Friday: Can we talk for a minute?

Fridays were Matthew’s worst work days. He rated Fridays high up with Wednesdays because all requisitions and budgets had to be approved by the various signatories by Friday and this back and forth prevented him from enjoying the ‘furahi day’ hype.

At the morning brief, he’d shied away from any updates until the Director looked his way and even then, he knew he would have to speak up.

“How are we doing accounts wise Matthew?”

“Salaries should have reflected in everyone’s accounts by 5pm yesterday. I think we are good on that front. If there’s anyone who has any concern regarding their salary they can either see the HR or come to the accounts department after confirming details with the HR.”

“Thank you Matthew. Now, I would also like to say that from September, Charles would be heading the Marketing department, we are switching things up, making a few moves here and there to ensure creativity and that we meet the needs of our clients.”

He’d looked at Diana but she would not meet his eyes. Everyone in the room tried to get her attention, but she was not having none of it. He had made his way straight to his office and was welcomed by a full tray of files and invoices which he started going through.

Diana went straight to her desk after the meeting. Helen and James caught up with her and it was James who spoke up, “Dee, did you know about the Director’s decision?”

“No, I had a feeling that he would give Charles the upper hand but I did not expect this.”

“Why didn’t you speak up?”

“Helen, do I own this company?”

“No, but you contribute to its success! Wewe, unajua Charles, he is going to act like he’s a god and make us do all the work then take the credit! He does not like me, Dee! Do you remember when he said that I was just a blonde barbie? What are we going to do about this?”

“The Director said Charles would head the marketing department and as far as I am concerned we are the Marketing and PR department. Relax, it’s just work, right? Give Charles a chance, he’s your boss now.”

“Wait…what do you mean our boss? Dee?”

“Helen, please don’t stress about it, it’s just work…now, I have to go and congratulate Charles.”

Diana did not wait for them to convince her otherwise. She looked back at them as she descended the stairs and smiled. Her Friday was turning into one unexpected festival and she couldn’t help but smile about it. She was looking forward to that tea break!

Charles had his back to the door when Diana walked into his office.

His desk was stacked with boxes with the computer gathering dust on the far end of it. She waited for him to turn towards her.

“So, you finally came to your senses?” he asked.

“Congratulations Charles. I look forward to seeing more of your concepts this coming month.”

“Well, thanks.”

Diana straightened her skirt, brushing her fingers slightly on her wrist watch, she smiled once more at him and took the exit.

She was heading to the kitchenette hoping to get Martha to save her a chapati when Matthew called her. She looked up, waved and he signaled her up to his office. She shook her head and pointed down. He shook his head, held out one finger- but she insisted, pointed down and crossed her arms across her chest.

Matthew took the stairs two at time almost barreling into another staff as he made his way to Diana.

“Why couldn’t you come up to my office Diana?”

“Why couldn’t you come down to me, Matthew?”

“I see, I’m not going to win this argument, so tell me, how are you holding up?”

“I’m fine. I was just going to the kitchenette to ask Martha to save me a chapo, do you want one?”

“Wait, chapo? Now? Why? Are you that hungry?”

“Yes, besides, now that you are here, we can have an early tea break. Let’s go.”

Diana took his hand and dragged him to the kitchenette, and Matthew who followed couldn’t help but smile. She was crazy that much was obvious, but something about her joy reminded him of a devious plan. He took in her legs, lean arms and hips as she led him.

“Diana, can we talk for a minute?”

She pulled him into the kitchenette and went on to set aside tea cups as he watched. She pointed to a table on the balcony where he proceeded to sit. It was a dull morning, the kind that promised no sunshine, but lots of drizzles and dark clouds. How could she be happy with the Director’s decision? How could she be this happy on such a day? He was caught up in his thoughts that he startled when her hand covered his. He looked at her hand and then into her eyes, “why are you surprised Matthew?”

“Well, I am not surprised…I mean, like, wait…what are you doing?”

“I am sitting here, having tea and chapo and waiting to hear what this talk is all about.”

“Um, okay…well, so, um…thanks for the tea.”

“Matthew, just spit it.”

“What are you doing this evening?”

“I feel like going out.”

“Out as in out out?”

“Wait, are you eighteen or something? Yes, I feel like going out, dancing and just having a good time!”

“Are you okay Diana? You are acting weird. I mean, first you say nothing during the meeting and now instead of fighting for your position, you are busy smiling and playing nice, aren’t you pissed off?”

“Matthew, I am beyond pissed! I am vexed but grammar aside, I am choosing to fight my own battles. The Director still maintains my salary, he has reduced my responsibilities and now I have the opportunity to build on my portfolio. I am also getting a two week vacation which is just the icing on the cake.”

“Diana, look…he may be playing nice before he decides to fire you.”

“It’s just work Matthew.”

“No, it’s not just work Diana. This is your investment, your expertise, your knowledge, your time and your personality. Do you know how pathetic that guy was at the pitch meeting? I mean, you had to step in and tone down the ego in that room to make the clients understand the angle of advertising that your team had created! It’s not just work!”

“So, we are way over a minute, Matthew, what did you want to talk about?”

“I was wondering, that is if, you’d like to go out with me. I know this nice restaurant in Upperhill that I’d like to dine at, but only if you’d want to. I understand that you have a lot on your plate and maybe, I don’t know…”

“Matthew, what’s the question?”

“Would you like to go out on a date with me?”



“If that’s a foreign word to you, I could always say “No,” and then we can see where this goes.”

Diana withdrew her hand just in time to see Charles and the Director walking towards the balcony each with a cup of tea in their hand. It was ten minutes to the ten o’clock tea break.

She smiled.

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