In the last blog post, I promised to continue Mitchel’s story and I know…. I didn’t keep my word, you may think that I always have excuses but for some part of last week, my site was down. So, I called in the expert John AKA The API AKA Mundu Muchai AKA Office Boyfriend and he sorted me out after giving me a long lecture filled with IT jargons. You’d think we sat in the same IT class. Thank you John but please normalize kununua ting ting zako, I can’t be giving you mine every time.
Also, Paula called me crazy after writing her a heartfelt letter. Ni sawa tu inauma but itabidi nizoee. Msichana ni kuvumilia
Continued from Part 1
On Monday morning wrapped in a towel from the shower, Mitchel stood in front of her closet wondering what to wear. She did not want to look too sexy for her meeting. She just wanted to make a subtle impression and what better way to do so than to rock her official grey dress. She always called it her good luck charm as things went her way most of the time she wore it. She then accessorized it with a blue belt that matched her blue satchel bag and completed the look with black kitten heels and a subtle touch of makeup.
Upon getting to the office, she was surprised to find Daniel missing. She calmly continued to work through the morning despite her strong but hidden urge to ask her colleagues about Daniel’s whereabouts. At around 10 am, she got up to get her midmorning tea and the tea lady who they called Mamito, couldn’t help but comment on her outfit.
“Eish ssssi leo umeng’ara! Tunaenda date wapi?” Mamito jokingly asked.
“Aaaai! Mamito! Kwani siwezi dunga tu nitese hata siku moja?” Mitchel replied hoping that Mamito wouldn’t notice her lie.
“Uko smart sana leo. You are even glowing!” Mamito continued after handing her a clean tea mug.
“Mimi huglow daily but thanks.” Mitchel responded laughing
They continued to engage in their usual banter. Mamito who always loved to talk about her children was one of Mitchel’s favorite colleagues. Her choice of words when telling stories always made Mitchel laugh so hard. “You should pursue stand-up comedy Mamito!” Mitchel would always say amid laughter. “No no iyo mambo ya TV sitaki. Napenda kazi yangu sana.” Mamito would respond. True to it, Mamito loved her job, it fed her and her family, it gave her a sense of worth after she left her abusive husband. It validated her choice to walk away from the torture from a man she once loved. This job gave her an identity, a network, and camaraderie of sorts with her colleagues.
After some comic banter with Mamito, Mitchel walked back to her desk with her cup of tea and a plate of hot boiled maize hoping to see Daniel. His desk was not far from hers and thanks to the open office plan, she could easily see him from her desk. Daniels’ desk was still empty, it had no sign of him, not his beloved HP grey laptop, not even his favorite brown coat hanging on the chair. She wanted to ask Daniel about his disappearance via text but she quickly dumped that thought as she didn’t want to appear too interested in him. She then thought of asking HR but again didn’t want to look like a nosy employee, after all, it was HR’s duty to follow up whenever an employee didn’t show up at work. Plus, the HR didn’t even look concerned about his whereabouts so who was she anyway? Mitchel’s wandering mind was interrupted by a call from the client. He was calling to check on the progress and straighten up some issues.
“Annoying old man! I hope you constipate for the next two weeks” She muttered to herself as she put down the receiver.
Mitchell loathed the pettiness of the client, his micromanaging antics, and endless tantrums. His call was utterly unnecessary as he was following up on things that she had already clarified on an email she had sent him last week. Classic corporate asshole behavior. Her phone buzzed before she could stop whining about the client. It was a text from Daniel.
“Hi, how are you? My phone had died but I had to pass by somewhere and sort an urgent personal issue.” Daniel wrote
“Hi, I am fine. Hope the issue is sorted. Did you alert HR though?” She asked.
“I told HR, I also managed to sort the issue. Thanks for asking.”
“OK. Just pay your power bill next time. Then your phone won’t die hahaha!” Mitchel joked.
“Oh please! I pay all my bills on time, I just forgot to charge my phone. Is our date still on?” asked Daniel.
