Forgiveness goes a long way in any friendship, sometimes overlooking others shortcomings will preserve the friendship for decades, when we look back, we won’t regret writing off their sins.
Years ago in my first year in school, I had accommodation issues, I discussed my plight with another friend who told me she was sorry but can’t help me because she was squatting somewhere herself, so I went with her to her room where I met the lady (let’s call her Lola) squatting her and when I narrated my plight, Lola told me to join them in the already tight corner. I couldn’t believe it this is someone I just met without much preambles, not knowing a thing about me agreed to squat me. Lola was about five years older than me but we were in the same level, as we got to know each other, there was this fondness she felt towards me because she grew up in my state of origin and she could speak the local dialect. It was actually my first time away from home so she kind of appointed herself as my guardian. It became more of a big sister-little sister relationship, she assumed that role and played it well. She cooked and did my laundry. We never had any issues, let me quickly add I was very naïve while she was worldly wise in every aspect. The first time she visited me at home my family were like this your friend qualifies to be your mum, she is much older and bigger than you. My mum was like no wonder she cooks and does your laundry, the difference in your sizes is enormous.
After the end of our two year diploma course, we were to do one year internship before proceeding for the advanced level. I visited her during the holidays and she told me she was going back to for the advanced course immediately, she said she didn’t want to waste her time with the one year internship so she will influence her admission for the advanced course. I had planned to do the one year internship but her plan sounded good so I said I was also interested, I asked her to get me the form too, she agreed but told me she will stay back to make sure her admission comes through before coming back with my form in that case I told her to help me with my admission too. I told my parents the plan and I got money for the form which I gave to her and extra for the person who will help me with my admission.
After about a month I didn’t hear from her, I went to her home and I was told she wasn’t back. Two months passed and my parents were like where is the form/admission? To be honest I wasn’t keen on it because the one year internship was mandatory and somewhere in my heart I knew what I was trying to do was wrong so I saw it as GOD blocking the way although I couldn’t tell my parents that. At a point my dad thought I wasn’t serious about going back to school so he made sure I checked on her every other week meanwhile I had started my mandatory one year internship so after three/four months passed her aunt whom lola lived with told me during one of my visit that lola sent her a message, she has resumed school for the advance course. I got home and told my parents, they were livid and disappointed that the least she would have done was to send me my form. They concluded her plan from beginning was to deceive me into parting with my money so she can achieve her own aim of getting into school. My mum said we should go to Lola’s house to get the money back. I kept putting it off until one day after some serious scolding from my dad, my mum practically put me in the car and off we went to the area she lived. I didn’t like the plan one bit, I knew it might result in a shouting match because my mum was mad. I suddenly developed amnesia at that point and couldn’t locate my friend’s place so I made her drive round and round and round until she got tired and we went home. That night my parents said in as much as I now have amnesia and don’t know where my friend lives then I should go look for her anywhere but make sure I come back home with the form/admission or the money.
The following day my dad gave me money and I left for the eastern part of my country, I was angry and I regretted my foolishness, if only I had taken mum there I won’t be making a 7-9 hours trip to go look for her. The only reason I didn’t take my mum there was I thought about how good she had been to me, I hated doing my own laundry and here was someone doing it without a thought, to me it was the height of goodness. In our second year we didn’t stay together in the same hostel but I still took my dirty laundry to her, all I did was to add the soap and drop it on her bed and I will go back and pick up clean clothes. When there is water shortage in school if I don’t want to sweat it, very early in the morning before she goes to have her bath, I will go to her room immediately I wake her up she knows why I came and voila I go back to my room clean because she always had water and always made provision for me no matter what. With all of these I couldn’t have my mum march over to her home to ask questions which I knew will turn ugly. She doesn’t deserve such ugliness I thought. I thought my parents were taking it too personal after all a while we had agreed it’s better I do the mandatory one year internship to avoid getting into trouble with school authorities later on.
On my way I started praying because I didn’t have an idea where she could be, she had gone to a school different from the one we attended, I couldn’t just walk into a school with thousands of student and say am looking for Lola. I decided to go to her parents’ home, now home is actually her village which fortunately I had visited once. The school and her village happened to be in the same state, I thought if I go to her home in the village, her parents will tell me how to reach her in school, It will be late and I will get a place to sleep despite warnings from home that I should not sleep over anywhere close to her. Her village from where the bus stopped was another two hours, I remembered the landmark from the last time I visited so I knew where to stop in her village but as I was looking frantically around so not to miss the landmark lo and behold my friend was standing at the exact spot, I was amazed as how God answered my prayers. When I called, she turned and saw me, she was shocked, flabbergasted all rolled in one. She was like what are you doing here? How on earth were you able to locate my village? you only visited once and it rained cats and dogs all through, how did you remember? In my mind I was like oh so you though you can run from me that I will not find you. I told her the reason I came that I needed my form or money back. She confirmed what my parents said happened, she didn’t have money bla bla bla so she used my money to influence her admission but she bought my form. She didn’t know how to tell me knowing my dad gave me the money but the shocker for me was she was done with first semester already. I told her the least she would have done was to post my form to me then my parents won’t be so mad but instead she was incommunicado. When I asked for the form it was a photocopy, she apparently photocopied her own. I collected it and got back all my document I gave to her to use in processing the admission. We started chatting about other things. I slept over and left for home the next morning. My parents felt really disappointed because they had come to like her because of the way I always talked about how fantastic a friend she was. She was declared persona non grata in my home.
Four years later she walked into my room one cool evening, I screamed, was so happy to see her, we hugged. Funny because she was so used to my house, she let herself into the house and walked straight to my room no one in my family knew someone walked in, it was my shouts that alerted them I had a guest. I was shouting because she was married and it wasn’t to her longtime boyfriend but someone she met a year ago. She came to invite me to be her chief bride’s maid at the wedding proper happening in the village. My mum knew I was a lost cause where Lola is concerned. I went to both her village and husband village for the occasions.
I was angry she used me to get money to fast track her education but I got over it. It’s been more than twenty three years now, this happened and we are still very good friends.
I have also learnt to extend this hand to my husband…….. still learning
Dishusbandmata……..passionate about relationships
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