“The tea is not as good as it was last time. We should go somewhere else.”

“You always say that but when given a choice end up here. How have you been?”


“Despite your silence?”


“I am your friend. Talk to me.”

“Friend is a bad word used by small shits. I feel overstretched by ‘friends’. I feel like one of the freaks playing chess to a hollow-eyed audience in the Boniface Maina painting. I gave so much to ghosts in the name of friendship. Got nothing back.”

“I have never seen a Boniface Maina painting.”

“The Maina effect is me feeling like everyone sees my over-extended failures. Things that should have stopped multiplying on my face are festering.”



“The guy?”



“Let me take this call first.”

“Why do Brits end phone calls so abruptly? You have a great conversation but then the conclusion is so weird. They say okay bye and hung up before you say okay bye back.

“You are dating white men?”

“No I am not dating a white guy. I can’t.”


“It’s unnatural.”


“If I was racist I would not be suffering bad tea in a white-owned restaurant. I would be drinking very hot tea at Mama Njeri’s. Maybe support a woman’s business for a change.”

“White makes beautiful babies.”

“All babies are beautiful if you look at them properly.”

“Speaking of women, look at the gang that walked in while you were being offended by curt goodbyes.”

“The Femioso eat here?”

“Your BFF is one of them.”

“The Squeegee appointed herself.  I respected her pseudo-feminist outrage until I discovered she is anti-me and anti-every-other-woman-on-blue-earth. As are all Femioso. Mean girls.”


“Okay. Cunt psychosis. They all scream for women’s rights and tell everyone they meet ‘I am feminist’ before they even say hello and all other cosmetic shit they do as a gang. Then separately they turn on each other.  ”

“How do you figure?”

“Ideally, if someone is going to replace her mouth with her vagina and make it talk to you, the vagina should be sanitised. The mouthing vagina shouldn’t vomit on you at any point of intercourse with your faculties.”


“Harsh thrash. Where is your vagina now?”

“Where it should be.”

“So how did you find out that their vaginas are desecrating their faces?”

“Years with an imposed bestie.”

“I see.”

“I know all their secrets, thanks to Squeegee.”

“Tell me or shut up.”

“Well, you see the one with the menu?”


“Squeegee says her dad cheats on her mum because mama has become unbearably mad and manipulative.. She is also thinking of moving out of home because of her mum.. Squeegee says the madness runs in the family because Menu Girl is also seeing a shrink and is on anti-depressants for like three unwavering disorders.”

“And how did Squeegee know?”

“She was told by Menu Girl. In confidence.”

“And the confidence was assigned to you?”


“What about Hot Lip?”

“She attacked a number of women on twitter DMs over some guy she apparently hasn’t fucked let alone met. Yet, she is the self-proclaimed queen of sisterhood. The other members of the gang don’t really like her but for some reason their interaction with her in public does not show it. They worship her then later laugh about all her shortcomings. Squeegee says Hot Lip is weird as fuck and can’t keep a man. See how that sits badly? Saying someone can’t keep a man when in public you help her scream that men treat you like tools and they can go fuck themselves. Cunt psychosis.”

“Cunt psychosis is hard on my mind. Just use basic words.”

“Let my poetry prosper.”

“You suck at it. How about Afro?”

“Well, according to Squeegee, Afro is a slut whofucks strangers in the name of freedom of expression or some shit like that. Sijui ati artistic spirituality and owning her body through multiple sex partners….”

“She does not look like a slut.”

“Nobody looks like a slut. But, yeah, according to the inside source she can’t keep her legs closed for anyone. And when the sex is bad or the dude comes back for more she accuses the mistaken penis of taking advantage of her vagina and making it do things she did not particularly permit. Then the army will rise and fight Mr. Penis Mistake without first asking him if he hypnotized Afro or not before sleeping with her. Now that I think about it, Afro could be a sophisticated sex pest in an alternate universe with memory erasing laser tools and shady hi-tech stuff like that.”

“Stop yourself right now.”

“It gets worse. Pick another gangsta.”


“Braids got an STI from this C list guy on twitter. So she started a ‘private callout’ to see how many women had slept with this guy and gotten the STI.”

“Like a support group for Herpes survivors?”

“Whatsapp group. So all of them came out and bitched about the guy forever. How dare he make them sick? Why don’t men respect our sexual expression enough to carry condoms and use them? What happened to full disclosure to a sexual partner and that kind of a thing? ‘The obvious concern would be why they are having unprotected sex in the first place..”

“Stop laughing. No one thought about shaming the guy in public.”

“Nope. But guess what happened?”

“Tell me or shut up.”

“Squeegee leaked the quarantine secrets and now just about everyone on earth knows which of them bought antibiotics and their fellow survivors who bought the same dose.”

“Did they tell the guy to go see a doctor as well?”


“So as we speak there is probably another woman getting infected with something thick?”


“And the Femioso are cool with that.”

“Look at them laugh and eat. No Gonorrhea. All on cloud nine.”

