Life

Day Two

Thursday, September 8, 2022.

I was up at 7:00am in a grumpy mood. My body was cold and stiff from the night on the hard floor. Alvin was up shortly after that too. He asked for how my night was. I told him it was okay, but I guess he could already guess the response from the look on my face. Alvin on the other hand had slept like a king.

I helped him to the lay the bed. But as we were nearly done, I had to redo everything ’cause the lines on the duvet were not in a straight line. Exasperated, Alvin just walked away and went to shower. I nearly burst out laughing. From there I washed up the utensils as he got ready for work. I made and served him breakfast.

Alvin: Why did you ask for my age yesterday?
Me: You’re a baby.
(He laughed and looked away in disbelief)
Me: I’m a year older than you.
Alvin: My birthday is ahead in October.
Me: Mine is in a few days. I’ll still be older.

Part of marriage, is landing on bills and receipts. That morning, later after Alvin’s departure, I landed on a receipt from the Food Hub restaurant. The date matched that when Limoblaze and Pompi had an event at church. I was working at that very event. Alvin had texted me two days after that show. Makes sense now. I had not seen him that day, but chances are that he had spotted me. This was his version of the story when he suddenly contacted me for the first time in many months: “By the way me I had forgotten your name even, I had not saved your number, so it took me a while to spot it in my very many unsaved numbers on whatsapp”.
He said he had just landed on it. Appears like honesty is not his virtue. He found my contact not by coincidence, but because he wanted to.

My client, whose book I was working on, called asking if I am alright. He knew about my current trials and was very supportive. He asked about the transcribing project and website work I was doing for him, I told him I was trying.
“But I will be done before the deadline,” I reassured him. He asked if I’d been paid at work, I told him not yet. He urged me to follow up. Perhaps it was a problem with my bank. When I did, it turns out the problem was neither. My workmates had been paid two weeks earlier and my bank didn’t send any notifications because there was no credit transaction.

When I inquired, the Administrator apologized and told me that everyone that sent in their appraisal forms after the deadline on August 10, 2022 was not paid.

This was laughable because I only got to know about the appraisal forms after the deadline on August 15, 2022. When I asked if there was going to be refund, she replied on WhatsApp, “I understand but the only thing I can say is you will be paid for September. I’m really sorry”.

Given that I had done general cleaning the day before, there wasn’t so much for me to do on the inside. I focused my energy on the outside. I bumped into my friendly neighbor on the balcony. She told me about the place, rent fees and other details. I was surprised at how cheap everything was that side. In Kampala, accommodation is over priced and overrated.

When I asked, she showed me where to take the trash and I took ours there. On my way back, I saw a huge cute dog. It was love at first sight for both of us because when our eyes met and my lips curved into a smile, it waged it’s tail and panted mouth-open. It was the cutest dog ever.

Chores and everything aside, my goal that day was to sit down with Alvin and have a deep, meaningful conversation. Rather than beat him blue-black, I wanted Alvin to “volunteer” the truth to “all” my questions. It is believed that where peace fails, force is applied. However, there’s always a more effective method with men. Why use force when you can simply put them under a spell?

Never underestimate the power of a shower, nice clothes, cute curves and lovely perfume. Accompany that with a sweet, girly, deceptively shy personality and soft tone, -you can thank me later. The English have a saying, “If you’ve got it, flaunt it”. I believe that with how God created me, I can get anything from a man if I wanted. “If the Mountain won’t go to Mohammed, then Mohammed must come to the Mountain”. For my case, I was taking the mountain to Alvin.

In the evening, I showered and brushed my teeth. Then I ironed and got dressed in my favorite blue shorts that flattered my legs, a black undershirt, and completed the outfit with with a casual long sleeved unbuttoned shirt.

It was cold outside and I figured Alvin would return hungry. A hungry man is an angry man. I needed Alvin in a good mood to successfully milk whichever information I needed from him. I made some tea and planned on popping some corns. As I was about to start on the popcorn, Alvin came and knocked on the window, asking me to open for him.

I had removed my SIM card from the phone the day before and inserted another one to check my bank balance. I totally forgot about swapping it back. Alvin had called and called…poor guy.

I set myself up properly, did some final touches then went and opened for him. Alvin was happy to see me. As always, he hugged me in greeting and waited till I had locked up. I joked about the waiting and asked if he didn’t know the way. As we walked inside together, Alvin asked for how my day was and I asked about his.
Alvin was trying to put his arm around my waist while we walked but I was busy dodging his hands because I’m very ticklish.
Me: Don’t tickle me, I’m very ticklish.
Him: I won’t.
But he tried to nonetheless. There were giggles and laughter as I tried to flee in vain.

Nearing the entrance, he noticed a change about the front part of the house and asked if I had mopped.
“Nope,” I denied trying not to smile. I’m a very bad liar. But I had done more than mop. I had swept, wiped, cleaned and organized everything outside.

On entering, Alvin was still all over me in a friendly and endearing way. I used every excuse in the book to escape but he wouldn’t let me. I loved the attention, but some corns somewhere were waiting to be popped.

“I have to cook,” I said trying to break loose from his embrace.
“Wait…” he pleaded trying to block my path.
“I have to start popping the corns,” I insisted. “I have already lit the fire and the saucepan is going to burn”.
He looked over at the gas seriously trying to see if there was a fire. But there wasn’t.
“The saucepan is burning,” I lied.
This time he went over, bent, looked under the saucepan and even lifted it up just to be certain that there was no fire.

He moved back and reached for me as I tried to run. The next few minutes were basically about me trying to get away and him convincing me that whatever I wanted to do could wait, especially the cooking. His hands were round my waist, drawing me closer to him.

