He is in Love………..

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HE IS CONSUMED by a passionate fire which has engulfed his entire life; his entire being. He is faithful. In fact, he has always been in love with one person.

He spends hours gazing at that person, never getting tired. He admires the person’s wit; the person’s charm; the person’s savoir faire.

When he and the person stand before the mirror, he never tires of the person’s image. Other love objects have come and gone, remaining but shadowy figures, flitting in, and out of his life. The ‘person’ comes first. He cannot do without the person, so deep is his love for that one special person. If the person dies, so would he.

The person…….Aaah! The person! In his eyes, the Person with a capital P is the most attractive; the most interesting; the most sensational; the most intelligent; the best ever! The person with the capital P is……himself.

The lover has had lovers in his life, but not one of the lovers has he loved the way he loves himself. Once he had a girlfriend, Mary was her name. She was slavish in her devotion to Him. At first he told her that she is too fat, that she does not fit the image of the trendy girl. He insisted he was ashamed of being seen with her in public, people would think she is his aunt.Mary went on a drastic diet which nearly killed her. She developed a phobia against her hips which people kept saying were her best feature. As the pounds melted from her body, so did her self-esteem. She lost weight finally, going from 145 pounds to 105 pounds in weight. She also lost her confidence in her beauty and femininity and became a nervous wreck. She lost her self-respect. She stopped feeling womanly. Her vivacity went too, and started losing her hair in clumps. She bought herself a new wardrobe to go with the trendy image that He said he admires so much. She started wearing tiny; skinny; jeans and cut off tops which showed her bony shoulders. She dyed her hair blonde though it did not go with her dark complexion. “Now he will be proud to be seen with me”, she told herself.
“What, he said. You bag of bones; I wouldn’t be seen dead with you. You look like a skeleton; like an old hag. You look older than my grandmother. And that blonde hair; those clothes; you are like a joke” he said. Mary took an overdose of medicine. She now rests at Kinondoni cemetery in Dar es Salaam .

Then he met Alice, who was the neatest girl around. She lived with him for some 6 months. He criticized everything about Alice from her dowdy clothes; to her cooking; which many people who tasted her culinary skills said is commendable.He ran her down in front of his friends. He used to run his white handkerchief over table surfaces to check for dust and always came up with something; even if he had to squeeze his handkerchief right into table corners.
He laughed at her when she attempted to make Italian dishes. When she cooked plain food he threw the filled plate away and shouted “You slut, you don’t know anything beyond your fat nose”. Alice lost her mind and had a mental breakdown after which, he phoned her sister and told her “Come and take your mad sister from my house, otherwise, I will dump her in some mental institution”.
Then Amina came into his life. Amina was a bon vivant, a free spirit who cherished her independence. Usually, her gaiety was infectious. She drew everyone around her like moths to a flame. After she moved in with him, he started his ‘change her’ campaign. He told her women were not meant to laugh all the time. He said “A good woman is always introverted. A virtuous woman is always quiet and withdrawn. A feminine woman is dependent on her man”.To please him, Amina gave up her job. She stopped smiling. She gave up her wit, her charm. She became withdrawn, a shadow of a woman. After all her changes, he threw her out. “Who wants a dour; clinging woman”, was his argument.

There came a procession of women and none would fulfill his requirements. There was Felicia with the dimples which he said made her look like a rotten pumpkin face
there was Grace with her rounded legs which he likened to the legs of a baby elephant. Then Sofia whose crinkly hair he made fun of; and Mwamvua; and Jane; and a Swedish woman called Inge; and a Japanese girl called Tami. They came in all shapes and sizes. None stayed beyond 6 months; all left with their self esteem in crumbles.And

Now, he is alone. He relishes his time alone. In the evening, he gazes into the mirror and exclaims “You darling, you…!” He is in love………

“Together We Can Make it Happen”

Leila Sheikh