I don’t think I like my shoes

4 days to go

I think. I’m about. To lose. My mind. I just might kill someone with my bare hands and cut them with the diamond on my engagement ring in a rage.

Only four days to my wedding and my gown isn’t even here yet. It’s a Portman&Taylor gown. They are no Oscar de la Renta but they make absolutely gorgeous wedding gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses and I have the pleasure of having a godmother who wants to overcompensate because she won’t be able to make it to my wedding. I should have just come back home with my gown. But silly me, I had to go ahead and ask for a few details to be added to my gown.

Uncle Sam, who lucky for me, works with the airline, called to help me track where my gown is. He told me it was en route. He seemed sure that it would be here tomorrow. I have no reason not to trust what Uncle Sam has told me, but it’s not enough when all you want is to have your gown with you and not on a plane somewhere over the desert.

To top everything off, some of my service providers are being complete dimwits. Actually I’m being kind calling them dimwits. They are being complete asses. Every single time we have a short meeting, at least one of them serves me a fresh load of bullshit.

Case in point; Isabella, who’s responsible for my decor, upped and left Kampala, claiming she had urgent business to attend to. And who did she leave in charge? An ass clown named Deo who doesn’t seem to understand his job. When I asked for the sample pieces that Isabella said she had left for me, Deo pulls out pieces that are the wrong shade of red. Burgundy. That’s my colour theme. Not blood red. Not rose. Not that tacky red he showed me. Burgundy. Like the way his heart will look after I have dyed it and placed it on a spike when I finally kill him for MESSING UP MY WEDDING.

He was kind enough to say, “Aaah, madam. Me, I doh know this simanyi bagendi.” And as I contemplated not poking out his eyes and using them for something more useful like making my soup since he was clearly colour blind, I wondered why Isabella would leave her affairs to this idiot knowing that my wedding is a few days away. I might never employ friends for anything ever again.

My cake lady, Beatrice, is another person I have a bone to pick with. She hasn’t been picking up my phone calls.

I’ve imagined myself punching a number of these airheaded service providers in the nose and starting a full-on brawl. But I hold it in, make a fist and clench my teeth and hope that I don’t leap at any one of them. I fight with myself instead to get up to the end of those meetings. It’s a little easier when they call because then I can just hang up my phone when I’m dissatisfied and write out my frustrations in my journal while killing them in my mind like I’m doing now.

But it’s fine. If I can’t have them hang, like back in the medieval times, I can at least have their balls. They signed contracts. Each and every one of them signed a contract. People have been saying, “My goodness, Lulu, contracts?! A bit much, no?!” No!!! It’s not much at all. Papa advised me to get contracts signed. He did not get to where he is in business by handing out cookies. So while these asses continue to fuck up, four days to my wedding day, when they are SUPPOSED to deliver perfection, I sit back and grind my teeth for a few seconds then I smile because I can deal with their slip-ups for now but anything that will ruin the “15th of November” for me and I will have blood. I will come back from my honeymoon to watch my lawyer burn and boil them in the fury that has culminated over this last month because of their tardiness. I don’t understand why more people don’t get contracts and add intricate clauses that deal with breach. It’s what helps some of us sleep better at night.

There are some things that contracts can’t make go away like Lubega, the marriage counsellor. I got a text from him yesterday. He said he wanted to have one last session with us.

I honestly didn’t want to see him again. He always asks too many questions. He made us do all these rather tedious exercises. I imagine their purpose was to psychoanalyse me but none of that stuff defines the kind of relationship that Alex and I have.

Lubega pulled me aside at the end of the session and asked me whether I was happy. I was honest with him. I told him I wasn’t in the best place especially with things not falling into place and my cake lady not picking up my calls. Then he added, “I mean with Alexander. Are you happy with him?” just then my phone rang and it was Beatrice. Of course I told Lubega that our conversation had to end there but he kept badgering me even when I told him it was an urgent phone call. So rude. So I told him what I think he wanted to hear just so he would finally just stop. I assured him that I was over the moon, which I am, how Alex is an amazing person, which he is, and how I couldn’t think of anyone else I would want to spend the rest of my life with.

Tony called again. I didn’t pick up.

3 days to go

I finally got to have my last meeting with the band and the deejay. We had to go over the playlist for the wedding again. Alex is very chilled out about our music selection so I had to do it. It doesn’t hurt to be precise. I know what I want played and I certainly know what sounds will make my ears bleed.

The very first thing I told the deejay was to not even think about playing that infuriating song whose title I don’t care to learn…Congratulaaaations and jubilaaaaations…I want the world to know I’m happy as can be.

