11 AMINI: Today…

Today should have been a fantastic day.

I got to work on time and for the first time in ages the B14 needed not a jumpstart.

Naona leo iko sawa.” Manu (short for Emmanuel) my next door neighbour chirped.

Iko sawa.” I smiled.

To add to the good fortune, I got a slot within the office block sparing me the hefty council fee. But did they really put thought into this charge or was it an arbitrary figure? 300 bob is a tad too much for parking considering it buys 6 packets of milk (or loaves of bread) and an egg to crown it. Surely there must be more creativity put into income streams. Amini’s newly constructed perimeter wall is brandished with some ugly ua-mende and vote-for-mimi posters which could make for good penalties. Capacity issues I guess.

Today should have been a fantastic day.

Instead of Dora’s usual gestures that the big guy had checked in, she jumped off her high-back mesh chair to hug me. Confused, my 88 kilo self followed to her flat screen monitor. The promotions listing had been sent for her action in readiness of Friday’s staff meeting. “Top secret mami. Top secret!” She said. I was over the moon. Couldn’t hide my joy. Caleb and SaraMarie assumed that my early arrival spurred the aura. I said a quick hello mentioning there was hardly any traffic then rushed to the washroom to do a private Hallelujah dance. My God is good Oh! So good Oh!

At my desk, I quickly pulled out a spreadsheet and the permutations and combinations begun. Finally I would be able to request Dominik wa Phase V to import a red Polo or better still a wine red Golf. And he would say “yes they have decent engines” but question why a fine lady like myself wouldn’t want to consider the Benz A-Class series. The projections would also include reupholstering my hand-me-down sofas. Finally a junior manager. Finally…

And when he walked in, I knew it was going to be an extremely fantastic day.

Ty, the Geneva visiting client, was here! We could finally speak without flouting any company rules. He was carrying a black gift bag with what I am sure was chocolate. For me – to share with everyone. Clever way not to raise eyebrows. And with a smile he would say, candy for my favourite professionals and I would carefully blush a thank you.

Then she rose from her seat, I could swear she run and thrust her arms around Mister Man. His discomfort was the only assurance of me being the only recipient of his suggestive messages. I sort solace in my spreadsheet. Iris was my manager and, til now, had generously shown me the ropes in this promising establishment. There was no way I was going to bite the hand that fed me. Absolutely no way!

It was a large tin of Lindor. Iris took a few for herself and motioned me to distribute the rest. I tried to conceal my disappointment; Ty seemed to blink some sort of apology. How did I not see it? The many single applicants in this office? The spreadsheet became blurry. A tear was trying to burst its way out of my duct. And for a second time, I rushed passed Caleb and SaraMarie’s desk and inside the washrooms was an Unikumbuke lament!

Today should really have been a fantastic day.2



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