Today I woke up at 06:30am, my usual wake up time, but stayed in bed anyway because I had no set program for the day, which required early rising. The luxury of being busy every day, all the time, is an important aspect of life a job seeker misses. I sat up in bed, today, and looked around my room for something, anything that could get my hands and brains engaged in something sensible, preferably character building and emotionally stabilizing. After making a detailed scan, around my bedroom, I decided that arranging my shoes was going to be my day’s first chore.
My shoe collection was a detailed one, shoes that I wore when still at school, those I had hope of repairing and the irreparable ones which nevertheless still sat there, I also had three pairs of good functional shoes. My ex-boyfriend’s shoes were also occupying space, on my shoe rack, in my house. I seriously needed to clean every unwanted item (and memory) out of my life. I looked at Nathan’s shoes they were black Gucci shoes, he looked really good in those shoes! I stared hard at these shoes, because it had been exactly six months, two days and five hours ever since I broke up with him.
The first day I met Nathan, I was struck by his deep voice, bright eyes, well-shaped moustache, well-manicured nails and killer smile; the memory of this smile still causes a shiver in my intestines. He was the typical TDH (Tall Dark and Handsome). He was addressing students in the faculty of business, at my university, about the changing trends in African business and law students were asked to join some sessions and that’s how I became part of his audience.
I joined the group and within 20 minutes I had known so much about him. I learnt that he was a fresh graduate from Harvard Business School and he had just been recruited as a Lecturer at my university. I also learnt that he was not married. I sat in the room and pretended to be listening to him, as I merely gazed at him, I still think that I was not the only female pretending to be listening.
This tall slender smart guy who obviously visited the gym often had a very good head between his shoulders which occasionally displayed arrogance and pride. There are many other physical and intellectual features which drew me to him; I found him very attractive.
To cut the long story short we started dating five months later, I also completed my programme and graduated around the same time. I worshiped him; he occasionally spent nights at my house and even brought his laundry for me to do. I was jobless and happy to play wife, washing woman, cook etc.
Three weeks after I had given him my virginity, I found him in my bed with Glorious, my cousin. I had travelled to Mbale for a job interview but decided to travel back home that evening, because we had finished earlier than anticipated. I took a four hour taxi ride, with my friend, Beth, who had sat the same interview with me.
Beth and I agreed that she spends the night at my house, because it was getting too late for her to proceed to Kampala. So we got out of the taxi, jumped on boda-bodas (Public commuting motorcycles); we were at my gate in 15 minutes (obviously exhausted!), I opened it and I was surprised to find Nathan’s car parked in the compound. Anyway, I told Ruth not to worry after all I had a spare mattress which we could spread in the leaving room for her to sleep.
I opened the house wondering why I was hearing very strange sounds, So I switched on the light and looked on in disbelief, my boyfriend and my cousin Glorious engrossed in consummating their lust, in my bed. Nathan jumped off the bed with my bed sheet wrapped around himself, quickly saying “I am so sorry baby, please forgive me” As if he had already done a good job rehearsing these words.
His partner in lust, Glorious, quickly pulled my beddings over her nude body and struggled to get them further up to cover up her face, and then cried out, as if in fear! The resulting drama woke up my landlady, who lived next door, she entered my house and helped me chase these two out of my house.
My landlady even told me that this guy who I was lavishing with husband rights, had slept with her housemaid and was trying to seduce her daughter. She encouraged me to free my mind and ‘let the dog go!’ I let the dog go, and even shifted from the house a few months later. But I still carried his clothing!
Today, I hated the fact that his shoes, sandals, jacket, two T-shirts, three suits, three shirts, ties and uncountable underwears occupied space in my house. What a fool I was! I still cried over him. This is the guy I got so infatuated with and I compromised my Christian principles.
I assembled his property on the floor and stared hard at it, it was a big bold proof of my stupidity!
They were mainly of Italian make, expensive designer labels! I imagined how much money they had cost him, and even went on the internet to find out prices! These were expensive things. I decided to sell off the suits and shoes, set his undergarments on fire and give away the rest to street children. I had a list of males who I knew would like them and I was going to sell these items off cheaply. I made myself breakfast, took it with a mental note and determination of getting these items out of my house by sunset.
I set a good fire outside my house and threw in the under garments. Then I cleaned and dusted the shoes and the jackets, packed each suit separately in a plastic bag and I called my potential buyers who were excited to receive such pricey items at a cheap cost, and they were happy to pay right away. I also delivered to their offices. Selling them off was better than burning them or taking them to him, he probably did not need them after all he had never shown interest in them.
I carried the plastic bags and headed for Kampala town. From my house it is a thirty minute ride in a taxi when there’s no traffic jam. I sat in the taxi with people who seemed to have a more serious agenda than me; I must have been the only one who was taking a taxi to get rid of an ex-boyfriend’s annoying memory. Nathan was a pointless nightmare! When the taxi reached town I got out with my cargo and wondered which street I would begin with, until I caught sight of an old woman who was sitting with two very young children, probably aged two and three years, they clung to her.
I had nothing for the children. I only gave her Nathan’s sandals and hoped that she would just wear them. I did not even have money to give her. I gave away the rest of the things to other people, I was awed by the life of these equally great children of God, they woke up only to be on the street, every day. While I sat in my house and cried over Nathan!
I delivered the three suits and shoes to buyers, who sent money to my phone, I always avoid handling cash; my day was done.
As I walked back to the taxi, my phone rang and my longtime friend, Ellen Asiimwe, was on the line. Ellen is this cool friend who I first met 20 years ago; she is a Programme Director in Bright Future Limited, an organization which offers mentorship services to Secondary School Youths. She is a blend of smartness and kindness.
Every time her company needs an extra hand, Ellen invites me, I get to write proposals, give motivational talks to the teens etc and earn some money. She is super cool and I love hearing from her. Anyway she asked about what I was doing in town and I went on with the narrative on the judgment I had just executed on Nathan’s garments. She laughed hard and did not declare me a monster. “He has definitely already bought more clothes and got himself a woman to do the laundry; if he needed them he would have sent his driver to pick them up.” She assured me.
“I met Jane today, you know that her wedding is two weeks away,” I admitted that I was aware. “The person she had booked to make her bridal jewelry has disappointed her, but I assured her that you could make all of it in the required time.” I was happy to make jewelry. I told her that I was overjoyed ready to work.
“I am going to send you pictures of her designs and fabrics so that you match her interests.” She also promised to share with me Jane’s number so that I make sketches and let her have a look.
I started making jewelry during one of the long holidays, it became a hobby as I learnt to put beads together in different designs, these can be anklets, necklaces, head pieces, wrist beads etc. Once in a while I am happy to earn some money out of this and other skills. “Since I have the money, send the pictures and I go shopping for the beads and other materials,” I suggested and headed downtown to buy the beads and materials, from the money I had just earned from the sale.