By David Tumusiime, Uganda:
He left her life the way he entered it: in a taxi. Somehow this was a fault with her. “Can't you at least pretend to own a car by hiring one once in a while?” she had often asked. Leaving, he realised he should have started to worry when she stopped asking.
There was a lot he should have noticed. He should have taken her more seriously when she said she had to bathe every time after she was in a taxi. He had thought she was joking. He had thought there was nothing more enjoyable than stopping at Mulefu's for chicken and chips after a play at Theatre La Bonita.
Take a second taxi, smelling up the whole taxi, with the feast they would have at home. Seeing people, through the corner of his eye, shift and demanding their nostrils behave, not give them away how much they wished to be invited.
He had always taken her hour plus showers when they got home as interludes. Time enough for him to choose the movie they could curl up to, dropping chips in each other's mouths, laughing when the movie cued laugh or when the movie slowed down to snuggle-up scenes.
She had obviously not seen it that way.
For her, there was no sense in going to the Sheraton if she was going to make her entrance on a boda boda. She did not pride in every taxi tout on her stage hailing her boyfriend by name: familiar like they had bunked together in Savio, the boarding school.
Blue-toothing each other in a taxi was cute for beginnings: but not for life. So she asked him to leave. He left. In a taxi.
He did not think about it until he had got to his one room abode, showered, slept and woken up with a start. No one had asked him to pay his fare as he had dazedly wandered out at his stop.
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