Unexpected Twist

Whether it’s to post or view; WhatsApp statuses are one of those things people turn to to relieve stress. A few days to Valentine’s day in 2021, I started making my posts as usual, just like any other meme master.

One day, I posted a video. It was a silly video about paying a delivery guy to slap your ex. I had captioned the video that if I could, I would pay a generous amount for my ex to be punched in the face. Brandon, a close friend, hit my inbox laughing at the video and caption.

On Valentine’s Eve, Brandon called asking what I would be doing on Valentine’s Day. I told him nothing, other than going to church, since it was going to be a Sunday. He was quiet.
On Valentine’s Day, Brandon called me in the morning saying he would drop by my place later in the afternoon. I told him it was cool.

I went to church that morning; then cooked Brandon’s favorite food upon my return. With nothing else to do, I waited, faute de mieux, for Brandon to show up.
On Sundays, Brandon did photography and videography for a certain church.

Looking at my phone, it was 2:00pm, then 3:00pm…..and I was getting increasingly hungry and agitated.
Caution; be very afraid of me when I’m hungry.

Finally at about 4:00pm, Brandon showed up. On his back was a big black backpack, loaded with camera equipment. In one hand he carried tripod stands. In the other, he grasped a branded bag of takeaway from one of Kampala’s popular restaurants. I wanted to whine about him being late, but he looked like he had come as quickly as he could. So I just stayed calm.

Later, I served food. As we ate, he noticed from my irritability that I was still mad. Therefore, rather than murder me with questions or bug me with a dialogue, he pulled out his phone and just played music. Brandon was a DJ at some point; I guess that’s why even without me telling him my music preference, he still managed to select the most perfect genre. The songs he played were just relaxing and soothing. Music is indeed very powerful; and it was working, because soon I was unable to stay angry as I wanted. Instead, I excused myself from the table, went and hid in the hallway then laughed at myself.

When I returned to the table, I noticed he had gone through my phone in my absentia. There was no evidence but I just knew that he had. But why would he try to hide it? My phone did not have a password for the obvious reason that I had nothing to hide. Had he wanted to go through my phone, he should have just asked.
Nonetheless, we ate and drank. We also shared the chicken and french fries he had brought, even when he insisted that they were mine alone.

“Thank you for cooking, the food was delicious,” Brandon said after the meal. You can call it luck, but 8 out of 10 times when I cooked for him, the food actually turned out great. Even with minimal effort from my side. The reverse was true for my ex, Jason. It’s as if the harder I tried, the worse the food turned out with him. Maybe the universe was trying to communicate something?

After clearing the table, Brandon apologized for coming late and said they were caught up at church.
“There was also a very long queue at the restaurant,” he added. I assured him that it was alright.
From his place at the table, Brandon kept taking pictures of me even when I protested. Isn’t there a law against such things? Someone has to read me my rights. Though, to be fair, majority of the best pictures in my gallery were all taken by him.
“If you want pictures, let’s go to the compound. It has perfect lighting and beautiful flowers,” I suggested. He consented.

Later as the sun slid away to bed, we went back indoors. There, Brandon opened his bag and got out a beautiful red wall clock in the shape of a kettle. He fixed in the batteries and reset it to the correct time. I insisted that I wanted it fifteen minutes ahead but he wouldn’t listen. (Of course I later adjusted it when he left).

Next, Brandon left me with the clock in hand, and returned with several nails and a hammer, all which he claims he got from my neighbors. I did not even know that people have such things in their homes.

Nails sorted, we disagreed on where he should hang the clock. I wanted it to be in a place where I see it as soon as I enter my room, but he wanted it in the opposite direction, so that it is the first thing I saw as soon as I woke up. He won that battle since he was in possession of the nails and hammer. After fixing the clock in the wall, I actually realized it was so beautiful and perfect in the spot where he had put it. What a day, just when I thought I would spend it sleeping!

Weeks later when the batteries died out, I bought new ones but never replaced them because I preferred silence, not the ticking sound that reminded me that time was flying past.

In December last year when I moved to a new place, I put the clock up in a position where I could see it as soon as I woke up. True, the batteries were dead, but each time I looked at that clock, I smiled. I smiled because it was a constant reminder that I am lovable and worth the effort. I used not to think that giving gifts was such a big deal until I got that clock. That clock is not just special because it was my first Valentine’s gift. It is special because of the memory it brings, the memory of the one who gave it to me. Now each time I look at it, I think about Brandon and wonder if he is okay.

“A friend thinks you’re a good egg even when you are slightly cracked,” they say. Brandon had come close enough to see all my flaws, but that did not drive him away. If anything, he seemed to enjoy the view.

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. Sjvv1

    March 16, 2023 at 9:18 pm

    Gifting brings about unexpected twist to the receiver and expected twist to the giver.

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      March 17, 2023 at 6:43 am

      That is accurate.

  2. Julius Natuhwera

    March 17, 2023 at 8:20 am

    Beautiful story well told.

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      March 17, 2023 at 8:47 am

      Thanks Nat😊

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