Mr. Millionaire and his wife met me at Boca Raton airport in Florida. As they approached, I wondered whether to shake their hands, as we do in Kenya, or hug them like students did on campus. No problem! The take-charge benefactor approached, his broad smile fixed on me. "Hello, Wanjiru!" He relieved me of my luggage and, with a wave of his right hand, presented his wife. She stretched her wrinkled skinny hand while she maintained eye contact. I shook her soft hand and said how nice it was to meet her.
She wore a dress with tiny prints halfway down to her shins, with a sweater draped over her shoulders. Short, five-foot-two tops, petite, fragile with blonde or grey hair, I couldn't tell the difference. She looked ordinary, without the rich look I had conjured in my mind. Before we left the airport, and later at their residence, I caught her sneak glances at me. Perhaps her husband had oversold me, and the woman expected an executive woman. I never applied makeup in Nairobi or San Diego. That must have made me look too plain to American eyes. Well, I wore the best clothes I owned, a pair of blue jeans and a turquoise-green top I bought at Kmart.
At the parking lot, Mr. Millionaire opened their luxurious car's front passenger door. After his wife settled in, he opened the back door and shut it after I entered. I sat almost at the edge of the backseat with the door as support and placed my purse on my left side. It made me feel snug and secure.
As soon as he eased the quiet car from the airport, Mr. Millionaire described everything noteworthy along our route. But my mind focused on how I would last for six weeks in the couple's household. I recalled how much I had enjoyed his company back in Nairobi, but in Boca Raton uneasiness unsettled me. I had never entered a white person's house before. Do they live a regular life as we do in Kenya? Will they give me a lockable bedroom so I can feel secure at night? How do they cook their food?