Jeremy was seated by the window. His eyes faced the window overlooking the road. His back was to the coffee house. If he moved an inch to his left he would spot me ascending the stairs wiping the sweat off my brows. He was in the same washed out jeans with a white T-shirt. He pushed back his chair and got to his feet when I approached the table.
“Hey, thanks for coming.”
“We had an agreement and I could not go against it, even though I was heading home too exhausted with this week’s work. Tell me, how have you been and what do you have to say about the proposal I shared this Monday?”
“Can we get something to drink first and then talk? Or are you always strict about getting business out of the way first?”
“No, it’s fine.”
“Relax, I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, it is better to know the people you are dealing with outside the written contracts and office walls. But, I wonder, why did your organization send me three different takes on what we had discussed? Do I get to choose what we can do out of the three or am I allowed to combine the three?”
“Three proposals,tell me whose proposal stuck with you?”
“Your proposal did because you met me and shared the idea first but Nicole and some lady called Vivian just sent me a document with lots of numbers.”
The waiter’s arrival with our drinks gave me time to choke Nicole in my head.
Nicole. She was keen on having this done her way,but what was it about this project that had the attention of the HR? Did the boss share the email he sent me with every department? Turning these thoughts in my head added to the grief I had all day. Nicole.
Nicole. My friend.
“Ni nini? What are you thinking of like that or are you still bent on getting those earrings at Woolworths?”
“Ai,no! I think I will get something else some day maybe. I was not even thinking about that.”
“How bad can it be? Do you have a roof over your head?”
“Do you have food and water and a warm bed to sleep in?”
“Yes, where are you going with this?”
“See, you Marjorie, like being in control. You want to know everything and prepare your reaction towards it all. Life is not like that, and I have seen children who have not even touched soap in their life. They eat like vultures and their hands are bent because of all the begging they do, so that’s where I am going with this. Can you take a week off work and see what my day is like? There are other community volunteers who would take you around the homes during their visits so you have an understanding of what LightKeepers are like.”
“I will see what I can do.”
“No, you do it, besides I have a feeling that you will like it. But, tell me, did you ever go to Victoria?”
“Primary? Yes, why?”
“I knew it the first time we met, but that’s a field story. Now we talk about general stuff like what your favorite color is and your hobbies and things like those. I will email you details of my amendments on Monday.”
“Are you the sole decision maker in your organization?”
“I founded it and I make some decisions but not all. And no, mimi si kama wewe, I am not stubborn. Siko serious twenty four seven, binadamu hucheka saa zingine.”