If you didn’t read Part 1 of this story, you can click here.
I hope you enjoy part 2. A few lessons.
To my readers ya’ll are awesome. Thank you for the inspiration.
Time heals all right?
Then why is she giving me the stink eye. Gosh what is on her mind?
Time heals all right?
That’s what they say. Time heals all and friendships are restored. Time sure as hell does not know my best friend. Ex best friend. Time meet Chipili and Chipili meet time. Oh wait Chipili isn’t here. She still hates me. She won’t talk to me. Ten months later and she still won’t talk to me. Childish to be honest. She ignores me like I am the Villian in a really bad story.
I tried to be the bigger person. Like the good friend I have always been I tried to get in touch with her after her blowup; I called her till she blocked me. She blocked me on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and instagram too – as if I was going to like her pictures or comment her to death. I only wanted a chance to explain the situation, I wanted to explain what happened. I wanted to tell her our friendship was too strong to be destroyed by a man, a cheater for that matter but she denied. I talked to her family but she wouldn’t have it, she was through with “me, my negativity and lies.” I moved out of “our” apartment a week after she told me to. Nawa offered to let me stay with him till I found a new place but I declined; so I moved back home to my parents. It was heart breaking to lose her and explain to my parents the horrible reality which was I lost my friend to truth. I cried some days. I got through all days. She alienated me from our friends; she told them “What I did.” They sympathised with her. The believers took her side and boom I was the evil friend and boyfriend snatcher. I never did understand why people take sides in relationships. Those that knew me well stayed my friends. It hurt, alot, but I grew from it I guess. Her family tried to get us talking again but it was a lost cause, in the end she hated me much more than she did in the beginning and I gave up. I was done.
For six months I maintained my silence and went on with my life. Life always finds a way to move on, like the river and a dam, the river will find it’s way out one day, it always does and a new path will be created when it does.
So is this what it is. A new path, as my eyes meet Chipili’s and she looks away as if she is disgusted by me. Shame? Why do I keep finding myself in these situations? When does it end? And when will I get to see the source of my problem disappear from my life for good? I look at Chipili then turn to look at the man standing next to her, Chawezi. I would say he looks healthy if wasn’t for his bloddy swollen nose. He deserved what he got. I hope he learns from this if he ever does.
“Let’s go Malama.”
Nawa’s voice jolts me from my thoughts. His hand pulls on my arm. I look at Chipili one last time and shake my head.
“You should go. You’ve already caused enough drama here.” She whispers.
Life is definitely full of shit.
I wish I had listened to my gut.
I had declined the invitation days ago. I really had. Chipili’s cousin, Mable was having a birthday party at her house and I was invited. Of course I asked her if Chipili was going to attend; it wasn’t as if I wanted to talk to her; no, I just wanted to avoid the drama she seemed to carry with her mouth whenever I was near. Mable told me Chipili would be there and I declined instantly. I wanted no part in seeing Chipili and ruining a birthday party. But Nawa convinced me otherwise. I knew he felt bad about the way things ended with my friend, and I knew he was hoping I would get back with her but he was also realistic, it was not going to happen any time soon. But according to him while I was waiting for Chipili to come back to her senses he would make sure I had enough fun. So I agreed.
We got to the party early enough; the stares I got were enough to make me uncomfortable; there were so many friends I could have talked to but I chose to mingle with Nawa’s friends and not mine because I needed peace. The funny thing about friendship is we all know each other somehow; so if you have an enemy then the whole clique knows. Unnecessary drama if you ask me. The party was going well till Chipili arrived, late, with a drunk Chawezi at her side. No shocker there. The rumour was the guy loved his alcohol too much, I didn’t know if it was true because I only saw this side of him once, when he tried to kiss me months ago. If the rumour was true I wondered how Chipili managed him. They were still engaged according to the stories I heard; I also heard wedding preparations were underway and that she would soon be married. I won’t lie, in as much as I felt pity for her, I hoped she would be happy in her marriage. She made her bed, she had to sleep in it. I stayed away from her; and she kept to her side even when we ended up being in the same group of friends, we ignored each other. But that didn’t stop me from looking at her. She lost weight. She looked different. Probably wedding stress I thought. She was fine. So it was fine, I was fine, everything was fine. But like I always say, life is unpredictable and things happen that you never thought possible and for me it came in the form of a man with a vendetta.
During the course of the party, my mother called; lying about complaints she had at home when I knew it was just to check up on me and find out if I made up with Chipili. Mum had plenty of advice to give on the way forward to winning my friend. I knew the call would be a long one. I had to go inside the house to hear her over the noise and I found an empty bedroom so that we could talk. Mom always had alot to say in the name of love. I sat in the bedroom even after the call was done, I needed time to myself to think. Ignoring Chipili wasn’t the best option. I had decided that maybe the birthday party was a sign, a sign that the universe wanted us to talk again, after all she didn’t leave the party when she saw me. I decided I was going to make it work. I didn’t hear the door open behind me, neither did I hear the door close. But there was no mistaking the fright that came over me when I felt a hand on my shoulder and me turning around to find Chawezi’s drunk eyes looking at me. The man must have been holding onto the shame of me kicking him out months ago because somehow he tried to pin me against the wall again.
