(Continued from The Daughters of Jezebel II)
Kimani sits back and sighs. He knows there is something fishy going on. That young man Philip is telling the truth. Kimani knows this because Tabitha texted him in the morning, just before the young man knocked in his door, and told him not to help him. In a follow up text, she told him to keeping Philip waiting for as long as he could but not less than an hour, and then tell him to come back in the afternoon. In the afternoon he was to come back earliest at three and then send him away. Under normal circumstances he would have ignored Tabitha, who is a mere secretary anyway, and gone ahead to find out why the system showed that Philip had flunked one exam while he has a legitimate provisional transcript showing that he aced it. Philip is the top student in his class, and he is, or was, on course to getting a distinction. As a result, his results were discussed in a meeting of heads of departments in which Kimani was invited. The dean himself was chairing the meeting, which also discussed the top students in Master of Finance, Master of Economics and Statistics, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), who will be awarded first class honors. Of all the top students in all those departments, the dean picked out Philip as the most remarkable. Yet it is in the Dean’s subject that Philip has allegedly flunked.
But Kimani cannot do anything because Tabitha has a chokehold on him. The woman started flirting with him a few years back and he fell right into her trap. Tabitha is admittedly beautiful, and he found he could not resist her charms. He had heard that she has a thing with the dean, so he was cautious at first; but in the end lust won. One thing led to another and finally they started having sex. All was well until he unwittingly threatened her interests. A certain girl named Nancy had been sneaked into the graduation list two years ago, apparently with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Second Class Honors, Upper Division. Kimani is very meticulous about such things, and he is the one who flagged her. He searched for her name in a separate admission database that he keeps and could not find her. Believing that she had probably been left out by mistake, he went looking for her physical file, but he did not find it.
Now he was more than convinced that the girl was a ghost student. He struck her out of the list and fired a memo to the dean explaining why. That evening Tabitha invited him to dinner at her place. There was nothing unusual about the invite; they had been lovers for over a year by that time. They ate and made love and he was just about to leave when she casually told him to reinstate the girl he had struck off in the graduation list.
“Why would I do that?” he remembers asking.
“Well, that would be because I asked you to.”
“Don’t even think about it Tabby. If you think you can interfere with my work just because we have been making love, forget it. There is no way I will allow a ghost student to graduate and risk ruining the reputation of the university.”
“And you don’t think sleeping with a junior staff member risks the reputation of the university?”
“How is it anybody’s business who I sleep with? You are a consenting adult.”
“I want you to return my sister to that list first thing tomorrow morning …”
“She is your sister?”
“Yes, she is my sister and I want her to graduate this year. Tomorrow you will write another memo to the dean explaining that you made a mistake and that you found the physical file.”
“There is no physical file.”
“You will create one.”
“Forget about it Tabby. Tell your sister to go back to school and study,” Kimani had said, while walking out of the door.
“Do the words “divorce”, “fired” and “imprisoned” mean anything to you?”
Kimani paused at the door.
“Are you threatening me?”
“Take it the way you want. But if my sister is not back on the graduation list tomorrow at 10 am, nude photos of you and me will be all over the internet. Trust me I have many of them in my phone gallery. It will be interesting to see how your wife will react to them. I will also write a long Facebook post claiming that you have been sexually harassing and threatening me with dismissal if I don’t sleep with you. Sexual harassment is a serious offence, and it might get you fired and probably land you in jail. So think carefully about what you want to do. You have until 10 am to do the right thing. Now get out of my house.”
On his way home, Kimani asked a lawyer friend about sexual harassment and told him the story. In a nutshell, his friend told him to do what Tabitha was saying if he wanted to keep his job, and to avoid sleeping with his colleagues, especially his juniors, in future. When he reached home, he found his wife waiting for him as usual. As she served him dinner, he chastised himself for seeking worldly women when he has such a lovely wife at home. He told himself that he would do what Tabitha was asking so that his wife wouldn’t know that he cheated, but that he would never stray from the marriage again.
It has been over two years since he last slept with Tabitha, but the threat of a sexual harassment suit remains. And she still has the nudes so she can release them at any point and ruin his marriage and possibly his career. Kimani often feels like kicking himself for allowing her to take those photos. What was he thinking? This time he really would have wanted to help Philip. But he doesn’t want to pick a fight with Tabitha. Kimani doesn’t want to trigger her into doing something that might cost him his marriage and his job. So he did as he was told. In the end, he has convinced himself that it is none of his business.
