Traumatizing Moments From My Past, Volume 5: Ug Bug

“But I don’t WANNA marry you!”

When I was five, my family moved to Eritrea (the land where so many Traumatizing Moments From My Past took place: Volumes One, Three, and Four). My brother John and I made friends with an older boy who, at the time, seemed like a grown man, although he was probably about 17. Well…we pretended to be his friend, but we actually hated him. Our miniature psyches knew that he was weird and creepy. So John and I christened him “Ug Bug” behind his back.

If I remember correctly, Ug Bug lived next door. Sometimes we would spy on him over the wall. (I know, this is starting to sound like “Traumatizing Moments From Ug Bug’s Past.”) We knew there was something sinister about Ug Bug, and although we played with him and baited him with falsely cheerful childish giggles, we were perpetually alert, determined to find out the evil that lurked beneath.

Finally, Ug Bug’s dark motives were revealed at church. Where else? After the service, as John and I played outside, Ug Bug came up to us and began to express how much he loved us in creepy Ug Bug fashion. His English wasn’t perfect, but the message came through loud and clear: PSYCHO KILLER! Qu’est que c’est! FA FA FA FA FA FA FA FA FAAAR BETTER! RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN AWAAAAAY!

“You will be my brother,” he said to John, smiling down at him. John looked confused.

“And you.” He turned to me, smile widening into what can only be described as a Leer of Horror. “You will be my wife.”

They say every girl’s first proposal is a magical moment. They never knew Ug Bug.

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