“Wait, what? You left him in your house?” Jo nearly crashes the car into a fever tree on the side of the road and she whips her head around sternly to glare at Mariam.

“I mean… I do need someone to take care of things while I am away, you know? Plus, it’s not like he has anywhere else to go.”

“Why doesn’t he have somewhere else to go?” It’s my turn to frown. “Does he not have a house of his own?”

QUICK CALL

“Relax, ladies, he’s very helpful. Me and my daughter appreciate having him there. He really does get a lot done for us.”

“Hmm…” Even Fatma is looking sceptical, which is rare for her. But she doesn’t get a chance to say what’s on her mind because that is the moment at which we turn into the gate of our destination and drive over to the reception to check in and get situated.

“I’m just going to jump out and call my man real quick while you girls register,” Mariam says.

“And I need to use the loo, wah!” Fatma hops around on one leg, then the other. Jo and I watch as Fatma limps off towards the facilities while Mariam ambles towards the lake, phone in hand.

“You know, I don’t know about that young man of hers – what was his name again?”

“I can’t remember,” I shrug. “But what’s wrong with him?”

“He just… gave me the heebie jeebies when I first met him. And now that I find out their living situation, I feel even more apprehensive. I bet when we get back to Nairobi we’ll find out he was using her car and house to pick up girls.”

My eyes widen. “But what if…” I start.

“Nope,” Jo wags a finger sanctimoniously. “These young boys these days, they are all the same. Trust me on this. This relationship will turn out well.”

And then she turns around and walks into the reception office to start the process of registering us while I stare at Mariam in the distance, phone in hand, and hope that everything will turn out okay for her.

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