My Wake-Up Call

Day 3.
Friday, September 9, 2022.

The major reason for me waking up so early was to work because I did not work the day before. This weight of the three-months project and coming deadline was starting to weigh heavy on me.

Shortly after waking up, I spent some minutes thinking and reflecting. The time by my phone was 4:00am. I am entirely persuaded to believe that if we actually pause and look within, the truth in our hearts is always clear as day.

First, I knew that it was not proper for me to stay with Alvin. True, I was homeless and all that, but this whole situation presented a greater risk. Things could go wrong real fast. Besides, Alvin had proven to have low standards. He would say things like, “It’s just having fun,” or “Nothing will happen unless you want it to” or “This is normal, even those pastors you see do these things”.
This last one stung. It was the most disappointing thus far. As a Christian, I expected him to know better. It was obvious that he was just a church goer who lacked a personal relationship with God. His speech once analysed, screamed that he did not read the Bible for himself.

At least we both agreed on the “No Sex” part. That was non negotiable. However, two weeks was a long time and I feared for my life. Anything could happen and I didn’t want to wait that long to find out. That morning I purposed to find another place to go to, and soon. Better safe than sorry.

When my client Arnold called yesterday, he asked and then listened to an update of where I was and why. At the end, he said to me; “I know you’re a clever girl. And I know you will make the right decisions. However if you need anything, and I mean ‘anything’, just ask. Don’t hesitate to ask”.
This most certainly felt like reverse psychology. His polite way of telling me not to do anything dumb, but it felt good that he believed I’d make smart choices.

Now as I sat on the bed, I weighed my options and realized that I had no choice but to ask for assistance. I texted Arnold right away and asked him to help me with money enough to clear my August rent debt and to help me find another place to stay. I told him I didn’t feel safe where I was.

After reflecting about my life and texting Arnold to save me, I did some work. Unfortunately, I was feeling unwell and my eyes hurt. Regardless, I continued working. I figured that if I kept postponing, I would never make progress with the work.

At 6:16am, Alvin was aroused from sleep by a phonecall. No one ever calls that early; I knew it was a girl. From his tone and responses, I knew I was right. His tone was that of someone that knew he had messed up big time, and was willing to say and do anything for the other person. His voice was low, calm and pleading.

Alvin can say all he wants, but it was quite obvious that he still loved that girl.

Alvin: I’m sorry… I will explain later. Sorry. I can’t explain now. I’m still in bed….I will call you back. We will speak more when I wake up.

From his discomfort, I knew he didn’t want to say much because I was listening. He listened for awhile as the person on the other end spoke.

My heart stopped when he said in response, “Sorry, I slept off last night”. Wait, what? He slept early? Unbelievable! I didn’t even hear anything that he said after that. After God, fear men.

“I’m sorry…I understand. I understand how you feel….” Alvin kept saying. From his continuous apologies, it’s obvious she was definitely pissed off.

The conclusion in my mind was simple: They both loved each other. No wonder he never wanted me to talk to her when I suggested it before coming over to stay with him. If I had talked to her, she would have laughed at the horseshit Alvin had fed me.

After hanging up, Alvin asked me for my plan. It is then that I knew I had to bounce.

Him: Someone is pissed.
Me: Tell her I will leave on Monday.
Him: Where will you go?
Me: Home.

On Monday, I had to travel back to Kampala for my part-time job. It was also going to be my birthday. In celebration, my friend Tinka had invited me to her home for dinner and a sleepover. Rather than return to Alvin the following day on Tuesday, I planned to just go home.

Something in me changed after eavesdropping to his phone call. “Until when would I be a side chic?” I pondered rhetorically. Just then, all my walls sprang back up. When I had started opening up again, Alvin betrayed my trust. That morning, I locked up my heart once more and tossed the key in Lake Victoria.

All these things, I was processing mentally. Unable to continue working, I got up to make breakfast and left Alvin in bed. The saucepan I wanted to use was dirty. I went on the balcony to wash it. Upon my return, I opened the door and froze, startled.

Unknown to me, just as I entered, Alvin had made a dash for the bathroom at the speed of lightening. I paused on the entrance taken aback. Alvin opened the bathroom door and looked at me. He acted like he had been there all along. My eyes went from Alvin to my phone on the bed.
“You’ve gone through my phone?” I inquired matter-of-factly.
Alvin denied it, “I’ve been this side. I haven’t touched your phone. That’s exactly where you left it”. I gave Alvin and the phone one last look then shrugged it off.
Later as the tea got ready, I went to check my phone. Just to be certain that indeed, Alvin hadn’t been through it. The last story I was working on was still the same one that greeted me when I logged in. Perhaps I was just overreacting. Alvin showered and got dressed.
“Have you seen my belt?” he asked.
“No,” I replied.

