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Monday, December 7, 2009

Love at the happy hour

Daudi didn’t mean to fall in love with a General’s daughter and was taken aback when she made a shocking confession in the aftermath of his proposal, writes Dennis D. Muhumuza

Boni was evidently not a woman of outrageous beauty. She was too skinny and hipless for an African woman. But when Daudi first spotted her at the Happy Hour – the monthly meet-ups of Ugandan bloggers, a feeling as powerful as it was strange seized him and he knew at once this was the woman he was going to marry.

It was shocking because things like marriage rarely surfaced in Daudi’s equation. He was a recluse who owned no phone and spent his days indoors reading and writing a couple of short stories so he could put a meal in his stomach.

As for his appearance at the Happy Hour, his sister had dragged him there “to meet interesting people and snap out of your lifeless lifestyle.” The sister went ahead and introduced them and Daudi found himself standing face to face with Boni, completely dazzled. After an awkward spate of silence, the pert girl smiled and said, “Your dear sister tells me you meditate quite a lot.”

Daudi grinned. “I thought meditating was the stuff of monks but now that you mention it, I’ll certainly have time to meditate on why an ugly girl like you is dangerously attractive.”

Boni laughed and playfully pinched Daudi’s right cheek. It was strange how her eyes could bubble with laughter and wisdom and fire at the same time. The kind of fire and wisdom and laughter you can only find in American bombshell Nicole Parker’s eyes!

They talked endlessly. She was as temperamental as she was a woman of unparalleled candour. She told him of her addiction to the bottle, that she was a pole dancer and a lot other dirt about her father’s dealings, adding with a wry smile that if he breathed a word to another soul, she would shove a loaded two-barrel shotgun in his pants and pull the trigger.

By the time Daudi came back to himself, it was too late to break free from the spell the spoilt General’s daughter now had on him, no matter her terrible reputation.

But would Boni, with all her money, say yes to the big question and accept the easy circumstances of the roughhewn son of a peasant from the remote hills of Rwakarungi, who lived on the scanty pittance he called his monthly income and sometimes bilked his landlord?

Daudi didn’t have time to brood because he lived by the famous Gone With The Wind line “time is not to be squandered for it is the stuff that life is made of”. So he rolled his sleeves and went down on bended knee, took Boni’s hand and made eye contact. “You are the woman I’m ready to kill for, Boni, will you marry me?”

Boni looked at him and was glowing when she said, “Oh Daudi, that’s sweet and you are the first man to propose to me in 25 years of my existence, even though you’ve done it on our first date, if I may call it so.”
She laughed nervously, and to Daudi’s shock, tears sprang into her eyes, “...but I can’t marry you Daudi because, I’m… I’m… a lesbian!” Daudi stood up, waiting to hear it was all a joke but she was serious. Now it was his turn to cry. He cried for the girl he would never forget, the girl that had broken his heart with her confession; he cried bitterly, tears jetting down in his poor, shattered heart!

--Sunday Monitor, November 1st, 2009