I can already hear the trumpets and the five thump beat on the drum. I’m not even sure why but I hate that song so much. It has the same effect that scratching-screeching nails on board would have on me. I assured the deejay that I would walk from my cake cutting and slap him across the face if he played that song. Everyone laughed. I smiled. But I’m dead serious. The band gave me a list of songs they plan to play and I approved them and added a few extra to the list; a lot of “Emeli Sande”, a lot of “Ed Sheeran”.

I finally got a chance to go to Beatrice’s bakery to see my cake. It is…glorious. I wanted to dive in the moment I saw it. Beatrice is in the clear. Now all she has to do is make sure it’s delivered without a scratch to my venue. While Beatrice was thanking me for being patient, Mama called and said she had a surprise for me. After a rather long day, I was just hoping she was taking me to the spa. When I got home, my mother showed me my presents from Auntie May. She sent not just one but two gowns. She sent this beautiful silky number, which reminds me of Marilyn Monroe, to work as my changing dress. It fits like a glove. I caught myself crying when I read the note Auntie May sent to me;

“For the loveliest girl. Even though I can’t be there, I pray you are blessed with everything you desire.”

My gown is finally here and it is gorgeous!!!

I called all my bridesmaids and had them try on their dresses. They all fit except Pat’s. I told her to cool it on the snacking. She’s going to have to figure out how to fit into that dress in two days. Mama said she knows a seamstress who can work wonders. I don’t want to bother myself with any of that because for the first time in days I feel like I can actually have a good night’s sleep.

2 days to go

Isabella is finally back. The moment she noticed me as she waltzed into my home she screamed, “I’m sorry!”

She explained everything, showed me all the different pieces that she was going to incorporate including the roses that she had ordered. They are deeper, darker, richer than what the clown had shown me and as close to burgundy as any rose can get. I guess she’s in the clear too. I won’t have to kill her.

1 day to go

I have finally decided to fully hand the reins over to the wedding committee. All they need to do now is follow up on the service providers on the 15th. It’s impossible to mess anything up at this point.

Mama helped me pack up my things. We barely spoke the entire time. There was this awkward silence and tension that hang over our heads. All we did was fold and pack. We barely even looked at each other. Mama would only lift her head to ask if I was sure about carrying certain things to my marital home. I would give a quick reply and then she would turn back to packing. After some time I started to hear her sobbing. I walked over to her and hugged her. She looked up at me and smiled and then started to laugh. It was a laugh that said, “I laugh because I don’t want to cry”. Then she said, “Silly me. I’ll be fine”

Tony called again.

Dear, Lord, the wedding is tomorrow.

I spent the day with Mercy. She took me to the spa. She has always known exactly what I need and when. I got a full body massage that did nothing but titillate me and my mind drifted to Alex.

Why did I agree to take that STUPID two month challenge?! Why?! Why do we do this to ourselves? Holding out for this long and waiting until your wedding night just seems silly to me at this point. I hope it’s worth it. I need that bombshell kind of sex after two months of holding out. I need that bombshell kind of sex because as I much as I hate to admit it that massage left me quite…

I told Mercy about the challenge. She laughed and tried to console me, saying I was only hours away from my redemption. “I wish I were in your shoes, you have something great to look forward to. I only have my laptop and work to keep me warm at night.”

Then she asked about Tony and whether he was still trying to get in touch. But I don’t want to talk about Tony. I’m getting married tomorrow there’s no use having to bring up his name ever again.

But then who did I happen to meet when I got home? Tony. Mama has always liked Tony. “I’ve never understood why you two broke up. He was such a nice boy.”

But no, Tony was not a nice boy. I never told her what happened. I never will. All she knows is that we both kept on travelling in and out of the country and couldn’t quite make it work and had decided to stay friends. I’ll let her believe that.

“I just want to talk,” he said, “Hopefully we can put everything behind us before you get married.” Nigga, that’s why I haven’t been picking up your calls, because I have moved on. But I didn’t say that. He went on and on and I wanted to stop him because I had heard everything he was saying. I put my hand to my forehead to stanch a migraine that had started to grow from listening to his nonsense. That ought to have been enough to show him that he was just being a pain. Then he said he loved me. This threw me off a bit. I looked up at him the whole time thinking, “Dafuq?!” I imagine he assumed that because I had remained quiet like how the damsels in rom-com’s do, that it meant he had some kind of opening. He leaned in to try and kiss me and I slapped him hard across the face and asked him to leave.

D-day. It’s my wedding day.

It’s 4.00 a.m. I’ve failed to sleep. I can’t think. I’ve never been so nervous in my life.

