Juliet Lubega



I suddenly raised my head and slowly turned it around the room, it is still, the silence is deafening as if nothing exists. You can almost feel the walls move and the ceiling murmur. The air seems to whistle and the movement of the pen marks every sound like footsteps. The room has large windows, with half pulled blinds through which pops the tops of the houses in the opposite street. The sky is scarlet blue with silver grey clouds and a trail of aircraft lining the flight path.

I can feel my stomach turning, reminding me of my physical needs against my emotions which have occupied me for the last 12 hours. The smell down from the cooking downstairs reminds me of how long I have been working on this story. There is bitterness in my mouth as I pour out my recollection of events on this piece of paper. Reliving my past has never tasted so sour.

I then realised that I haven’t opened the mail of the day. The pile of envelopes rests in the same spot I hastily put it in when I first got into the room. I had spent a restless night debating on how I want the last chapter of my book to shape. It is the book I had my eyes set on to provide income to save my home, that opening mail was bottom of my priority list.

I gently stood up, taking care as if releasing my bottom from glue on the chair seat. After a long yawn and stretch almost with intention of starting an exercise class I walked towards the small wooden circular table to pick the pile of letters.

My hands froze as I looked at this particular white envelope; I turned it on the other side to have an idea where it had been sent from. The post code at the back was very telling. It was from the bank. I clung on to it as if my life depended on it while the rest of the letters tumbled to the floor. I then felt an electric shock through my body, hissing in my ears and my head spinning as I fumbled to open it .It threw back my memory to the day I lost my job, two years ago. The coldness in the voice of the Company manager as he relayed the decision of the Board to me; “You have been made redundant with immediate effect on a 6 months pay in advance”

Life had turned to the worst as I struggled to keep up with my mortgage payments and cost of living. My savings had since dried up and I was falling back of my financial commitments by the month. Having secured a book deal through old acquaintances and almost 15 years experience in publishing, the book I was writing was expected to be my saviour.” If only the mortgage lender could wait a few more weeks everything will be alright”, I found myself loudly speaking to the still air.

As I opened the envelope, my lids began to move uncontrollably. Fearing the worst, my eyes filled with tears. As I had one more glance through the windows, the house tops seemed to be moving away, growing smaller and smaller in the distance. I jerked to keep my feet firm on the ground. The contents of the letter were not as bad as I first thought. The bank had agreed to give me 6 more months of grace from mortgage payments. I took a depth breath to release the tension of the last few minutes which seemed an eternity and slowly walked back to my chair to resume my writing.

© Juliet Lubega (unplublished 2010)


Author: lubega1

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

3 thoughts on “Relief

  1. I know that feeling. 😀


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