I checked my watch for the hundredth time and realized that I was still running late again. Mrs. Harita was going to have my head if I arrived a minute late. I took another matatu taking another ten minutes for me to arrive at the estate she was living at.
Public transportation was not allowed on the estate, so I had to go on foot. One look and one could tell that only the wealthy resided in the area. More than one security check and the big mansions, the clean and fresh atmosphere, all screamed wealth and more wealth.
Arriving at her residence gate, I pressed the alarm only to hear a little child ask through the intercom.
”Who is there? ”
”Its me… ”
”MEL!¨ I heard her chirping voice from the other side. After some seconds, the gate opened, revealing a young child running towards me, with her slightly chubby cheeks that I would never forget how they dimpled when she smiled.
”You are back! ” She exclaimed, jumping on me. I was not expecting that as I stumbled a couple of steps back, stabilizing myself.
”I missed you. ” she squealed, hugging me tightly.
”I missed you too, ” I let a hearty chuckle, rubbing her back. One thing that I always look forward to, visiting my boss, was meeting the sweet little Mickey.
Mickey was the most beautiful Indian American girl. She has big green eyes with a doll face and long curly hair. She was so sweet and always made fun of her mother, who was the complete opposite of her. Her mom was a no-nonsense person.
”You mean Mrs. Green? ” she asked, making me chuckle, covering her mouth playfully in the process.
”Shush! Walls do have ears. ” I warned, a smile playing on my lips.
”Ha ha ha ha, don worry, shes in her office. Anyway, can you blame me? look around! ” She exclaimed, gesturing around the house with her hands leading me inside.
”Everything is green, and I am so lucky she did not name me Green or anything related to green. ” She continued, making me laugh lightly.
”You do realize that you are only seven years and you are talking like a grown-up? ” I raised my eyebrows at her.
”I may just be a seven-year-old girl, but I have an old soul ” She winked at me, opening the door for me to her mothers office.
”Mrs. Gree- ” I covered her mouth quickly before she could finish her sentence. I swear this child would one day bring me trouble with her slippery tongue.
Who would have thought the moment I covered her mouth. She actually licked my palm, making it tickle.
”What the hell? ” I whisper- yelled while she only chortled then ran to her room.
Luckily her mom didn hear us, as she was on a call.
Mickey has always been so energetic and cheeky. She knew too much for her age. I sat on the green couch, waiting for Mrs. Beth to finish up with the call.
The house was welcoming from the open doors to the wide hallway. Upon the walls were the photographs of Mikey with a cheeky smile. Obviously so loved.
The floor was an old-fashioned parquet with a blend of deep homely browns, and the walls were the greens of summer gardens meeting a bold white baseboard. The railing was a twirl of a branch, tamed by the wrights hand, its grain flowing as water might, in waves of comforting woodland hues.
Under the lamp-shine, it was natures art, something that soothed right to the soul.
”Is that my clean couch you are sitting on with the same clothes you sat on the bus with? ” Her voice brought me out of my reverie.
”I… um… ” I stuttered, trying to find words, only to be cut short.
”How long was it again? 3 hours? ” she continued walking, gracefully down the staircase.
I quickly stood up from the couch, feeling bad that she called me dirty. I know I should be used to her and her jibes, but every time she was mean to me, I could not help but feel bad. I think she suffers from OCD.
”Oh, Cmon, don look at me that way, In my office. ” She waved her hand away, walking towards her office, which I followed behind.
Her office was so beautiful and classy but too much green in it.
I mean, aside from the green couch, the wall was also green, not to mention the flowers, which were a mixture of white and green. Oh!
Even her name Harita actually means green. I blame the parents for that.
Three colours adorned the theme in her house, which was brown, white, and green, but green was more prominent.
Whenever I came around, I would feel like I was in a greenhouse.
It made me wonder what Hazes house looked like. You know the stranger from the car. His name wasn Haze, but a nickname I thought of, matching his eye colour.
Why am I thinking about him?
I wanted to take a seat but hesitated when I remembered her earlier words in the drawing-room, but she gave me a look that made me sit instantly. I used to believe her glacier eyes were ice-cold, that they knew no warmth and never shared loved.
That is what I used to believe.
She did everything with passion, and when she let her guard down, you could see her approval or disappointment, which was if you were too keen.
Not everyone has been bold enough to look her in the eyes. She is just so intimidating, and it is like her eyes could pierce into your soul.
Did I mention that her eyes are also green? She must have inherited it from her maternal side, as she was half Indian and half White.
Many people wondered how I managed to work for this lady. She was seen as mean most of the time but was critical, opinionated, and exceptionally confident.
Mrs. Harita demands constant perfection, both from herself and from everyone around her, and she wouldn hesitate to call anyone out of their bullshit.
She just has what is called ough love as Mickey would put it. Despite all that, I like her, plus I need my job. She is challenging, and I love challenges.
”Good evening Mrs. Harita… ”
”Its Bethany, Madam Bethany. ” she corrected, looking straight into my eyes, and I could not help but notice how kind of green her eyes were, that speaks to the soul of nature of crisp wands of grass, and new buds and her eyes were that bright colour, bold and beautiful.
