That ill-fated Night

One evening in Canada at a social event, a white man said to me, “You are so beautiful, if I were your age, I would marry you”. I was only nine years old. This man was presumably in his late fifties but still looked handsome. He had one of those contagious smiles and charming personalities. His was one of the billions of compliments I received everywhere I went.

I remember the time my aunt was so excited because my picture was in the Canadian Newspaper. She cut it out, placed it in a heart-shaped frame and gave it to me for a gift. Yes, I was pretty and I knew it. People were constantly telling me what an amazing smile I had and how beautiful I was.

I was one of those bubbly, lovable kids that was always smiling and getting hugs. People that have met me now say that I am so confident. I tell them it is because I was over praised as a child.

Woefully, the unimaginable happened six months after my return to Uganda. At midnight as many people were shouting everywhere, welcoming the new year, I too was screaming. Only for entirely different reasons. 2006 did not start on a good note for me.

As I turned in my sleep, I had rolled over the top double decker bed and landed flat on my face on the hard cemented floor. I screamed so much that I woke the whole house up.

It was a terrible fall. My face was bruised and my lips were swollen with cuts. A tooth had dug deep in my lower lip leaving a terrifying split. In one ill-fated night, I lost one and half of my front teeth. This was worse than my worst nightmare. The accident changed my appearance forever.

I do not recall what happened from the time of the fall and the morning. I just recall crying so much. When the sun was up and shinning, I got in the car with mom and we went to hospital. They gave me a few tabs and syrup that I had to rinse my mouth with.

With the medication, my lips healed perfectly. Next, I had to see a dentist. I got several appointments with a dentist at Pan Dental. These involved cleaning, planning on filling up the half tooth and measurements for the denture. The bill was astronomical, however, God provided.

In 2008 when I was in Primary Five, the half tooth was cemented to make it whole. Two years after, in Primary Seven, I got a denture to fill the gap of the missing tooth. My new smile was so real that no one suspected I had a false tooth.

I am so glad I had a full set in highschool. In primary, no one cares much about appearance. Boys looking at girls is nearly illegal. Pupils are just concerned about playing, porridge and food at lunch time. In contrast, a missing tooth in my highschool would have been suicidal. Students can be wicked.

Losing my precious teeth came with it’s advantages. I became introverted and focused more on my academics. At the end of 2006, I had placed third in my class. For the rest of my primary school, I never exceeded the 7th position. Perhaps my academic excellence was why no one ever made fun of my missing teeth. Or maybe they never noticed? I can never tell.

I learnt a very useful life lesson from all this; beauty can be here today and gone tomorrow. Let’s focus our attention on things that no one can take away from us. Things like character, developing our intellect, working hard and on our relationship with both God and people. A minor accident can alter your appearance forever.

The End.

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  1. Esther Byoona

    May 27, 2022 at 5:27 pm

    Amazing….you are absolutely right…thank you for sharing

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      May 27, 2022 at 7:56 pm

      You’re welcome my dear; thanks for reading. I appreciate the feedback.

  2. Ayebare Patience Joy

    May 27, 2022 at 10:10 pm

    Ooh dear….if you never told this story I wouldn’t have known because your smile is as beautiful as ever.

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      May 28, 2022 at 5:41 am

      Thank you hun. My God is good like that πŸ’œ

  3. Juan Emmanuela

    May 28, 2022 at 10:44 am

    This is a beautiful read 😊😊

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      May 28, 2022 at 12:17 pm

      Thank you Juan😊

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