Dear diary, I should stop starting my entries like that but this is out of habit. I went to the cinema today to celebrate my single-hood. Follow this story to find out why this is the event I’ve picked to write about from my day. It gets real good. The cinema was a bad choice. All those nauseatingly happy couples were all over the mall and made me feel a little out of place. But I stuck it out and got a ticket for the horror movie. I’ve got to live what I blog about. It was rather full and I sat at the very front. I think my head hurts a little from that. But my neighbour was nice. Said he chose this movie to escape the lovers. I don’t like talkers during my movie time but his voice was a nice deep. A little like Vin Diesel’s but better because this was directed at me personally. I said me too and he smiled at that. That he was glad he was not alone on this island called singleness. Having the worst seats in the cinema allowed us to talk, we mocked every scene and wondered why this was a horror. It was a bad movie but good company. He said we should get it and watch again at our own pace. With a better view. I agreed. He asked for my number. And I gave it to him. Don’t judge me. It is Valentine's and I have to be seen to make some effort to move off this island. But I doubt he’ll call so we can count this as my 19th Valentine’s gone by.
He called. HE CALLED. Now why is that statement repeated or in blocks?!!! I don’t know. Just well...he called. He said he got the movie and two extras in case it still sucks second time watching. Would I like to watch with him? I said sure. Because that’s what you should do when a guy asks you out. Nope. Not at all. Not always anyway. Am just a sucker for movies and somehow he knows that. There is no way I turn down a good movie offer when I have nothing to do. But it’s not a date. I don’t think it is. There is no indication that it could be. I don’t know why am over thinking this. I met the guy yesterday. YESTERDAY! He called to follow up on something we had agreed on. So...the facts, do a movie with Dhibs and get it over with.
Dear diary. Do you want to know how all that went? Well we agreed on a location. I thought it was his place. Turns out it was his friend’s. His reason, he has a better home theatre setting. That could be true though. I didn’t know Ugandans had mini sized home theatres complete with popcorn and the comfy seats, projector and the entire cinema ensemble. With tickets too! I think that was overkill but to each his own. He had invited extra friends to the movie so there go all the thoughts of it being a date. Shame on me really for thinking it was. Did he say it was? Did he insinuate it could be? So what led me down that rabbit hole??!!! Urgh. Am happy being single. Am happy being single. I’ve survived 19 years of my life without a love interest. I'm at least certain I can make the next 19. But you would not believe that if you saw the way I behaved at the movie today. What’s wrong with me?!!!! Me, usually quiet and reserved, was all over the place, shouting out things no one says anymore and laughing so loudly I must have broken a rib. All this in a bid to get Dhibs’ attention. I hardly watched the movie. I watched him and the way he interacted with that girl, Kisa. All movies long. Why did he invite me? Don’t answer that. I know I agreed to do this nonsense with him. I can’t even say if this is just a crush. I can’t say anything except that when he introduced me to his friends as one hot ‘kyana’ (who even uses that word anymore) something in me wanted to identify as that ‘one hot kyana ’ as his one hot kyana. Am an embarrassment to all happily single women all around the world.
I have gossip like only a week long absence can produce. Somewhere in between this time Dhibs asked me to church. Yes I know. Of late all my entries are only about him but again, stick with this. So church. If a strong belief system is not attractive in a man I don’t know what is. My father would be proud. And he looks so well put together in his Sunday best, I saw him and the angel choir must have started singing. We talked and laughed and talked and laughed. I’ve noticed we do that so well...the talking and laughing. That our call logs register three to ten calls a day and a duration of not less than half an hour. But he did something impromptu on Sunday (or so it had seemed at first), drove off to the beach after service, had us our meal of grilled fish and chips, walked a little by the shore then he pulled out a scrabble game and we played to the sound of the waves coming in, and children’s laughter. Beat me senseless but in that time I caught a slight glimpse of our future, me and Dhibs, with maybe three little kids running around on a beach playing the meanest scrabble game ever.
He sent me a poem three days ago. I would share it here but I think that one should remain private. I don’t know if he wrote it. I'm a little scared to ask but it’s not from any poet I know. What if he thinks I think he thinks I think we should start dating? It’s a conundrum. But those words, the ones in the poem, expose a man’s soul. It’s vulnerable and sweet yet those words could not have been meant for me. Help me out, he sent the poem and captioned, what do you think of this! What should I be thinking of that?!!!!!! He likes me? It’s good enough for him to send to that Kisa? He should submit it to the magazines? What should I think!!! There are a lot of mixed signals going on here. Or there are none and I just don't know how to read the signals.
He invited me to live band tonight. Pretty nice. Not my sort of scene. Ever. But I like that he slowly and easily gets me out of my comfort zone. I don’t think I would be lying if I said I have lived more in these days with Dhibs than all my 19 years combined. Or maybe it’s just the music talking. Those misleading love songs. I caught him looking at me during one of the songs. He didn’t look away and then I couldn’t look away. He said I’m beautiful and I’ve never felt more beautiful in my life! Like bring it on Abenakyo! Miss World has nothing on me. I have gone against everything I’ve ever written in my blog. But perhaps am learning better.
It’s only been ten days since he meandered into my life. But he throws so much light into it. I don’t want to overthink this. I probably say this a lot yet my heart is starting to get a little invested. But I enjoy his company. I really really do. That’s all am saying.
Things I know about Dhibs.
