By Mauryn Okunga

My phone rang before Christian put his down. I reached for it but couldn’t recognize the number. I picked the call, too late for Christian’s raised hand, telling me not to answer it.

“Leave my man alone, Maureen. Tonight’s meal might be the last you will have if you don’t leave him alone…”

Christian took the phone from me and ended the call.

I fought the urge to scream and pull out my hair. Even in my life as a hooker, there had never been a single day that a woman had called me with threats over a man. A few of my friends hadn’t been as lucky and that left the fear embedded deep in my heart. And yet here I was being threatened by someone who I assumed had become an ex-girlfriend more than four months ago.

“Maureen,” he said, reaching for my hands again. I pulled back.

“Please listen. I do not know how she got your number or how she even knew you and I were dating. But I have made it very clear to her several times that my relationship with her is over. I’m really sorry.”

Looking into his eyes, honest, pleading, I wanted to draw him into a long, warm hug despite my anger and pain. But I remained rooted in my chair. 

“I’m going home. I’ll see myself out,” I said, and rose.

“Baby, please…”

 Baby? That got me, but I couldn’t go back on my word.

 “We’ll talk in the morning.”

I could hardly recognize my voice. My body had been consumed by a level five storm and if I didn’t leave as fast as possible, I would break down. He sat down dejectedly and didn’t make a move to stop me. I picked my phone and walked out of the house while scrawling through my contact list for my boda guy’s number. 

I waited outside the gate for a while before he arrived.

It wasn’t until we’d reached my house that I remembered I’d left my handbag in Christian’s car with all my stuff, except the phone. Paying for the ride wasn’t a problem since I could easily do a mobile money transfer. I also had an extra key under one of my flower pots but my diary was in my handbag.

My diary!

***

Epilogue

It felt like eternity before Christian looked up and accepted that Maureen had walked out on him. It was harder than the time his ex-girlfriend cynically announced that she had aborted his child. Maureen loved him and he loved her. Well, she hadn’t told him she loves him but he knew she did.

He picked up his car keys to follow her. He dialled her phone number but her phone was switched off. He wasn’t sure she knew the neighbourhood well enough to leave alone. He couldn’t imagine how he would live with himself if anything happened to Maureen. On the co-driver’s seat was Maureen’s bag.

“Dear Lord, I hope she had money on her for a boda or something,” he prayed.

Opening her bag, her purse was there and a book.

He flipped a page, reasoning that there could be phone numbers jotted somewhere; a number belonging to someone close to her, someone who could help him win her back. She hardly talked about her friends or family. “Maybe I could get lucky,” he thought as he flipped another page and just then, a note caught his attention.

“Josh over dozed today and I thought his father would kill me! Why on earth did I get entangled with both father and son?”

He turned off the ignition, leaned back and closed his eyes.

***

Dear Reader, In Bits of Forever ends here. We are glad you read it with us. Look out for our next diary. 

Written by Mauryn Okunga

My phone rang before Christian put his down. I reached for it but couldn’t recognize the number. I picked the call, too late for Christian’s raised hand, telling me not to answer it.

“Leave my man alone, Maureen. Tonight’s meal might be the last you will have if you don’t leave him alone…”

Christian took the phone from me and ended the call.

I fought the urge to scream and pull out my hair. Even in my life as a hooker, there had never been a single day that a woman had called me with threats over a man. A few of my friends hadn’t been as lucky and that left the fear embedded deep in my heart. And yet here I was being threatened by someone who I assumed had become an ex-girlfriend more than four months ago.

“Maureen,” he said, reaching for my hands again. I pulled back.

“Please listen. I do not know how she got your number or how she even knew you and I were dating. But I have made it very clear to her several times that my relationship with her is over. I’m really sorry.”

Looking into his eyes, honest, pleading, I wanted to draw him into a long, warm hug despite my anger and pain. But I remained rooted in my chair. 

“I’m going home. I’ll see myself out,” I said, and rose.

“Baby, please…”

 Baby? That got me, but I couldn’t go back on my word.

 “We’ll talk in the morning.”

I could hardly recognize my voice. My body had been consumed by a level five storm and if I didn’t leave as fast as possible, I would break down. He sat down dejectedly and didn’t make a move to stop me. I picked my phone and walked out of the house while scrawling through my contact list for my boda guy’s number. 

