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Séance On A Wet Afternoon | David Tumusiime

Photo by Edward Echwalu
Photo by Edward Echwalu

I’m in my lover’s room alone waiting for him. It’s afternoon but the room is dark. He likes the dark. If only for that he will come.

It’s raining very heavily outside. From time to time the roof groans in the rain and the room fills with whispering. I’m not afraid. He will have to come back.

I sit on his unmade bed. The faded white nylon bed sheets are crumpled in whorls of uneasy sleep. The thick black sisal cover dangles from the left side of the bed, the soft tip of the blanket suspended just above the very cold grey cement floor. It’s a large strong roughly built wooden bed he made himself. Covers one side of the room.

In the corner opposite me, I can make out a huddling shape of a bunch of matooke. The two aluminium saucepans cupped in each other glint in the darkness like silent silver cat eyes. Next to them is the one chair in the room. It’s an old sofa chair with some of the sponge sticking out where the red leather is worn. We bought this chair together. We bought it on a very hot Sunday afternoon in an auction outside a bankrupt minister’s gate. But I didn’t want him to buy it.

I kneel on the bed, my toes hardly sinking in the mattress and look through the glass paned window. His window does not have the thin steel bars to keep out burglars. I can hardly see anything outside. The wind and the rain have made a grey mist with many tiny silver rivulets on the glass pane. Outside, dimly, I can see mud, mud, and a black running figure!

I fling the windows open and the wind and the rain rushes in for a cold, for an icy prickly, for a happy engulfing embrace. He’s on the door pounding, shouting at me to open. And then he is in.

He runs the short distance in his room from the door, slams his shoulder against the wall, then his back, his foot smashing into the saucepans. He is cursing. Cursing. He kicks the saucepans away. They glide across the cement floor screaming to the door.

He shakes himself, holding his blue shirt away from his body between his fingers. Tiny droplets of rainwater fly away from him in all directions like little sparks.

His black face is pale, his eyes closed tightly, it’s almost as if he were dead. I move to him. Droplets are sliding from his kinky, charcoal-black hair. His teeth are chattering slightly. He is cold. I wipe his forehead, the back of his neck, his throat, around his nose and cheeks, his eyes. He opens his eyes.

“You’re wet” he says, annoyed, pushing me away.

I make his bed quickly, as well as I can. He is undressing.

He is impatient. He fumbles with his shirt buttons. Almost tears the zip of his black trouser. He is breathing hard from bending and straightening very fast too much.

I’m on the bed. Against the wall, cross-legged. He stands before me, self-absorbed bewilderment on his face. He has on the red underwear. It is too small for a man and looks funny on him.

Suddenly he is on his knees, bends forward, and drags from under the bed a large cardboard suitcase. His spine, in his arched back, in the lightening darkness, is a black-beaded necklace.

He is sifting through his home clothes. Shirts, trousers, t-shirts, shirts, jackets. They are all colours. He never arranges them. He chooses from this confusion what he wants to wear.

The rain outside has settled. The room is now filled with a low hum of raindrops on the roof. The glass panes in the window have begun to clear. I can see outside. I remember a childhood rhyme.

Rain, rain go away
Come back another day
Little Children want to play
Rain, rain go away

Rain, rain go away
Come back another day
Little children want to play
Rain, rain go away

I feel hands on my breasts. His ticklish breathe against my neck, ear, cheek. His chin on the bare part of my shoulder, I feel the bristles of beard. I try to wriggle away but it’s useless. His body is locked into mine shell-like.

“How long have you been here?” he asks.

His voice is deep and measured. It reminds me of the spiky hairs that project out of the smooth skin of a caterpillar.

“Not long” I lie.

His hands around my stomach, under my red-floral patterned blouse, hesitate. He does not believe me. He slides them down my hips and makes them meet between my thighs. This is what he expects.

He pulls me down to the bed. I lie with my back to him. He is pressing very closely to me. His hand is under my skirt. Out of the darkness, in the corner, the bunch of matooke is watching.

He tosses my g-string underwear onto the sofa chair. It lies on his black trouser glowing yellow-white.

“Turn over,” he whispers.

I do.

“I love you,” he says.

“I love you,” I reply.

“I love only you,” he says.

“I love only you,” I reply.

We are silent facing each other, listening to the rain. I’m looking into his black eyes and he is looking into my brown eyes.

I’m lost in his eyes.

The rain has stopped. The sky is grey-white and there are no clouds. The air is cold and chilly and clean. The trees and the shrubs on both sides of the road are shiny green, drooping downwards.

I’m alone on the tarmac road walking quickly. Walking on the edge. The road stretches out before me like a wet diamond snake in mud. I’m hurrying home to make my husband supper. I ‘m hurrying so that my lover’s lover will not meet me on this road.

 

David Tumusiime is a writer, used to live to write, had to write to live and is happiest back to living to write. 

Recently, Why Don’t You Say The Words?, another beautiful story by Tumusiime, was published in the East African.

Read more of his work here. And here

9 thoughts on “Séance On A Wet Afternoon | David Tumusiime


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    David Kangye says:

    Nga this is hot’… in the corner, the bunch of matooke is watching.” it must have said “Eh!” after the rain.


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    Ivan Earl says:

    David… your the best… I love reading your pieces #yournumberonefan

    1. Earl, thanks for visiting! Come back? 🙂
      P.s: Nga we are many in the David Tumusiime Number One Fan club?


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    Sandra says:

    Very nice read David


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    Barigye Anita A says:

    I’m hurrying so that my lovers lover will not meet me on this road . . . Oh David! Thank you.

    1. Thanks for visiting and reading, Anita!

  5. That last paragraph caught me off guard…captivating is the word that comes to mind with this one.

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