Philip has just stepped out of the university and is waiting for a matatu when the girl who had been in dean’s office slides up next to him.
“I can give you the dean’s number if you want.”
“What is your name?”
“I can’t give you my name and the dean’s number. Tabitha will ruin my life if she learns that I did.”
“Who is Tabitha?”
“She dean’s secretary, the one I found you talking to. So choose, do you want my name or the dean’s number?”
Philip studies her face and realises that she is serious.
“Okay, give me the dean’s number.”
She passes him a piece of paper with a phone number scrawled on it.
“I suggest you make peace with Tabitha though.”
“She is the dean’s mistress, and if she doesn’t want you to get helped, trust me you will not get helped. It is the reality that staff members like me and even students live with. If you want something from the dean, you have to sweet talk Tabitha.”
Philip reflects that this is an accurate description of Nancy. If anyone wants anything from Muruja, he or she has to lick the boots of Nancy. He cannot help wondering why men like Muruja or the dean allow these women, who are not even their wives, to wield such power. It cannot just be about sex, because men of influence like Muruja and the dean have options when it comes to women.
“But I don’t have a problem with Tabitha. I have never even been to that office before.”
“Then she has a problem with you. She is the one who, and you did not hear this from me, told the administrator not to help you. Even though he is her senior, he doesn’t dare get into a fight with her. The only people who seem not to be afraid of her are the senior professors. The rest of us are her slaves.”
“Is it the administrator who gave you the dean’s number to give me?”
“No. And don’t suggest to anyone that he is the one who gave you the number because you will have ruined his life. I have to go now, because every minute I stand here I risk being seen with you by Tabitha’s friends. All the best and I hope you graduate.”
She walks away, not towards the university, but down the road. She probably thinks that if she walks back to the university it will be obvious that she had come specifically to talk to him. Philip takes out his phone and dials the dean’s number. He picks up after the second ring, and Philip introduces himself and tells him what he wants.
“I know you Philip. Are you saying that you are not on the graduation list?”
“Yes sir. I am told that I failed in the unit you taught us.”
“That is weird. But I have just left the university,” the dean tells him. “If you had come to my office earlier I would have dug out your exam paper and taken it to the ICT people to correct your grade.”
“I have been in your office since morning, but your secretary told me I cannot see you till early next month, which I think might be too late for me to graduate.”
“I agree. I don’t know why she told you that. Call me tomorrow at 8 am. I will find your exam paper because it is in my office. We will fix that error.”
“Thank you so much sir.”
Philip’s mood is uplifted, but that is only because he has no way of knowing that the dean will not find his exam paper. Under the influence of Tabitha, the dean will instead decide that he, Philip, did not sit for the exam.
Image by Adeboro Odunlami from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/young-nigerian-man-nigeria-africa-3834272/
To purchase any of the books in our e-bookstore (including the latest one, The Butcher), you can follow either one of two main ways:
- MPESA Automated Digital Payment Method. Log in to the bookstore- register if you are new-(https://www.maroncha.com/book-store ). Select the book. Add to cart, check out then pay by inserting your number on the space provided then clicking ‘confirm’. You will be able to download instantly from the bookstore. A copy will also be automatically sent to your email.
- Pay Via Till Number. Log in to the bookstore- register if you are new-(https://www.maroncha.com/book-store ). Select the book. Add to cart, check out then pay via the Buy Goods Till Number provided. Once you get the message from MPESA, insert the MPESA code on the space provided then click ‘Validate Code’. You will be able to download instantly from the bookstore. A copy will also be automatically sent to your email.
If you are completely unable to use the above two methods, you can still purchase your copy manually. The only disadvantage of this method is that you will have to wait for a few hours before you get your copy. But eventually it will come.
- Pay Kshs. 100 to Buy Goods Till Number 297264 and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (or DM Sanctuary Side on Facebook) stating your MPESA name. Use the name of the book as the subject of your email. If you send a DM to Sanctuary Side on Facebook, kindly also include your email address. I will send your copy once I verify your payment.
- Pay Kshs. 100 to Buy Goods Till Number 297264 and send an SMS/WhatsApp message to 0105571156 stating your MPESA name and the name of the book you wish to purchase. I will send your copy once I verify your payment.
Remember you can always DM Sanctuary Side on Facebook, email me at email@example.com or send a WhatsApp message to 0105571156 if you have a query or feedback.
See you all on Friday.