In the dead of the night, she twisted & turned until she woke up in a startle. Feeling hot & sweating with a feeling of uncertainty.
She looked at her companion sleeping next to her. She could only make out his outline in the dark, but the only thing she was sure of was that this wasn’t the man she was in love with.
She’d thought that she did but now her gut finally opened up to what everyone else knew. She’d fought it but today, tonight, at this moment, she realized the truth. She’d lied to herself. The man that slept alone somewhere else, was actually the one, She, Really, Loved.
Finally closing off this year’s Afrobloggers winterabc2021 with a fictitious story inspired by true events. It’s been a wonderful but challenging ride discovering wonderful writers, learning from so many people, and enjoying my time all the while. As I bow out today, I am leaving you a story of how I felt when I had my heartbroken.
Like a defeated lion, like a stalking shadow, he walked on the dimly lit streets. His head hunched into the upturned collar of the coat that donned him. He was not like its owner. It is like it wore him. Dr. Strange. He bent forward and forged his way into the wind that was blowing hard on him. Hurricane. It was all chills around him. But strangely, the cold came from the center of his heart. The organ that led to the pain that he was in right now. People around him though lived in a different world. They seemed at ease. Like they were enjoying the weather. Lovers walked by hand in hand. He occasionally stopped to look. To look at the bodies of lovers that were happily walking by. Hand in hand, dancing, leaning against walls, embracing in dark corners or walking so close to each other they nearly dissolved into one body. He was swelled with envy, anger, pain. Hate. He was saddened. His heart had turned black and blue. Unpleasant. His eyes welled and reddened & occasionally sniffled back a tear. The shades he wore across them hid all that he did not want people to see. They swelled with tears. It was evident that he was troubled. Anyone could see it. He was like a beaten-up silhouette of a man who once loved. He looked like a man who had been there before. But just like the wind, it seemed to all have blown away. Vapor.
This was a man who in a few years past was in the best relationship that had ever happened to him. It was all he lived for. He breathed for. This relationship was…was his life. And like the end of life, it was dead now.
There were numerous questions in his mind right now. It had turned into a buffet cooking pot of thoughts. It was a war zone in there. He could not believe in reality. But unfortunately, this was it. The lonely reality.
He could not believe all the things that his mind kept playing back from his memory. Like a reel, the scenes occasionally came playing again & again. Stuck on replay. The questions that he kept asking himself were harder than any test paper he had ever sat. But when did love questions ever been any easier anyway? Across the street, he saw a guy kissing his girl goodbye & as he was walking past a building step, a young couple sat on the higher steps talking animatedly judging from the gestures the guy’s hands were making in the air. She was laughing hysterically. It was then that he asked himself;
What exactly had gone wrong? Where did he really go wrong? He thought he had it all but then what? How haven’t they been through it all? And a clean sheet he kept. Always coming straight to her every day without tripping anywhere else. How haven’t they been there for each other? It was like a real marriage minus the rings or vows to it. But it all seemed it was not enough to make everlasting memories?
She had elevated him. Made him float up there. Walking on clouds. Flying on the wings of love. But then condemned him, all of a sudden. Just like that. Pontius Pilate.
Was it the price he was paying for loving her with the whole of his life? For making her the fore center of his being, hopes & dreams?
Oh how he loved her. Oh how he breathed & lived her. How he wanted & needed her.
Why? That was the question. Why would she have to punish him like this? Why?
Up to this point, he still got breakdown moments. He, like Jesus, wept. Cried. Like a baby, he soaked his bed in tears. He hated himself. He hated so many things. It was the most inhumane thing he had ever experienced. But that’s the decision the lady had made & he had to count his losses.
He now understood why we meet people that are so broken they can hardly love. It’s because of moments like this. The burden that was put on an innocent soul that we meet after. How could she fall back on all the things she has always warned him about? Don’t fall back to your ex, don’t fall out of love with me quickly, you seem like you’ll wake up one day & leave me, you don’t love me enough. Why?
But now he was sorry. Sorry for not loving her enough to make her stay. For being jealous for something that he wanted. Her. The thought of another guy doing things to her that he used to. The pain that came with just thinking of that made him shiver. He thought he could be around for a time hoping that she may change her mind. That’s true love right there. For he loved her with the whole of his life & heart & cried a very long time for her absence for she had given him two years of the best his life has ever had & it was this year that he was even to love her more. Now he had to live with the loss every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of this year.
