1.00p.m.: All morning I’d been dying to talk with Angela about my meeting yesterday with Dave but she had been slumped with group work and she was only free when it was time for Contracts. She wanted a sneak peek of my story at lunch hour but we shared our table at the mess with some fourth year girls. Besides, the mess is the last place you’d want to disclose your secrets, what with the creepy people who sit by themselves eavesdropping on numerous conversations at a time. Then the rumours spread like bushfire.
2.00p.m.: We must have taken our lunch pretty leisurely as by the time we were done we had to run to make it to class before the Social Foundations of Law lecturer.
4.00p.m.: The best classes are those that end before time! I tagged at Angela and dragged her to my room before she could take on any other engagements; I had waited enough to let it all out, any minute longer and I would surely explode.
I made tea with some mint leaves, which I had bought for only ten shillings a bunch, and a nearly dried up lemon. I had some Marie biscuits lying around which we took with the tea (formed the habit of stocking up bites from high school days).
The beaming look on Angela’s face as I narrated yesterday’s events made her look like a five year old looking up to an adult dangling a piece of toffee before their eyes. She was clearly excited. A good sign. I thought she would be appalled by what I was telling her.
“This is incredible! I can’t believe it, your life is taking such an adventurous turn! I’m quite jealous”
“Really Angie, you mean that? I mean, I agreed to his proposal but now I’m not sure about it all”
“Why? The other day you said you wanted something exciting and, here it is, knocking at your doorstep. Besides, you need the money.”
“Yes, but I wouldn’t do anything for money! Think of it he wants me to be a…” Rachael walked into the room. She must have realized her presence was not wanted as she dropped her books on her bed and announced she would be at some friend’s room if anyone needed her.
Angela was now jumpier than before, grinning while rubbing her hands. She gets like this when she’s about to compare someone to a character in a book. She told me I was exactly like Sayuri San. I made a face to show her that I’d expected comparison to a fictional character but I had no idea what she had just said. She went on to explain herself but no thanks to my blank face, she didn’t even pay attention to me; it was as if she were in some sort of trance. Sayuri was a geisha in Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha who was quite a success. Angela paused for an Oh My God moment (something like the light bulb over the head moment in cartoons). Sayuri, unlike other geisha who had black eyes, had grayish blue eyes. Angela’s ‘bingo!’ realization was that it was such a great coincidence that Dave had insisted I keep my green contacts on each time I was on the job; they would give me an edge over other girls.
“Wait Angie, I don’t even know what a geisha is!”
“Well, a geisha is simply an..an..entertainer. Just like what Dave wants you to be. You just need to help out the men you’ll be with, create interesting conversation, show them places, introduce them to great cuisine…just make sure they have a good time and are not bored.”
“Hmm but what if one wants…well, you know…”
“Nafula, a geisha is not a prostitute. You don’t owe anyone sex and they can’t force your hand on that. But if you want to…”
BY ESTHER KARIUKI