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Vanessa Tebesigwa

United States

Grew up

February 14, 2016

    Vanessa Tebesigwa

    Yes, the girl who still lives the village grew up with me! We grew up in a foreign country in East Africa where friends come in groups, but ours came in a pair. Even riches couldn’t impair our friendship. One day, my friend Ndulue was invited to Queen Zublea’s  house where a huge flat screen TV was suspended from the ceiling instead of being on its friend the wall. Food was allowed in the living room, even when a whit drop of juice was spilled on the ground this living room was still clean and big. On the other side of the house, there were like fifty-two servants in each room of the house. Of course, Ndulue didn’t leave me behind, she found a way to double her invite.. She told them I was her sister, and if one mentions sister in  East Africa it means two or none.
Poverty couldn’t change our friendship. We lived a small village where grown ups ate first, then older kids, and, of course, young ones last. Ndulue and I were the last ones to show up when they called the kids to grab food. We had come from playing whoever touches it last wins. Our bodies were twisted and bony from all the running around. Here we were with only one bread stick left and two of us. Nobody cared to leave two breadsticks for two people because they knew at the end of the day Ndulue gets half, I get half.      
Rumors at school did not even end our friendship. It was the first day of  primary school when Ndulue and I were separated into different classes. I was surrounded with folks who claimed themselves to be popular because they have “so many friends” that satisfy them enough to talk about other people’s business.  Just like on reality TV shows, Ndulue was in a class with kids who were called “weirdos,” but could mind their business. It all started in class when I raised my hand for more homework. The popular girl who had no time to do homework because she had to track down rumours every day. She ruined our first-day-of-school tradition by convincing us both of to get mad at each other because of the silly rumours. The last hour of school Ndulue was mad at me because I supposedly called her a “Greek Burger,” but it all worked out fine because she supposedly called me, “Little Piglet.” I would continue telling our friendship flashbacks, but Ndulue is knocking on my door.


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