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“Forbidden Pleasures” by Gumikiriza George

“Forbidden Pleasures” by Gumikiriza George

It’s 2 hours and 48 minutes since it started and you’re not about to stop. You like doing things in threes, you’ve always said. But this seems to be breaking more sweat than planned. Your body asks for a break to catch some fresh air, say a swing at the balcony door, but the submissiveness in her voice compels your return into the busy blackness. The night is a sneaky neighborhood hungry for a little gossip, but you won’t feed its boredom this time. So, you shut the windows and suffocate the vents with paper, leaving nothing to chance. You last did this in your first high school vacation, you remember. Anxious and excited, you rapped a number of rehearsed jokes hoping your crush would find you more entertaining.

Yet again, here you are, holding long after-midnight calls with Arinda, calls that revolve around daily routine and lots of sexual talk. Arinda, the girl from holiday coaching classes back in high school, now studying Radiography at Makerere College of Health Sciences – explains her robust love for chemistry and biology back in the day. The belle from Mt. St. Mary’s College Namagunga; girls that always lit up your high school functions. Memory so fresh, you still remember the academics-inspired lies you made up to get money from your dad, only to woo pretty girls from such traditional schools – girls who carried themselves with an aura that spelt your kind of classy.

She tells you all about her day: chores done, movies watched, meals eaten and lectures attended, but never mentions how much she misses you – even though it’s been over two months since you last hosted her. You’ve always wanted to be missed. It makes you feel special, that someone itches for your company. But well, you’re used to hearing none of such words from her: except for a certain night, one Thursday, September the fourteenth, just after a drink up at Olympia hostel. It was your first go at smoking weed and sipping Uganda Waragi shots out of random girls’ bellybuttons in a game of truth or dare. The thrill of 18, how else was a horny young adult to celebrate his first wave of freedom, far from home with all its restrictions.

Campus life was everything you imagined and more. “Flabbergasting!” you enunciated, as a call lit up your phone screen. And Byansi, your roommate, shook his head with that drunkards-speak-the-best-English smirk. “She never calls on Thursdays, let alone at hours this odd,” you mumbled. Your laptop screen read 0243 hours as Arinda, pouring through your phone said… “Hey Fireball, how have you been? You’ve been quiet for so long. You should consider calling at least once in a while you know. I miss you, Kasim. I miss you so much!” You smiled, a victory smile. Arinda had finally said the words that gratified your inner man with a little brace of pride. ‘I miss you!’ In a voice so needy and lascivious, as if dying to camp in your arms like it was the only memory she had of living. How easily the words escaped her grip, in a flow so real and too vulnerable. Fireball is what she labeled you, on the night she let you get extra naughty, taking off her dress and everything beneath for the first time. But that’s all a distant memory now, three years down the road, back in your freshman year when you’d only started seeing each other.

You made the decision to settle in your second semester of the freshman year, after a long four months of one-night stands and blurred memory of girls from lots of drinking and partying your first semester away. It was a Wednesday evening when you made your way to J.J hostel for cell. It’d been a full 6 months of convincing from Chelsea, the friend who only had fellowship and God for conversation. You’d met at Scripture Union in your vacation, on a quest to get yourself one of those pretty girls with foreign accents the union was famous for, ‘cause in all honesty, you were never the fellowship kind. You were received by warm smiles and generous hands filling disposables with cookies and soda that were handed to you before you even found a seat.

Everyone was so friendly except for Chelsea. Chelsea was motherly. She gave up her seat so you could join the wide circle, fed you with so many cookies and popcorn and engaged you in conversations like she’d known you from a time before. Maybe that was her biggest mistake, making you feel so at home. You made it to every fellowship thereafter, until you grew weary of the futility of your endeavors as she met every attempt at courtship with a scripture. Eventually, you settled for friendship. You’d agreed to attending only a few minutes of the cell just to get Chelsea off your case, but that all changed when you saw Arinda. She flushed a smile, then a brisk wave, and that was enough to keep you around till the end of cell. You didn’t say much to Chelsea as you were preoccupied with Arinda. You saw her to a boda-boda stage after exchanging contacts, where she boarded to Aryan Hostel in Wandegeya, her residence at the time. One visit after another, you were dating before long.

