Series, The Maid's Son

The Maid’s Son: Crappy friends (continued)

By JJ Mponye:

If you have never gotten drunk before and done something silly or regrettable then you are most likely to argue when someone blames their mistakes on the juice. But despite the fact that one might say you simply lack experience in these matters, I have reason to believe that you could be right in a way.

While at university studying for my bachelors, a story was told of a guy who got plastered and ended up rubbing flesh with the massive bar lady. She was largely assumed HIV positive since her hubby had melted away progressively and finally died after a long illness. The campus chap was hit by immense shock when he found himself lying next to this woman who was old enough to be his mother. The unfortunate fellow jumped out of the bed and ran towards the university screaming, “I am dead, I am dead! This woman has killed me!”

More recently, I met a shy and devout Christian lady from America who also had her own 'blame it on the juice incidence' to tell. She confessed that she drunk 'just a glass of wine' before while at a dinner and would never ever consider drinking again. Her friends made a video and took pictures of her singing and dancing on top of the dinner table. She was deeply embarrassed because she had spiced her performance with some strip tease.

In both scenarios, one can blame it on the alcohol and yet another could say, “What were they expecting? It was alcohol they were drinking, not soda!”

A friend of mine, who is a seasoned drinker, always rightly jokes that, “the problem is not with the alcohol, it is between the glass and the floor: the consumer!” True, sometimes we hide our intentions behind the drink, just as in drinking for the sake of Dutch courage. But sometimes we simply lose our control to the booze. That is when the difficult and impossible things become simple and possible. The shy get talking and frogs release hit singles. The vision becomes hazy, the ugly turns beautiful and the likes of Pam get bedded.

Make no mistake, alcohol impairs your judgment and makes you easy prey for the devil. Ever wondered why the church serves wine in minuscule communion cups and some churches prefer to serve Ribena (grape juice) for Holy Communion?!

Well, alcohol makes your mind easier to manipulate. Pam knew this quite well and she made sure I was soaked in booze while she, cunningly, approached her glass like one drinking from a steamy cup of coffee. She insisted, “It is your night, birthday boy. Relax, enjoy your drink. You work so hard and need to take off sometime to unwind. If you are afraid of getting drunk don't worry, I will drive you home,” And one beer slowly led to another as I gradually lost my control to a more sober and calculating Pam. I discovered the following morning that we had agreed to leave my car at the bar because I could not drive. Pam drove me back home. She said I insisted on her not driving back to her home after midnight since there was an extra bed in the house. Well, you know what happened after that: she did not wake up in the visitors' bedroom! I guess it was largely my fault although the beer played a significant role too.

But I was not going to let that happen again this time!

After one beer, I decided that if I was not careful enough I would find myself having an encore of that regrettable night. I hatched a plan to flee from this evil woman. Having made our order for pork, which on a good day takes more than half an hour to materialize, I excused myself from Pam signaling to her that I was headed for the gents. The gents were quite a distance from our corner. Their entrance was slightly covered by a shrub which connected to a narrow back passage to the parking yard. I knew I could very easily use the cover of dim lighting to slip away into the parking yard without Pam noticing. And I did just that without feeling an ounce of guilt. I instead felt like I had just killed a venomous serpent. Well, I had only just fled from the devil.

As I walked away the quote, “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me,’ danced and skipped through my mind. I knew I needed to learn from my earlier mistake. I had to avoid walking the same path again. Of course I could have chosen to go ahead and intentionally have a few minutes of pleasure with my wife's best friend: I was starving and she was serving! But, there was so much that was so wrong with the whole idea, tempting as it looked. I would have been deliberately cheating on Tricia. Pam would have been betraying her best friend. The second time! And as if that was not enough, the woman wanted to have a child with me even before I could have one with my wife! How would I let myself go through life with such a lie if she got lucky?! How and why?

I switched off my phone, revved my engine and sped off to Wandegeya to pick some of that delicious and famous TV chicken before heading home.

Several minutes after getting home I heard a car hooting at the gate. I ignored it suspecting that Pam could have followed me. And I would not have been surprised anyway. The hooting was followed by some gentle knocking. I could tell that someone was using a small stone. Then I heard a loud knock. Someone was using their fist to hammer at the gate. I could feel the anger and frustration on the other side but I was not bothered. I had ran away from the devil, I just was not about to open the door for Pam.

Shortly after I heard Tricia's voice. She had not said exactly when she would be back from Mbale. We had not been communicating that much anyway. But now I was sure she was at the gate.

I quickly turned off the TV, placed my dishes on the table, dashed to the bedroom and roughly pulled the duvet to the side. I rushed out to open the gate for Tricia well aware that it was not a lovely 'welcome home honey' situation waiting for me.

“Pam has been at the gate hooting for over thirty minutes. Why didn't you open for her you idiot?” Tricia asked in anger. She did not pause to let me answer her question. “And your phone; Why is your phone off? I have been trying to call you for the past one hour to let you know I am on my way home. What did we agree about you switching your phone off when I am not with you? Supposing, I had gotten an accident and needed your help?”

I looked at Tricia unsure of what to say. Then I looked at Pam's structure in the dark. Part of me wanted to reach out and strangle her. Then she broke the silence, “I think I should leave you two lovebirds to kiss and make up. Have a good night dears.” She slid into her car, struggled to reverse and finally drove off.
Whatever reason Pam gave for showing up at our gate, knowing that Trish was away, only God knows. I guess she must have spun a lie about being in the area and knowing that Trish was back. But I don't think I wanted to follow that story.

“Honey, I am very sorry about this. I have a very terrible headache. When I got back home I took some pain killers and a sedative so I could get some relief and relax,” I managed to make an explanation.

“Just come help me carry the shopping into the house,” Tricia commanded before driving the car into the compound. I sensed that she was unbothered about my condition. Upon locking the gate I turned towards the house only to notice Tricia walking into the house with another woman. For a moment I thought it was Monica the maid. I thought Tricia had brought her back. But the figure was not Monica's and I hated to imagine that it was one of Tricia's aunties from Mbiko.

After howling in all the shopping, which looked like Tricia was preparing for a disaster, I showed up in the sitting room to give the traditional greeting that is befitting of an elderly woman like the one Tricia had come home with.

I started off with the Ganda greeting, “Tusanyuse okukulaba nyabo, eladde nyabo, (We are happy to see you, Madam)” and quickly noticed that, though angry, Tricia was struggling to hold back laughter. “Ssebo (Sir), this is Namakula. She is our new maid. Now please stop that elaborate greeting of yours. I am still briefing her about our routine.”

Tricia always sarcastically calls me Ssebo (sir) when she is extremely mad. She also rations her communication and takes off her wedding ring to spite me the more. And I knew I was going to find her ring by the sink the following morning.

I just walked away and popped a real sedative: valium. I needed it.

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