I waited outside the gate for a while before he arrived.

It wasn’t until we’d reached my house that I remembered I’d left my handbag in Christian’s car with all my stuff, except the phone. Paying for the ride wasn’t a problem since I could easily do a mobile money transfer. I also had an extra key under one of my flower pots but my diary was in my handbag.

My diary!

***

Epilogue

It felt like eternity before Christian looked up and accepted that Maureen had walked out on him. It was harder than the time his ex-girlfriend cynically announced that she had aborted his child. Maureen loved him and he loved her. Well, she hadn’t told him she loves him but he knew she did.

He picked up his car keys to follow her. He dialled her phone number but her phone was switched off. He wasn’t sure she knew the neighbourhood well enough to leave alone. He couldn’t imagine how he would live with himself if anything happened to Maureen. On the co-driver’s seat was Maureen’s bag.

“Dear Lord, I hope she had money on her for a boda or something,” he prayed.

Opening her bag, her purse was there and a book.

He flipped a page, reasoning that there could be phone numbers jotted somewhere; a number belonging to someone close to her, someone who could help him win her back. She hardly talked about her friends or family. “Maybe I could get lucky,” he thought as he flipped another page and just then, a note caught his attention.

“Josh over dozed today and I thought his father would kill me! Why on earth did I get entangled with both father and son?”

He turned off the ignition, leaned back and closed his eyes.

***

Dear Reader, In Bits of Forever ends here. We are glad you read it with us. Look out for our next diary. 

Written by Mauryn Okunga

I had two days to change my mind about the dinner.

My anxiety grew by the hour and I hated it. Even when I counselled myself that the dinner would go on smoothly and there wouldn’t be any attempt by Christian to undress me, a louder voice kept saying I was lying to myself.

The writing is on the wall. It’s time up, girl! 

And then Friday came after what felt like a year. Christian kept passing by my office to peep and check if I was around. By 5pm, he was parked at the UT entrance, waiting for me.

“Maybe I should call the police and report a case of stalking,” I said once I’d buckled up in the passenger seat of the Harrier he’d recently acquired.

“Why would you do that?”

“Well, you’ve been on my case like a kidnapper.”

“I will plead guilty.”

“You would?”

“Yep. And I’ll ask police to jail us together.”

We laughed.

As we embarked on the ride to his house, words deserted us both. While it seemed we were lost in thought over the dinner date, the silence was awkward.

After 40 minutes, we drove off the main road and turned into a tarmacked one. There was no sign of public transport. I immediately thought about my boda guy and scrolled through my phone contact to be sure I hadn’t somehow deleted it. Christian reached for my hand and gave a reassuring press as if he’d read my mind.

The neighbourhood was the ‘leafy’ kind, with high fences and quiet, except for the occasional barking by guard dogs, or the chirps of birds and screams by playing children. At the house, Christian got out of the car and opened the gate while exchanging greetings with the man I later learned was the gateman.

I stopped myself from asking why he didn’t hoot so that the guy could open the gate for him. I reminded myself that this was Christian, the gentleman.

Once inside, he parked the car and ran to my side to open the door. As I made to alight, he told me to wait. He carried me from the car and gently placed me down as he opened the door. I was still stunned by the act when he carried me again to the living room. I had only seen things like those in movies. I never imagined the movie would become reality in my life.

Well, my mother used to say anything is possible under the sun, and as I smiled from my newfound bliss, Christian lightly brushed his lips on my cheeks before he walked into the bedroom.

I took advantage of his absence to calm my nerves with deep breaths. Looking around, it struck me that this was the house he’d recently moved in. His own house.  How could I have forgotten? I had seen and dated well off men before but I had never been with a man as humble as Christian. That humility was written on the walls of his house. Humility with a touch of class.

By the time Christian walked back into the living room, my excitement was under check. Much as my body craved to get a feel of him, my heart was not ready.  He proceeded to the kitchen and returned with a glass of orange juice.

“My sister made it. She’d just left when we got here,” he said.

