A letter to Diana (continued)
By Namuli Batuuka:
Looking back at senior 2, I can proudly say that was my best year in high school. I performed exceptionally well throughout the school year. Auntie was more than happy and she knew that mother was now smiling down at me. Even though I was happy with my grades, I missed you dearly. I would secretly look at you religiously reading a novel during night prep and I wished we could giggle about the story after we had both read it. I missed you terribly!
However, our paths diverged even more. I watched you make friends with girls we did not like. I saw you become more outgoing and adventurous. It's like you broke out of your shell of shyness and naivety and got acquainted with more boys. I heard from the grapevine of your many love escapades over the holidays and wondered if those guys measured up to our ideal guy. My punishment was that I could only watch and hear from the sidelines, and never know the truth.
Four years of high school ended with only a “hi” greeting going between us. We were always awkward in the presence of each other because I didn’t give you a reason why we couldn’t be friends again. Even so, I remember you being a smart and beautiful girl with ambition. You loved the arts and loved good arguments and I was sure that you would make a good lawyer one day. I envied you because you were naturally bright, you never had your head bent in books all the time, yet you performed well. After those 4 years we parted without a goodbye. Not knowing what the future held, we so eagerly awaited.
You went to Trinity College Nabbingo for your A’levels, and I proceeded to Seeta High School. I was proud to hear that you consistently topped your class. Your exceptional academic performance guaranteed you a full government scholarship at the University. I was happy for you. Meanwhile, I toiled with my pure science combination and more than once wondered whether I was pursuing the right career.
I heard you traditionally married before campus started and had a baby. I can't resist asking, “How did that happen? How do I connect the dots?” Did he really rival the Apollo in the novels? Is he bewitched by your beauty and charm and brains? Does he treat you right? I know I am the last person who should be a bit concerned about your life but even as our lives went in different directions, I thought we still had one thing that we shared. Ambition used to be our common ground. Don’t get me wrong, marriage and children are a blessing, an absolutely beautiful thing, but don’t they have their own time? Was our plan to first advance our careers and be super independent women all a fantasy like those many romance novels we read?
Now, you have 2 toddlers with twins on the way before we even finish University. I can’t help wondering how you are coping with all that. I admire you for managing all those four and I bet you still kick ass in college. I will probably never know your story because I waived that right as soon as I ended our friendship. I have heard friends giving their versions of what happened to you but I wish I could hear it right from your lips, I am sure I would understand. I am sorry for wanting to know more than I deserve, but more so, I am sorry for not telling you how much you inspired me and how much I believe in you. I only hope our paths can cross one more time, so you can hear my sincere apology and I, your remarkable journey.