When It Hits Home

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At around midday, a car pulled up at the gate. Bampe used his remote from the house and opened the gate. The car entered the gate and the same man Mama Queen had said looked familiar, got out of the car. Mama Queen had already seen him from her cameras. She looked for the paper in her drawer in a hurry and landed on the man’s mug shot on the front page.

“Oh, Mr. Martin Mubiru.” She said. She closed the drawer and rushed back to her computer to watch. The man had already entered Bampe’s house. She was waiting for him to come out so she could get out, get closer for a closer look and maybe also talk to him.

Maybe when I said Mama Queen knew what every neighbour cooked for dinner I lied. Just an exaggeration. She badly wanted to know what was happening. The man wasn’t coming out. She waited on the edge of her seat but no one was coming out, not even Bampe. Bampe and his guest who had come to drive him to town as Boza had taken their car to work were having breakfast. Bampe had bathed and dressed up after making breakfast, ready to get out immediately after eating. When they were done eating, they got out.

Mama Queen only needed to see the door move and she was out already. She moved slowly to the car while pretending to be looking at the plants in the compound. Bampe was locking the door to the house and had not seen her and then she spoke,

“Hey Good afternoon. She greeted the man, who was now entering the car.” Bampe finished locking the door and caught her greeting him.

“Good afternoon neigbour. How are you?” Mama Queen greeted Bampe. Bampe also answered,

“Good afternoon.” He had come out with a happy smiley face but it withered as soon as he saw her. Even his reply to her greeting sounded a little cold. It could have even been bitterly colder.

She looked at the man who wasn’t keeping eye contact. She walked to the car window and said,

“You look awfully familiar my dear.”

Her smile could easily be seen to be very fake.

The man looked at her and smiled and only said, I don’t think so madam.

Bampe entered and sat on the passenger seat, next to his friend whom the old lady had sank her hooks in. She said,

“Aren’t you Mr. Martin? Martin Mubiru? I think you are the one.” she insisted

“Well madam, I would know. But I am not the one.” Said the man.

Bampe was signaling him to drive off as he showed his disgust at the old woman. He had sworn never to talk to her from the moment she had invited him to her house and got naked while he took tea. Yes, she had left out that part of the story when she told Janat.

Bampe and his friend drove off and left. Mama Queen, pulled the newspaper page from her sweater pocket, straightened the creases and looked at it. It had been him, Martin Mubiru.

His face had been published in the Red Pepper as one of the homosexuals in Kampala that needed to be killed.

Martin had been Bampe’s friend for a while, but Boza never even knew him. The two had met about four years back. That had been before they both got jobs. Martin had got a job in a human rights organization and Bampe worked as a programmer at a local energy. The two had dated and then stopped and only remained friends. They had cut communication with each other after Martin’s and other men’s faces had been published in the papers with headlines calling for their execution. Martin had hidden and only came out when he thought that people had forgotten. Bampe too had thought it okay to invite him over to see his new home and that had been the first day that Mama Queen had noticed him. They had both thought people had forgotten and had other issues pressing them. Well, they were wrong. He had just been identified. And this bitch was bitter than red pepper.

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