By Aaron Aroriza, Uganda:
My Auntie's house-help had told me Angela was a real angel. She had described her as a beautiful girl with an angelic smile. Her eyes were like those of a calf: Ameisho genyeina, she said. Her legs were like banana stems: Amaguru gemitumba. Her bum was that of ekishaab (I haven't found the English name for that up to now but I think it has something to do with a container in which milk/yoghurt is stored). And her breasts – her breasts were up standing: Akebere kemereire. Her lips, she said, looked like they were always dripping honey. I like honey: I thought.
And then I met Angela.
Angela was my Auntie's friend's daughter. She always visited auntie whenever she was on holiday. Naki, my auntie's extroverted house-help had already given me that helpful piece of info. And she had highly recommended I make a move on Angela when she showed up. I was in my form six vacation. Angela was in form four.
Naki must be a very terrible describer of beauty. True she had painted a beautiful picture of a girl but what lay before my eyes the day Angela visited was an angel from outer space-not just a beautiful girl. Naki had told me Angela was an angel. She should have stopped there.
I failed to find words. And I wasn't surprised. I stutter. And it's normal for people who stutter to be at a loss of words.
Much later, when Angel was long gone, I found words. But I didn't find ears in which to whisper the words. Instead I found a black pen with which I spilled inks and inks of sweet nothings onto a plain white paper.
Naki assured me she knew Angel's address. She was no longer Angela to me; I had already seen with my own Thomas eyes and believed she was Angel. I dropped the letter at post office and with bated breath, waited.
She visited again during her next holiday and we still didn't talk. I wanted to ask about the letter but still didn't find the words. Even after she had left, no words came to mind and no ink got spilled – only blood from my shattered heart.
We met again at a party when she was at university. After one drink too many, in a moment of awkwardness, her slurred words hit my ears like thunder bolt; “yuuuu are a veeery shy and slow boooy. Yuuu alwaaays pretend like you don't see me. I knoooow you see me just like I see yuuuuu. But you are too shy to admit.” Admit? Really? I poured all my heart in that letter you never replied: I thought. “Why didn't you reply my letter?” I asked with a tinge of anger. The expression on her face said it all. She never saw the letter. She never saw it because I sent it to the wrong school. My dear trusted Naki gave me the wrong address. Angel had changed schools after form three.
You never get a second chance on some things. She didn't look like an angel to me anymore. Perhaps shuttered hearts have no capacity to see angel-ness.
But it all reminds me of my friend Emma whose father, my uncle, I know for a fact is not on facebook. Emma went ahead to send his father a happy fathers' day message on facebook. He didn't bother calling the old man. I know this for a fact too because when I talked to uncle, he had no clue about such a day set out for fathers. He, in his words, thought everyday was fathers' day. And he still has never got a message from anyone wishing him a happy fathers' day. I fought off the temptation of telling him his message is waiting for him on Emma's wall with love.
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