One-sided Love

By Benita Asiimwe

On a lazy Saturday afternoon, I felt uninspired. Despite spending the entire morning scratching my head, thinking of something to do, my mind was blank. I aimlessly scrolled through my Facebook feed, growing increasingly frustrated at the day slipping away. Then I stumbled upon a profile of a boy named Allan. I couldn’t resist his charming good looks, and send him a friend request right away. The rest of the day, I waited anxiously for a reply. With each hour passing, I felt more and more nervous, and I kept checking my Facebook feed and phone continuously. The day crept by slowly, and I began to lose hope, but then I heard the familiar sound of my phone: he had accepted, and I was thrilled.

We chatted regularly the days that followed, and slowly, we got to know one another. Allan said he preferred talking on phone instead of chatting. My heart skipped a beat and I quickly send my phone number to him. From that moment onwards, we’d have long phone calls, and I thought the connection I felt was mutual. We talked about daily life, work, religion, we talked about anything really, because we had the same interests and a similar sense of humour too. The more we talked, the more feelings I developed for him. I thought about him all the time and eagerly looked forward to our evening phone calls. I wasn’t sure if we were on the same page though, he wasn’t that expressive of his feelings.

Allan was religious, so I invited him to my church for overnight prayers on 31st December. I looked forward to entering the New Year with him in prayer, and I was happy he agreed. He also wanted to go to his church, so we made a compromise: we went to mine from 08:00 pm to 01:00 am, then to his till morning since prayer lasted the entire night.

That evening at church, we met each other for the first time. I arrived earlier than him and booked him a seat next to mine. When he called to tell me he arrived I went outside to pick him up. I glanced at him, and said “You are so handsome.” “You are a beautiful lady,” he replied, smiling. I felt chills running down my spine. He was so smart and smelled so good. His composure was simply out of this world. My evening had been made!

We went inside and continued our prayers, followed by praise and worship. The night of prayer wasn’t easy for me, as my mind kept wandering to Allan. At ten to midnight, the entire congregation was asked to go outside to witness a spectacular display of fireworks, lighting up the sky with an array of color to welcome the new year. It was so special, sharing this experience with someone I had grown fond of and attached to. Every moment we spent together felt magical, and when he reached out to hug me a few minutes into the New Year, I felt butterflies in my stomach. It was the best hug I ever received.

1:00 am was approaching fast, and we had to hurry to get to his church in time, so we hopped on a motorcycle taxi. I was sandwiched between Allan and the rider, feeling his hands wrapped around me as we rode through the cold night. We arrived in the nick of time, and found a spot in the back of the church. Morning came too soon, and it was time to part ways. Allan escorted me to a taxi, and gave me another tight hug, one I had been eagerly anticipating since our first embrace. After I reached home, I sent texted him that I arrived safely. He replied right away, saying he had reached home too, and that he was glad we finally met.

The next day, I opened up to him, pouring my heart out and confessing my feelings. I told him I liked him, that I was madly attracted to him, and that I loved how handsome he was, his cute smile, his lovely smell, and that I felt butterflies whenever we talked. Sadly, he didn’t feel the same way. “I appreciate you as a friend,” he said, “but I don’t have romantic feeling for you.” I felt shattered and small, and I blamed myself for letting the cat out of the bag.

Maybe I should have waited for him to reveal his feelings first? I was disappointed, but I knew I had to move on. I did continue to talk to him, but it was difficult knowing that he did not feel the same way. Eventually, I realized that it was time to accept that we were just friends and nothing more.

Despite the disappointment, I was grateful for the experience. Getting to know him and imagining all the possibilities was an adventure in itself. In the end, I settled for the middle ground, but I gained a wonderful friend. The whole experience taught me that life doesn’t always turn out the way we hope, but that does not mean we can’t still enjoy the journey.

27 April, 2023