The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Spotlight - the Joke Is On C.G and I

Despite Kampala's crazy traffic, Chris managed to get to his destination in under fifteen minutes, possibly because he was in too much of a hurry to acknowledge the waves of pedestrians, and friendly hoots from fellow motorists, along the way, like he usually did.

Pulling up in front of one of the city's office blocks, he turned to me with a curt "Let's go", and then practically leapt out of the car, before realising I wasn't making any move to follow him. Leaning back into the car, he snapped irritably: "Steph, could you please get a move on; I'm in a hurry here."

"Well, then you'd better get going, hadn't you?" I answered nonchalantly as I leaned further back against my seat's head-rest and crossed my legs, making it evident I had no intention of following him.

"Will you please quit fooling around? I don't have the time for this right now."

"Like I said, then you'd better get going, after all, you are the one with the appointment, not me."

As it dawned on him that I wasn't simply dragging my feet, but was actually daring to defy him, Chris' expression changed from one of irritation to blind fury.

"F**k you, Steph," he swore viciously before turning on his heel and slamming the door with such force that the bang startled C.G, who promptly began screaming at the top of his little lungs.

Even though he was already striding off and couldn't hear me, I nonetheless swore right back at him, as I held C.G. close and started to rock him in an attempt to soothe him.

Although I had initially been very pleased with my revenge against Chris, when after twenty minutes he had not yet returned, I began to question the wisdom of my move.

The sun was out, and Chris had not thought to park the car in a shade; so, its interior was quickly becoming hot and stuffy, conditions that got C.G. increasingly moodier as the minutes ticked by.

Furthermore, Chris had taken his car keys with him; so, I could not even ease C.G's discomfort by at least turning on the A/C, a fact that got me madder than Chris had probably been.

How could he be so inconsiderate towards his own son? I wondered angrily. When half an hour passed by and there was still no sign of Chris, I began to get desperate.

The office block we were parked in front of had at least a hundred different offices in it, and there was no way to tell which one Chris had disappeared into. Not that it would have mattered if I had known, as after the way he had stormed off, I could hardly go interrupting his 'business meeting'.

As though that was not bad enough, although I had enough money in my purse to get C.G. and I home, with the car unlocked, there was no way I could leave the car unattended, especially not with all the shopping on full display in the back seat.

Even something as simple as walking C.G about was unattainable, from the amount of attention that would draw.

At the end of the day, the joke had turned out to be on C.G and I, as we were totally stuck and once again the tables had been turned such that we were at Chris' mercy and not him on ours.

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