I thought I was in a dream when James sent me that text asking if I wanted to go on a trip with him. We had been talking and flirting for years now but I had never given him a chance to date me. However, we had an on-and-off relationship. I thought he was finally making moves to show me that he was serious about us.
Despite our on-and-off relationship, we managed to remain really good friends and still keep in contact with our mutual friends. In fact, we had become like one big family. His friends were my friends and my friends were his friends. We did a lot of things together but we had never taken a trip together before. So, when James told me that they were planning a road trip to Kampala for one of his boy’s birthdays, I was more than excited to tag along.
“Everything is paid for baby girl. Just bring your beautiful self.” He said
“I can’t wait,” I replied.
Right after the invite, I started planning the outfits I’d wear on the trip. It was a bit short notice but I knew I could put together a few Instagram-worthy fits. My suitcase was packed and ready that same day including the shoes, nighties, and underwear. To say I was excited is an understatement. I knew it would be a fun trip since we had all hung out so many times before and we always had fun.
In the midst of my excitement, I forgot to ask any of my friends if they were going on the trip. Had I asked them, I would have found out that none of them had been invited and known that something was wrong. The trip was in two days and I was overwhelmed with the preparations.
I spent the next day running around town trying to do some last-minute shopping. I also bought a gift for the birthday boy. That was how much I was excited about his generosity to pay for the whole trip. Normally, we’d contribute money to cater for our food and accommodation when we’d book an Airbnb around town. This trip was very unusual but I was happy about the invitation.
On the night before the trip, I called James to ask about some details.
“What time are we living?”
“Around 10 am.” He replied.
“Where are we meeting?”
“In town. Outside Hilton.”
After giving me the details, we chatted a little bit and then ended the phone call. I could barely sleep from the excitement. I think I slept for three hours that night and I somehow managed to be late. Finally, I was ready to leave by around 9.30 am but James hadn’t called me all morning. I figured he was busy.
Just as I was about to step out of the house, suitcase in tow, my phone rang. It was James. However, when I answered, no one was on the other end. I could hear distant laughs and chatter. I figured he was already at the meeting point so I hang up and got into the Uber. Lucky for me, there was no traffic and I was in town within 15 minutes.
When I got there, I noticed that no one was there yet.
“I must be early,” I said to myself as I looked out the car window.
After paying, the Uber driver helped me unload my suitcases as a few people stared at me. He then drove off and I was left standing in the middle of Nairobi with two medium suitcases, looking lost. I removed my phone to call James but his phone was off. That was when I started having a strange feeling. I returned my phone to my bag and clutched it tight while holding onto my two suitcases. After standing in one position for almost thirty minutes, I decided to call him again. No reply.
It was like that for almost one hour. By now, the mid-morning sun was getting hotter and I was starting to sweat. I called another Uber and went to a nearby restaurant where I could have breakfast and shade from the sun while I waited for the other guys.
“This isn’t fun at all. I thought going on a trip with them would be legendary.”
James’ phone still wasn’t going through. Then I called one of my girlfriends to ask if they had arrived.
“Hey, babe.” She answered enthusiastically.
“Where are you?”
“Home?! Aren’t you coming on the trip?”
“The trip to Kampala.”
“I don’t know about it. Let me ask Chelsea.”
None of my friends knew about the trip and all of James’ friends were either unavailable or not answering their phones. I connected the dots and knew that there was no trip. James had played me. I didn’t understand why. We had been good friends for so long but he had betrayed our friendship.
One of my friends came to the restaurant to check on me. I was devastated and so embarrassed. Looking at my suitcases annoyed me. However, my friend cheered me up and encouraged me which made me feel a bit better. We ended up laughing about it. After finishing our breakfast, we went back to my place and she kept me company for the rest of the day.
James eventually answered his phone the next day.
“Why did you do this to me?” I asked
“You thought you could play me and I’d just take it. I had to embarrass you the way you embarrassed me.”
“What do you mean?”
“I know you’ve been sleeping around.”
“So you choose to lie to me? Also, we aren’t in a relationship so I don’t owe you any loyalty.”
“But you’re happy to come on an all-expense paid trip with me.”
It turns out James had given me the wrong date. They had left for Kampala the previous day and he had told his boys not to answer my call. Though I was embarrassed, it showed me the real James and I immediately cut him off. We later planned a girls’ trip to Kampala which was more than amazing.
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