Short Stories, Tale Africa

The Lonely Heart (1)

 

   By Samuel Sebbowa Bunnya, Uganda

 

The feeling of loneliness is one that he was not used to. His heart was no longer his own. It belonged to another and she had it in her hands. But things were different. Where once he had been at the back of her mind, he felt that he was no longer there. A part of him cried out for her, but he understood that life was taking hold.

They were not the same people they had been five years ago. She was busier.

She is a workaholic after all, he thought.

Isaac took a sip of the wine. He watched the red elixir swish around in the thin necked glass as he stared at it thoughtfully. He shook his head to distract it from the feeling of loneliness that consumed his soul. He hated the feeling of not being important anymore. He could not help it. That was just the way he felt. It was the way he saw the world.

It had started with his parents. Their love was divided. Did he have part of it? Yes. Was he satisfied with the part that he had? No. His father and mother had always been unconditional in their love, but Isaac was the third born – a middle child at that. His older siblings received more attention than he ever did. His younger siblings usurped whatever love he believed that he should have.

When he had met his fiancé, Kirabo, he had finally believed that he was important to someone out there in the world. He had been guarded at first, but Kirabo had disarmed him effortlessly. He had fallen deeply in love with her and given her everything that he was. Isaac did not know the word half-measure. If he did something, he did it with a full heart. Loving Kirabo was one of those things.

She was his fresh air. Isaac knew that he was important. He felt it. Everything Kirabo did, made him believe he was important and the world needed to know it. The day he took her to meet his parents, he had seen the way she had told off his mother about how she thought Isaac was bound for greatness. From that he day he had given his heart, soul and mind to Kirabo. Only his devotion to God could rival his devotion to his fiancé.

Things had been good. They still were, but Isaac knew that something was different. The good morning texts and calls had reduced to simple hi’s…are you good?…have a nice day…he hated it. The gentle touches on the nights they spent together had all but vanished. In his mind he was starting to become conscious of how he appeared. He worried that her interest in him was waning to the levels of interest his parents had in him.

You are the first thing I think about every day and the last, Isaac thought as he drained the wine glass.

“She even rain checked tonight,” he muttered.

He did not know what was wrong. Maybe it was the proposal. Maybe it was the forgotten birthday gift. Isaac did not know. All he knew was that Kirabo was cold. She seemed to be punishing him. But she denied it when I asked her. Kirabo was not the Kirabo of a week ago. She was a lot different. It had happened over night. Isaac could feel his heart twisting inside of his chest. He could feel the tears threatening to fall down the corners of his eyes. He was hurting and he felt alone.

“You look lonely,” a female voice interrupted his loneliness.

Isaac was thankful that he was seated in a bar – on a barstool at the counter. It was dark despite the throbbing lights from the DJ’s music – Chameleon’s Sweet Banana playing like a bar anthem. The thin mean looking bartender was at the other side of the counter chatting up a storm with some patrons. Isaac had thought he was invisible.

He turned to look into at a slender beautiful woman. Her heart shaped face was visible in the dim lights of the bar. The woman had black braids that she had tied up into a bun at the top of her head. She was dressed in a black knee length dress that hugged all her curves seductively. Her arms were covered by the red jacket that hag loosely over her shoulders. In her hands she held a small black clutch bag and the latest version of the Sony Xperia.

Isaac’s eyes rose from her well defined legs to meet the woman’s eyes. She had a pair of dark brown eyes. They were large and slanting at the corners. Any man with hormones would have called them sex eyes, but Isaac was not just any man. He was Kirabo’s man, even when Kirabo was being cold towards him.

“Can I sit with you?”

Her voice was soft and sweet, but Isaac knew danger when he saw it. You are danger, he thought alarmed. He could not tear his eyes away from the woman. There was a hidden emotion deep in those eyes as he stared into them. She seemed to understand what he was going through although she was a total stranger. The woman sat down on the stool next to him, unbothered by his silence.

“My name is Birungi…you are?” She offered him her hand.

Isaac took it and whispered, “Isaac.”

“Like the Isaac in the bible.” She smiled revealing her braces as the throbbing lights reflected off the metal and rubber bands in her mouth.

“Yes,” Isaac mumbled.

He turned back to his glass of wine choosing to ignore the woman beside him. He wanted to be alone. Being alone had always been his thing…before he met Kirabo. All his friends knew it. If he was not alone, he was with Kirabo. But now that she was cold, Isaac knew that he was alone. He had never felt such loneliness in his heart.

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