We are back to the office after the Easter break and the CEO is nowhere to be seen. The rumours persist with more people passing via my office to ask about his whereabouts.
On Easter eve, the CEO sent me a WhatsApp message wishing my family and I a “Blessed Easter.” I was surprised by his message for we really do not exchange that kind of greetings with him. I politely responded; “thanks a lot, same to you and your family.” I thought this would end the conversation, but alas, that was not to be. He proceeded to ask me a few questions; “I will be away for another week, anything I need to know?”
I was taken aback by this question since I felt it was suitable for the Finance Manager who has delegated authority from the boss. I got the sense that the CEO was fishing for information and gossip and there is no way I was going to fall for his bait. So, I responded; “All is well, we are holding fort.” That seemed to settle him for he sent me an emoji after that. I found that conversation very bizarre. To make matters worse, I could not share it with anyone in the office lest it finds its way to the grapevine.
I was settling into my office when my phone rang. It was Shiro. I was taken aback by her calls because things were somewhat frosty this Easter weekend. The drama was really unnecessary but not unexpected. I was always under the impression that we were going to go to my village for the Easter weekend.
Though we had not formalised this, I had given Shiro numerous hints that we were not going to join her chama crew this time round. So, imagine my shock when she arrived on Wednesday morning and then said she needed to go and buy “supplies for the beach.” I asked: “What are you talking about?” She tried to make light of it as she told me that she had gone ahead and booked a villa at the coast for us since “the whole chama is going.”
This really annoyed me, and I said; “At what point were you going to inform me?” She said: “Babes, I mentioned it to you a couple of times. I noticed that you were not giving me a firm decision, so I decided to go ahead and make the booking.”
In all fairness, she did ask me for a decision, but I was dilly-dallying about it in the hope that she would forget about it. However, this was not the time to acknowledge my mistakes, so I told her; “well I have made alternate plans, and they do not involve going to the coast.” This time she got really upset and said; “I do not care, I am not going to lose the money I paid, we are going to the coast.”
I stood my ground and told her; “you can take the kids, even the nanny if you want, but I am not going.” The animosity did not die down even when I tried to be cheerful as I dropped them at the airport. In fact, Shiro did not bother to send me a message to indicate they had landed safely. I only knew of their arrival through a picture she posted on the chama page.
All was not lost though. I ended up having a swell time in the village drinking local brew and talking local politics. In fact, one of my former primary schoolmates told me that they had been considering approaching me to vie for elective office. As ridiculous as it sounds, it was somewhat flattering. Mheshimiwa Josphat, has a nice ring to it.