With tears blurring my sight, I got up, bent down and kissed C.G on the head, grabbed my handbag, then practically fled from the house before my tears broke their banks and started streaming down my face.
As I got out of the compound, I flagged down a boda boda and without even asking about the fare, simply instructed him desperately: “Kireka; let’s go now!”
I was trembling so fiercely, it was a miracle I did not fall off, and while the rider was no doubt curious about my state, he wisely did not remark on it, and only spoke to ask for directions.
Normally, I would never have opted for a boda boda as a means of transport for any distance over a few meters, as it raised the chances of me being seen and recognized, but I was so desperate to get back to the house so I could barricade myself inside and cry my eyes out that I did not have the patience to call and wait for a cab.
Once we arrived at the gate, I handed the rider a Shs 10,000 note, which was probably more than double the actual fare, thanked him, and then fumbled with the gate before getting into the compound and dashing to my unit.
At the door, my blood froze; I felt like my heart actually stopped beating for a second when I reached for my keys, only to realize that the door was slightly ajar.
I was certain I had locked it when I left the house. I pushed the door open slowly, afraid of what I would find inside, and then almost collapsed with relief when I saw Greg casually sitting on the couch watching TV.
“Greg! You almost gave me a heart attack!” I exclaimed, slumping back against the door.
“Sorry, I figured you were going to have a tough morning dropping C.G off and all, so I decided I’d be here to try to make it better when you got back. Looks like I was right as well, because you look like you’ve been to hell and back. Come sit down and tell me what happened,” he urged comfortingly.
I did not need to be asked twice. I had been struggling so hard to keep it together from the time I had fled from Chris’ mother’s house, and now I could finally let out all my pent-up emotion. I was across the room in seconds, collapsing into his open arms as I plopped down beside him.
“It was terrible. Just terrible,” I cried into his chest.
“Shh, it’s all right, I’m here now,” he said soothingly as he held me close and rubbed my back.
“She called Chris to come, and he said the cruelest things – that you and I were having an affair, and that I was leaving C.G to sleep with you – right there in front of her!”
Greg sighed at my words, and for a few minutes, just continued to stroke my hair and back in silence, probably processing what I had just told him, and wondering how to respond.
“He’s an a**hole, but you have always known that; you and I both know what he said isn’t true; so, don’t let it upset you this much. He’s just mad that you’ve left, and is lashing out at you to punish you for it – don’t let him! He caused you enough pain while you were living with him, don’t let him continue to hurt you now that you’re finally out of there,” he finally answered.
“But he told his mum, and I know she believed him!” I reminded him, as I sat back up revealing my tearstained face.
“Do you really still care what she thinks of you? If you do, you shouldn’t,” he answered, while gently wiping away my tears with his fingers.