Unconsciously I stopped making friends…It became pointless, friendship became an English word found in the dictionary
In secondary school, I had a lot of friends (friends; guys you roll with). We shared a desperate combination of soaked garri, punctuated with Groundnut and choked by uneven bits of coconut and one alcohol like that (can’t remember if it was poured into the concoction or we just drank it or we bathed ourselves in it) We did this not because we were hungry, but unconsciously we wanted that moment to happen, so we could sit back and reflect on it, amuse ourselves over the whole show –who was left out, who “dulled” and then jibe out the one who scooped with his hands because he felt cheated, or the one who simple sieved out all the groundnuts with his eyes. Unconsciously we bonded in this shared moments of utter stupidity.
See, I never expected what was to come; after secondary school we lost touch. Well most of us. Jamb scattered us. Jamb threw some high up into the sky, others? Got buried six feet below; literally.https://hotjollof.com/dynamite/ At this point, friends began to peel off like stickers from chewing gum-wraps weakened by water –with cold water. Slowly we all scattered to different schools. Changing friends like one would cloths. But this is not the part that scares me. Rather there’s this gladness you feel, perhaps gladness is too strong. Yes you feel unperturbed, like losing your friends is normal, you feel nothing. Perhaps good riddance? Well this phrase seems hard too. You might think this is normal, but this is you becoming arid. This is us becoming arid. Worst when your friend, your “best friend” fails to gain admission. When somehow you feel his hopelessness and yes like a parasite you must yank him/her off. You might think this is normal, after all society says; “move with people on same pedestal with you or if possible, higher”.
Then it starts…the hurried phone calls. The “I will call you back laters’” that never got honored. The sigh before picking and the delicious temptation not to pick the call entirely.
Unconsciously I stopped making friends, it became pointless, because when push comes to shove, when you are in trouble or in need I will leave you and smile and try as much as possible to steer the conversation away from your tumor-sized problem. I will smile, talk about girls; the last one I knacked or the one with the most knackful prospects. About plans for the future. I will smile and laugh. Then I will leave when all these topics must’ve dried up. I will get up and pretend like all is fine.
Wait! Don’t Judge me yet. Lend me your hearts…
I don’t help not because I don’t want to…there’s this helplessness I feel, it cripples me to solemn grief. You might think I am insensitive but it is killing me that I can’t help. That the beautiful smile that once creased your face is gone. I feel suffocated, incapacitated so to say by this helplessness, that’s why am always in a rush to go. But sometimes even when I am able, I seem to recognize my misery then, I seem to remember my own plight obvious like ripe pimples
Humans are selfish yes I am… still learning
Now let me tell you a story…
Once upon a day; I felt so happy, you know the happiness you feel after you leave the confession box? (for those who believe in confessing). I was that happy and I bounced to school and in my euphoria I dared God (I think I was happy he did something wonderful for me and I wanted to return the favor). and i said ” Hey God! throw one or two challenges my way, let me show you I have truly repented”. Little did I know he listened, he always listens.
I smiled when I saw a man in a wheel chair. Which poet said this; we the poor are the key to your paradise…well not exactly like this. Easy I said. God you can definitely do better (There again he listened, he always does. You will find out soon)
Hey do you need help? I asked the man
Yes please thank you, thank you he replied and I smiled
And we began our journey into school through the extension gate.
Immediately, the sounds came; RAIN. Recall last year the rain lay in wait, attacking when we least suspected.
It began heavy and fast.
Desperation reeked the air like fresh paint. I pushed with fury, we managed till we got to the raised platform, the rain warring on my back. Then it became awkward; the movement, he felt my discomfort. He felt he was a burden I simply managed. Then the stare, people under the umbrella used as makeshift kiosks glared at us, the desperation and my discomfort. Hmm my discomfort? When am not the one in a wheel chair? Somehow we made it to the gate. Now I felt embarrassed. I wanted to save face, dump him at the gate and leave the scene. I considered it. Like he read my thought, he politely asked I “park” him under the security-office’s zinc. I did without uttering a word. I went opposite him for shade, far away from him, looked down avoiding his eyes. When I raised it. I felt Peter’s grief. I felt the weight of God’s voice as he flogged Cain.
Then I ran, ran into the rain feeling my failure soak my shirt and drench my heart.
You see humans are selfish but I am still learning