Chased-Part One

Even when I had planned to wake up at 5am, I didn’t get out of bed until a few minutes to seven in the morning. When I saw that there was no electricity, I was actually glad I didn’t waste my time getting up so early. “Early for what,” you ask? Well, I had to pack and go elsewhere. The landlord had chased me.

First item on the Agenda was to fold, sort and pack all the washed clothes and laundry. Two days prior, my laundry guy had showed up and washed everything that needed washing, door mats and all….. Miraculously, everything dried up. My birthday was in a week so I had asked God to help me dry my clothes and consider it an early birthday present- even if it’s the only thing he got me. Wet clothes can be a nightmare, and it was raining a lot lately out of the blue. I am so glad that God listened and answered.

Next, I texted one of my landlord’s guys. I thanked him for his patience and promised to send the money for August as soon as I got it. From there, I washed the few dirty utensils and pans. I recall the first time I was shifting and someone found me washing utensils. She asked whether there was no water where I was going. Funny.

Anyway as I washed, this new guy down the lane, Benson, came and asked to borrow my gate key.
Me: You know you need to make a copy.
Him: Yes, I will make.
Me: …but, I will give you mine when I’m leaving.
Him: Eh, you’re going? Sorry. (And I could sense the sympathy in his voice).
Me: It’s okay.
Him: So now, what you do, when you finish, you put it up for me by the store window.

I was amused, especially by the first part: “So now, what you do…” If not for the politeness in his tone, and his accent that told me he’s from the West, I would have taken offense. But placing all that into consideration, I rather just laughed it off as a poor choice of words, most Westerners have that problem.

At some point in the morning, I set alarms for every one hour. This was supposed to help me time myself. Once it got to midday, I increased my speed. By 2:30pm, I was done. With everything of mine sealed in boxes outside, I mopped the entire place, inside-out. I wanted to leave the place neater than I had found it. As I did this, I called the gentleman supposed to pick me up. I then gave my phone to my neighbor to help me direct the guy and bring him to our gate.

About my neighbor Jay, he is my ex’s namesake. I recall the first time I went over and introduced myself. He was listening to the radio station where I work on very loud volume. I texted the presenters in studio about it. They asked for his name and I said I did not know. They dared me to go over, introduce myself and ask for the guy’s name. I said I would, only if they gave him a mention on On-Air. They agreed. I went outside and knocked on this guy’s door for the very first time. When he opened, I asked for his name. All was well until he mentioned his name. I froze, like I had seen a ghost. He was ex’s namesake! Long story short, we exchanged contacts and every time he called or sent me a message on Whatsapp, it would trigger me, seeing his name. First I would panic, thinking it was my ex, then I would recall that it’s my neighbor contacting me. I could have saved him as anything, but, I stuck with his first name. Over the months, I went from dreading the name to actually embracing it as part of my healing journey. We can’t run forever.

When the truck packed outside the gate, two youths passing by came and asked to help us load and be paid for it. They seemed polite and respectful; so why not? I said yes. As they loaded the truck, the lady in a house opposite our gate got out to watch. I smiled and waved when I saw her. I’m embarrassed to admit that for all the times we met and talked, I never ever asked for her name. (I later found out that evening that she was called Sharon). They had a tap outside so we would chat whenever I would go for water.

The day before, I had informed her that I was leaving. When she asked why, I told her in Luganda that I had been chased. Amused, she laughed at my blunt honesty. Most people covered up and lied saying that they got a better place elsewhere…or that they got a new job offer. Well, it is unfortunate that my reason was not as fancy. I had been chased, and that was just about it.

In all the times I have shifted, this is the first I was leaving only because my hand had been twisted. Otherwise, I still loved the place and everything about it. One has more chances of becoming president than finding a nice, affordable place to rent in Kampala. This place was so good that even before my departure, four people passed by in less than thirty minutes making inquiries about it. Talk about high demand!

End of Part One.

Disclaimer: The names that feature in this story are fictitious. They were made up to protect the identity and privacy of those involved.

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  1. esther tusiime

    September 17, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Beautiful 😊❤❤❤

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      September 20, 2022 at 6:20 am

      Thanks my dear.

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