Dinner too had been prepared by the sister. It was delicious, so much that I helped myself to a second serving of the main course. Then we carried dessert to the balcony where we would be playing chess. Maybe that would calm my nerves for an hour or so and by then, I would hide behind the excuse that it was late and I had to get home.

Three moves into the game, Christian confronted the elephant in the room.

 “I can feel that you feel what I am feeling but I would like you to know that I will wait for you until you are ready,” he started.

“Ehm! I don’t think I follow.”

“I want you in my bed,” he continued, taking my hands into his. “But only if you want to. I love you Maureen. We have not known each other for a long time but I know that I love you and one day if you say yes, I would like you to be the mother of my children. My wife...”

Just then, his phone rang. He paused and waited for it to stop ringing. As soon as it stopped, it rang again, and again.

“Please don’t call me again,” he calmly said to whoever was on the side of the phone and he hang up.

End

Dear reader, this is our second last installment from In Bits of Forever diary. We hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have. Don't miss the finale series next week. 

Written by Mauryn Okunga

Christian said he’d make dinner for me “soon”, but left the decision on the exact date to me. I love being in charge, on top, if you please. But this open invitation gets scarier whenever I think about it. A nagging thought lingers, that this dinner date might be the needle that pricks our bubble.

I enjoy Christian’s company in a way I never thought I could. But men were a means to an end in my previous life, and after Xander, no one had taken interest in me beyond how short my dress was or how loud I moaned between the sheets for them. It’s the reason this thing with Christian kills me – mostly sweetly.  

I wish I had a girlfriend to share my dilemma with. Su – the closest friend I have ever had – has not really warmed up to the idea of my relationship with Christian. Plus, she is still stuck in the past life I moved on from long ago.  Maria, the receptionist would be helpful but she laughs too loud, wears too much make-up and is just weird. Annette the data entrant could have a wise thing to say, but she gossips too much, knows too much. I’m sure she even knows what the spider in the office bathroom had for breakfast.

“The Director is ready to see you,” Maria’s voice came through my office phone.

Drat! The report the director reminded me about last night is supposed to be presented today! For the first time since I started work at UT University, it will be the first time I’m meeting the Director without a third party. He’d asked for the report on what challenges my office was facing in handling student issues. I’d emailed him the report this morning but he wants us to go through it in person.

I was not in the mood for that meeting but it went better than I’d thought. He was happy with how keenly I was tracking progress of our student clients. We also discussed my current position in the department and he informed me about a new Head of Department who would be joining as soon as HR finalized the documentation. Hmmm! I hoped it won’t be another John.

*

Christian and I are on the phone every day, talking or texting, sometimes sending blank messages to each other. We find every excuse to keep in touch. Even with the “dinner date” hanging over our heads, Christian is still as funny, entertaining and warm. I can almost touch the chemistry between us and that is scary.

He hasn’t said the three worded phrase – I love you – and neither have I.  It doesn’t bother me much, after all his actions show he does. I don’t know if I love him or if I am in love with the illusion that a man could actually treat me like a fragile flower, and make me feel pretty and important without asking for sex.

My last attempt at exclusivity was with Mugisha who nearly killed me the day he found a flirty text message on my phone. I didn’t understand where his rage came from considering that he was a married man with a daughter older than me. Leaving him led to my “salvation” from men. 

Until Christian happened.

Christian with the wink, the infections smile and eyes that draws you in. Christian with the hug so warm you’d want to remain crushed in his arms forever. Christian the fixer of the broken office stapling machine, the non-responsive telephone handset and everything in between.

Would I live with myself if he decides he didn’t want to talk to me again? Even with the daily bliss, I can’t help but wonder why I opened myself up to this drama. The uncertainty of not knowing if this is for real or another slow journey to getting laid before it’s all over, is plain painful.   

“Are you up for scrabble tonight?”

Christian is a pro at Scrabble. I’ve only beaten him once since we started playing the game online. I keep thinking he cheats. After all he is a techie.

I have beaten him at chess though.

“I’ve lost enough scrabble games to you. How about chess after dinner at yours? Friday night,” I text back.

“Game on! Thank you so much. ” A wink emoji came in a follow up message.

My heart beat several times faster.

*

Dear reader, thank you for passing by as always. Look out for the last two installments in the coming weeks. 

 

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