Thursday June 26 2014

Our ruined night for two

By Eugene Mugisha

Continuing in the spirit of things we do for love, I decided to stage a surprise event for my girlfriend; an evening of relaxation, including a home-made meal, olive baths, the whole nine yards.

I see the faint-hearted and unbelievers shaking their heads, saying this is movie stuff and it would not surprise an African woman. Clearly you do not know our women these days. And I am not going to educate you since I am not in a generous mood. It did not happen as planned, because of “friends”.

Again, I am seriously questioning these people I have been calling friends, wondering if they have my best interests at heart, or if they have hearts at all. After one group let me work into a potentially relationship-ending hazard disguised as a surprise party, this other bunch decided to turn my romantic two-people evening into a group thing.

My plan had been simple; work half day, go shopping and spend the rest of the afternoon and evening preparing my surprise for my one and only. Then, she would come to “watch movies”, like I had invited her. But there would be no movies; just me, her personal chef, attending to her; scented candles, oil baths... you know the drill, or don’t you? Again, I don’t care.

The first part went well. I left office just after 2pm, went to collect the money I had borrowed to finance this romantic venture, and headed off to the market. Everything had to be fresh. By 6pm, I was back to my house, to set things rolling. I was feeling very pleased with myself, and I knew she would be super surprised and impressed. She isn’t hard to please. I did it like I had seen my mum and sister do it over and over again, and before long, I had an aroma wafting throughout the house. It was getting dark by this time, so I laid the table, dimmed the lights, and as the mushroom stew bubbled, I took a shower and dressed up.

The wine was already on ice, and I checked up on everything again, then sat and waited. I imagined how it would all go, and I was sure I would have a very contented girlfriend by the end of the evening. 20 minutes later, she walked in. But she was not alone, but with four other people. If it had been any other kind of surprise, it would have been perfect. But this was a dinner for two. I discovered the culprit was the fool I had borrowed money from. Stupidly I had told him what the money was for. May be I should have stressed to him that it was not a social event.

Seeing they did not have the common sense to leave on their own, I asked them to leave. But she told them to stay. And again, wondering what kind of people these are, they stayed. She started on her wine, and as they ate her mushroom stew, I could not help but feel a deep hatred for everyone who was supposed to be my friend, but especially, that guy who lent me the money. Perhaps I should not pay him back. After all he ate what I spent it on.