Alvin: You smell good.
Me: I’ve just showered.
Alvin: You’re always showering. Is it the soap?
Me: Nah, it’s a perfume.
Alvin: It really smells good.
Me: Thanks.

I knew if I didn’t escape, I would replace the popcorn on the menu. So, I brought up his girlfriend. It worked. Alvin let go of me and the expression on his face became serious.
I could have seen a pang of guilt on his countenance. He looked away at the floor then found his way slowly to the bed. He lay down looking at me and said something about messing up his trousers.

When I asked about the girlfriend prior to my visit, Alvin had vowed to tell me all about her and their relationship when I got there. Now here I was and still nothing. He avoided that topic like a plague.

Looking at him, I said, “I still don’t know anything about you, and you keep running away from my questions”.

I made the popcorn and Alvin helped. The corns were of the best quality and all of them popped. I added salt and poured them in a huge tin. I put the remainders in a container for Alvin and I to share. Alvin fixed me a cup of tea.

Out of the blue, Alvin asked if all the bread was done. Amused, I laughed in response. He had bought it the previous day in the evening. Today morning was the first time we had touched it and I had eaten only one bun. Regardless, I told him it was in the cupboard. I’m not so much into bread.

I sat on the bed and Alvin picked a spot next to me on the table. He asked if I wanted to watch a movie. Truth is I didn’t. I was exhausted and just wanted to relax. But, he tilted his laptop to face me. I skipped through his movie collection trying to find something that tickled my fancy. Eventually, I found one that seemed nice. I let it play on low volume as we talked. He laughed as he listened to my ideology about my husband and I owning separate homes.
“That way, we can stay in love and get together each time we missed each other. He wouldn’t get tired of me, and I of him”.
In response, Alvin grabbed a handful of popcorn and filled his mouth with a shrug of, ‘Good luck finding such a man’.
I laughed.

I was sleeping on my side with my head supported by a pillow as we talked. From his chair, Alvin leaned backwards on me. Slowly at first, but when I didn’t push him away, he made himself comfortable. It’s like we had been friends for a long time, given the ease of our conversation. He was easy to talk to.

“If someone gave you four hundred thousand shillings, which business would you start up?” asked Alvin. That was a hard paper. Ironically, I used to run my mom’s businesses when I was younger and they all flourished under my care.

I was freezing, especially my hands and feet. To keep warm, I pulled the duvet over me. Alvin got a pair of socks and dressed up my feet in them. He was alarmed at how cold I was. Unlike me, Alvin was so warm, unbelievably so. I kept joking that I was cold blooded like the reptiles and not warm blooded like the mammals. He lay next me.

I use a fingerprint for my phone, but since I was using that hand to eat popcorn, I used the pin unlock it. Alvin was watching. Just as I was putting it aside, he got hold of it and tried to enter the pin again. He got lost along the way. So I helped him with the remaining digits. “It’s my birth year times two,” I offered. He turned the phone off and tried the pin again on his own and it worked.

He was intrigued and asked so many questions. I showed him how my phone works and all the cool things about it. I told him that I keep my phone in super power saving mode, so it displays only six apps at a time. I showed him how to remove or replace any of the current six apps. And how to exit that mode. He was curious about my WhatsApp versions. I had three so I showed him how my favorite worked and all it’s exciting settings and features.

He scrolled through my chats. I had nothing to hide so it didn’t bother me that he was going through my phone. I was not suspicious in the least.

Alvin: Why is my number not saved?
Me: Because I don’t want to get attached.

A bit later on, I tried reaching for my phone but couldn’t find it. I tapped around the bed for it but couldn’t find it. Alvin told me to ignore it.

Me: Where’s my phone?
Alvin: Your phone is around, safe and secure.
Me: Where?
Alvin: Here, this side.

Alvin put his hand under the pillow next to the wall and held up my phone for me to see.
“Give it to me,” I said.
“Why?” he asked.
From then on, he kept hiding my phone from me and keeping it out of sight. Perhaps he just wanted my full attention with zero distractions? I couldn’t tell.

Soon after Alvin opened up and told me everything I needed to know about him, his family background and his relationship history with the girlfriend. From everything he said, the girlfriend seemed like the bad cop. Either she never loved him or she had lost interest along the way. That aside, she was actually pretty. Alvin finally showed me her picture and a video. I think the other reason he opened up was because I threatened him each time I felt like he was holding back something. “You know I can just ask your cousin,” I would say.
Tinka was a very good friend of mine and she was really close to his girlfriend. Anything I wanted to know, I would have known. But we didn’t want anyone to know that he was housing me-(I didn’t want the burden of explaining myself to anyone).
When she inquired, I had actually told Tinka that I was staying with ‘a friend to my friend’. Little did she know that she was the friend in the story.

Alvin told me about his job in detail and mentioned one of the challenges he finds there. I gave him a suggestion to solve it. “You should be my assistant,” he offered enthusiastically. But nah.

He asked why I chose to stay with him. I told him I literally had no choice. I was there cause my hands were tied. I’d run out of options.
“What about your parents?” Alvin asked cautiously. I found comfort in this question because it was proof that he actually had no idea who I was, and that’s how I liked it. The less he knew about me, the better.
“That’s a story for another day,” I said evasively.

He asked why I did not go to stay with his cousin Tinka. I replied that it’s because she was staying with her family, so her parents called the shots. I couldn’t stay there unless the parents offered.

All in all, it was a beautiful night. I achieved my day’s objectives. The second day ended with me feeling closer to Alvin. I figured we had so much in common. Plus he was an amazing host. I only had to pray that I don’t fall in love with him.

The End.

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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