision had already been made, I was her accomplice, her last line of defense against uncle Sam. I quickly downloaded the files going through quickly backing them in my hard disk before emailing my lawyer cousin some sensitive files as I gave him a heads up just in case uncle Sam sends people after me as a family they will know who is responsible when I reportedly go missing…..