Celebrating East African Writing!
She sat patiently. Patiently waiting for her turn to be called in. The morning sun was already scorching, but a cool breeze would once in a while blow into the room from the open windows causing a cooling effect in the atmosphere.
Nancy pulled out a facial tissue from the depths of her handbag and skillfully patted the beads of sweat that would once in a while form on her smooth brow.
“This is taking too long,” she thought to herself. “When will this be done and over with? Someone ought to be told that I haven’t got the whole day to wait!” Her attention soon strayed to the other people who were sitted with her on the wooden bench and the activities going on around her.
Meet Nancy Madebe Jones; a light skinned slender and very pretty young lady of two mixed races. Although her national identity card registered her as being twenty four years of age, anyone meeting her for the first time could easily mistake her for a sixteen year old or even younger.
Her breasts were slight lumps on her chest making it even harder to estimate her age while her lips resembled those of the tilapia fish; thin but very appealing. Her figure was slightly curvy passing for the common day description of a model’s perfect figure. Her hair long and silky, fresh with oil from her favorite salon. She was a picture of every man’s dream woman.
Nancy sat on the bench crossing one leg over the other evidently showing perhaps her impatience and or nervousness.
The scene was inside The Pesa Na Fanaka Bank where ten candidates were waiting to be interviewed for the vacant post of bank teller.
It was already 9 o’clock and the interview which was to begin at 8.30 am was running late.
Nancy looked at the other interviewees scrutinizing them from head to toe. “Fancy outfits. If only they knew that the job was mine. If only they knew.” She thought, following her reckons with an evil smile.
The security guard passed them holding a baton which he threateningly swung around in the air as a way of showing who was the boss and dared them to be daft enough to intrude into his territory. The reception lady skillfully typed away at her typewriter, once in a while pausing to answer the phone and sip away at her almost cold tea.
Concentration and silence immediately followed when the reception lady’s voice made an announcement that the panel was ready to see the interviewees starting with one Peter Mutua.
“Finally,music to my ears!” Thought the now beaming with joy Nancy.
Person by person, each was called in and fate had it that Jones was to be heard last.
When her turn finally came up, a now already exhausted young lady presented herself before the see-it-all panel. Little did she know of what awaited her.
Stealthily but courageously opening the metal door, she walked into the exam room. “Nancy Jones, you will soon be out of here. But that job…is definitely yours girl!” Her inner voice convinced her.
Sitting herself down before the seven-man panel, she took time customizing to the surroundings.
There he was. Her eyes met his and immediately looked away pretending to scan through the papers that were strewn all around him.
“A hallo or good afternoon could do Miss Jones,” one of the three women on the jury said in an accusatory tone.
Nancy turned to her noticing the bright red lipstick smudged on the lady’s lips. “Too much lipstick. Definitely a fashion disaster!” Thought Nancy rather sinisterly.
“Oh yes! What’s up people? Good to be here with yea all! Could we now start? I have places to go!”
Pin drop silence followed and the unexpected happened….the interview went on.
Question after question, Nancy answered but every time she stole glances in his direction, he somehow managed to look away or pretend to scribble something down in his notebook.
Leaving the boardroom, she felt more energized than before. “Why have an interview when it was obvious the job was hers? Interesting how people have resources to waste.” Jones thought while hurriedly walking towards a matatu that she had flagged down to take her to town.
One week went by, two, three, a month but no feedback from Pesa Na Fanaka Bank.
She had had it. If the bank could not get back to her, then she would get back to it.
Early the next morning, lacking an appetite for breakfast and having had a toss- and-turn-night, an angry Nancy Madebe Jones woke up early and was amongst the first to witness the bank’s opening.
She stood strategically behind a tree with a view of the car park and everyone who went into the bank.
Just as expected, at exactly 9.15am, the metallic gold Mercedes sped into the bank vicinity.
It slowed down and carefully but skillfully, was reversed and parked into a section clearly marked ‘Reserved for the Bank Manager Only’.
A man got out of the vehicle clad in a navy black Italian tuxedo with French made shoes to match, distinctively passing for a man of reverence and style. In his hand, he carried a crocodile skin briefcase with pure gold handles.
Having proceeded to confirm that the car’s doors were closed, the heavy-built man with a bulging stomach walked into the banking hall to be greeted by the salutes of the two bank guards.
Nancy watched him until he disappeared then cleverly posing as a bank customer, followed him and sneaked into the corridor leading to the ‘Staff Only’ area of the bank.
Simon Manyatta had just arrived to his office and looked forward to a quiet but busy day. A picture of his wife and two pretty children; a boy and a girl, stood on his desk. He took out his diary to look up the day’s events when an unexpected knock startled him.
Maybe if he kept quiet the peace intruder would go away but the knocking in fact only intensified.
“Come in,” shouted an already irritated Simon while hoping that his tone of voice did not show his attitude.
Simon looked up from his desk into the eyes of his estranged morning guest….none other than Nancy Jones Madebe.
In fury, he stood up and with a thunderous authoritative voice, ordered Nancy out of his office. “Who let you into my office woman? Get out before I call security!”
A composed Nancy only sat down and looking at the picture on Simon’s desk, answered, “If I were you, for their sake (pointing at the picture), I would not do that.”
A now curious Manyatta sat down and Nancy continued. “We had a deal. The deal was I give you my body in exchange for the bank job. You broke the part of your deal and now I am planning to go to the media houses to have my revenge. Truth must come out!”
Manyatta was now a sweating image; from head to toe. He was shaking like a leaf and Nancy was enjoying every single moment. Gathering some strength and guts, Simon asked the question Nancy had longed to hear, “How much do you want? He reached for a key from the bottom of his pocket and walked towards a safe that stood at one corner-end of the room. Out came a cheque book.
“You would not find a million Kenyan shillings much of a problem, but I would rather five million shillings…only to seal the deal.”
Simon quickly scribbled down the figures in the cheque book. If that was going to save his name, bank business, customers, publicity and precious family, he was willing to do anything…anything.
Hugging the cheque to her chest, a now smiling Nancy left the room proud of her risky but fruitful efforts.
Alone in the office, Manyatta did the inevitable, he cupped his face into his hands and wept. Deeply wept. A one week affair had cost him almost a year’s hard work of profit.
The sudden ringing of his expensive red GSM mobile phone startled him and quickly composing himself, he picked up the phone. His wife was calling and he realized that life just had to go on.
The writer is a Law graduate from Moi University Town Campus, Annex School of Law and is currently enrolled in an internship programme with World Vision Kenya.
Her part time activities include writing, reading and traveling.