Waiting, they say, is painful. Waiting for someone whose date of arrival is not known is frustrating. Waiting for someone who keeps shifting dates and time of arrival is even more painful. And as all honest men will testify, waiting for a woman who does not show up as promised is tantamount to murder buy emotional strangulation. It is as bad as waiting for the DPP convention. But, there is nothing more exhilarating than a promise that is fulfilled. I donâ€™t understand why the business lady kept us in suspense.
The business lady came, not on Sunday as promised, but last Wednesday. She joined us in the restaurant for our usual early lunch at the St Andrews Hotel.
“You look cute,” Jean-Philippe said as soon as the business lady sat down and asked Nalia for a glass of juice on the rocks.
“Thanks. You look cute, too!”
“You are the first woman to tell me that!”Jean-Philippe laughed before saying, “but he does not know your name.”
“Honey, you donâ€™t know me?”
I did not answer because I did not want to be dressed in Shakespeareâ€™s borrowed robes. Sometime later, Jean-Philippe left for his room. Left alone with the business lady, I asked her for her personal details.
“Julia. Na imwe?”
I told her my name before asking her why she kept addressing me as honey.
“Sorry if I am wrong butâ€¦.”
“No problem. I just wanted to understand.”
“Na imwe, it depend na love naiyo mwanikonda nayo,” she said before changing the topic: “Do you have todayâ€™s papers? I want to read about the UDF convention.”
Nalia brought her the dayâ€™s papers.
Jean-Philippe came and joined us.
“You know, these people are very funny. They held a convention whose winner had already been identified.”
“Where did you get that from?” Jean-Philippe asked.
“Internet said the winner would get 80% of the vote and it came to pass.”
“Does that surprise you?” I asked.
“It does not surprise you?” Jean-Philippe asked me in particular.
“It does not. These people were among those who condemned Joyce Banda for campaigning for specific candidates during the PP convention. Now, look, they have a leader who won the election before it was conducted.”
“I suspect the prediction was based on opinion polls,” Jean-Philippe joked.
“And this advert has been running since last week”, Julia said diverting our attention from party politics.
“Which one?”I asked.
Julia showed us the advertisement where a company was asking potential employees to apply for jobs through an online form.
“But I have tried to visit its website but itâ€™s been all in vain. Yet the deadline is approaching,” Julia said.
I asked her if she wanted to apply for any position. It was then that I learned that Julia had a Master of Business Administration degree and Bachelorâ€™s degree in Economics. I also learned that she chose to do her own business instead of being pushed around by men who think because they are company managers, they also own the companies.
“Are we ready to go? I want to come back before sunsetâ€¦And do you have enough fuel to get us to Ndawambe and back?” Julia asked.
“We have been prepared for two weeks now,” Jean-Philippe said.