This story was meant to be a Facebook post; the long weird type that you have to warn your readers of the game of words ahead. #longweirdpost
But as we all know, Facebook can be rather inconsiderate. If you ask me, in a silly way. Why on earth would Mark’s boys dump my words just because I opened another tab to design a befitting photo for the story?
Memory guys. Memory! But those are words for another post.
For now, let’s focus on the pregnant words, shall we?
So, yesterday I went to the bank to collect some money for one of my many creative escapades. If you are wondering why I preferred the mouse-tail Kenyan bank queues, grab some coffee. I promise you this will be sweet!
You see, I’m the kind of girl who, ‘when the cash is loose, it’s due to be used.’ End of story. Now you know.
But with these COVID days, I have had no choice but devise a system to help me retain some of the money a little longer. It’s a simple game of words and numbers.
This is how the system works. Immediately I receive some payment or a cash gift from a friend like you, I say a prayer, literally and then divide the cash into little segments.
Remember, it takes words to control money.
- 10% goes to my local church’s tithing account
I emphasize local because I have about four others churches I go to or e-attend; my Vitamin E churches.
- 10% goes to a private ‘help’ account
Allow me not to divert so much information about this account. And no, it is not a loan-clearing account.
- 10% to my Mshwari Lock account. A must-have account for every sane Kenyan.
I’m saving here wit the aim of accumulating Sh. 100,000 in 12 months. If I don’t hit the target, a certain son of Adam will have lunch on my account at Tamarind Mombasa hotel or equivalent!
- 10% to the savings account accessible only over-the-counter.
This is the account that forced me to bear the queue yesterday. Consider it as the one I can’t touch unless something desperate needs funding.
And if I my head plays sweeter words to my heart when the money walks into my life, I send another 10% to an account I can access easily. That’s the account I use to buy you coffee (or wine) when we meet.
And just so you know, all these transactions are done in one sitting, thanks to Kenya’s strong mobile banking systems and their children.
You are welcome. Stay hypnotized!
She Played the Game of Words on Me
And now that I have your undivided saving-attention, let’s return to the queue in the bank.
After queueing for what seemed like Forever + Social Distance, I finally got one-person to the counter. The person in question was a lady, taller than me but not necessarily plump. But she sure had a clear definition between her burst and belly. And she wore a checked skirt; you know those prints with black squares between intersecting white lines, or is it the white squares between intersecting black lines?
They are the kind of skirts that leave you feeling woozy, wiggly and a little drunk if you stare at them longer than you should. Kind of hypnotized.
Yeah, those ones.
Then from nowhere, the cashier pointed at me, calling me to skip the checked-skirt lady and be served.
I had been in the queue all along and now I get fast-tracked?
Miracles still do happen, don’t they?
I approached the bench, oh I mean counter and gave the cashier that inquisitive, ‘what did I do’ look?
“I’m sorry, I didn’t notice early enough that YOU ARE PREGNANT.” she whispered somewhat loudly.
Say what now?
I looked at my tummy for the first time, if I may lie to myself a little. It seemed a little more bulgy than before. I could swear I felt a fellow move inside.
“I’m saying, I’m sorry I didn’t notice early enough that you are pregnant.” She specified. “I should have served you first.”
Ok. Who died and failed to deliver the prenatal memo?
The words caught me too off guard to defend myself. Confused, I handed her my withdrawal slip which my pregnant-self had failed to notice was not in duplicate.
“Oops, you missed the duplicate.” She whispered again as if trying not to wake the fetus. “Go back to the table over there and pick the white copy with a blue duplicate then fill the information again. Then come straight here and I will serve you first.”
From that moment on, my hormones kicked and I began to feel the fetal movement, literally. My walking style changed, the bank smelled a little dump, even my breast felt a little full, pushing tight against the bra. For real!
How that PREGNANT word activated the hormones and the surrounding all at once, I’m yet to understand.
I fetched the right withdrawal slip, filled it and headed back to the front of the line. After all, the checked lady was already being served at another counter.
By this time ‘my cashier’ was already serving a young-ish gentleman. The kind you wouldn’t want to jump queue because he is rather too young to throw pregnancy tantrums at. Don’t assume I didn’t consider it though, blame it on the hormones. Anyway, I didn’t think it was much of a deal so I waited.
But the cashier was having none of it. Why in the name of a female cashier would a PREGNANT woman be queueing in her bank?
She asked the gentleman to slide aside so she could serve me. And that is how I got fast-tracked services in my bank.
Now, before you Martyr-Stephen me over this crude behavior, there’s another scenario you could have been part of. A game of words.
Do you remember when you were young and heard a teacher tell a fellow student that they were stupid, and just like that the student seemed stupid even before your eyes?
That teacher played the game of words on the whole class!
Inasmuch as it’s been over 16 years since I tested pregnant-ly positive, I actually felt PREGNANT. So for the next one hour as I hobbled from shop to shop picking up the creative bric-a-brac, I felt my body change, practically. I could swear my feet swelled a little more than usual. Even my walking pace slowed.
But there is another side of this game of words.
It’s been over 24 hours since those pregnant words were spoken over me and I can’t stop looking at my stomach wondering how much of indigested food is sitting in there. It must also be more fermented than a 10-year old Italian wine, giving my stomach that pregnant look!
So, am I pregnant?
Well, let’s agree on this, I’m pregnant with the desire to see my stomach flatter than the face of my smartphone. Flat enough to scroll and swipe with no hindrance.
Presence of a fetus?
Not a chance. But one thing I now know is that words have power.
Words such as these change the way you look at money. Or your belly. Or the amount of money you spend of the food you pour into your belly. That’s the game of words.
And though I’m still confused whether the cashier played the game of words on me to keep me hooked with her bank, or she was serious about me being pregnant, you have got to respect spoken words. Better still, master the game of words, and you could play yourself into a horrid situation. Or a splendid one. The choice is yours.