Paper and Ink: Interconnectedness (1)

Paper and Ink: Interconnectedness (1)

paper-inkBy Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda:

Being exhausted is really exhausting. You toss and turn, sigh and rant, cry and wail, smile even though it feels the bubble that feeds the hole inside your heart got sucked out by a vacuum. You seem to find ways to keep busy that leave you with more time than you can stand. You start thinking of what you can do to fill that time. You find yourself reaching for the phone to text and then you realize you have no one to text. That is loneliness.

You find yourself almost consumed by the abyss of your thoughts and there is no one to take the weight of that abyss. Your heart sinks, it's almost too much to imagine that your world is so empty you have no one to talk to.

You go out one night with a group of friends and find yourself surrounded by strangers and beer. You drink, even though you are unaccustomed to it. Every sip fills your head with a fuzzy blanket that blots out the loneliness. You drink and drink. You switch drinks and keep going. No one can stop you; you're having so much fun. You laugh and giggle, dance like you're a star.

At some point you don't remember what more happened. You find yourself stumbling into the door half supported by strangers turned friends. The next day, you have a hangover from hell. You have an appraisal with your bosses that isn't going well. You wish you could die if only for a while.

You get a call, a text. A concerned stranger checking how you feel. You tiptoe around the question, why is he so concerned?

And then, a text comes in. It's someone that wants to talk to you. You trade messages with zeal, excited that suddenly you are no longer alone. You reach out daily hoping that your efforts will be returned. Surprisingly, what has unknowingly started doesn't seem to come to an end. You talk, you meet. He tricks you and you end up on a first date with a bunch of strangers. It's not actually a date, we're friends hanging out.

You talk some more. Days, weeks, they all seem so fast anyway, so you lose count.

One day on your way for dinner he leans in and kisses you even after promising to move slow. You feel butterflies and are afraid. Now you can't just be friends.

You end up at a bar soon after. He buys drinks as if to celebrate something you don't know about. You talk and connect and you are excited about what you can feel blossoming. You ask him to keep it quiet as he is a friend of your ex. Tipsy as hell he goes down on bended knee. You can't believe your eyes. Is he doing what you think he is? He asks you to marry him in front of his friends. You can hardly believe what is happening. He gets touchy and you storm off in a jiff. He follows you insisting he wants to get you home safe, and then half way there he asks where you are? You freak out as you know now he is drunk.

You get home and somehow you get him to sleep. You lie awake the whole night in fear wondering if you have made a mistake.

Founder and Editor in Chief of the Readers Cafe Africa

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