Every Dog has Its Day

Submitted into Contest #37 in response to: Write a story about a rumor making its way through the grapevine.... view prompt

3 comments

Mystery

Manka could hardly contain her shock and excitement. This week was on to a wonderful start! Ima was acting like he had been -around the moon twice and what was the big deal- as usual, while her thoughts were busy doing cartwheels. It reminded her of the movie Inside Out. All the emotions were tripping over each other in the HQ. Walking back to the office was going to need all her acting skills. She would not be able to walk back without saying hi to all ‘her peeps’ along the way. After all, they didn’t nickname her ‘mayor’ for nothing now did they?


She was glad she was just about finished with her lunch. She needed to go back to the office and share this epic gossip. Even Alimwene Msofe ‘the old hag’ was going to wonder what was up when Manka returned from lunch in time. Manka always made sure to drive her boss insane by playing mind games. The hag wasn’t able to pin anything on her which made Manka so smug. Yeah, you can put me down all you want by being petty, insecure and controlling but I always get back at you, Manka thought. The hag was so thick, Manka wondered how she had ever become a manager. Perhaps birds of a feather really did fly together?! If Saint Salome could do it, for all she knew the hag had too.

 

She told Ima she had some pending work since it was the end of the month and she had to rush back to the office. Ima just shrugged and continued drinking his coke. Ima was quite annoying, but she kept him as her friend because he was resourceful. Not only did he buy her lunch when she was broke (which was most of the time), but he was also well connected and always gave her juicy gossip. He was a slimy bastard but sometimes he gave her the juiciest gossip such as now. It paid to have such a buddy. This is why Manka liked having friends outside her office.


Immediately she left, Ima made a phone call.

It's done

How was she? The voice on the other end asked?

How do you expect? She was trying to hide her impatience and eagerness but she couldn’t get out of here fast enough!

How were you? What did you tell her exactly?

Really? We are going to do that now? You asked me to whisper to the bird, and I did. Mission accomplished. I need to finish my lunch in peace.

Tomorrow we have a breakfast meeting at my usual joint. Don’t be late. I need all the details.


Ima hung up with a sneer. He hated being someone’s bitch like right now. But he was just bidding his time. He was smarter than most people gave him credit for and soon he would be making his move. The bitch was paying for breakfast tomorrow and who was he to miss a free meal?


Manka was truly having a hard time saying hi to all her buddies and thinking about what she had just found out. Saint Salome was no saint after all! She was mortal like the rest of us. Who would have thought the Saint even knew how to flirt let alone have kinky sex!

Manka! Did they increase your salary or what? You!...rushing back to work? Hmmm…suspect…

Hahahahaha…..That will only work if the old hag leaves or dies. How are you Yohana? Been a while!

I pass the same time every day from lunch. If you stopped driving your boss insane we could meet. You know you are still my greatest love.  

I only give as good as I get. You love anything that has a round butt and wears a skirt. How is Mufti Bank doing?


Manka kept the small talk going until they arrived at the lift and they parted ways. Manka’s first stop, as usual, was the reception. She loved gossiping with Amina. Amina was a good source of office information. Manka waited for the customers to be served and then she dropped the bomb. Manka was in seventh heaven. The priceless look on Amina’s face was what Manka loved most. She lived for the shock on people’s faces. Amina had even decided to mute the volume and ignore the incoming calls. Manka didn’t want any trouble, she walked away, leaving Amina’s jaw on the floor. Manka just burst out into a rich hearty laugh.


Salome was going for her late lunch when she bumped into Manka laughing her head off. When Manka saw her, she laughed even more. First of all, it was very strange to see Manka back early from lunch. There was not a decent bone in that girl. What a waste of all that beauty! Salome thought. Salome was sure that Manka was up to no good. She wondered why Manka had laughed so hard when she saw her. She made a mental note to check with Alie later. Her friend always confided in her. The only reason Manka hadn’t been fired is that the Head of HR (HRH), had a soft spot for Manka. No one knew if it was a soft spot, or if Manka had something she was holding over the HRH. Salome privately thought the latter. Whatever it was, Manka was thus far untouchable. She played around the edges too, so there was always one loophole or another.


Manka passed by Baraka’s desk and found him with a customer. Boring. She moved on. Her desk mate Rahma was waiting patiently for her to return so she could go for lunch. She couldn’t wait to shock her polite deskmate. Rahma had even decided to delay going for lunch. Manka took a paper then rolled it into a small ball and aimed for Rahma’s open mouth. She missed Rahma’s mouth, and they both burst out laughing. Not even the hag could dampen her spirits today! They gossiped for a good while until the hag buzzed Manka.


Once Manka was done with Madame, she buzzed Baraka. No answer. Since the new partitioning and remodeling of the office, she no longer had a clear line of sight to Baraka. She was itching. She knew that their emails could be accessed, so she did the next best thing; an email asking Baraka’s help to find a receipt book.