For your first date, you took her for a chicken platter by the road near Wandegeya market, and you could tell she was enjoying herself from the way she crushed those bones. She liked it so much that it became your thing, every last Friday night of the month. The more you ate Musilamu’s fried chicken, the more KFC lost taste. When asked why he never ran out of chickens to fry, Musilamu would laugh braggingly and say, “Where I come from, chickens are not reared but cultivated!”

Sometimes you went to cinemas, Cafesserie ice-cream, at times a newly opened restaurant and jazz night sessions, but all nights ended the same. All you did was make out but no sex whatsoever. Arinda was saving her flower for her husband. And she feared that if you touched her too right, she might give in to temptation, so cuddles prevailed! Although you often argued about the number of children you’d have together, you wanting two more, the assurance of your commitment wasn’t enough to tear the chastity walls down, not until you’d put a ring on it. Church girls never gave in that easy, you’d come to learn. But the only problem was, Arinda was wife material at a time you were looking for a girlfriend. So, her motherly character and the many principles came off as controlling when you were too self-occupied to find the love in her actions.

***

Arinda’s leanness had never been a problem, not until your second year, when Shamim started spending Friday nights in your bed and you, Sunday afternoons in hers. You liked Arinda, a lot, but it was hard abstaining with so many girls willing to warm your bed. You kept doing everything you’d been doing with Arinda to avoid suspicion. Quite often, Shamim complained about her roommate, Acan, always having her boyfriend over.

“Can you imagine, I have to walk to campus every time that ka guy comes around. That draining hill!”

“But a little exercise doesn’t hurt once in a while,” you quip.

“Eh eh, gwe that ka guy comes every day, and the first thing he asks is if we cooked. Empty handed even. Mxxchew! Kale he’s so annoying!”

“Hahaha. So, do you serve the man of the house his meal?”

“Shyaa! Me, Shamim? Kale even if he was my boyfriend.”

Shamim had had enough of her roommate’s lengthy moans late in the night. She loathed the warm heavy smell that lingered in the room just after Acan had escorted her boyfriend to the gate. This is what got her spending more time in yours. She told you all this and more, on the night you ordered an Uber taking her to Club Casablanca – the girl liked to party – claiming the Airtel network in her room was poor.

It was the evening of the day you officially met and you seemed to hit it off smoothly. Just a few hours back on the streets of Makerere University, right above Livingstone Hall while waiting for the hostel shuttle to pick you up like the daily routine was. Shamim had earlier mentioned in the Panicol hostel WhatsApp group that she didn’t have airtime at the moment, so she needed someone to tell the shuttle driver that she’d be in the parking lot at 5p.m. After which you joked about being the gentleman to make the call on her behalf, since you were in Livingstone Hall for a discussion.

As you sat at a pavement, you noticed two girls taking selfies but didn’t bother saying a word. Not because you didn’t want to, but they were two girls; one pretty and the other a little lacking to your taste. You knew too well, how girls perfected the art of shooting down all shots intended for their prettier mates, especially when shunted out of conversations they were never welcome to. So, in solitude you sat, aimlessly swiping across your phone screen till you heard a familiar name in a close voice.

“Hi, Kasim.” she waved, standing upfront. You’d seen that face before but couldn’t put a name to it based on your flirtatious track record. You searched your memory for a clue, a place or time you could’ve met this damsel with a gourd-like figure. In a few beats, it clicked! Shamim of room A08, the new girl turning the hostel boys on their heads.

“Hey!” you waved back with a fat smile. 

“You must be the guy who offered to call the shuttle driver.”

“Guilty as charged!”

“Ha-ha. So, why are you seated by yourself?”

“My ancestors were calling, so I came to attend to them.”

“Hahaha… You’re so funny. On that note, let’s take a selfie.”

From the back, she wraps one arm around your shoulder as the other holds the phone, making faces for the camera. You don’t get any lecherous thoughts like you normally would, ‘cause the cold claims the better share of your conscience. From your hairy legs in maroon shorts to your hairless arms in a short-sleeved blue shirt. Her funny faces crack you up, till you notice how silly you look, sticking your tongue out by the road in a bid to match her craziness. This is how you found your way into her DMs, in the name of sending the pictures via WhatsApp. That night, you posted Shamim’s picture on your WhatsApp status with grinning emojis complimenting the caption – And the sun remembered to rise – because it rained that evening, after a long day of an undecided sky.

