Thursday August 7 2014

Hooking up with the past was never so tempting


By Eugene Mugisha

So, Sam set me up with my childhood sweetheart. Trust Sam to do something like that.
All that talk about him wanting me to meet someone “I would not be able to resist” was about her. No wonder he had not wanted to give me any details about her, however hard I asked.
I was both pleasantly surprised, and at the same time nervous. It had been ages since I last laid eyes on Carol, and yes, time had been good to her. She looked more mature, she had filled out, and I couldn’t help but feel a little inadequate.
She looked like she might be the head of a bank or something! For a few seconds, I stood there and stared a little, before she noticed that we had arrived.
Meanwhile, Sam was watching to see how I was taking his surprise. He was right, I was very pleased to see Carol again, but I doubted we would fit like “two peas in a pod”, his words.
When Carol saw me, the first look was disbelief. She too did not expect me, so Sam had played us both. But she looked very happy to see me. After the greetings, Sam found some obscure reason to leave us alone.
We had at least 12 years to catch up on, but I realised there was little to tell her. Apart from my school, and work, the rest was not information that I was proud of.
When she told me she had only dated twice since we had our little childhood thing, I felt genuinely ashamed because I could not even recall the girls I had dated in the last four years.
Yes, I am not proud of that, because as much as I hate to admit it, the truth is that it points to my immaturity. And yet, there she was, clearly, she had her act together. I decided to retain that and similar aspects of my past to myself, at least until I knew what exactly I was dealing with.
Since she too did not know why Sam had wanted to see her so urgently, I decided to tell her, adapting the incidents that led up to my arrival so that I did not get portrayed as a serial dater; someone who is always ready to meet strange women.
Frankly, I am not. But Sam had insisted. I do not even know why I was trying to stay in her good books, but even though the flame I had with her had long burned out, she was still my Carol, the prettiest little girl I had ever known.
She listened quietly as I told her about Sam’s lie, and she seemed amused by the whole thing. But there was something in her eyes that told a different story.
I guess that she was not comfortable talking about us being on a “blind date”, so I dropped the subject. But she brought it up again, and that is when I learned that not only was she married, she was getting divorced.
She was too young to be divorced, but again, she hadn’t been married for that long. That was supposed to be my cue to leave. I have been involved in a separation case before, and it was not pretty. But, I could not walk away from Carol, my childhood sweetheart just after she had so unexpectedly come back into my life.