He is the only boy out of five children and is very close to his mother. He is 22 years old. His birthday is January 27th. He is going into his last year at the University, doing a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. He likes movies, duh and video games. His favourite football team is Tottenham. His best dish, you better believe it, is sweet-potatoes with groundnut paste. He is trying to perfect his cooking and promised to let me try it, one day. He is intelligent, friendly, focused and thoughtful. He reads...sometimes and is very taken with David Baldacci’s works. He can be very stubborn but he also tries to give his best. He has his random bursts of humour. He can draw and is thinking deeply about doing animations. Thinking of the first animation studio in Uganda (He hasn’t really checked to see if there is any other but he will. It’s his homework) and I will write the stories. A two man team…just us and that thought brings me joy to no end. He enjoys music (who doesn’t). He is into his Hip hop and secretly hopes of learning how to play the piano. He listens to me when I talk; I’ve probably bored him with all my story ideas. I also know that am still learning about him and I love the wonder and surprises of this journey. If he were a song, he’d be on repeat every single moment of every day. If he were a book, he’d be the most read on the shelf with highlights and notes all over the pages. Dear diary, when confronted by my true feelings, I fear I’m falling in love with Dhibs. Yes. I think this is what falling in love must feel like.
Is it weird that Dhibs is starting to sound synonymous with love? Like that Love chapter in the Bible? I found him waiting in front of my University Hall of residence. He was leaning by his car and looked every inch the man-god I see in my dreams. I could hear all the girls whisper about him. I stood a little taller when he proved he was there for me. He said we could go to the library together. Get in a little reading together. I said yes. Because I have to read of course. That’s all we did. We read. He is the absolute picture of concentration when he has a goal he is chasing. So we read all three hours we were in the library. At least he did. When my one and a half hours were up I took to writing on my blog. You might like this piece, ‘What I now know about love’.
My friends are getting curious and nosy and am starting to remember why I hadn’t told them about Dhibs all this time. They have all sorts of opinions about how things are going versus how they should be going. Meanwhile Dhibs has not said anything to excite all this thought. As far as he is probably concerned we are just great friends. The kind that hang out together and talk together and share their deepest secrets. The sort of friendship that holds promise. Should I find it weird that he has escalated to best friend position in just three weeks? Is there a time line to follow before you start to elevate people in your life? I don’t know. All this feels new to me. All this is new to me. Don’t get me wrong though. I love every minute of it. Every minute of his attention, every letter of his morning messages, every bite from our shared meals, every thought behind our get-togethers, every breath of our conversations late into the night. I don’t want to assume anything and get my heart broken. Yes my heart. He holds my heart. I think I can also remember when I truly gave it to him.
We were on one of those abrupt night walks around campus because face to face conversations are always better than phone calls or texts. No. We just needed to see each other. I mean I needed to see him to set my heart and mind at rest. We saw a girl being bullied by two guys and without hesitation he ran into the mix. Now, I see how reckless that was, but just his heart! He showed me his heart in that moment and I gave him mine because I believed he could take care of it. We had to walk the girl back to her hall as she was a little shaken up. My friends are not really moved by this story. They keep saying he put on an act because I was with him. But they don’t know him like I do. They haven’t seen his consistency and commitment to the man he wants to be like I have. They haven’t heard his innermost thoughts like I have. They don’t know his heart.
I invited Dhibs home. As a friend! But you will not believe the messages that have rained in telling me am going about this all wrong. In my defence though, I don’t know the dos and don’ts of falling in love. And I love hanging out at home. And I wanted to hang out with Dhibs. So I put one, two and three together and ended up with an evening at home. By all accounts it went great and he didn’t seem too bothered by it. He could have said no. We talked and ate and laughed with the family and he didn’t seem out of place at all. And after he was gone mum came into my room for her own follow up. She said he is really nice. That’s high praise coming from her. She asked about his girlfriend. I told her as far as I know he is single. She told me to lay strategies to grab his attention. Eye roll here. Insisted I must change my wardrobe to something more feminine and at least apply makeup more often. I told her I didn’t have the time to do all that. But truly if there were special prayers to get him, I would be there. She said am at a risk of losing him. Good things don’t stay on the market too long. Urgh! Mom!!!! How do you lose what you don’t have but desperately want to have?
Dhibs and I are dating. DHIBS AND I ARE DATING. LIKE I’M DHIBS’ GIRLFRIEND!!!! How many other ways are there for me to write that fact? I want to write them all. I want to paint the world with our love. I want to scream all these things I’ve felt for him for so long and never thought it was my place to say. I want to scream them to the world.
He asked me today. All the while I was trying to figure out these intense feelings, he was feeling them too!!! We went to watch a movie.. Of course we did. You know we did. A romantic one we couldn’t watch a month ago. He was nervous throughout most of it. I thought he saw the movie as an affront to his manliness but he picked it. I didn’t mind the movie. A little cliché but that’s OK. Then we headed to his place for dinner. He cooked. It was delicious. And am not just saying that because perfection starts and ends with Dhibs. But it was great stuff. Once that was done, he said he had something to say. He started with something along the lines of ‘To woo the writer I had to attempt to win her with her own trade so here is my poem, ‘When love hits you hard’. I would put it here but again, some things are far too personal for even a diary. He had a gift wrapped and he handed it to me, the Valentine’s I should have had because a girl me-beautiful deserves to spend Valentine’s lavishly. I’ll let you guess what it was. And then he asked me to be his girl. Then HE asked ME to be his girl. Sorry, it’s still sinking in. I have a boyfriend. And not just any guy. I have Dhibs.... Now the real loving begins!