When Makena, our self-appointed CPA (Comptroller of Palace affairs) asked me to give her a lift to town on Sunday morning in the presence of Queen, I knew there and then that her chicken had come home to roost. She had crossed the red line by unashamedly and provocatively infringing on Queen’s marital territorial boundaries.
Makena’s situation was made worse by her wrong timing. We are currently swimming in marital nirvana. I could therefore not intervene for her like I have done in the past. Who does that? Good times in marriage are rare and precious, and have to be protected at all costs.
Before the last word was out of Makena’s mouth, Queen’s breathing could be heard above the sound of the TV. Like an addict, Queen’s hands started shaking and I feared that she was going to grab Makena and tear her into pieces.
“So you are not satisfied with Omosh and now you want to take my husband?” Queen roared. Her cup of tea dropped from her hands and broke into pieces. I initially thought Queen had hit Makena with it.
“Kwani what do you make out of it? I only requested baba watoto to give me a lift to Ol’kalou town. Today is my off day!” Makena replied.
“Oho! You think I have the brains of a chicken? You think I have forgotten what you did to my supermarket with that Omosh of yours?” Queen asked.
Makena was taken aback.
For many years, I have kept the issue of her affair with Omosh as a top secret. I knew that if Queen were to know about it, Omosh’s wife would know that very day and my business would suffer. Omosh is my makanika (mechanic)-cum-driver. But Makena had sold herself out recently when she called Omosh to return the money they had shared after massacring Queen’s supermarket.
“I thought that story ended there! You got your so-called supermarket back. Mambo yangu na Omosh ni private and confidential!” shouted Makena.
“You have cheated yourself. There is nothing private there. Omosh’s wife will have to know this, here and now!” Queen said.
“In the meantime, today is end month. Pack all your belongings as I count your salary. From your behaviour this past week, you require a terminal leave, not a one day off!”
At that juncture, Makena realised that her comptroller’s job was coming to an end. Worse still, she was under threat from Omosh’s wife.
“What is this now? Baba watoto, tafadhali ongea naye, pleeease,” Makena sobbed.
I had to choose between my marital nirvana and Makena. As I looked for harmless words to say, Queen emerged from the bedroom.
“Here, take your salary. Enda ukiendaga!” Queen said as she placed Makena’s salary on the table. Our boys were shocked and joined Makena.
“What is wrong auntie?” the lastborn asked.
The boys are always on Makena’s side and are happy when there is a crisis at the Palace because they eat like princes.
“What are you still doing in my house? I do not want Omosh’s wife to slaughter you in my compound. I have called her and she is waiting for you outside there,” Queen said.
Makena’s sobs grew into a loud cry. The boys joined her in the crying in sympathetic support.
“Uuuuii! Please spare me this one last time. I am ready to miss this month’s salary and continue working here,” Makena cried. Her dramatic antics were not working that morning. She looked at me pleadingly hoping I could intervene for her the way I have been doing in the past, but I could not risk my marital nirvana.
Now, a real African-Kenyan man does not watch two women fight yet he can do nothing about it. I therefore silently left the drama stage and went to wait for the results in my Beetle. The two argued for almost an hour. Makena’s cries, amplified by our boys’ cries, rose to a crescendo and then were replaced by Queen’s threats. Finally the noise died down.
When I got out of the car to find out what was happening, I saw Queen coming to the car. I feared for Makena and waited to hear the worst.
“She has vowed never to repeat her shenanigans. I am withholding her one month’s salary as I observe her behaviour,” Queen said.
And that is how Makena called off her go-slow at panga point and started Queen’s probation period. She did not go for her off day that Sunday in fear of Omosh’s wife; and the ‘satanic verses’ (as Queen refers to Makena’s secular music) ended. Makena has, however, not changed her dressing code. But I know it is just a matter of time...
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