Juliet Lubega

It is a small world.

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It is foggy and cold. The Christmas lights are twinkling along West Green Road and out side the entrance of the Nile bar. Maria steps through the door into the warm atmosphere of the pub as the loud Afrigo music fills the air.” Abana ba Afrigo batuuse.”
Two girls in tight mini skirts occupy the dance floor. The one in the red skirt is swinging her buttocks left and right to the sound of the Afrigo beat. Her lips covered in bright red lipstick reflect off the lights as she turns her head. She flips her arms in the air at every pause. You would think her feet are stepping on and off hot stones. The other one looks lost with a blank stare, she is tip toeing in black high heels trying to keep up with her friend who seems about to take off in the air like Mary Poppins.
Maria walks past the girls and shakes her head in amusement. She stops and looks around for familiar faces. A group of women are occupying the semi circle armless sofas in the middle. A young man dressed in red jeans with a bunch of keys dangling off his belt at the hip goes past her. His dreadlocks are falling over his shoulders and he is wearing a large gold necklace around his neck. He is holding a pint of beer and singing “Sam tondeka sebo”, with the song. It reminds her of the days of Afrigo band at Bumuli, but she knows this is West Green Road in London and the nearest she can get to Kampala is through the song.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Lule is sitting in the far corner and she walks towards him. A girl in a glittering blue dress is sitting next to him taking to the waitress who is making notes in a small book.
“Meet my friend Ndagire. We did the same course at Makerere University”. Lule says.
Ndagire turns around. Her long braids flapping around the air as shock waves go through her body. She feels a burning anger in her eyes when she realises it is Maria.
Maria remains calm and composed, her eyes focus on Lule.
“Does she live in England?” she asks.
Ndagire feels sweaty. She opens her handbag and searches for a packet of tissues.
“No, she is visiting.” He replies as his eyes dart from girl to girl.
Still looking at Lule, Maria asks “how long?”
“She is going back to Uganda next Tuesday.”
The girls look at each other, their eyes measuring up in an unspoken dislike.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
“Nice to meet you Ndagire”
“Nice to see you again Maria”
“Do you know each other?” Lule bangs his fist on the table. The newly delivered beer bottles shake and cuddle together. He feels trapped in the middle.
“Maybe we do”. Maria replies
“What do you mean maybe?” Lule asks.
“Can I join you?” Maria continues
“You haven’t answered my question though.”
“What question?”
“How do you know Ndagire?”
Ask her how she knows me?
“You can sit with us”. Ndagire beckons Maria.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

“What are you drinking Lule?” Maria asks.
“Uganda Bell”
“Do they have Nile Special today?”
“Do they sell all Ugandan beer here?” Ndagire asks Lule.
“They sell even Uganda Waragi”. Maria replies still standing.
“How do you know each other you two?” Lule stands up, akimbo.
“We just do. It is a small world Lule.” Ndagire interrupts
“Yes it is a small world.” Maria adds
“May I know what is going on girls?”
“Your friend was my brother’s fiancé and she run off with his best friend who worked in Bank of Uganda. Greener pastures eh”. She looks at Ndagire and rolls her eyes.”I hope you are not her next victim”.Maria says and storms off.

©Juliet Lubega (unpublished 2014)

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Author: lubega1

Among other things an aspiring UK based African writer with particular interest in African/Western cultural divide..

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