By Aaron Aroriza:
Only more intense than Nora's belief in me was her belief that she was the perfect girl for me…..the girl who chance had given me and even fate would never take away. She always insisted it wasn't just coincidence that her name was a mirror reflection of mine. This ofcourse wasn't true since my name had an extra “A” that was lacking in hers. But you know what they say, “love is blind”.
It would also seem love is a habitual white liar: For it wasn't long before fate struck and I quickly gave up what, in Nora's words, chance had given me.
That fate came dressed as Harold – quite a charming likable guy who I got introduced to under the most dramatic of conditions.
One day while out on dinner at a swanky Chinese restaurant Nora had dragged me to, I let my curiosity take the better of me and went to check up on her when she delayed in the loos. That is the first time I saw Harold. He was in the ladies' wash room passionately kissing away with my Nora who to him, I would later learn, was Dorah!
I've heard people say kissing is not cheating. Good for them. But for me, that's not the opinion my fast beating, almost breaking heart held at that particular moment! That it didn't break, is one more miracle I've never been able to explain. That I quietly sneaked back to my table and sat like I hadn't seen anything, is composure I've come to credit only to that 'good demon' that possesses me sometimes.
But that good demon always has some evil plans up its sleeves. And it took over when, after the two unsuspecting toilet love birds had come back to the restaurant, Nora introduced Harold as a friend she had accidentally bumped into and suggested he and his girlfriend join us on our table. His girlfriend's name was Helga. A month later, my ex-girlfriend's name was Nora and my new girlfriend's name was Helga! And Harold had a friend with benefits who wasn't sure whether her name was Nora or Dorah.
That was ten years ago. And then last week while I was watching the Kigali Tusker project fame auditions, I saw Nora on Tv. She hasn't changed much save for the change in her name; She now calls herself Neila (Maybe she's now dating an Alien in Rwanda).
In her pre-audition interview, only more intense than Neila's belief in her beautiful voice and musical prowess was her belief in the fact that she had a date with destiny on the show – kind of like destiny's child! She looked so gorgeous until she started singing.
At first I couldn't tell which language she was singing in until I realized she was actually singing Whitney Houston's “I will always love you”. Her singing was so terrible that one could hardly tell whether she was singing, crying or just acting retarded. She was the only person in that audition room who seemed oblivious to the absurdity of the situation. When she stopped at last I sighed with relief just like all the three judges.
With renewed horror I noticed she was trying to remember some words. No, she hadn't finished yet; she had just momentarily forgotten her words and when they showed up again she continued to painfully stutter the song away. She's something, this Neila; if the judges hadn't intervened and stopped her she was still bent on terrorizing everyone's ears while saddening everyone that ever knew her.
Then she had the guts to blame it all on sickness while asking for another chance. What? Take us through that painful ordeal again? No thank you, Neila! I wondered whether the sickness too had suddenly disappeared. My phone rang as everyone watching TV in the living room was still laughing.
“I've just seen someone who looks like Dorah on TV.” It was Harold laughing hysterically on the other end of the line – yes, he and I became close friends. “I could have sworn I saw Nora too but we are both wrong, this girl is Neila and neither of us knows her,” I replied as all the compliments my Nora had ever given me reeled off my mind. I couldn't help but wonder whether they too had not been as delusional as her belief in her musical prowess.
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