She replied with florid hearts and blushing emojis and that warmed your heart. You were so lost in the ‘late sunrise’ that you didn’t stop to consider the possibility of hurting Arinda’s feelings. As usual, Arinda was among the first five viewers of your status but said nothing. You tried to imagine what could’ve been running through her mind: was she angry, jealous, okay? But you let it pass, since Arinda hardly admitted to any form of jealousy; disguising behind the mask of her boyfriend being a very friendly guy, something she was okay with.

Shamim was a joy to be around. She always had a funny story to tell from the bar or a date she’d been on. She liked cooking spaghetti, much as she sucked at it. She always added curry powder after boiling the spaghetti and you feared you’d develop some sort of cancer if you kept eating raw curry, so you took over the cooking. Her room was always packed with tins of biscuits, cereal and all sorts of snacks. Shamim was very outgoing, and with her perched many delusions of grandeur. She wanted to be a model, musician, journalist, brand ambassador and so much more, as long as it came with the glam. She was well on her way into the lights anyway, her massive Instagram following fed this promise.

She had expensive tastes, and for all you knew, her father was somewhere in the political stables. She also mentioned something about doing a course in business administration, but you didn’t care to ask for details. Shamim introduced you to shisha and you acquainted her with the blunts. You frequented bars together and she did an awesome job making a drunk of you. No shots, no party – your slogan went. You were the life of the party, the weed plug and the guy one went to in search for plot. You knew bars and clubs in Wandegeya, Kololo, Kamwokya, Mukono and Masaka like the bedroom you returned to every night. But as far as romantic relationships went, yours with Shamim wasn’t one. There was no need having the talk, you both knew it was only a friends-with-benefits kind of situation. You only came together for mostly sex, which you had at least four times in a week since you shared a hostel, and parties. She’d tell you about her boyfriend, and in turn, you told her about Arinda. Then you’d justify your cheating by talking about how boring your partners would get.

It was on that Friday night that Shamim pulled your anxious hands onto her lusciously sturdy breasts, slipping her voluptuous bottoms into a gratifying nude cuddle that you developed a fetish for big buttocks. In the morning, you liked that you couldn’t see the wall on the other end of the bed ‘cause her buttocks were all over your face. O, how they felt when you ran your fingers over them, and the satisfaction they gave with every grip of ownership! You liked these mornings ‘cause they discovered a new you, a Stallion riding into victory with every prolonged moan she aired. You despised the smell of your room after sex with a government-donated condom, so you resorted to using none at all. The sex was too good, it felt even better doing it as naturally as it was designed. Whenever things got really heated between you and Arinda and she pushed you off before things escalated, you fell on your back and redrew Shamim’s body in your mind, imagining all the things you’d do to it after Arinda had left.

***

You only bought the morning-after pill twice, for Kemigisha, a law student who always found her way into respectable leadership positions. This was after Shamim had moved into a rental, but Arinda was still in the picture. Yours with Kemigisha was what they call a toxic relationship. She’d been in the picture long before Arinda and Shamim, but she seemed to take long breaks from the relationship, only to return with an awfully untamable sexual obsession.

You’d met Kemigisha twice before varsity. First, at your Form Six social which other schools preferred to call prom. Then again, at her school, Gayaza High in your nine-month vacation before enrolling into Engineering school and her, Law school at Makerere University. Triggered by the all-too-present cleavage that stood to raise the upper fraction of her blouse, you asked for her number. You flirted through the journey till she alighted from the taxi and throughout the remaining weeks of your vacation. You discussed, in detail, the unnamed things Kemigisha’s chest had awoken in you – sexting into the lonely hours of the night.

It all seemed like a fantasy, fucking someday – she seized every opportunity to remind you of how it was never happening – till the night of the Freshers’ Ball. This was in the first semester of your freshman year. Kemigisha had been stood up by her date, in addition to the ball that left everyone cussing, having not gotten performances from some popular musicians they were promised, and ending at midnight as opposed to the trans-night party it was meant to be. Except for the senior students who hooked up with some freshmen, the only reason they attended the ball, if they weren’t running any liquor or ice cream stand that night. Kemigisha called and in a bossy tone demanded, in words you still recite with perfect memory, “Kasim, I want you to give me a night I will never forget!” That statement reminded you of your favorite One Direction song – Night changes. And you were more than ready to give her the night of her life. You took her to Club Ambiance because the ‘legit bars’ were a little far and she didn’t want to sit through long distances after midnight.

