Chapter Nine: Maureen

There were things that haunted Mesh: Lies, truths, black heels, four-in-one leather handbags, Nivea body lotion and men who cheated on their partners. It is the last of these that prompted her to go see Belinda the next day. She knew that Belinda’s husband was still seeing Michelle. The Facebook updates and whatsapp chats with mutual friends informed her courage. If her man was cheating on her, she would love to know. She held her bag closer to her chest as she approached Okwan’s restaurant. She greeted Okwan and asked if Belinda had reported.

“Belinda told me that you helped her collect money from your colleagues at work when she delivered lunch, is this true?”

“If she said so, then it is. Why do you ask? Don’t you trust her?”

“You ask too many questions in one breath. Belinda has gone to make some deliveries. She should be back any time soon.”

“Sure, I’ll wait for her then. Can I have a soda to drink while I wait?”

“Which brand will you have?”

“Coke please.”

“Have a seat.”

“Thanks, and listen, can I ask you a question?”

“About what?”

“About who? I would like to know how Belinda is doing. Is she happy here or does she seem like she is miles away when she is at work.”

“Oh, I see, so he sent you!”

“Who sent me?” asked Maureen.

“The husband! Look, this is not Telemundo! This is a restaurant. I make food and people pay to enjoy that food. Sitting and eating is what people do here and occasionally the broke ones like you drink soda, so go and tell that silly husband to keep his drama away from this place.”

“Have you met her husband? What does he look like?”

“Are you trying to tell me that you do not know how your employer looks like? What are you smoking you skinny thing?”

“First, let’s get something straight, I do not know her husband. Second, I am not working for anyone when it comes to Belinda’s well being. Third, the only thing I chase and grind for is a clear note the largest value in print being one followed by three neat zeros!”

“I like you! So, what do you want to do about Belinda because she clearly has a lot going on, and from what I gathered yesterday, she left their home.”

“What? Already? Maybe she knows.”

“She knows what?”

“Her husband is cheating on her and that’s why I came to talk to her.”

“I see, and you know this because?”

“It so happens that the girl her husband is seeing is a friend of my close friend.”

“She is someone you know.”

“No, she is someone I have seen and heard about, but I don’t really know her.”

“You came here to tell Belinda about this and also maybe show her who the other woman is.”

“Yes, I came here to let her know.”

“If you just arrived and were quick to tell a stranger like me about this affair, do you think you are in a position to share this news with Belinda?”

“What? I told you because I feel as though you care for her. Stop trying to twist the situation to ease the guilt within you, besides everyone at Winmart knows you are jealous because she has hips to die for!”

“You are still too young to understand what life is. How old are you?”

“None of your business!”

“Less than twenty four I see. Look, Mesh or whatever you call yourself, don’t go around starting little fires that you cannot put out. It is Belinda’s life and marriage. She has been sleeping beside the man for more years than you could ever stay with a man. Before you break any news ask yourself whether it is worth breaking.”

“What if seeing her makes me feel guilty?”

“Guilt is a good reminder that we need to mind our own business. Let Belinda sort out her problems. If she comes to you for help, give it, don’t think about it, just give it and let everything take its course. Are you married?”

“What? No way.”

“Exactly, you have to be in the sea to know exactly where the sharks swim.”

“Okwan, what happened to your marriage?”

“I left it all behind at midnight. The things I had on me were my Identification card, five hundred shillings, the clothes on my body and one red slipper on my feet. I washed off the blood and saw to the bruises at my cousin’s place.”

“I’m sorry, but didn’t you go to the police?”

“He was the police. Now, enough of this, would you like some food as you wait for Belinda?”

“Sure, how about some chapati and beef stew?”

“So, you had money but were busy coating your tongue with soda just so you could pester me with endless questions!”

“I like you too, Okwan.”

“I like your money better.”

4 thoughts on “Chapter Nine: Maureen

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