She really had to go but she was on the the fourth floor. There was no way she could make it down to the first floor where the staff toilet was. Either she wet herself on the way down in the elevator or she used his toilet. If she got caught she could lose her job but she was desperate.
She was lucky that she had access to toilets here at the hotel. If she were at home or on the road, she would be forced to use a free public toilet but there was always the fear of catching a disease or getting raped.
I’ll be quick about it. She dashed into the washroom and closed the door. She sat on the toilet seat and relieved herself, promising herself that this would never happen again. Suddenly, the door opened and the Japanese man stood there. She couldn’t tell which one of them was more shocked and embarrassed. He muttered something under his breath and quickly closed the door. She was mortified. What was she going to do now? He had caught her red-handed. If he reported her, she would be fired on the spot. She needed this job to take care of her daughter.
She got up, pulled her underwear up and the skirt of her uniform down, flushed the toilet and washed her hands. Slowly, she opened the door and walked into the living-room where he was. He turned when he heard her. For several minutes, there was a tense silence. She went over to him. Her heart was racing and her hands were trembling. Fear gripped her.
Taking a deep breath, she said, “Sir, please don’t report me. This is the first time I have used the toilet in any of the suites or rooms. I couldn’t hold it. I promise it wouldn’t happen again. Just please don’t report me. They will fire me and I need this job.”
He didn’t answer right away but he seemed to be considering what she said. This close he was extremely handsome.
“Is that the new uniform?” he asked.
“Yes.” Today was the first time she was wearing it. She liked it much better than the old one.
“What’s your name?”
“Are you married, Ife?”
She shook her head. “I’m divorced.” She didn’t mention that she had a daughter.
“All right, Ife. I wouldn’t report you.”
She breathed a heavy sigh of relief. “Oh, thank you, Mr–?”
“Kobayashi but you may call me Toshiro.”
“Thank you, Mr. Kobayashi for not reporting me.”
“I’m not sure if you will be so grateful once you have heard my proposition.”
Ife frowned. “Your proposition?”
“Yes. You’re a very beautiful and desirable woman, Ife. My proposition is that in exchange for you keeping your job, you and I should get to know each other better.”
Ife swallowed. “What do you mean?”
He smiled. “I think you know what I mean.” And as if to leave no room for any misunderstanding, he reached out and caressed her arm with his knuckles. Her skin felt soft and smooth. His eyes darkened on her upturned face. He removed his jacket and his tie. “Let’s go in there where it’s more comfortable.” he said, inclining his head backwards, indicating the bedroom which was behind him.
Ife’s heart sank. She had wanted him to be interested in her but not like this–not just for sex. Yet, she had no choice. Either she agreed to his proposition or she was out of a job. Wordlessly, she nodded and followed him into the bedroom.
An hour later, she got dressed. He pulled on an expensive silk robe and followed her into the living-room. “I would like to see you again tomorrow, Ife,” he said, “but at five o’ clock in the afternoon.”
She opened her mouth to tell him that she couldn’t because of her daughter, Miremba but she held her tongue. Instead, she nodded before quickly slipping out of the suite before anyone could see her. She finished her rounds until her 8 hour shift was over. When she got home, she fixed dinner and straightened the place, although she was tired.
This story is fiction but there is a severe toilet shortage in Kampala, one of Africa’s bustling cities. It is home to 1.5 million people but it has only 14 free public toilets. Many of these public toilets are dilapidated with walls often smeared with feces. And on the outskirts of Uganda’s capital, Kampala, there are no public toilets for around 1,200 people. Outbreaks of cholera and other water-borne diseases are common and yet authorities in Kampala have not constructed a single public toilet for years, There is an existing plan, however, to set up 200 toilets by 2025 with the support of donors such as the German development agency GIZ. Until then, this continues to be a sanitation crisis.
There are many people who don’t have toilet facilities in their homes. And women can’t use the public toilets without the fear of disease or rape.
Tuesday, November 19 is World Toilet Day. To find out more information and how you can help, visit this link. This year’s theme is leaving no one behind.
A toilet is not just a toilet. It’s a life-saver, dignity-protector and opportunity-maker. Whoever you are, wherever you are, sanitation is your human right. And yet, today, 4.2 billion people live without safely managed sanitation. How can anyone lift themselves out of poverty without sanitation? We must expand access to safe toilets and leave no one behind – United Nations