On your way, she kept singing Sia’s Cheap thrills throughout the cold boda-boda ride and you imagined she was tipsy. But she hadn’t had a single drink because she wasn’t one to drink. It must’ve been the hype that came with the excitement of a first time. It was the first time you spent almost all your upkeep on a girl in one night, buying meats, chocolates, ice creams and anything her eye fancied that night. And you wouldn’t have been so determined to get under her panties if it weren’t Kemigisha in your grip. You had a point to prove here! So, you ticked with the clock as the night assumed a darker shade.

Your father only sent upkeep once a month and gave no room for theft reports, yet here you were, spending all that was left with only a fraction of a fortnight footed. Kemigisha had always been so principled with her life, but that night, she let loose. Pro Bono’s and affidavits had already done enough damage: a girl needed constructive destruction from academics. She wanted to feel young, wild and free – theme song to many bad decisions made. After one Smirnoff Black Ice, her first ever alcoholic drink, she was already on cloud nine, gifting her whole body to pleasure, and calling your name in ways that were rather suggestive. Her face to the wall, hands raised like in prayer, you savored that body, sensationally rubbing and dabbing! Your choppy fingers taking on a wild course in places they shouldn’t have in public, but she seemed to gladly welcome the trespass for the sensation it brought with it, fully giving in to whatever happened after. At 04:07a.m, you took a boda-boda to your hostel.

“Switch the lights off. Shy girl here,” she spoke the perfect code any guy anticipating to be laid wouldn’t need help deciphering. “Are you sure you locked the door properly?” That night, Kemigisha’s blue jeans peeled off as easily as the rinds of an overripe tangerine. Her hands were unpretentiously rough on your manhood but you dared not complain for fear that she might change her mind. Byansi, your roommate at the time, wasn’t happy about the tree you made him climb at 4:19a.m. That’s what you called it, tree climbing: when one had a female visitor, his roommate was expected to give them privacy, so he left the room.

But Byansi’s grievance held no water after you found actual water on your bed. Scratch that: wetness. It was blood. An unquestionably noticeable patch of red on your already red blanket. Kemigisha was a virgin and you had deflowered her. There was an air of triumph about you, like you’d beaten the Muyindi at a huge sports bet, except, this boast lasted a lifetime. This was the kind of performance that counted twice on your boys’ wall of fame: smashing on the first date…not a loose girl or one of those social science girls that frequented bars, but a fine law student. First man in sweet unsoiled waters: you couldn’t wait to narrate your prowess. Not even a slap would shake that whooping grin off your face. Boy, the patience one musters to pluck a virgin’s flower!

Later that afternoon, Kemigisha blocked you on every social media platform, blaming you for breaking her chastity. Chastity, a word so frequent in her conversations, you imagined it tasted like paper candy: she had to taste more to find a convincing taste. But you met again, on the road to making up and reestablishing a healthy friendship in the first semester of your second year, yet again drifted off to a sexual affair. Kemigisha confessed that she was sexually attracted to you and couldn’t get a hold of herself around you. It’s the reason she avoided you for that long.

Before Shamim moved out of hostel, Kemigisha only visited on weekdays in the afternoons, and you made sure she left before 9p.m, because Shamim was an evening student. But after Shamim’s departure, Kemigisha took over Sunday nights and any one weekday of her choice. One slow Sunday, Kemigisha slipped her fingers into your boxers as Byansi listened to music at the balcony from his Beats-by-Dre. She didn’t pause to think of what an awkward scene it would’ve been if someone waltzed into the room without knocking, like Byansi’s friends normally did. Your mind was fixated on the door knob, begging it not to move and wishing Byansi magically turn sculpture in his rocking willow chair, as a determined Kemigisha gently stroked your penis in what came to be your first hand job. Twinkles, you called Kemigisha’s fingers, for the electric sensations they propagated in you. Maybe you’d also learnt to lose control around her, when you recklessly fucked her without a condom, on the day you tricked her into your room instead of the Café Java’s date you’d agreed upon.

“It’s very hot and you’re hungry,” you said to her, because her lips were dry. “Let’s go to my hostel. There’s a restaurant with good food. As you eat, I’ll take a shower to save time.”

“Okay. But promise you won’t do anything stupid.”

“I promise!”

You’d been serious about the date until Kemigisha started blushing when you touched her wrist. You called her into the room from the balcony where she’d been seated, doodling through her then cooled and hardened cowpeas sauce with a fork, and she responded in haste. Then onto your lap. She bit her lower lip beguilingly, as her eyes looked down from you, fingers interwoven and her body resonating in a familiar shiver. With the skill you’d attained, stripped her naked in no time. “Have all the fun you want now, ‘cause you may never have it again,” Kemigisha often recited, yet kept coming back unannounced.

