When It Hits Home

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CHAPTER 18: AND THEN, THE DEMISE

The moment Boza saw them, he ran towards the bedroom and met Bampe at his bedroom door, trying to run. They both knew that there was nowhere in the house to hide a person, and they were sure the police would search the house. Boza hugged him so tight. As much as they would have wanted to hug, there was not enough time for them to continue, Bampe disengaged from the embrace and started to move. He however came back and kissed Boza hard and quickly on the lips and ran away leaving Boza frozen. He opened the backdoor, jumped the wall fence and ran off. Both Bampe and Boza had seen the wall as too high and too hard to climb, but that day, Bampe realized the wall was too short and he was able to scale up and jump over it without any failure. He did it in time before the police could round up the house, and by the time they did, he had already ran a few hundred meters away.

Mrs. Baru brought two policemen inside the house as two more surrounded the house. They found Boza still standing where he had been kissed from. He was still thinking of where Bampe would go, where he would get help, who would help him and all. Or maybe he was taking his time to reminisce the good times he had spent with his friend Boza. Or it could have been the kiss, yes, the kiss. He had initiated the hug and he had received a kiss, the first one ever from a man.

Bampe got angry with the mother for bringing the police in his house. His mother stated it was her house and not his and he needn’t think he had control over it. They searched the house and made sure there was no rugs unturned. They couldn’t find Bampe. Boza kept telling them all along that Bampe wasn’t in the house but they kept on their search nevertheless. When they were done, they got outside the house. Boza followed them out threatening his mother never to do it again. The police then arrested him for obstruction of justice, as they said to him. It is not common in Uganda for the police to read you a charge when they arrest you like we see in the movies. They took him away in their truck. Mrs. Baru locked up the house without even noticing the broken window glass and she drove off too.

One day later, Boza was released from jail without being arraigned in court. All that was his mother’s doing. She had orchestrated his arrest and wanted to scare her son into cutting off any relations with Bampe. She was there, at the police station to drive him home. Boza refused her ride and walked home. When he entered the house, he looked for his phone, charged it and took a long shower. From the shower, he made quick tea. Meanwhile he switched on the TV to see what was going on as he waited for his phone to charge.

Breaking news came on TV about Bampe. He had stealthily gone back to his house, broken into it and hanged himself inside the house. Even Mama Queen who watched the neighbourhood like a hawk, had not seen him enter. He had waited until Mama Queen was outside shopping for groceries. He had then hanged himself on the chandelier leaving a note on the table that read,

“I am sorry I have to go now and like this.

I cannot continue living in a world like this,

Where real criminals live free and innocents are persecuted.”

Boza ran out, ran to the lane then into the road where he got a boda boda and went off to Bampe’s, leaving his tea boiling on the gas stove and the TV on. He reached at Boza’s only to find that Bampe’s body had already been taken to the hospital to determine the cause of death, whatever that meant.

The house had been closed off as a crime scene and the police men guarding it couldn’t let him in. They wouldn’t even let him access their car that was parked in front of the house. He walked outside the gate looking all withered. He hadn’t eaten or drunk anything for a full day. He was dehydrated and needed to eat and drink. He however couldn’t think of anything else apart from his friend Bampe. He couldn’t live without him. He walked the long distance to the hospital. At the hospital, he saw Bampe’s body at the morgue. He was only allowed to see him through a glass window. He was told to leave a contact to contact him on to pick the body after it had been treated and make ready for transit and burial.

Boza felt a heavy load of anger on both his head and shoulders. He couldn’t gather the strength to stand. He squatted down in a corner outside the morgue and cried his heart out. Anyone who knew him wouldn’t recognize him. He had been known to look health, smart and clean, almost like his late friend Bampe, but that day he looked like a beggar on a dusty road.

When he was done crying, he remembered to call his parents, Bampe’s parents. The sound of Bampe’s mother’s wail made Boza to also cry. He told her what he had been told at the morgue and promised to take his body home in the village.

He then walked staggering like a tree being pushed by strong winds. He couldn’t remember to get a boda boda or a taxi back home. He walked like he never knew where he was going, just like a butterfly being blown about by the wind. As he was trying to cross the road at Kubbiri, he was hit by a trailer. He died on the spot and joined with his friend in the afterlife. His tea, that he had left on fire back at his house burned out and the kettle blew into pieces. Flames of fire started to jump and the house soon afterwards burned down. His death was ruled a suicide by the police.

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