She said that she had gone where she was happier. He remembered when they danced on the city streets. When they sat on building steps and jazzed. Held hands as they were walking & kissed under the street lights or when they broke public rules & got caught up in a city mall mess. He remembered her birthday when the deejay screamed out her name over the music, when they sneaked up an incomplete building & made love low key. The times they made 50 shades level of love. With music in the background & how they moved their bodies to the beat. Oh the sweat & the heat. The PDA at rolex stalls. Beating their own eggs & cutting up their own cabbages. The fried eggs. Sausages. The movie nights? Do they now enjoy them like we did? Cuddling while the film rolled? Laughing at the actor’s jokes (Oh no, they’re beating him with sausages) & play rewind? Trying to hide tears when the sad parts come on. How he hated The Thundermans. The little unannounced gifts for being the great girlfriend that he knew there was. Maybe the cuddling is sweet. No lights but just the two of them. At peace in the dark. Talking about anything. Talking about their ex’s. Oh shit! Ex’s? He wondered whether he was now a part of their conversations. He wondered what she was telling the new guy about him. That he used to make her happy? Made her dance & dub him too? That he used to calm her thoughts when she was troubled? Or she is telling him of his weaknesses? That he had ugly night shirts? Whether she now had a fav new music genre. Away from EDM. Whether he complimented her of how nice & hot she looked in or out of them clothes? Cuddling from behind in front of the mirror? Embracing tightly & dancing in the living space when they were getting back from a fight?
Does he spank her ass too? Like he used to like it or maybe she’s also started spanking his too & he tries to jump away from it & tell her “They don’t spank guys’ butts” Nope. They don’t honey.” While wriggling the ka finger. Whether they also make aside jokes at people? Quoting them & acting them out in their free time like, “hmm, I love cake.” The love letters. Oh my. Does he love writing too? So now she has another little box where she keeps them with love & reads them once in a while or she’s already tossed away his from the little box & replaced them? Door mail? Do they have initials now? Has he met her family already? Do they find him charming?
Losing her, he lost the most valuable thing/ person in his life. When they broke up, he wanted to do all the crazy things people in that situation usually do. Things he’s always warned others about. He sprinkled water over his face when entering the house to not notice the tears in his eyes. He started walking with shades everywhere for that same reason. He cried so much his eyes shrunk in & hurt. At one point through all this blinding pain, he thought that maybe life should end & as he stepped into the road to cross to the other side, he did not see the car that was turning the corner & reaching mid-way into the street, he felt a heavy force goring into his ribs & felt his body hoisted into the air. By the time he woke up, he was staring at a bleeding, lifeless shell of a man on the tarmac. People were gathering around it and in a few moments, a bright light showed up from above. Surprisingly, he was the only one that could see it. Bodies in white came to him & together, started on a journey to heaven. He was finally free of earthly pain.
I am not that guy for story telling once I realized I’ve had two stories sitting in my drafts folder for about two years now. Damn. But now Afrobloggers is here. 🤦🏾♂️
It’s 8:14 p.m. He’s just getting home. The streets are cold. It had drizzled. He’d braved an agonizing traffic that usually forms after. He goes up the steps to his home. Pretty bummed & looking like a suited up zombie. Lazily knocks at the door & follows it with the usual abracadabra “It’s Tut.”
The door is opened at a lightning speed. She nearly walks through him with hugs & kisses as he’s hastily led to the living room. The baby is seated on the fur carpet in the center of the well disorganized room. “It’s like there’s been a clothes’ fight in here.” He exclaims.
She tells him to just be normal & wait to be wowed. Oh. He thinks she’s going to say the baby belongs to the athletic guy who lives three blocks down the street. She responds to his sarcastic remark with a jolly “Stop being silly” remark. They’re being themselves. It’s what lovers should be like.
As he’s there trying to liven up the moment the more, the baby does it. No. He didn’t see it. Or so he thinks. “Did I just see something unusual?” She stares with him towards the cute little thing that’s equally staring back at them with equal surprise. He turns to his Nankanmun to ask her again. It’s like he’s seen a mutant or something like that.
