Three guys. Not exactly in the mould of D’Artagnan and his chums. You won’t catch us dead lugging big ol’ muskets around or anything. You won’t catch us in funny tights, talking with nasal twangs in French accents (maybe except for some guy who has been told that he has “an accent”)
We met in school. Like one of those friendships, no one can explain what brings us together, what brought us together. At first it was just two guys. The third guy was somewhere being a smart ass in Weevil Land. He must have displayed the qualities that a person in our triumvirate must posses, even when he was in that…place.
Anyway, away from mind bending schools. We eventually hooked up and we quickly “found” each other. My peeps would come over to my house, as our dormitories were called over at my school, and they would sit with me and we would talk for hours on end. One of them always came in with, “Gwe, ‘cook’ us some tea.” And I think he really meant it. Y’know, Cook. Tea.
We were together through it all; the boring afternoon lessons with Kaziba and the funny ones with Kube, trying to sell us some bull theory in Econ, the trips to Sunsas and ‘Nga and Taibah, looking around for girls who were game for a dance with our candidate’s class, the strike (chasing BF out of that place…) We was always together.
I admit I didn’t have that much faith in the longevity of this thing. I guess I grew jaded after seeing too many friendships exposed for what they truly are, you know the drill; people leave school and promise to write, to keep in touch. They actually hang together for those first months of ‘vac’ and even go to campus still tight. Then they change and they just don’t bother with each other anymore.
One of us was going farther than that. He was going Stateside. Naturally I thought our band of brothers was done, the words of Timon and Pumbaa. Even when this dude continued writing months after he had flown. Even when I knew he was not a great one with writing. I kept on telling myself that when the loneliness wore off, he’d like forget he was even a Ugandan from Paris-Dakar (Pallisa Budaka).
Dude just blew my beliefs to high heaven. 6 years on, he still calls. Those middle of the night calls that many Ugandans have complained about that seem to come from desperate inconsiderate Ugandans abroad are anything but with Busta. Dude can call at 2.pm any day and I am cool with it. Dude is a true friend after all these years. Somehow, when he asks about what’s going on in our lives, I know he is not faking it. And this year, he’s making the journey to Ug, the first since he left, just to be with his friends again.
And the other guy? He is not disinclined to sending me a txt just saying “hi, I’m thinking about you.” I was in a boy’s school for 6 years and in that school, such displays of affection were unheard of. You said stuff like that only if you didn’t mind being called a fag or being the source of all sorts of dirty jokes. It was taboo. Like holding hands. Yuck! How could you even think of that? But this my pal, if he does it now, I can never jump on him. I know he means it in a good Christian way.
So I can confidently say that years from now, we shall probably sit on someone’s porch and sip on healthy tea and play chess and just bask in the sun of friendship. Three old gits throwing glances at the cats running by and exchanging knowing looks. Three friends just lucky to have chanced on each other. Three Musketeers.