July 1, 2011
I’ve realized there’re several things even your best of friends can’t do for you. Like when you get in trouble, they’d rather save you while standing at the fence rather than jump into the hell hole with you. I can be your best friend but I know I won’t stand in front of the truck for you. I will try to pull you away though. Let’s just be realistic here. Only your mum and maybe your dad will jump into a burning flame to save you. I have not heard of such heroic friendship stories here on planet earth.
Once in high school, I had a friend who joined our school in form three. This friend FYI is now a business news reporter in a local TV station. She was my frienemy. When we were best friends we would write articles then exchange and criticize each other. Eventually we both wrote two short novels by the time we left after form four. We had formed a trio and wrote songs which we would sing in school events. We also did a lot of artwork together; and I motivated her a lot since I used to present my work in ASK shows. We were also always there for each other.
Now when we were enemies, we truly hated each other. We would gang up with other friends, form two colonies and turn against each other with criticism. If someone lost something, she would convince them I stole it, and trust me, things went conveniently missing. Class discussions became a small version of The Battle of the Titans and this would last for weeks, until we sat together and talked. It was pure drama, and it was personal. I know, it was bad and we were not real friends. We were, like I said, we were frenemies.
Once I remember, we were going in for the evening preps when I saw her coming hitherto. Another girl held her as though she needed an extra leg. I waited for her to catch up so I could ask if she needed any help. Sure enough she did. She broke down in tears in front of me and my heart tore in pieces. I had seen her tears only once before when she was still new and was being harassed. (This happened a lot especially if you were from the city and worse if you were arrogant and proud). “What is it?” I asked, obviously worried. “I’m pregnant.” The world shook. Or atleast I thought it did. “So, what will you do?” I asked oblivious of her arrogance. Still, I cared and she knew I cared for her. “I’ll get rid of it.” She went on, “I just need a glass of concentrated juice. That should do. Do you have some? Mine is finished already.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She wanted me to help her terminate her baby? How in the world would I want to be a part of that? That’s totally out of the question! She read my mind and quickly added. “Don’t worry it won’t be your fault. Let’s assume you gave me some juice as a friend. What I do with it will be my problem.” I was a bit hesitant but finally agreed to provide the tool of destruction that she needed.
The bell had rang so we went in for preps. About an hour and a half through the grave-silent preps, a note was passed progressively to my desk. It read, ‘Friend I can see you are very reliable and caring. Sorry I had to go the long way but the guilt is now haunting me. Truth is I’m not pregnant. Thelma (not her real name) and I are broke and wanted some juice to have after preps. You are indeed a very good friend’ .That called for another week of war. If you ask me I think I was a really good friend to her, and even others who followed. I’m always a good friend. Ask Milly, my high school best friend. She is still my friend. She will tell you I’m a good friend to all. Ok. I’m not saying this so you can all be my friends (Not that I would mind having you as my friends), but a good friend deserves another. Not akina Thelma and the likes. These are the kind who taught me the hard way.
I have had many other friends, though nowadays I’m very careful not to stick my hand in the fire. I decided I’d rather have a handful of them who will be true than a whole bunch, unless I’m having a party .I also realized no friend, no matter how close will stand in front of the truck for me . No worries. The feeling is mutual.