“Date? I thought it was a meeting to discuss your problems. I am being your shrink for free young man so don’t take it for granted, Beyonce and Jay-Z ever consulted me once”
“Hahaha! Sorry, I meant meeting. Madam shrink” Daniel texted back
“Yeah. Sure, it is on. But are you not coming to the office?”
“I won’t. I have a meeting with the client. That old geezer had to see the face behind the new amazing graphics. But do I say?.” He gloated
“Really? Hahaha! But the graphics are top-notch. All the best. Just don’t smile during the meeting. He hates seeing people happy. I think he has only dark deoxygenated blood flowing through his veins. I wonder how he lives”
“Hahahaha! Don’t be such a hater.”
“OK. Cool. Talk to you later. Let me know about the location of our meeting. See you after work.”
With the date confirmed and aware of Daniel’s whereabouts Mitchel felt quite relieved. Mitchel had been stood up on a date once before and that left her with trust issues because the humiliation she felt on that day was unbearable. She carried on with her duties and by 4 pm, Daniel had already texted her of the location they were to meet at.
Mitchel got to the venue a few minutes past 5 pm. She majestically walked into their rendezvous, Vipocho Restaurant hoping to quickly locate her date….. colleague. She had never been to Vipocho before, the air was filled with the aroma of delicious meals and Usher’s ‘You Don’t Have To Call’ was playing in the background. The interior decor was quite unique and well thought out. She loved the ambience already and thought to herself, “The shrink loves this place already Daniel, nice choice sir.”
After a few seconds of looking around, Mitchel spotted Daniel. He was seated at the furthest right corner donning a checked blue shirt. The seat on his right had his black laptop bag, typical graphic designers, their laptops are bae. The other seat was occupied by a young woman, probably in her early 30s, and she was having an animated conversation with Daniel.
For a minute Mitchel thought she was seeing her own things. “I thought this was our date? Mitchel what did you expect? That you were special? Why call on me on a date and still invite someone else?” She muttered to herself. At this point, Daniel who was so engrossed in the conversation with the young lady had not seen Mitchel. Angrily, Mitchel whipped out her phone and texted Daniel.
“Hey sorry to cancel our meeting so late but I have an emergency that I have to sort right now.”
She hurriedly walked out of Vipocho and went straight to her house where she hosted her pity party by indulging in some wine and watching some R&B music videos. She couldn’t believe that her lucky charm of a grey dress had failed her this time. She did everything to not let the date dampen her mood. Her happiness was her responsibility. She even consoled herself that it was just a meeting and reminded herself to not get her hopes too high as Daniel was just a colleague anyway. That night before going to bed, Mitchel asked God to give her strength and keep her from men who want to waste her time. She couldn’t understand why this mishap bothered her so much. She quietly hated herself for not meeting Daniel to find out who his companion was. She has never been confrontational anyway.
The following morning Daniel oblivious of Mitchel’s resentment towards him, walked to her desk to ask if she had managed to sort her emergency.
“Yes I did. Thanks for asking.” Mitchel responded nonchalantly.
“Ooh! I am happy to hear so. Yesterday, my sister made fun of me because she came to the restaurant as I was waiting for you. Apparently, she wanted to see the chic who was going out her small brother after such a long period of him being single hahaha!” Daniel chortled.
“Wait that was your sister?” Mitchell whispered to herself.
“Pardon?” Daniel asked as he had not heard her clearly.
“I was asking, kwani you told your sister about our meeting?”
“Yes. She is very nosy…..and annoying!”
Mitchel tensely laughed and responded, “I see.”
“So can we have the meeting today?” Daniel asked as if he was almost begging.
“Sure thing. Today at 5pm Vipocho.” Mitchel replied.
“I hope there will be no emergencies this time round.” Daniel teased.
“I hope so too,” Mitchel responded hoping to shoo him away as their conversation was getting awkwardly long and it had already caught the attention of the most sought after office rumor mill, Molly the receptionist who was on the way to her desk from the kitchen. The last thing Mitchel needed was a top spot in the office gossip topics, her client was a pain enough.
Mitchel turned to her computer as Daniel walked back to his desk. She has never felt so dumb. God knows she has never felt so dumb.
How you gonna win when you ain’t right within?Lauryn Hill