I also remembered Hazes eyes. They had this kind of green infused…
I scolded myself mentally for thinking of that stranger again. Coming back to the present, she always preferred her English name over Indian, and I should have gotten used to it, but I prefer Harita more, as it was unique. She walked to where I was seated and perched gracefully on the armchair opposite me.
Madam Harita or Bethany, as she liked being called, is in her mid-thirties, with a healthy skin complexion. Of course, always dresses elegantly, no matter where she is or the occasion.
Today she was clad in pine green silk embroidered border saree, designed with zari thread sequence work enhancing the embroidered patterns on the saree and patch border work. Comes with a matching blouse. It was green, again.
”My eyes are here, Melissa, ” She snapped her fingers, breaking my reverie.
I have been zoning out so much lately.
What is happening to me?
I picked up my handbag to remove the file.
¨By the way, you look beautiful.¨ I compliment with a pause, ¨In green, of course.¨ I added.
”Don I always? ” She replied, a smug smile on her face as she leaned back in her chair.
”How was your trip to the countryside? ” She made herself comfortable, crossing one leg over the other elegantly.
”Mmmh, well? ” She cleared her throat, eyeing me emotionlessly.
I pulled out the green file – which she gave me, by the way, from my maroon handbag, the one I bought on my trip to Kakamega. Handing her a copy of the report, I cleared my throat as I went through the summary.
”First, we start with the greenhouse in Machakos, which is doing well at the moment, despite the issue we had about an employee who tried to poison the plants. Luckily he was caught in action and arrested. He is now in custody…¨
¨Hey!¨ She raised her eyebrows, snapping her fingers.
¨I am aware of that, Melissa, so can we get back to important issues. Lets talk about figures. I want to know how much we will make once we go to the market chap! chap!¨
She then leaned forward, supporting her elbows on the giant brown mahogany table, which she got imported from a trip to France.
Well, how do I know that?
There is no achievement that Mrs. Beth would forget to tell me. She always says that she could see herself in me. She once appraised me that she started from the bottom, with a couple of thousands which I highly doubt, by the way, because she was born into a wealthy family and married into one – I guess the saying is right: Money attracts money, and so is power.
That thought was thrown out of the window when she explained further. She did not need any money from her family. She saved her monthly allowances and started investing small.
She put on her reading glasses and her business face, reaching over the file.
”Okay, for tomatoes, labour will cost us a hundred and fifty thousand shillings, the storage sixty thousand, transportation… ”
”Hey, hey. I know all of this, I can even see it, and I also have the report in my email. I sent you over to confirm whether or not the reports my managers are sending me are accurate. Are they accurate? ” She asked sternly.
”Yes, they are.¨ I answered, taking in an inaudible breath.
For the next thirty minutes, we went through the reports. Cross-checking with the one received earlier. It was a relief that we didn get any irregularities. When we were finished, Mrs green got up from her power chair, and so did I.
”Good! ” She stood up, putting the files inside her drawer.
¨Madam Bethany I… ” I called slowly after hesitating a couple of times. I knew it was not part of my job, but I still wanted to help in some way.
”Lemme guess, bad news? ” She asked, as cool as a cucumber pausing on her movements.
¨No, actually, never mind! ” I decided to not concern myself, but who was Mrs. Green again?
”Spit it out, Melisa. ” She said, her voice curt.
”Err…I.. ” She gave an annoying look. In my mind, I could tell that she was going to lash back at me for telling her what to do, but then again, she paid me to oversee all her projects.
”Listen, Melissa, if this is about raising their pay again, we are going to have a serious problem. ”
”Thats not it. I was thinking, once maybe you could visit to see how the farmers are faring. Especially the people in the Eastern province.¨
”Melissa, Melissa, Melissa, ” she said, moving from her mighty table ambling to where I was.
She stopped right in front of me, posing back against the table while she addressed me.
”Why did I have to work that hard to make all this money? ” she asked, crossing her hands across her chest.
”Listen, Melisa, when I send you there is like I am there. ” she continued.
”But nothing, You are my eyes, my ears, and everyone should respect you as they do me. ” She continued. ”If it is too much to ask then, just tell me right now, ” she said, raising one eyebrow.
”I do pay you, right? ” Madam Green asked, sternly.
Feeling frustrated, I tried again. ”The economy - ”
”The economy should not be any of your concern, my dear. Do you have anything else to say? ” She stopped, maybe seeing my hesitation, she went on.
”I am a businesswoman. One thing that you will learn as you grow up is that you can not solve one and all problems. All you can do is try to help them. And I think I am doing that.¨
She went back to her chair, opened a drawer, and handed me an envelope. I stood up, extending my hand, but before I could take it, she drew back her hand as if she was having a second thought.
”Before I forget Melisa, open an account and start saving. ”
With that, she crammed the brown envelope in my hand, then walked out, leaving me gazing at it, deep in thought.
What do you think of little Mickey and Mrs. Harita or Bethany A.K? A Mrs. Green?
Tell me your thoughts in the comment section, and remember to please Like, follow, share, and Review.
See ya in the next chapter
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