Every Sunday night, at about 11:30p.m., she’d happen upon your door. Byansi was used, so he would’ve found a place to spend the night already. Sometimes, Kemigisha visited midweek, and for every sleepover, you woke up late and too lazy to attend lectures. This took a serious toll on your school grades. Kemigisha started developing feelings for you, acting all mushy. She begun hinting at going on outdoor dates besides the pizza and vegetable burgers you ordered in just for her – which she always ate without sparing a crumb – until you called her sex weak and she decided to get a boyfriend.

For many days and many nights, you tried your best to be loyal to Arinda, you really did. But after a couple of indulgences in the game of forbidden pleasures with girls of consummate skill, you’d become everything you judged so harshly at nine; – a womanizer, mediocre student and a famous boozehound. As a child, you despised smoking for the obvious health reasons and always wondered why someone would deliberately choose to roast their lungs. Fool, is the word that came to mind every time you saw a smoker. You hated alcohol and marijuana for how poor and irresponsible the Rastafarian wannabes neighboring your primary school looked; all skinny and unshaven. They chewed mairungi with Big-G bubblegum, smoked in the hot sun and emptied tot packs of cheap high-percentage ethanol like it was their sole purpose in life.

You detested womanizers with a passion so great. You hadn’t gotten a chance to share your childhood with your mother because your father was polygamous. You always blamed him for the void in your heart that never seemed to fill no matter how much love you received, and your inability to last in a relationship with any girl, to feel and give love like normal people did. But all this ceased to matter after you joined campus. Your Casanova tale found so much audience that your hostel mates nicknamed you Drill. Even John, the hostel gateman, knew too much that you had to tip him just to keep his mouth shut when Arinda came around. At least she deserved the respect.

***

“Man, you’ve got to finish what you started,” advised your group mates at a time you wanted to drop out of your mechanical engineering course. And today, you’re glad you listened to them as you walk to campus in a grin so loud. On last night’s call, Arinda suggested she spends a week at your place after exams, and you couldn’t have been happier about any suggestion. It’s her way of saying she misses you after a long two months of not sharing your company. It’s the Sunday you hold your last discussion of the semester as you prepare to sit for Strength of Materials II, the hardest course unit of the semester. Amidst blaring laughter and smiles of gratification for having solved the hardest of questions, you receive a call. It’s an unsaved number but you’re certain of a name from the last digits … 469. Deleting girls’ numbers after bedding them was one of the bad-guy habits you developed, but only after cramming the last three digits. You answer and it’s Shamim.

“Hi, how are you?” she says. 

“I’m alright. How are you?”

“Kasim, were you smart?”

“Come again?”

“Were you smart?”

“Of course, I was. I use…”

“Kasim, first get online.” Your blood rushes. Your heart beats louder than the wall-wrecking laughter from your seven-member discussion group and you wish your ears weren’t yours at the time. “No, no! It can’t be,” you mutter. Two thumbs to the screen like the phone might escape before clearing your conscience. You turn your data on and you’re welcomed by a swarm of chats but you only seem to notice one.

Kasim, I think I’m pregnant.

I haven’t had my period in like two months now.

Ateh you’re the only guy I’ve slept with this semester.

The world halts to stare at you. Your heart demands more room as it strives to break free from the bound of your rib cage. You’re drowning in something impalpable, stealing your breath in bits. What questions to ask? You’re a stranger in a familiar body. But you reply…

Shamim, are you sure? 

But I used a condom. 

How come?

Have you had the pregnancy test to confirm? 

You mean you haven’t even slept with your boyfriend? 

She only quotes the last message and types, NO. You catch yourself spinning but without a single movement. “It was never supposed to happen,” you whimper as if to blame God for having let you do as you pleased. There are countless times you’ve considered yourself a man, but now is clearly none of them. You’re scared! Tiny rivulets of cold sweat rundown sides of your belly. But you need to understand the physics before the coming day, so you fake a smile and head back to your discussion.

