Tag Archives: Friendship

If wishes were horses…

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I’m so sorry, Ai.

They say, ‘To live in the hearts of those you love is not to die’. I have never really liked that saying. I still don’t. I don’t know why. I don’t want to lose anyone. I don’t want them to live in my heart. I want them to live in the physical world where I can touch them, love them, argue with them and hold them. But again they say, ‘If wishes were horses, beggars would ride’. I would not give up the memories of my loved ones for anything in the world.

I remember the first day I met Aisha Suleiman. She had breezed into Bundle of Joy Pre-School like she owned it. I say breezed because that was how she rolled. Her confidence was out of this world. For such a slim woman, it seemed like she could power the entire Southern part of Nigeria which is notorious for its epileptic/non-existent power supply. She wanted to enroll her son, Ayomide in my daycare facility. From the first moment I met her, I was fascinated by the strength and self assuredness that oozed from her. She spoke with the ‘britico’ accent of someone who had spent years abroad. I wanted her son in my facility but I wasn’t exactly sure of his seemingly ‘Stone-cold, Steve Austin’ mother. She looked like trouble.

The next time I saw Patricia, my gist partner, I told her about the ‘troublemaker londoner lady with her nonsense british or whatever accent she dey form’. How would I have known that she would become such a huge impact in my life?  She did enroll her son and also basically enrolled me into her life. I remember how she used to come spend hours with me in the office, taking care of the kids, complaining about our family, bitching about life and browsing boohoo.com. She would browse and select what she wanted, pay her brother and ask him to send it to Nigeria for her. I remember when her customers would not pay her, she would complain to me and I would think of some ‘egbe-wager’ way to get the money back, most of it theoretical. Most of it I concocted so outlandishly just to make her smile and laugh. She had the greatest laugh in the world. She laughed without holding anything back, with her whole heart. Unlike me, I have mastered the art of laughing while thinking a dozen worrying and unpleasant thoughts. I loved her laugh. I loved her. I love her.

I remember her teasing that I might as well employ her as she basically came to the office everyday and spent hours there. All the kids knew her and loved her. The Parents got used to her as well and basically regarded her as a member of staff and were always shocked when She was introduced as a parent. Parents loved to come to the office to unwind and relax and gist with other parents. She started that.

I remember the day I visited her at the Hospital when she had a crisis. She had yelled on me for not coming to visit her earlier but quickly quieted down when I told her I was spending the entire day with her. That was the day I wrote ‘Taking back my Spiritual Leadership’. Aisha was a handful. She was like a steam roller, whatever that is. But her heart was so big! She was the perfect definition of ‘tough as nails on the outside, soft as a jelly on the inside’. My number one supporter and fan! My personal cheerleader!

Ayo was everything to her. Her pride and joy. Together, we made choices for him. What school he would attend, how she would raise money for his fees, and the best form of discipline for a first child. That was Aisha. She shared her life and could so easily include herself in your pain and trouble.

When I had to change cities, all she asked was, ‘what’s the plan’? She did not offer unsolicited advice, all she did was give me a shoulder to lean on, to support me and to remind me of what I wanted whenever I forgot. She was the one person who did not judge me or my choices.

Lagos! Now this thought has got me smiling ruefully. ‘Eseosa! Na so you be? Na Lagos make you change like this? If na abroad you come go nko? Person no ever see or hear from you again. My friend, you better change!’ I would yell right back and burst into laughter, promising that I would change and would keep in touch more. It happened once, twice, thrice,……..and it went on like this for 2 years.

2014. I knew she hadn’t called me in a while. It hit me one day at work. Aisha hadn’t called me in a while to yell at me for not keeping in touch. I made a mental note to call her before she called me. That was it. I made a mental note. A mental note.