Tea, bread and popcorn. That’s what we had for breakfast. I had mine in bed. Everything I put in my mouth tasted awful. It’s how I knew I was sick. Since morning I was weak, feverish and my eyes hurt. Regardless, not all was bad. There was a viral tweet about the most broke thing people have ever done. The responses were hilarious, and I love a good laugh.
“Why are you laughing when I’m not tickling you?” Alvin teased. I just smiled and read him some of the responses. He didn’t laugh, but it didn’t matter. I was already laughing enough for both of us.

The day before, Alvin informed me that he would spend the day home today. However, after the phonecall this morning, he informed me that he had to go to town and do some work for some clients.

Later in the day, Arnold sent the money. The money was very timely, a stitch in time saves nine. However, I’m grateful that he was counting it as part payment for the work I was doing for him. I have trouble accepting free things.
I immediately used most of it to clear my August rent debt. I would rather sleep hungry than owe anyone money. The landlord’s guy was grateful when I sent him the money and he thanked me for keeping my word. I told him my word is my bond.

Sandy texted me, asking if she could write for my blog. I told her she was welcome to start at any point. The more, the merrier.

Another girl, Shelly, also texted me. I used to envy her cause she seemed to have all her life in order. I nearly freaked out when she actually opened up about what she was going through.

Shelly said both she and her boyfriend were struggling financially. She was not working due to excruciating backache. She had only one week to get the rent money. I felt sorry for her cause I’d lived there and those guys don’t play. We always had to pay rent a month in advance. But that was not the worst part, she had had a miscarriage but lacked the funds to get the baby extracted out of her. She was out of food and gas. Conclusively, she told me that she was very depressed. I suggested counseling and she told me that she didn’t want it.

Just then, all my problems diminished. After texting with her, I realized I had been overreacting. I knew I owed God an apology so I paused and did that.
Soon afterwards, all that occupied my mind was how to help Shelly. My first plan was to mobilize and fund-raise for her, then it hit me that I couldn’t. At the start of the year, I had deleted over 800 contacts. Nonetheless, I assured her that I would give her money as soon as got some.

Who said guys don’t gossip? That afternoon, I listened involuntarily to roughly five guys go on and on about everything and nothing in particular. They were very loud. Their conversation was characterized by cursewords and laughter. On Tuesday when I arrived, Alvin warned me about them. He told me they drink alcohol and do drugs.

Later in their conversation, they spoke about a guy who hosts different girls all the time and “Fucks them all”- as they put it themselves. This conversation was giving me shivers. I hoped that Alvin was not the guy in the story. The very thought gave me shivers. Upon his return that night, I brought it up. I asked whether it’s him they were referring to. He said he wasn’t. “You’re the second girl I’ve brought here. Besides my girlfriend, you’re the only girl I’ve brought here,” he said to me.
We young people are often so reckless with our lives; yet the figures and statistics of people with sexually transmitted diseases and infections among the youths is staggering.

I also consulted Alvin on whether he had any chronic illnesses, or any disease that I should know about. He said no; not like he would have said otherwise. Regardless, I had to ask.
All guys lie effortlessly and Alvin is no exception. Come to think of it, he is hands down one of the most dishonest people I’ve ever met. I believe if you walked up to him and asked if he knew me, he would believably assure you that he has never seen me anywhere in his life.

That night, I called three of my friends and we spoke for a very long time. I also told them about my sudden illness. At night when I told Alvin that I was sick, he joked saying that perhaps I had babies inside.
Me: Only if you gave them to me.
Him: We didn’t have sex.

So what did he think, that I was the modern-day Mary, conceiving by the power of the Holly Spirit?

Alvin looked around the place and turned to me. “Thank you for being a good steward,” he said genuinely.

On a lighter note, I came to the conclusion that Alvin hates showering. From the time I was there, not once did he shower at night.
I laughed on the second night when he said that he did not shower because he did not sweat during the day. Honestly, it was funny. But now, not anymore. I was amazed when even today, he just entered bed to sleep.

Me: Are you aware that showering before bed will be mandatory when you get married?
Alvin: Phm! Who said?

Dear God, let my husband have a good working relationship with soap and water, Amen.

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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  1. Ayebare Patience Joy

    December 7, 2022 at 10:54 am

    Hahahaha kiika…

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      December 7, 2022 at 7:21 pm

      Munange, phmmm…

  2. esther byoona

    January 27, 2023 at 7:34 am

    Lovely lovely story…Well done

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      February 3, 2023 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks hun😊

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