This is the longest night of your life, because in it, you get to weigh some of the toughest decisions: to kill or keep the baby. Abortion would make you a monster, but you’re not ready to be a father. The exam is hard as expected, but you’ve got bigger worries in the corners of your conscience and regret in places where pride once resided. One…two days and there stands no difference between blackjack and you; slim and sucked in. Long unkempt hair. You asked to escort Shamim to the hospital but she won’t take the test with you around. She suggests you send her an outrageous amount of money for the tests. She wants to keep the baby, she says, your first born. “How can you kill your first born?” she asks, whenever you suggest an abortion.

The campus streets are almost empty, a good time for you to take your thoughts on a stroll. It’s been three days since you last left your room. You hate yourself for many things, like lying to Arinda about canceling your plans and the thought of murdering an unborn child. Watching touch rugby helps take your mind off things, so you make your way to Impis pitch. You’re so lost in the clatter that is your mind that you don’t hear Long Muscle call your name as he approaches.

Smacking the back of your head friskily, he says, “Gwe ka Kasim, why are you feeling sweet?” Slowly, you run your right palm down the back of your head before turning to weigh Long Muscle with eyes of disgust. From his adidas boots, up his long skinny legs in very short black shorts, to his puffed chest in a bleached maroon shirt until your eyes land upon a cheeky grin dancing on his face. You rise to your feet and climb two staircases higher to match his height but wah, guy’s as long as a mast. But you’re way too far in character to abandon the act.

“What? Did I hurt your feelings?” you finally respond in a broadened voice. You hold the act a few more seconds, balancing on your toes before you both break into laughter.

“What are you doing here? Exams are done. You should go home and take some milk. See how skinny you’ve become.” he says, shaking you by the left arm.

“I came to watch your team lose.”

“I hope your grandma is a cat, ‘cause it’s gonna take nine lives before that happens.” He laughs at his smooth banter before running down the stairs.

“Long Muscle!” laughing, you scamper down to whisper. “Man, I got a pregnancy scare. That shit’s made me sleepless for the past three days.”

“Have you seen the results?”

“Not yet. Whenever I ask, she just guilt trips me. Saying I should be ashamed for thinking she’d lie to me after trusting me with her body.”

“Nah man, never fall for that shit. She might be playing you. Have the test done by a doctor you know. Campus girls are mafias, they do the most despicable things for money. If you want peace of mind, go check for yourself. Meanwhile, I’ve got a game to get to.”

“Alright man, thanks!”

You rush to make a phone call; you’ll go to hospital at midnight if you must. Phone rings but Shamim doesn’t pick, so you call again and no answer still. You forget all about the game you came to watch and scurry off to Kikumi-Kikumi, hop onto a boda-boda and shoot for Nakulabye where you last remember Shamim renting. But your pursuit for closure is met with a solid solex padlock tightly guarding her maroon metallic door.

“Are you looking for that girl who’s as ripe as a yellow bogoya?” a voice asks from behind you.

“That exact one!” you respond with a smile to meet their jest description, as you turn around. “At what time does she usually come back?”

“Come back? She no longer resides here. I don’t know when you last spoke but Shamim is a married woman now. When her hajji found out she was expecting his child, he moved her into a huge bungalow to save her the stress of these mizigo.” It starts to make sense why she didn’t want you going with her for the tests. It couldn’t have taken her three months to notice she was pregnant. There’s no way that baby could be yours, you reason. 

“You didn’t know?” the tenant asks, reading confusion on your face.

“No. I just came to check because I haven’t seen her in class for a long time and I was getting worried.” Lies come easy to you.

“Hmm…munaye, that is it. Maybe try calling her.”

“I’ll do that. Thanks.”

An air of relief washes over you. You won’t call Shamim, not after you were this close to fathering another man’s child. Thank God for light-mouths, how else would you have known. Deep sigh…you delete Shamim’s number and laugh to yourself: Boy, that was close. After a few minutes staring at the ceiling back in your hostel room, you pick your phone and ring Arinda.

“Hey, my dad’s errands were a lot briefer than I expected. I’m back at hostel. How about brunch tomorrow then we could get on with our initial plans?”

“I’d love that.”


George Gumikiriza is a young Ugandan poet and short story writer residing in Uganda. He’s currently in his final year at Makerere University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. George was also the second runner-up in the Babishai Poetry Prize of 2018, an organization with which he part-times. He runs an Instagram account in the penname sir_wootridge where he posts most of his short pieces. He also attends poetry circles at Femrite, Lantern Meet of Poets and Kelele at Makerere to keep his creative fire burning. He says he writes because it’s therapeutic.

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