Dear Molly

William Mugisha
17 Fleetwood Street,
14th Feb. 2032


To Molly Kintu
P.O. Box 5674,

Dear Molly,

I am hoping this letter finds you well. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks debating with myself about writing this, but I knew the moment the idea was conceived in my mind I was always going to do it.

How long has it been? Seventeen years? Let’s see: I last saw you at Metroplex mall in Naalya that time the second Avengers movie had come out. It was the first time we had seen each other since the split in 2013. You looked stunning. But then again I wasn’t looking too bad myself in that brand new tux of mine. But I’m getting off topic…

Look, I really don’t know how to put this. I miss you, Molly. I miss you immensely. And I know we haven’t talked in nearly two decades but if I don’t reach out to you now I feel like I might never get the guts to do so again. I know you’re married now (privacy is a myth in these times, what with everyone having a Wikipedia page now) and if you have ever harboured any curiosity about me in that regard then you know I am too. Her name is Lucy and she’s a magnificent woman. I have two boys, Michael and William Jr. They look like their mother. I remember a time when I thought you would be the mother of my future kids. We even joked about it, do you remember?

Those days will be etched in my memory till I pass on. I can see it even now: me, you, Bob and Rita in the small campus room in Mitchell Hall (which I’m told was renamed “Besigye Hall” a few years ago) smoking pot and watching Spartacus on Bob’s laptop. We’d get high and then switch to music because you and Rita always liked to dance. Do you remember the time we got so high we laughed so loudly for so long the guys next door had to knock?

But you know what my fondest memory is? Meeting you for the first time in first year at the Africa canteen. It was a Saturday afternoon and you were wearing jean shorts and a small grey t-shirt and a pair of blue slippers with that little puff on your head and your dark skin was almost glistening in the sun. I had never, and have not since, seen a better combination of casual and sexy. I was still a nervous boy then but I went for it! Although we can both agree “hey, nice sapatus” wasn’t the best opening line.

I will never forget the time you let me kiss you outside the Africa gate after we’d come back together from Martin’s kasiki. What time was it? It was so late I remember us discussing the option of you crashing in my room. But your gate was open by some miracle, even at 2 am, and as you hurried to enter I pulled you back and you were unsure and fidgety because we were platonic and it was a bit awkward but I kissed you anyway and you hurried inside and I could tell you were smiling and I walked back to Mitchell feeling like the bloody king of the world.

It is the last fight we had, however, that still crawls around inside my head. It’s like a stalker in my mind – always lurking behind every good memory about you and infecting it like a disease. I shouted a lot that evening, didn’t I! I remember fighting the urge to hit you. I was so livid. Bob of all people? You chose my best friend and my roomate as the guy to shag behind my back? It was just as well that Rita found out too and stabbed his hand with a fork, because only an urgent injury like that could have kept me from plotting to do him bodily harm. I remember I never wanted to see you again, and I thought I never would. Needless to say, Bob and I have not spoken since either.

The guy you were with that time at Metroplex two years later was quite intimidating from my point of view. A guy who buys a girl her own car obviously dwarfs whatever innocent, naive relationship thing we had back on campus. Is he the one you married? Ah, what does it matter now? Schoolboy jealousy isn’t attractive in a forty-two-year-old man. Gosh, how did the time pass this fast?

I am still awkward with honesty, Molly. But I feel like I have to make my peace with this. I forgave you a long time ago, and then I missed you, and then I wanted you back. Unfortunately, that last phase made itself clear to me four years into my marriage with Lucy. I guess deep down I had always used her as an escape from you. Bless her. I don’t expect you to reciprocate these sentiments that still smoulder within me even as my hair greys alarmingly every year, nor do I even expect you to reply this. I have written this letter for my own benefit, like a final confession before execution. This is the last time you will hear from me. I do not want to create confusion for you and the last thing I would want is to complicate your marriage. So should you reply I will take that letter as your own final goodbye to an old friend, and I will not reply to it.

Perhaps we shall meet again in the flesh, if you ever come to Scotland or if I ever visit Angola. By the way, I heard you have your own television station over there so congratulations on that. I don’t expect either that I shall ever stop missing you, but that’s okay; I like that I can still feel these things.


What do you think?

Written by John Barigye

Lover of good books. Lover of good music. Lover of good movies. Lover of God. Lover of Christ. Lover of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Lover of good, deep topics. Lover of deep connections. Lover of writing. Lover of human beings.


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