2 days ago, I checked my bbm messages after a week. My boyfriend and I were fighting again for the gazillionth time and going through a phase that I had promised myself that I would not go through again. I had just moved into a new house and I was still trying to adjust and get ready for the life of traffic that it seemed was now my portion. I was broke. Water had stopped running and I was thinking of how to put a banana peel on the ground for my miserly new landlord and his bighead. My colleagues would not stop calling me that I made them come to work on a public holiday. Water poured on my laptop. I was tired of it all. As if these truly mattered! So I checked my bbm messages which I remember to do maybe once a week. As usual, there was a lot of broadcast messages which is what you get when you have about 500 contacts. I don’t even know what I am doing with 500 contacts. I started ending chats when I saw Hassan’s broadcast message from a while ago ‘We are now live at the wedding reception of Kate and Hussein…’ and a personal message that stated the website of the couple. Hassan was her younger brother and Hussein’s twin.

Curious and elated, I opened his dp. Aisha’s picture was his dp with the inscription, ‘RIP Sis’. Immediately I was irritated at people who would put people’s pic up with funny messages that they had forgotten to change form the last pic they put up. Immediately I pinged her to discuss the wedding. It bounced back. I called and her numbers were switched off. I started feeling a little afraid. I checked on Facebook but there was nothing. I heaved a sigh of relief but the little shadow of fear would not go away. I managed to ignore it for about 20 minutes but I couldn’t anymore and so pinged Hassan. It took a little while to respond but when he did, it wasn’t with good news. Aisha had died on April 1.

After the tears and sobs have dried off, all I feel is guilt. What is the meaning of a mental note? Why didn’t I just pick up the phone to call? Why? Would it have taken anything away from me? What was I so busy doing? She constantly checked up on me; made sure I was okay. Why couldn’t I have been a better friend? Why couldn’t I just call? I remember other friends who have blessed my life in so many ways that I do not keep in touch with. I am friendly enough to meet new people but keeping in touch seems like such a big deal to me and I don’t get it.

Chigozie and Joseph Efienokwu and their entire family have known me all my life and been there for me through it all. Heck, I literally planned Bundle of Joy with them. Adesuwa Dinyo, I have known since primary School and I would not be the dubious ‘fashion-conscious’ girl I am now, if not for her. Osayi Edosomwan loves me though I really don’t know why and constantly defends me and is one of the most loyal friends I have and I missed her wedding and the birth of her first child. What is wrong with me? No man has ever shown me the kind of love that IK Elaiho has showed me since I was in Js 1. Joy Akpomeza who taught me how to love giving. They are so many. Sandra Ikuli, Eyitemi, Deborah, Jessie, Imade Owie, Omosigho Ogbebor, Blessing, Eseosa, Timi Febabor, Patricia and the list goes on. I cannot remember the last day that I talked to any of these wonderful people. I am just too busy. And I was too busy to call Aisha.

I haven’t felt this much pain in a long while. I prayed I wouldn’t feel it for a long time. I thought I had seen it all but somehow I feel so small and so humble. I don’t want memories or want her in my heart. I just want her back.

Ai, I’m so sorry.

Aristotle, Alaska and other random thoughts.

So today I thought about a lot of things. Though I may not look it and I certainly don’t act it, I do think a lot, you know. My brother calls me a ‘worrier’ and my sister calls me a ‘thinker’, not in d philosophical sense though. I’m not Aristotle. But then on second thoughts, Aristotle isn’t so bad. Even Shafe says it. I really have to do something about that.

The thought of writing this article came to me in the bathroom. Yes, right at the moment when I was scrubbing away at my arms. I have big arms so it takes a little while to get it really clean (at least in my mind) so I had time to let my mind drift. I was taking a bath in my office after office hours. I don’t know why I had to include that but I’m not deleting it.

I just remembered. Shafe hasn’t called me o. How dare he forget to call his bestie! I mentioned him in a tweet but I haven’t gotten a reply. Busy as always! Hmmmm. Wait! IK is supposed to be my best friend. So when and how did Shafe take over? Oh! I owe IK so much. He never forgets my birthday. I always forget his. I’m a crappy friend. I don’t blame him but I still love him.