“Do you know who this C List matafaka is?”

“Why? Are you sleeping around without gloves?”

“I have slipped a couple of times. Who is he?”

“Some blogger.”

“I haven’t touched a blogger… yet.”

“Don’t. Now, you see Jugs?”

“The hottest of the pack.”



“Squeegee says she fucks all married men in town including their  fathers in exchange for manicures, pedicures, trips to some fancy ass places in Arabia. So she is a great enemy of women just by the mere act of engaging in an act of betrayal with their husbands.’”

“Is that bad?”

“Technically? No. In real sense the men owe loyalty to their wives. Jugs owes them nothing. She didn’t pay dowry or swear things before gods. But it is bad as far as Squeegee is concerned. And that’s the crazy contradiction that makes me think she is a serial poser. Squeegee has a Catholic background and is quite a prude on her best-true-to-herself days. You can’t even talk about cum without her breaking into a sweat. But she rolled around with someone’s dude for quite some time without any traces of guilt. A sexually-liberated Catholic feminist who respects her parents’ marriage and does not want children. She would make for a fantastic exorcism candidate, if she doesn’t end up shagging the priest as well.”

“You are not perfect either.”

“I am not pretending to be perfect. I am not a bloody chameleon. What you see is what you get here. One shade.”

“Alright, the one in pink?”

“Apparently she is always looking for good dick and collapsing on short fingers. Such bad luck is hilarious. She has kids and Squeegee says she is setting a bad example. Curious that a woman who has no children knows how they should be raised…”

“So basically these women are every woman’s nightmare.”

“That’s not even the tragic part.”

“Tell me or shut up.”

“They don’t fight for anything. They just make noise. Bad noise.”

“As opposed to good noise?”


“Which is what?”

“Noise that has tangible results. Like when I plant my flowers I pour water on them so they grow. I won’t pour acid on them and keep saying At least I planted the damn flowers what have you done? every time someone questions the acid decision.”

“I kinda get it.”

“I wish they got it.”

“They don’t have to.”

“You know, you can’t tell them anything. They have the final word. I am a very practical person. I use my brain most of the time. So, no. I don’t have any resources to spare on them.”

“Yet you just took some time to tell me all their dirt.”

“I was making a point.”

“What point?”

“Fuck them.”

“But they are women like you?”

“Well, a good tree also bears bad fruit…or no fruit at all.”

“The last one. The one with the burger. What do we know about her?”

“That bugger stole someone’s man…well not really cause men are not money to be stolen and when your man likes someone else it is not usually that other person’s fault. Willing seller and buyer… Anyway, she ran off with this guy and apparently his ex keeps calling her and demanding her boyfriend back. But the guy seems to have made up his mind and is even doing permanent things with this one. Not that it is a mark of anything, but you know… But I like her. She should upgrade her crowd though. Those rats will eat her brain.”

“Alright. Now tell me what Squeegee has told them about you that has you distrusting everybody.”

“I don’t know what she has told them. But I know what she told someone else.”


“I won’t tell you what but I will tell you how.”


“She told someone who goes to my AA meetings. Then this person later comes to ask me how I am doing after this and that happened. Being sympathetic to my suffering and you know how I hate a sympathetic stranger. I felt like total shit. It was my story to tell. I needed to heal before telling it because I always tell my own stories without holding anything back. But this bloody bitch just decided to own my business and sell it for free. Then when I confront her she tells me ‘oops’ like my life is a cheap glass that she dropped in her slum kitchen. I let people sit in my affairs and think whatever the fuck they want to think, make fucking fucked analysis and go broadcast it to fucking strangers. Strangers sympathising with me because someone decided to own my misfortune. You have to be some phenomenally fucked up demon to peddle people’s bad luck in exchange for friendship. Her only claim into conversations among friends is regurgitating things she was told in confidence.”

“You can’t blame Squeegee though. You knew she is a pathological gossip. Why did you tell her intimate things?”

“I needed to talk to someone. And I assumed that she would be loyal to me. I don’t know…like I was special enough for her to respect. Bullshit.”

“Like how a mouse would sit in front of a cat and expect to be safe?”

“I was foolish. I am paying for it.”

“Did you ever spill her dirt?”

“Nope. I would never. Maybe just what I told you today.”

“So what type of friendship was that?”

“Something like what I have with you.”

“I am not like her.”

“You just fed on gossip and asked for more. You haven’t even ordered anything.”

“I should order. In the meantime, the pack of hyenas is checking this direction with laughing eyes. I suppose that means she told them everything.”

“I have the mind to go over there and turn the table on their tits.”

“Nope. We’ll order and eat sickly sweat cake, and walk the fuck out of here. My treat.”

© Linda Musita 2017

First published by Enkare Review in February 2017

Squad was among Brittle Paper’s 79 Notable Pieces of 2017 under the Fiction Category and was a top 10 nominee for the Fiction Award in the Inaugural Brittle Paper Literary Awards for The Best of African Literature Online