Thursday June 19 2014

I forgot I lied I was a student

By Eugene Mugisha

Lying is a bad thing. That sounds pretty obvious, but if you are accustomed to living many lives, you find that telling half-truths is vital. At a certain point, you start confusing the truth and less-truths (I don’t like to use the word lie, it makes me sound like a bad person), and however skilled you are at maintaining a double life, at some point you are bound to get a few things mixed up, like how I forgot I was graduating. Yeah, I know how careless that sounds, but you only needed to be in my shoes to understand this.

So recently I happened to accompany a friend to his graduation ceremony, and there was this girl. We got talking and today, I can’t understand what pushed me to tell her I was a student at the same institution.

Well, let’s just say it was a way to get the conversation flowing - anything to get her talking. She was there to see her brother graduate. Soon, we started dating. Being the caring girl, she kept track of my supposed studies, and like most of us have found ourselves in similar fixes, I didn’t think about correcting the bit about not being a student.

Curiously, she never saw me with books or notes, I stopped using exams as an excuse within the first few months of us dating, I didn’t even behave like a student for goodness sake, but girls will believe whatever they want to believe. She regularly inquired about my studies, and I assured her all was well. One year down the road, and my class was supposed to be graduating. I had no idea. But she was ready for me. In the morning, she sent a text: “Have an awesome day, I am so proud of you”. I thought this was her being her, and I responded, “You give me reason to go on”.

After work, I headed home to change, jog, and relax on a few beers. But that was not to be. I walked into a house full of her friends and some of mine. They sang “congratulations”, and I did not have the slightest clue what I was being congratulated for. I couldn’t hide my surprise for the first few seconds, I guess they confused it with the surprise of the surprise party. The cake had a graduation message on it. I connected the dots, and then it clicked. Well, she had thrown me a surprise party, for graduating from that Computer College whose name I couldn’t even remember.

A few people must have wondered why I did not don a graduation gown. But what got my mind in retro was my friends; these guys knew well that I was not a student, and yet none of them had the sense to give me a heads-up. Had they, I would have still showed up, acted more surprised, or even have had a certificate made for me. I even worked with one of the guys. So, as I got hugs and pecks from the girls for completing school, and firm handshakes from the guys, I couldn’t help feeling betrayed. These guys are supposed to be my friends.

Fine, I am not supposed to lie, but what kind of friends are they if they let me walk into something like that? I made a mental note to get a certificate from Nasser Road – the things we do for love!