7.00 a.m. Alex’s sisters came by to pick me up. All my older cousins had already told me about “kasuze katya” and how it’s one of the hardest things to go through. I didn’t think much of it until I had to do it. There was this air, this eerie feeling that hang about the house. It was quiet and sad like we had lost someone. I was led to the living room where Papa was seated with Alex’s sisters; Xandra and Barbs. Mama was nowhere in sight. I was asked to sit on Papa’s lap. He told me that I was going to my new home now and how there was no room for me in his house anymore. At first I just smirked thinking how excessively dramatic it all was. But the look on my father’s face did not waiver. He didn’t even wink like he often did when he was letting me in on some kind of joke.

You have no place here anymore. We are going to dismantle your bed and put it away. Your place is now by your husband’s side. You must learn to live with him. You cannot come running back home to us. You have no home here.

Then it stopped being all about the drama. Something inside me broke and I began to cry. At first they were just quiet sobs then I began to wail. I put my arms around my father’s neck and he stopped speaking, nearly chocking on his own words. He took a deep breath and then said, “You’ll be fine. Alex loves you.”

I looked up and Xandra had one of my bags in her hands. She smiled at me weakly. Barbs put her arms out ready to embrace me. In that moment, they seemed like aliens to me. Papa nodded at me reassuringly. I got up and was led out of the house into a car that took me all the way to Munyonyo where we’re having the wedding.

9.00 a.m. Before being whisked away to my room, I went out to gardens to see how far Isabella and her team had gone. The sky looked amazing and bright even though it was still so early in the morning. It made me feel better. The weather forecast said that there would be no rain the entire day but then again, who had ever trusted Kampala weather to abide by any forecast?

Isabella was still hard at work, shouting at her team and this pleased me even though her employees looked like they could stab her any moment.

12.00 midnight. This has been one of the longest days of my life. I’m glad it’s all over. The whole day was perfect and it flowed just the way I wanted it to. My father gave a long heartfelt speech about how much he had done to bring me up to be the kind of woman that I am now. I was drawn close to tears.

When it was my turn to give a speech, I was lost for words. I don’t quite remember what I said. There were so many eyes. So many eyes. All I really remember is saying “thank you” a number of times but nothing too specific, nothing too memorable. I do remember looking at my husband and registering that wide grin he had on his face and thinking how nice it must have been to be that happy. I remember spotting Dave in the crowd and feeling something tug at my chest and a clog in my throat and wondering what on earth he was doing at my wedding. But I kept on talking and saying my a thousand ‘thank you’s.

The highlight of the evening was when Alex sang for me. I forgot about Dave. My heart melted. It was like falling into a dream. My face still hurts from smiling so much. He’s still there dancing his feet off. I just had to come to the room and change my shoes and then head back for the remainder of what seems to be our after party.

16th November. The morning after

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Photo credit: Tatiana Karanja

I woke this morning to the sound of light breathing by my side. I watched Dave for a moment. I felt warm for a second and then cold. It was raining outside and the light shower, that pitter-patter sound started to ring in my head and my mind went blank. I thought my mind would be buzzing with candy and sweet thoughts of love and affection. But there was nothing. My mind was blank. I crept out of the bed, trying to make sure I didn’t wake him. I went to the bathroom wanting, needing to put some distance between us. And then I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I held onto the sink trying to catch my breath and gather my thoughts. I think something in me died when I looked down at the ring on my left hand.
“Fuck!!! I’m married”

 

 

 

 

Footnotes:

I wrote this piece for the SSWC Short Story Writing Competition that was dubbed “The Art of Seven” and Yeeeiiii for me, I came in 4th place. And I actually won something. 🙂  I have never won anything for my writing so this is awesome. I tweaked it a little…maybe a lot, but yeah, it got a good tweaking.

Also a special note. The photography used in this piece is by the very talented Tatiana Karanja who actually told me it’s cool if I used her photographs. I was over the moon. Thank you, Tatiana. To have a look at more of her great work just follow THIS LINK or click on this http://www.tatianakaranja.com

Be nice and check out the link, like right now. Yes now. Thank me later ^_^

Cheers!!

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10 thoughts on “I don’t think I like my shoes

  1. wow! i can visualize this. i thinks its the best D-day story i have read this entire year. good job

  2. Vini says:

    HeHe i actually know people wearing those shoes! Well done

  3. skaheru says:

    Fantastic reading! I want the full novel!

  4. […] Did your husband cheat on you?” Don’t let them see you sweat. “You slept with Dave?!” I don’t think I like my shoes and so […]

  5. They Say says:

    Ahhhhh!!!!I love this!!!especially the ending!I feel like you need to answer the questions I have right now!!!oh my days!
    This was a really off guard piece

  6. […] those that have read a number of my short stories, you probably remember the one about Lulu in I don’t think I like my shoes, well here’s a part of her story. I’m sure if you piece it all together, you can […]

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