Baraka was having a hard time with one of the customers. The Insured swore he had been submitting his premiums, but the company had zero records of the same. The customer was following up on his bonus which he was eligible to, save for the missing records. Now there was a strange email from Manka. Baraka didn’t have time for that! He was about to scream bloody murder when he realized it must be a code. Manka had so many codes Baraka could hardly keep up. He could do with a break right now. In any case, now that his colleague was back; it was his turn to go to lunch. All the same, he just felt like making Manka suffer a bit as punishment for the punches he had recently taken on her behalf from Madame. Manka could sometimes be a handful.


Salome was pretty sure something was going on. Yesterday she had called her friend Alie, but Alie was too stressed since it was the end month. Her numbers this month were not good and she was rounding out her sales team. Allie calmed her down, but she was too busy to understand. Anyways perhaps she was reading too much into things. At least that’s what she thought until Edina –the HRH- started acting all lovey-dovey towards her.


Edina did not have a degree and therefore hated Salome because she did. It was an open secret that she was studying for her degree, but she told everyone she was pursuing her Masters. Salome was good at her job. Edina knew this and overworked Salome, then took all the credit. Salome had no choice because Edina did her appraisals. She always answered Salome in an abrupt fashion. So it was quite strange for Edina to be warm towards her. She had even asked her how her lunch had been.


Baraka hadn’t called back yesterday and this morning he was nowhere to be seen. Now Baraka was on the phone threatening and cursing her for withholding information from him. Mariamu the tea lady had served him tea and something else on the menu. Some gossip that left his head spinning. Manka thought it served him right. She burst out laughing and he hung up on her. Next time he would be rushing to ‘help’ her find anything in the store. LOL. Mariamu must have felt so important informing Baraka whom everyone knew was Manka’s closest pal in the office. Yep, Mariamu was keeping true to herself. Between Rahma and Mariamu, the whole office would soon be a buzz with Salome’s dirty secrets.


Salome hadn’t been to a management meeting where Edina didn’t belittle her. This was a first. There was no way Edina could have suddenly changed and started treating Salome like an equal. No way Jose! Alie had been so busy for the last 3 days that they had hardly talked. Now that the meeting was over, Salome would finally have her attention. She was sure people were acting strangely around her. There were those who were chatting her more than usual, but with the majority, it was quite the opposite. There was peculiar stillness in the air that was pregnant with dread. Her guts were sure it had something to do with her.


Manka wasn’t yet done nor was she satisfied. She wanted to see Tunu’s face when she informed her of what was happening. Tunu wasn’t a gossip. She was actually good people, but sometimes Manka thought Tunu was too nice. She wanted to shatter that inscrutable face and so she walked to Tunu’s office. Of course, she called in advance to ensure Mr. Peterson wasn’t in. Tunu was his PA.


You will never guess what Saint Salome has been up to!

What now, Manka?

Hmm! So much for all the prayers in the morning. Anyways I think the prayers are more for her than for us. Some people will just burn in hell. At least everyone knows am a sinner. I don’t pretend. But to act so holy and to be so rotten……


Tunu was used to Manka’s antics. This is what made her feel important. Tunu was very patient. She usually just made the usual noises until Manka tired herself and finally said what she really wanted to say. She prided herself in being the one who knew the latest about everyone. It was like she had an Intelligence Corps with a sworn allegiance to her. This network of loyal buddies kept Manka abreast about not just staff in the office, but almost everyone in the Insurance business community. She was lethal.


……. But to forge her papers! And sleep with our boss at the same time….!


WHAT? Are you talking about this Salome or someone else? Are you sure about this?


How many Saint Salome’s do you know? Am telling you! I have it on very good authority. This is someone who is close to someone else who worked in the same company the Saint came from. Believe me, this is liquid gold!


Aha! Bingo! Even Tunu who never reacted to Manka’s gossip had reacted today. Manka was having a ball. Finally, Manka felt on top of the world!


It was another Monday and while Salome was never bothered by days of the week, this certainly felt like a blue Monday. All-day Salome had felt that people were avoiding her, including Alie. Salome had buzzed Alie, and when she picked up, Salome could have sworn there was a change in her friend. Alie said she was very busy that Peterson had asked her for another report. Salome let it slide. Meanwhile, Edina was the embodiment of an angel. Perhaps she was bipolar? Not that she meant any disrespect to real sufferers.


In the afternoon Salome decided she had had it. She went to Alie’s office and she knew that her friend had really been avoiding her. What could be that bad she wondered?


What is it Alie? What could be that bad? Is it rumored I killed someone? Salome was trying to lighten the mood.

Salome, I have known you for 4 years now and I could never imagine you of all people are capable of doing what you have done!

