By Kathryn Yule Mweupe Kazibwe:
Like in the movies, it is only after giving up all I had that the rose-tinted glasses fell from my eyes and I finally saw the man for what he was. And boy was I shocked! So my Jacob actually wasn't an angel. His halo had morphed into a disheveled afro. The spark in his eyes suddenly took on a malicious tinge as he informed me that I had to leave; he had an appointment. No, I couldn't even take a bath; he was in a hurry. My eyes chose this moment to see that he was, indeed, only a man. One in whose life I had served my purpose, never mind my expectations. And I was just plain old Akin; the name I inherited from the onset of my acne in Primary school. Who was I to think anyone could find me beautiful, or even marginally good looking? Ha! What audacity.
I left Jacob's place that day changed, denatured, a damaged little girl, physically and emotionally. He had left his mark on me, alright! The old ghosts I had locked up safely at the very back of the closet had been freed to roam the streets of my life, dusting-off every insecurity I had ever known. Like in the Mexican telenovellas, I was attacked by flash-backs of my earlier years.
I remembered the time in class when we were learning about that awkward of topic: changes that occur at puberty. Right after 'development of breasts' and 'menarche', which everyone knew very well and giggled hysterically at, came 'outbreak of acne', which the teacher pronounced as “akin”. Rather than bring a chart with her to show us exactly what she meant, this teacher had a more practical idea.
“For those of you who don't know what akin is, it means pimples. Like the ones on Kazibwe's face.” And I became Akin, the girl with acne. I locked that girl safely away the moment I left Primary school and moved to Uganda; new life, new outlook.
Alas! Akin had come back to haunt me. She asked me what I was thinking to believe Jacob's claim that he loved me, and found me beautiful. You are only good for one thing, she assured me, and that is exactly what Jacob wanted, and got from you. I believed her. She tortured my mind, bringing with her the sniggers and chuckles that followed me that day in school, only this time she assumed Jacob's voice.
Once again, like in the movies, Jacob didn't call. He didn't sms either, or show any sign of reaching out to me. I made up all kinds of excuses for him. Maybe he was giving me time to forgive him for treating me the way he did. Or maybe he'd been very busy and hadn't had time to call. I even tried to blame it on lack of airtime / cell phone recharge! Anything, but not the possibility that he was done with me, that there was no more 'us' after sharing the most intimate part of us there could be. The rose-tinted glasses had fallen from my eyes and slipped down to my heart; it refused to accept the truth! Yes, I was still under his spell. He had to want me, because no one else did, or ever would.
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