I missed your calls yesternight. I saw them come in. Once. Twice. Three times. All those times, I watched, passively, the screen light up, and TrueCaller displayed your name across it; Hamidi Calling. Then came a message: I hope you okay. Was checking up on you.Damn, I miss you. I think about you all the time. Let me know when you are able to talk. This is kinda urgent.

I let them go unanswered, partly because I made a deliberate rule to not answer calls past 7 p.m. Unless you are my mother. Or my father. Or my sister. Or my active boyfriend. I have made a deliberate rule to not open and reply to messages that come in after 8.30 p.m., unless it is an emergency, and I am the only one who can help.

But mainly, I let them go unanswered because I do not believe in second chances. Because I have struggled, for years, to clear the mess you created and dumped all around me. Because all these years, coming across someone that shares a name with you fills my heart with so much anger, and sometimes fear. Anger that I let myself suffer at the mercies of another human. Anger at believing I deserved the darkness that surrounded me, and believing only you could give me the light. 

Fear that maybe, just maybe, history might repeat itself.

I let your calls go unanswered because for the longest time now, I have always found solace next the most amazing human on earth. For years now, they have picked me up, dusted my clothes, and said, ‘you can do this, even on your own.’ I have known what it feels like to drink from a fresh fountain of love. I have understood love and sacrifice from the rawest points of view. I have, with their help, opened wounds I had long covered, unhealed. We have uncovered them, so we treat them, and they disappear completely. For the longest time now, I have known what peace feels like. I have understood the freedom that lies in belonging. I have felt the deepest of connections, and that has taught me the meaning of my life.

Why then, should I pick a call that most certainly is trying to get me back into the dark pits? Why then should I give an ear to the very voices that shattered everything I held so close to my heart, and made me lose faith in humanity? Why then should I give audience to the people who have been awaiting my misery and downfall for the longest time, saying, ‘it is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when’?

I let your calls go unanswered because I have known you and your ilk before, and I can almost tell what exactly you want to say:

I have missed you.

I have not come across such an achiever as you.

You are brilliant. I will never forgive myself for letting you go.

Do I stand a chance? I want to make things right.

I am in need of money, and I know you are in a position to help. Can you?

No, Hamidi. I cannot help, even though I am in a position to help. Because for the longest time, I have taught my heart how to let go; of people, feelings, places, and things. I have worked, tirelessly, towards forgiving my younger self, and letting her know it was not her fault. That she was not stupid to think the world was full of people with good intentions. That because of her, I am what I am today.

That over these years you have been away, I have learnt how to breathe anew. How to take a back seat during matters that do not concern me. How to limit my circle to only those who believe in the goodness that flows within me. How to maintain contact with only those who see the greatness within me, and go out of their ways to give me the ladders I need to reach those heights. How to choose, carefully, those I want to have candid conversations with.

That over these years you have been away, I have let go of your ilk; busy lurking in the shadows, awaiting for my moments of misery. Who fold their hands across their chests every time I win, because even their minds didn’t think I was capable of even half of all that I am.

That over these years you have been away, I have woken up and asked the universe to steer me away from people who belittle my efforts. People who struggle to see the light beneath my eyes. Those, like you, who are waiting to pounce on my goodness, like a hyena does to a lamb.

I have asked the universe, constantly, to speak to my heart, and only let it grow fond of those who are genuine with their intentions. And it has listened, so far, because nincompoops like you no longer set foot in my sanctuary.

So, I let your calls go unanswered because even though the heart tires, it never forgets. It sees you and remembers your ills, even though it does not hurt anymore. It smells you and the first instinct is to run, because we are still afraid that your touch, however loose, will create fresh wounds that will make us bleed to death.

I let your calls go unanswered because these days, my body does not understand the language of suffering. My head rests upon softness, and my heart beats for the finer things in life. My soul craves nothing short of peace and love; none of which you can offer.

So when I wake up in the morning and my best friend tells me you slept in the open; tired and hungry, a wave washes through my heart, and calms my racing heart. It reminds me that there are lessons on earth that no one can take for you, even if the whole world worships at your feet. There are some crosses you need to carry for yourself, because you made them. That this is life, and it comes back at us at its own time.

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Meet Eunniah Mbabazi
Eunniah Mbabazi is an Electrical and Electronic Engineer with a deep passion for books and literature. She has authored Breaking Down (a collection of short stories), If My Bones Could Speak (a poetry collection), The Unbirthed Souls (a collection of short stories), and My Heart Sings, Sometimes (a poetry collection). She has also co-authored Kas Kazi (a novel) and When a Stranger Called (an anthology of short stories).

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