Spotlight – the More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

Almost a month after the story appeared in the papers, another rans, in which the writer remarked that I had gone into hiding ever since word had got out about my questionable parenting skills.

The piece also elaborated that while Chris was still very much out and about, partying as hard as ever, apparently unfazed by the previous story, I and C.G, on the other hand, had not been sighted once since the Miss Uganda grand finale, and then went on to speculate that we might have travelled out of town as even residents of the neighbourhood where we lived, had not seen me of late.

Apart from the speculation that C.G and I had travelled, the article was accurate, for a change. Stung by the previous article’s attack, I had completely withdrawn from the public eye, spending my days cooped up in the house with C.G.

I felt safer within the four walls of the house, reasoning to myself that if no one saw me, then no one could write about me. I was also probably slightly paranoid about running into anyone, convinced that everyone had read the damning article, and would be viewing me through the author’s harsh judgmental eyes, and so avoided the public completely, leaving even simple excursions to the local supermarket, to Chris to attend to.

When Chris’s friends and acquaintances dropped by the house, I retreated to the bedroom feigning either fatigue or a headache, and so he soon stopped inviting them over, as it inevitably meant that he would have to attend to them on his own, which was a rather tall order, considering his severe lack of culinary skills.

Initially, Chris resented my behaviour, complaining that it was unsupportive and totally disproportionate to its cause, not understanding that I was not responding to the article in itself but, rather, the fear that perhaps the author was in some way actually right that I had indeed failed in my role as a mother, by not protecting C.G from the big bad world.

However, as the days went by, he eventually came to accept it, and even began staying home more himself, in order to spend time with C.G and I. When he did, I rewarded him by preparing his favourite meals, dressing up smartly as if we were going out, and even being more intimate more often, than I did on the days when he went out.

I did all this to woo him into spending more time with me, because the truth was that even though my confinement to the house was self-imposed, it nonetheless left me feeling disconsolate and alone. I missed the companionship of other people, even though I could not bring myself to go out in search of it, and so Chris’ presence in the house was increasingly craved and appreciated.

Despite all I did to make him want to stay home, there were times when his going out was inevitable, like when he had to work, or had a meeting to attend. And there were others when he simply chose to go out for a drink with friends, not sharing in my penchant for remaining indoors.

I didn’t blame him for this, and in fact totally understood it, even though I made it clear that I didn’t like it. It was on one of these “home alone” days that I next heard from Greg. I was hanging out some laundry when a boda boda arrived at the house certain that he was lost, I went over to see if I could help him with directions.

“Can I help you?” I asked politely, and was shocked when he pulled out an envelope from an inner pocket of one of those bulky jackets that almost every boda boda rider wears, no matter what the weather.

“This letter is for you,” he answered while handing it over, and then without another word, made a U-turn on his bike, and rode off.

Source : The Observer

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