“Sandra I need to figure out how to pay my bills this month. I need money. The chama treasurer is already calling me for my first installment, I need to pay for my car’s insurance, there is rent….fuck! I need money, Sandra.”

“I told you we will figure things out. How much do you need?”

“I need two hundred thousand”

“Wueh! That is a lot. Let me speak to a few people and then I will let you know”

“Sawasawa. Let me also see what I can do now that Steve is controlled by his wife”

“She is the wife Rael. You would expect the same from your husband if you were married”

“Marriage is a sham”

Rael decided to go out for dinner and to drink her stress out. After all, the money in her account would not solve any of her problems so she would rather eat and drink it. As she dressed up, she noticed that none of her dresses could fit her. The dresses could not go down her hips and the trousers could not go up her hips. She sat down on her bed and started to cry. She knew that she had gained weight, but she did not know it was this bad. It made it worse that it felt Collins was right. She had to do something about it. She looked for tights and a stretchy top in her closet put them on and went to the bar to drink all her sorrows. As she headed to the bar, she stopped by the gym near her house. She was serious about working on her weight. The gym was a cross-fit gym, and she was shocked to find people hanging on bars and on the walls. Everyone in the gym looked so fit she wondered what they were doing there. The gym is supposed to be for fat people like her. She talked to the instructor and was shocked to find that she had to part with twelve thousand a month for her to join the gym.

“When did gyms become this interesting?”

“Your body is the most important thing. You have to take care of it, and it does not come cheap”

 She knew as she left the gym that she was not about to part with that amount of money for the gym and be in the midst of the wall-climbing fitness enthusiasts. She remembered reading somewhere that a proper diet is the best way to lose weight and she promised that today was going to be the last day she would indulge in junk and be disciplined with her diet from then. She was also going to check out some slimming pills and tea she had seen online. There was no harm in trying them.

She said hi to everyone as she entered the pub. She had become quite a regular in this local. Working from home, she would regularly come to work from here and then end up drinking quite a lot. Sandra called her just as she took her first shot of tequila.

“This is important. Get out of the bar we talk”

“I am out. Sema”

“I have found someone who can lend you the money, but it will be at a ten percent interest per month.”

“Wueh! That is high but I do not have a choice. What do I need?”

“They need six months’ bank statement of your salary account, three months’ latest pay slips, signed blank cheques, and complete an application form”

“I cannot remember where I put my chequebook because I use mobile banking, but I will look for it and get the other requirements tomorrow. Thank you hun”

“I will send you her number you plan on how you two will meet and talk further. Everything is going to be okay mami. Hang in there. Do not drink too much and I hope you are still taking your meds. I stopped telling you to stop drinking while you are on medication because you will not listen anyway”

Rael laughed as she disconnected the call. She was so happy that she had found a solution and she wanted to celebrate. Happiness and sadness made her want to drink and eat like crazy. She had made up her mind that today was the last day she was going to overindulge in food and alcohol, so she was going to go all out. She also needed sex, but Steve had made her so angry that she did not want to be near a man for a while. She knew she had to go to the bank the following day, but she could handle whiskey and a few shots.

She woke up with a terrible headache the following morning that only maramoja could solve. She had a long day head. She needed to look for her chequebook, and rush to the bank to get her statement and as much as she did not like to, she had to pass by the office to get her pay slips. The thought of seeing Collins repulsed her. She had made up her mind that she would be the last person he harassed and messed up their lives. She could not believe that she opened her legs for that man. She got her chequebook and just as she picked up her phone to call the shylock so that they agree on a time to meet, Steve called. She sneered as she picked the call.

“Hi, sema”

“Hi, babe. Are you okay? You sound sick”

“I am fine Steve. I am quite busy. I have so much to do”

“Can I be done too? I have missed you so much, babe. Last time we had such mind-blowing sex”

“I am too busy this week. I will let you know when I will be free”

“Are you mad at me about something? You sound off.”

“I am okay. I have so much on my mind. Let me sort them out and then I will call you we talk”

“Sawa babe. Take care”

Rael wished she could tell him to go to hell with his controlling wife. That mind-blowing sex was so that he could give her money and all he could give after all that effort was a fucking five thousand shillings because he had let his wife control her. She was going to block him for a while. She called the shylock as she left the house and they agreed to meet at 1p.m.. She took an Uber because parking in the CBD is a nightmare that she did not want to deal with. She was lucky to find no queue at the bank and was served quite quickly. She then went to the office and the first person she met in the elevator was Collins. She almost turned back but she hated feeling or looking weak. They faced opposite directions in the lift and was glad HR was on the first floor. She got her pay slip, rushed to Java where they had agreed to meet with the shylock, who was running late, and ordered cheesy fries with chicken as she waited for her.  She remembered midway that she was to start dieting today and she laughed at herself. She was so happy to be stressed about anything now. 

The shylock appeared one hour later, and she looked and sounded so stern. She confirmed the documents were in order and watched her filling the application form while sipping a glass of water. She refused to order any food stating that she was there strictly for work. After she was done, Rael asked how long it would take for her to receive the money.

“Once I get back to the office at around four, I will process it and you will receive it before the end of the day.”

“That will be great. Thank you”

“I hope you will be equally prompt when it comes to repayment. I do not entertain defaulters and you do not want to see the nasty side of me when someone defaults.”

The lady looked and sounded nasty, and she wondered how she gets when she is nastier than she was. She immediately wished she had gone to a restaurant that served alcohol. She would do with some alcohol right now. The lady had scared her but the thought that she would be receiving money that day provided some sort of relief. She wished she had more friends. Her only friend was Sandra and she had traveled for work. She had had a nasty experience with friends that had left a bitter taste in her mouth. She had a large circle of friends that she could do anything for. They went on trips together, they partied together, and she financed many of them and gifted them very generously until when she realized that her friends Natasha and Caroline were sleeping with her then boyfriend and the whole circle of friends was aware and was cheering them on. It hurt her like hell and that is when she decided to only keep Sandra as a friend. Just as she got into the Uber to head to her local, she received an MPesa notification. The money from the shylock had been credited. She almost jumped up with joy.

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