It is going to be a long idle week. I have no conferences lined up, no research projects pending, no commissioned writing assignments and no company. PK travelled to Nigeria for work at an Oil and Gas Engineering Firm and he will be back in January 2017. I have the option of staying at his three bedroom apartment in Kyambogo, housekeeping the month away, or, confining myself to my cave of a room in Kyanja. Ordinarily I would choose the cave over the apartment but only to prove to PK that I am an independent woman who pays no attention to the comfort that his apartment offers. Now that he is away I get to unreservedly enjoy the spacious rooms, the heated water in the bathroom, the wide, cushy sofas, and the washing machine; always ready to swallow and whirl my dirty clothes to cleanness at no cost.
If my conscience would allow me I would invite Marcus over. We would bless each room with screams and grunts, Marcus and I. We would do it on the kitchen counter, in the bathroom, at the dining table, on the carpet – (maybe it would be wise to avoid the carpet because Marcus summons rains between my thighs where PK dutifully plunges in even during dry spells).
And if PK did not fuss about smoking within the apartment I would invite Kaine. PK thinks she is a moving chimney and he has persuaded me unsuccessfully to avoid her company. If I could I would have Kaine over and we would binge on Weeds, the TV series. I have wanted to watch Weeds ever since Kaine told me about it but I have not laid my hands on the complete eight seasons (the impatience imbedded in my personality cannot allow me to start a series unless I have the complete number of seasons). Maybe we would go hunting for the DVDs in movie stores and get high on some Weeds drama.
God! I am bored. I resort to the bathroom with the only legally acceptable companion I can sneak into the apartment while PK is away. Although Kaine cannot smoke reefer here, I can freely blow away Dunhills because the minty-tobacco aroma is generally acceptable. Besides there is a father in the apartment next door who smokes too.
I am still seated on the toilet bowl long after my customary four sticks have been reduced to grey ashes. I start to feel an overpowering rush of regret and failure. It clouds the exciting tingle in my limbs occasioned by the tobacco sticks. My life is a mess, I think to myself. I should have kept my job at the law firm: instead of this weight of idleness I would be crushed down by a work load so heavy I would be incapable of feeling regret or failure. My bank account is as dry and fruitless as maize plantations are during the January drought. My legal career has been condemned to fail because I am not working in a formal setting. I have been unfaithful to a man I am told is a dream come true for any sensible woman my age. My fallen head gives my eyes a perfect view of the bulge my stomach has taken on; it has ballooned out of shape and my sitting posture makes it hard to hide. I hate my life. I hate my life. I hate my life.
My session wallowing in self pity is disturbed by a distant ringing phone. I abandon the bathroom with all its clouds of negativity and trot to the living room where my phone is charging.
The call is from Tom, my brother. He is excited at having completed his final paper and he cannot wait to waste away his senior six vacation. Of course I have to help him at this great task. He hands the phone over to Rabella who is ecstatic to be speaking to me. She reminds me that her friend Priscilla has a birthday over the weekend.
“Can you take me to the party?” she asks.
“Ha! Rabella. I may not come home over the weekend” I tell her.
“Nawe Tindi. Please.”
“Uhm. What about mom and dad? Can’t they take you?”
“They are going to the village on Friday.”
The excitement she started with is now replaced with a sad soberness that compels me to say yes to her request.
“Juliet wants to talk to you”, she says, her voice already picking up on the earlier excitement.
“Dooorahhh?” mother’s voice is a little high pitched and she speaks English with a dragging tongue.
“Yes please?” calling her ,Mom does not come naturally especially since I already call Mrs. Kwikiriza Mom.
“Howu eare you? Wheni eare you comingi homu to siyas?”
I laugh unnecessarily in reply. I am guilty. Ever since I moved out of home in August, I have only visited maybe thrice.
“I will be home this weekend.” I say.
“Eare you Shuwa?”she asks for assurance.
Another unnecessary guilty laugh escapes out of my lips. “Yes Juliet. I promise.”
“Banange, do you eati foodu? You donti soundi sstrrrongo?”
“I am okay Juliet. I have even put on weight.”
She laughs. It is necessary for her to laugh. As a mother it gives her great pleasure to know that I have gained a few kilograms. I lie that I have to go because I was in a discussion before the phone call. I promise to call back shortly.
Copyright © 2016-2017 by Daphine Arinda