I didn’t feel sorry for Adeline Mwesige when she was asked to do another year in Senior Three. She had bullied me on my second day in boarding school and two years later, I was still holding a grudge.
She had poured water on my bed and told everyone that I was a bed wetter. I was confined to a cubicle of bed wetters and for a week, I had to breathe in sparingly because with every breath came the smell of dry urine. And for a week, I was forced to take my mattress in the sun to dry.
The daily walk down the corridor to the sun was always shameful. Queer stares, nose holding, mockery…I felt like an outcast. So…no, couldn’t feel sorry for that girl; I was anything but empathetic when I reported for Senior Three and learnt that she was in my class while her classmates were promoted to Senior Four.
Voices in my head told me to make a revenge plan. I’m sure now, that those voices were the devil’s.And like every sinner, I let the devil take my hand and guide me. We deliberated, the devil and I, until we came up with a plan to give Adeline a taste of her own medicine. The plan was for me to secure a plate of posho and beans, pour it into a polythene bag, put it in her locker and tell everyone that she intended to eat the food during tea break. So I waited and observed for the right opportunity to put the food in her locker. And as I waited and observed, I realised something; Adeline was so overwhelmed with misery that I couldn’t possibly do anything to make her feel worse. I chose to reserve some hatred for her in my heart just in case I needed it but on the whole, I started to empathise with her.
Wednesday 27th April 2005. Adeline walked up to me and apologised for having bullied me. I told her that she was forgiven. But when I recounted the story to my friends I said, “That girl thinks she can just apologise and I will forget what she did to me. No, I won’t rest until I revenge.” The voices in my head told me that forgiveness was for the weak-hearted. And if I indeed I was weak-hearted, it would be best that I keep it to myself. And yes, like I said, I know now that those voices in my head were the devil. Later that day, Adeline came to me and asked for juice. I gladly gave it to her. She took it with her, drank it from her cubicle and then took a nap afterwards. Two hours later, I went to get my glass and when I couldn’t find it, I tried to shake her awake. She was unresponsive. She looked dead.
Adeline Mwesigwa would have kicked the bucket had she not been rushed to a hospital. When she was strong enough to talk, which was many hours later, she confessed to attempted suicide. But before that, and because I had promised revenge, rumour spread like wild fire that I tried to kill her by giving her poisoned juice. Since then, I swore off revenge. I don’t do it. I don’t speak of it. I don’t even contemplate it.A voice in my head keeps telling me,“Vengeance is for the Lord.”