She hangs up the phone, looks at it for a moment and suddenly hurls it across the room. It hits the wall hard and drops to the ground, in pieces.
Fuck men, she thinks. No. Fuck this particular man. Gu Fred. With his gu big head. He even smells like unwashed mangoes, the gu ugly thing. It’s been six months, but what does he mean he’s done? Shya. Today, of all days?
She looks around the room and sighs deeply.
It’s a small room in a small hostel in a tiny corner of Wandegeya. And right now, it is a mess because last night, a bunch of her girlfriends decided her room was the best place to watch the Presidential Debate. It probably had something to do with the 43″ Samsung TV across from her bed, whose sheer size overwhelmed everything else in the room.
Banange that Biraaro man is handsoooome, they cooed, in between shots of Absynthe and puffs of maryjane. Atte his grey sideburns are so sexy. And he has good points. Puff puff pass. Bambi he’s not winning, but someone should hire him. Even Abed. The ka guy has suffered, but he has good ideas also. Oba he wants to be a professional campaigner? Shot. Shot. Shot. As for Kyaalya simanyi Naalya. Mswwww, she should go back to the UK. She talks about it as if she’s been to the moon. But banange you girls, she has some points also her. Puff puff. Like what? Shot, grimace, long silence. Bambi she talked about labour and foreign affairs. Sha. Keep quiet, also you. As for Mabreezy, bambi kasajja kattu!
She surveys the chaos once again.
The debate had taken too long and their plans to get turnt up at Password in Nakulabye had turned into a girl’s night in with epic wastage. Somehow, in the wee hours of the morning, her friends had found their way back to their respective hostels – and subsequently, the obligatory church service wearing large hats, lots of lipsticks and hangover sunglasses – leaving her to deal with the mess; bottles, cigarette butts, strewn clothing and scattered pillows and beddings.
She walks to where the phone dropped and turns it over. The screen is cracked, the battery is oba where. She panics a little, there are cracks everywhere, and a few broken pieces here and there.
She runs her hand across the screen, wishing she could rewind time. Just ten seconds back. Or ten days. Walls are a destructive thing. Especially when you’re half-naked, with your bare ass against the cold, hard wall, one raised leg wrapped around the man you are frantically kissing. The man from the bar who is not Fred.
She finds the battery and slots it in. A few seconds later, the Samsung logo appears, a little unclear, through the broken glass and the tears she didn’t know were there.
She smiles and wipes her eyes. It’s not so bad, after all.
She’s finally done with the room. It took a little longer than she expected, but, it’s as pristine as it’s ever going to be.
She goes to the balcony with a pack of cigarettes, a bottle of Bond 7 and a book – one of Danielle Steel’s captivating treatises on the nuances of human nature, their attractions to one another and the psychological dilemmas therein.
She sits down on the tiny chair and lights a cigarette.
The hostel was shit, the rooms were awful, but she absolutely loved the view from the balcony. You could see the majesty and chaos of Katanga – that view was particularly shady during the day – but beyond that, there was the dreaminess of Kololo and Naguru.
One day, she thinks. One day, I will finish school and get out of this place. And I’ll find my way into the dreaminess of Kololo or Naguru. Maybe start ko with Ntinda.
The phone rings, startling her out of her reverie. She picks it up and sees the profile picture of Fred smiling back at her through the shattered screen. She jeers and, turning the phone upside down, lays it back on the table.
She inhales deeply and picks up the book, idly thumbing through the pages.
It’s okay, Anna, she tells herself. The bu cracks were already there, you just couldn’t see them. The ka wall only helped you realize that it was time to move on. Fuck Fred and fuck this ka tired Samsung.
She picks up the phone and dials a number, blowing a perfect “O” into the cool balcony air as she waits for the call to go through.
Hello? Allan? Yes. Kakati… I need a new phone… Something nice. Do you sell iPhones?