My family has never quite understood the importance of my job. To them working as a social media manager for a company is a waste of time. However, they always try their best to avoid voicing their opinions.
Three months into my new job I was tasked with finding clothing brands that would be willing to collaborate with the company I work for. At first, it seemed like a huge task since reaching out to brands and getting a response was not as easy as it seemed. Although it took me two weeks, I was finally able to find a brand that the company would approve of.
Finding time to meet up with Kelvin, the owner, became another task. Due to his ever-busy routine, every time we planned a meetup it would end up being rescheduled. After a while, my boss recommended that we shelve the project and focus on other things. Months went by and it was finally time for another family get-together.
Aside from judging my life choices, another thing my family took seriously was gatherings, especially during holidays. We spent almost every holiday together, Easter, Mashujaa, Christmas etc. If a holiday fell on a Friday, everyone would have to travel to my aunt’s place in Nanyuki either a day before or on that Friday. If it ended up being on a random weekday, we would have a barbeque at either one of my relative’s houses in Nairobi.
I didn’t mind seeing my family, the only problem was that people used gatherings as a way to start an intervention. A day would go by smoothly, by evening, everyone is drunk and venting about things that happened years ago. Not to mention how much my aunties and uncles loved to poke their noses into other people’s business. My brother clocked 30 and ever since, they have been on his case about marrying.
This year I knew that my love life would somehow end up being the topic of discussion. My mother had been curious about my ex-boyfriend Jeremy for a while now. Ever since the breakup I have never had the guts to tell her or anyone else about what happened. It was too painful to think about and I knew it would break her heart as well.
On the day I was set to travel, my cousin Natasha picked me up early. We didn’t have the best relationship, so I spent most of my time working. Halfway through the trip, I got a call from Kelvin.
“Hey, hope you are well,” He said immediately after I picked up.
“Hello, yes I am, and I hope you are also well,” I replied.
“Yes, thank you for asking. I wanted to inquire if you will be available tomorrow so we can finally have that meeting,” He said.
“I am actually on my way to Nanyuki for a family gathering,” I replied.
“That’s okay, Will you be free for the meeting? I won’t be in Nairobi for the next month so I can travel to Nanyuki tomorrow,” He said.
“Yes, I will be available,”
“Great! I’ll text you the location once I arrive tomorrow,” He said before hanging up.
Anyone else in my family would have been disappointed to work on a weekend but I was beyond overjoyed. Another thing I hated about our gatherings was the never-ending cooking and cleaning. I planned to inform everyone that I wouldn’t be available the following day but by the time we arrived, people were scattered everywhere. My uncles were busy discussing the goat that needed to be slaughtered while my mum and aunties were catching up.
“I’ll just let them know tomorrow,” I told my cousin as we parted ways to go unpack.
Unfortunately, the following morning everyone woke up late and by the time people settled down for breakfast Kelvin was already waiting for me at the restaurant. There’s nothing that irritated me more than being late for a meeting, so I rushed out.
I ordered an Uber and arrived at the restaurant in a short period. Going over the details for the photo shoot took about an hour. Once we were done, I stood up to leave but he stopped me before I could finish packing.
“I was just about to order; would you like to join me for breakfast?” He asked politely.
Now I would like to tell you that I politely declined and went home. However, my stomach was rumbling and there was no way I would have passed up the opportunity. An hour later we were both done with our meals. I thanked him for the meal but just as I was about to leave, he stopped me again.
“Would you mind if I dropped you off?” He asked.
“Thank you but I can take an Uber. My aunt’s home is not that far from here,” I replied.
“Honestly, I don’t mind,” He said.
“It wouldn’t hurt to save some coins,” I thought to myself.
“Okay,” I replied.
Normally when someone offers to give me a ride, I usually stay silent to avoid saying the wrong thing. With Kelvin, this wasn’t the case. He was such a laid-back person, and we had a casual conversation.
“Thank you so much for setting aside time for this meeting and apologise for disrupting your weekend,” He said as he parked outside my aunt’s gate.
“It’s okay and thank you for the ride,”
I got out of the car, walked up to the entrance of the house and immediately opened the door, everyone was staring at me.
“So, you decided that this would be the best weekend to go see your sponsor?” My mother asked.
“Excuse me?” I asked surprised.
“Don’t play with us, I knew that job of yours wouldn’t be able to sustain you. If you are struggling with finances, why didn’t you just tell us?” One of my uncles said.
“My job sustains all of my needs and Kelvin is not my sponsor he’s a client my company wants to collaborate with,” I said.
“Okay, so what is this?” My mother asked while handing me her phone.
Someone had taken photos of Kelvin and me at the restaurant.
“Is this why you refuse to tell me what happened between you and Jeremy? You left him to go look for older men?” My mother asked in anger.
“Kelvin is my client and who even took these photos?” I asked.
“Natasha said that you planned to meet up with a man today, so I checked your location on Find My iPhone. The minute I got to the restaurant I saw you seated across that man giggling and laughing,” My aunt said.
“I’m sorry for interrupting, Lucy you left your phone in the car,” Kelvin said.
Everyone shifted their attention to him.
“So, you couldn’t find a woman close to your age and figured my daughter would be a sugar baby?” My mum asked.
“I think it’s best if we deal with this issue as a family,” Natasha said.
“I’ll just leave this here and be on my way,” Kelvin responded before leaving.
“Kelvin wait!” I said as I turned to go after him.
“You’re not going anywhere. You have to answer my questions!” My mother snapped as she pulled on my arm.
“Kelvin is a client for the company I work for. We had a meeting today because he won’t be around for a whole month. After the meeting, he offered to buy me breakfast and drop me home. About Jeremy, he cheated on me with Natasha. Next time you hear gossip, verify with me first before embarrassing me in front of a client!” I said as I ran after Kelvin.
By the time I caught up with him, he was already in the car.
“I’m so sorry about my family drama, it was all a misunderstanding,” I said.
“It’s okay Lucy, if I saw any one of my nieces having lunch with a man in his 40’s I would have also been concerned,” He said.
We both let out a chuckle.
“I’m sure whoever started the rumour was just trying to look out for you,” He added.
“Thank you for understanding,” I replied.
“Enjoy the rest of your weekend,” He said while driving away.
Later that night there was an intervention as usual. This time it was for my aunt, mother and Natasha. Although we were able to talk things through, going forward our relationship changed completely. I avoided going to family gatherings for a while just to process and let go of the embarrassment I went through. One good thing did come out of the ordeal though, people stopped meddling in other people’s lives. I was so glad that no one else would ever go through what I went through.
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