He then pretends he ain’t seen nothing. Just to tempt to see whether something will happen again. The baby calls out to him. “Dada.” A slow drool drops down her left chin. The minion doll falls out of her hands. She stretches to grab it while complaining the best way she can in her baby language. If only we knew exactly what the gibberish words mean. We’re always guessing. The mom is looking unusually cheerful at this moment.
Just as he bends to go pick it up for her, evidently confused by the unusual behavior in the house tonight, the baby puts both hands on the nearby chair leg, heaves up in a chameleon manner & then boom, she’s off the ground & is now standing before her dad (& already seen but still as equally surprised mom) on both feet.
You should see how her mother screamed at the moment. I won’t tell you how the daddy screamed but damn, Kia was on her feet. This time in front of both her parents…as she put her right foot forward.
Gender-Based Violence. We have created a hopeless situation by mistreating people majorly according to their sex/ gender, socially, emotionally, physically, and psychologically.
The 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey revealed that up to 22% of women aged 15 to 49 in the country had experienced some form of sexual violence. The report also revealed that 13% of women aged 15 to 49 report experiencing sexual violence annually. This translates to more than 1 million women exposed to sexual violence every year in Uganda. Combating gender-based violence is not something that one person could only do but as a pool of different entities because of its hydra-like embedment in society. you deal with one then the other keeps rearing its head. However, below, simplistically put are some of the ways we could combat GBV.
1. Teach humanity values in schools. Right from the onset, children should be taught the values of humanity. The importance of one another regardless of skin, sex, tribe, or gender. It could easily be taught in schools because some of the homes from where these children come are run by people who never got the chance to be made aware of these issues and still practice them as normal but if we invest in the younger generation, we are sure they will pass this knowledge and awareness to generations and generations.
2. Strengthen education/ social awareness. Relatedly, Education systems should be woven around eliminating gender norms and practices through plays, classroom sitting arrangements, activity allocations, education material genderisations like stories & colors among others. Through this, children would develop without attaching gender stereotypes on the different objects, stories like associating colour pink to girls, toy cars to boys etc.
3. Strengthen gender ministries and how they could foster the eradication of gender stereotypes in the public. This could be done through partnering with the different gender departments within the ministries to organize conferences, seminars, and other activities where they could reach out to the public and tell them of the different gender biases in society and how to fight them. They could also be used to reach out to the different government departments and teach them about gender and how it is a disease in society and ways of eradicating it so that these departments could be aware and try as hard in eliminating it when designing their projects.
4. Strengthen social inclusion projects especially for the women or groups facing gender inequalities in the respective spaces where they are participating especially in activities that further support their freedom of expression and social wellbeing.
5. Enforce the use of law and the justice systems so that when people bring these cases to light, they are strongly and immediately responded to and the corresponding punishments are felt worthy. So many vices stay around due to the justice system’s failure to remit the right punishments thus not offering grave convictions that perpetrators would fear facing as according to their crimes.
In conclusion, therefore, gender-based violence is a vice that we could uproot if we all come as one because of the way it is woven into the different tiers and systems of society. We need the efforts of individuals, families, institutions, communities, states & transnational blocks to triumph over this demeaning behavior.
When a breakup occurs, usually, every one of the affected parties will play the victim card. Even the clearly guilty bustard will try to get people in their favor so that they’re not looked at with an evil eye for breaking the vows, promises & or anything the relationship stood for.
When we are breaking up with people, a mistake we make is always looking at things one way (Hoping to gain public sympathy). Always looking at the other’s faults & capitalizing on them. Usually to make them feel guilt conscious or to cover up on our mistakes. Concentrating on how bad they affected us.
But then we don’t look at us & whether of how we might have affected them. We don’t look at ourselves & our role in the breakup. We run away from wearing their shoes in the relationship. How heavy or torn they were forcing them into jumping ship.
We don’t ask ourselves whether despite the other’s faults, we too are to have stayed in their life.
It takes a great deal of courage to admit our faults in a breakup. We never ask ourselves whether our being in their life might actually have hindered their progress. How uncomfortable we may have been to live with. Most of the time, the reasons for a breakup are two-way, not just one person’s errors.
So. Before you run around spreading the word of how bae evilly broke your heart, you must as well have done some good enough self-assessment about the matter.