Friendship! Jessy accused me of being a bad friend today because I wouldn’t reduce my fees for holiday services for her kids. I explained to her that I actually was reducing fees to a ridiculous extent because we almost got lost together in secondary school. She laughed. I rolled my eyes. She should know that I don’t joke with money but then I’m crazy about my baby Yuki-Yuki.

I watched Mrs Dabiri pick up her kids today and observed the loving but firm way she handled them and my heart swelled (in a good way). They are wonderful kids. See, I want to have a baby so bad I literally ache. I should get married first right? Yeah I know. I just don’t know if I can wait much longer! Especially after the last experience!

I know I should take the ‘bull by the horns’ approach to certain issues in my life but I’m stalling. I asked myself why and I realised I was afraid. So I can feel fear? That’s new. I’m 27 and for the first time in my life, I’m afraid. Hmmmm. I know I won’t stay afraid for long so I might as well savour it while it lasts! Shake your head at/for me if you like, it’ll have no effect. Its your head afterall, not mine! Shake it to your heart’s content.

Shaky shaky daddy. Remember it? I loved that ad.

This article reminds me of Tee hidee-the overlord of the Ramblers. I feel as if I’m rambling on and on. Now that is a girl that I like! I’d like for us to become closer but she has a penchant for disappearing for long periods of time so I always forget. When I remember, its always at the time when I’m crazy busy. So I postpone till I’m less busy but then she disappears again. The circle goes on and on.

That reminds me. Debo wants to get back in my good books. He’s been making efforts but not hard enough in my opinion. Afterall, he abandoned me and went to get himself another family (Kwami Adadevoh stole my Debo. I’ll never forgive him). So Debo, if you’re reading this and I know you will, you better intensify efforts. Is this the part where I say ‘yimu’? Hmmmm. I’d love to but since I don’t exactly know what it means, I’ll let it pass.

Yimu. I just couldn’t resist it.

Now, how do I end? I’m typing this on my smartphone and my fingers are beginning to hurt. My thumbs especially. This is the first time I’m writing an article on my blackberry and the first time I’m writing in this random manner. I know its different from my normal style but what the heck!

I never said I was normal anyway!

Normal reminds me of a movie I watched 2 days ago and it was set in Normal, Alaska. ‘Snowmageddon’ was the title I think. But then I did say I needed to stop thinking so much. So if I’m wrong…jeez!

My head’s full again…

Dear Shafe!

Dear Shafe,

This letter is to thank you for the beautiful friendship that I share with you. Year after year, our friendship blossoms, irrespective of the distance and the challenges we face in our lives. You have been there for me when I was being difficult, stubborn, rude, pig-headed and downright unfriendly. You straighten my head whenever it begins to shake. Thank you.

This letter should have been easy to write but it wasn’t. How do I begin to talk about someone who is one of the most amazing people I know? How do you begin to appreciate a friend in the truest sense of the word? A guy whose heart is big enough to chastise and comfort you, sometimes at the same? That’s who you are to me, Shafe. You are the personification of the words ‘open heart’.

Thank you for the wonderful person that you are. Thank you for being there. Thank you for giving me the confidence to wake you up from sleep at 2am or interrupt you in the middle of a hectic work day knowing that you would never turn me away. Thank you for re-defining friendship to me. Thanks for your listening ear and timely advice. Thanks for analyzing those confusing moments for me and letting me know that you’d never let me go through them alone. Thanks for standing by me and believing in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.

On the morning of your birthday, I prayed long and hard for you. Though this letter comes a bit late, its words are sincere. May your life be filled with as much happiness as your heart can hold. Happy birthday to the bestest friend in the world. I pray for strength and wisdom to be as good a friend as you have been to me. God bless you, Wasiu Adekunle Shafe!!!

Eseosa Princess Ogbeide.