A poet, an activist and fictional writer from Uganda. From literature, I derive expression. Literature opened and widened my imagination, gave me the courage to paint my world the way I desire by writing.
The exciting thing about humanity is how similar, and yet different women and men are. How they relate to situations, how they think, react and interpret each others statements and expressions. Here is a fictional piece illustrating the depth of these similarities and differences.
I was extremely bored today. That grumpy bored, the kind that makes you snap at everything. Work dragging so early in the morning, my socials even worse. I was so bored, I got convinced I was lonely. I started scrolling through my old Facebook messages, hoping to find an old chat I could reignite, pass the time. Nothing interesting there either, old girlfriends, old friends, dead friends, my persistent ‘hi’ message in pretty girls’ inboxes back then. It was at the point of giving up that I saw her name. Sheila. Sheila was a girl I went to school with.
She was from the northern part of the country and she always sat at the front of the class. She had shiny black skin that seemed to glow irrespective of the hour. Her skin was mostly clear and unblemished, save for a few scars on her lower legs from her childhood encounters. However, that was the least beautiful thing about her for she had huge eyes, huge and bright with a snow-white color and irises dark brown. They stood out among her facial features and lit up the face like beacons of a light house. Her eyes were always a clear white, never bloodshot. It was like she always got the perfect amount of sleep. And as we were nursing red eyes and sleep bags every morning, there she’d be, active like it was midday already.
She had the sort of beauty that made you want to protect her, the vulnerable kind, the make her your own ‘Rapunzel’ kind. Her and I never really interacted. She always seemed so serious seated at the front of the class and it somewhat repelled me. I did say hello a number of times, but I always felt she didn’t want to talk to me much. She was perfect and I was mediocre in most I did.
So, I texted her “Hey!!” crossed my fingers and waited.
Today has been quite eventful, or even bright. Weather was amazing, work was brilliant. Mums birthday is coming up and I have never been more excited. I don’t know what to get her yet but it can’t be that complicated. Basically, the day has been good, plus something rather peculiar happened in the morning. Alfred messaged me, and a big part of me doesn’t know how to react.
It has been quite a while. But he was this guy I went to school with. We shared a few classes, and much as he kept to himself most of the time, I wished he would maybe make an attempt at talking to me past the hellos we so often exchanged as he passed by my desk in the morning. But somehow, he never seemed to notice me after those.
He was relatively tall, dark African skin, with fairly hairy bulging arms that appeared stressed under the uniform. Strands of hair had started appearing on his chin and cheeks, a full beard in the making. He had full lips, and a smile that revealed the whites of his teeth. His scent was so masculine, it had an alpha demand to it, and part of me hoped to get to class before him just so I could inhale the whole of him as he walked to his seat.
A high school fantasy you could call it, an impossible one, for the coolest girls in school was what he dealt with and I was far from that.
I can’t bring self to reply. Simply saying hey back seems so plain and discouraging, yet saying more than that will evidently expose my excitement. DILEMMA!!!!
Two weeks, still no reply. Maybe she died, maybe she is busy, maybe her messenger is inactive, or maybe, just maybe like before she doesn’t want to talk. I always figured she thought of me as a dork, or a slob. Generally, I was so easy going and she was always serious. Black and white don’t mix. It was dumb to text her, now I’m over thinking it. I need a beer.
It’s been a great two weeks. Mum’s birthday was quite amazing. I got her a sweater and she adored it. Works also been simply brilliant, Employee of the Month, my boss isn’t as petty anymore. It feels good to be alive, I couldn’t as for more. It’s a phase where everything seems to be on track.
I however haven’t brought myself to reply to Alfred. I want to, I just don’t know how to. Anything I say might be misinterpreted. And sometimes I think this all ‘having my life on track’ could be a distraction from the fact that it isn’t. Frustrating evidently, given he must have forgotten he even messaged me and yet here I am worked up about a simple ‘hey’ message.
I eventually replied. Proud of myself. We had a light conversation. He seemed happy to hear from me, maybe even excited, something I didn’t exactly expect. He replied back almost immediately, not as horrible a person as I am given, I took my time. Somehow, we had what to talk about, surprisingly. I always was nervous around him. He was warm and calm, even composed.
We caught up and reminisced about the old school days. He was a joy to talk to and looking forward to our next conversation. Turns out talking to her wasn’t as hard as I pictured.
Wishes could be horses. She did reply after all. Although the conversation was basic, not as dull as I expected and yet mediocre. I waited for close to a month, I was close to forgetting I had texted her in the first place. We talked about school, work and a couple of other topics.
She however did seem hell bent on talking about the old school days and my efforts to change or divert conversation direction were almost futile. Will I text her again? I don’t know. Excited to talk to her again? Definitely no!!