Okay Alie, you are scaring me for real. Would you just tell me what it is? I really don’t know what you are talking about.

How could you? We pray together. We wonder about people who do what you have done and detest them, and yet you have been doing that all along?

I consider you to be a very good friend of mine. So I will ignore all you are saying because I assume you are in pain. But I really have no idea what you are talking about.

Am sorry Salome, I cannot stand to look at you right now. You need to leave. You are not who I thought you are.


Salome had cried so much when she got home. She had said so many Our Fathers, she lost count. She was going to face this thing face on she decided, whatever it was. The next morning, she went straight to Tunu.


Good morning Tunu. I know you know what is going on, so please do pretend otherwise. My closest friend Alie has just kicked me out of her office accusing me of being two-faced. I don’t know what it is I am supposed to have done. Please tell me, what have I allegedly done? Please do not sugar coat. I cannot fight what I don’t know.

Good morning Salome. I am very sorry to hear about Alie. Rumor has it that you forged your papers, you actually do not have a degree and that you have been sleeping with the Director in order to keep your job.

That’s it? Hahahahahaha, hahahahahaha, hahahahahaha. Oh my god! Really? Ahahahahahah

What do you mean, that’s it? Don’t you care that everyone in the office has found out your dirty secret?

Yeah, I would care if it was true. It is not true. Not in the least bit. To think that I was wasting my tears over some nonsense! And here I thought Alie was a true friend! That she could believe such crazy rumors says a lot about our supposed friendship. Oh let them talk. If that’s all they are saying, then I am okay. Thank you, Tunu. You made my morning.


Tunu was left feeling like she had been watching Telemundo soap. This was just a rumor? Why would Manka’s friend spread it? Nothing made sense anymore.


Edina’s week hadn’t started well. She had seen the sign yesterday when she choked on her mandazi in the morning. She knew someone was talking about her somewhere. Today had been worse. It was as if someone was turning a knob and increasing the heat steadily. It was now 5pm and Peet was summoning her. The voice sounded angry and ominous.


This time you have gone too far. I know it is you, so do not insult my intelligence by denying. As usual, you have no imagination because this time you have dug your own grave. Everyone believes I have slept with Salome, so they will not be able to believe anything else. What was your endgame? I need your resignation on my desk tomorrow morning. You will leave quietly. If you tell the truth about how you got this job, I will also let the world know that your papers are fake. I must thank you for giving me a loophole. Your threats no longer hold water.



Manka was practically apoplectic. Not only did she not know what was going on, but the only information she had was from Mariamu. Mariamu said she had come early in the morning to find Edina’s office cleared completely. Then she found a letter on Mr. Peterson’s desk with Edina’s handwriting. Later on, the Saint had requested Mariamu’s help to move into the HRH’s office. Now there was an email from Mr. Peterson informing all that the Saint was the acting HRH until the next board where a new HRH would be appointed. She had tried calling Ima, but Ima wasn’t answering her calls. This definitely confirmed the rumors that Mr. Peterson and Saint Salome were sleeping together!


What was, however, troubling Manka was the fact that yesterday Salome had not been sad at all. In fact, Mariamu said that Salome had gone straight to the kitchen and told Mariamu about the rumors going around. Salome had further gone round the whole office cheerfully greeting everyone and making everyone uncomfortable instead! This was very strange behavior for someone whose dirty laundry had been publicly aired!


Too, now that Salome was going to be the HRH and she was pals with Madame, her existence had suddenly become very precarious! It was just a matter of time before they found a way to fire her. This truly sucked! She couldn’t believe she had to start licking butt.


Salome now believed that every dog had its day. She felt like Cinderella. Yesterday she was scrubbing floors and today? She was the princess of the royal castle! She was sure the rumors and her fortunes turning were related; only she didn’t know-how. Well, she wasn’t going to look at this gift horse in the mouth. She was going to buckle up and enjoy this ride. 

April 14, 2020 11:21

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3 comments

Katy S.
03:10 Apr 23, 2020

Hello Naomie K.! I was matched with you for the 'critique circle'. So, I really like the concept, and lesson of rumors being untrue, the rumor spreaders being the one the rumor is about, the cruelty, and betrayal of 'friends', and co-workers , and Karma. However here are a few suggestions. Don't take them too hard, as your story was very nice. There are a few grammar mistakes in the story- "How many Saint Salome’s do you know? Am telling you!" Secondly the perspectives are slightly confusing, if you could add a 'Salome thought' or 'Manka tho...

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Naomie K
11:25 Apr 24, 2020

Khadijah, I am just glad that you took the time to give me constructive criticism, so thank you. I will keep your suggestions in mind in the future. Once again many many thanks!

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Katy S.
12:27 Apr 24, 2020

No problem :)

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