“We meet again.” He had said with his face close to mine.
His speech was slurred and his breath stunk but he kept at it. Even when I tried to walk away from him, he held my arm so tight I thought he was going to hurt me.
“You owe me a kiss pretty lady.” He whispered. “We need to talk.”
“You are drunk Chawezi. Chipili is here.” I told him
He wasn’t listening to me. I wondered if he ever listened to Chipili. If he ever respected her or maybe she let him act the way he wanted. He kept talking about how he wished he never met her, how he missed me and our friendship and how he was willing to leave Chipili for me. I was angry that he would say all those things to me knowing I wouldn’t be able to tell Chipili a thing. I wanted to slap him or hurt him for everything he had done to me and Chipili but drunk Chawezi was too strong for me. He simply held onto my arm even tighter. He pushed me against the wall and kept talking.
Alcohol makes a man sloppy and I’m actually grateful for that fact. Chawezi couldn’t control himself so it should have been fairly easy for me to get away from him once he loosened his grip. One minute he was trying to kiss me and the next he was pushed away from me. Whatever or whoever pushed him must have caught Chawezi unaware because he fell to the floor. He laughed on the way down. He was a mess. Nawa took my hand and literally dragged me out of the bedroom. I could tell he was angry – probably more angry with Chawezi than me. We were about to walk out of the house when Chawezi said something stupid out loud. How the man got up to follow us was beyond me. Nawa didn’t waste time letting go of my hand and heading back to face Chawezi. I knew what was about to happen. It was written on his face.
“Nawa wait, he’s not worth it.” I told him aloud. “Baby wait.”
There is a saying in my country. Insult a man and he might let you walk away. Insult his woman and you’re in for a whole lot of pain.
Blind fury makes a man dangerous and Nawa is no exception. He does not listen to me. He keeps walking towards the drunk Chawezi. They stand face to face with Nawa being slightly taller than Chawezi. A drunk Chawezi is a blubber mouth Chawezi and even with Nawa in his face he does not stop talking about me. I see Nawa lift his hand and swing a first into Chawezi’s face.
“Nawa no!” I say aloud
Chawezi falls to the ground, right onto his back. He laughs. I am dismayed at his reaction. The man is an idiot. I am numb. Does he care about himself? The music stops and people surround the two men while I stand by the door.
“You will never talk about my girlfriend like that again. Never touch her again either. You have no respect as a man.” Nawa says aloud.
I feel as if the world should eat me whole right this instant. This is bad. Really bad. I need to get Nawa and go home before things get out of hand. I see Chipili make her way through and she sees Chawezi on the floor with a bloody nose still laughing. She looks at him then Nawa.
“What is going on?” She asks aloud. “Chawezi what happened to you?”
“Your boyfriend has issues and he deserved this. Next time I won’t end on one. I’ll keep going.” Nawa responds.
“What did he do?” She asks. “Why couldn’t you control your temper. He’s drunk. Drunk people do crap shit all the time. Tolerate it.”
“I don’t have to tolerate your boyfriend. He’s an idiot. Make sure he keeps his hands and lips to himself. Your boyfriend is a drunk. And anyone who can’t see it is just as bad. You, Chawezi might not respect me but you will respect that woman standing over there.”
“Is that what she told you? That he touched her? What if she threw herself at him. Wouldn’t be the first time. Have you ever sat down to wonder that.” Chipili answers him.
“I’ll choose not to answer your question Chipili. I respect you but don’t let it get to your head. Your boyfriend, fiancé, husband or whatever you choose to call him has problems and you choose to ignore them, that’s up to you. But keep my girlfriend out of your mouth.”
Chipili kneels down to the floor to help her boyfriend up while she sends dagger looks towards me. If looks could kill. She obviously blames me for this too. I don’t know if I should go to her and explain, that’s if she will listen to me. I take a deep breath and walk towards them. Chawezi stands up with an angry Chipili at his side still talking crap. Chipili’s eyes are probably hurling the worst insults in my direction. Our eyes meet and she looks away from me with disgust. Nawa holds my arm as I open my mouth to say something to her. To make her understand, to make her see the truth maybe.
“Let’s go Malama.”
Nawa’s voice jolts me from my thoughts. His hand pulls on my arm.
“Wait. Maybe if I explain.” I say to Nawa.
“What do you want to explain?” Chipili asks. “How you caused this? After all didn’t your boyfriend say he found my fiancé with you. You didn’t have enough of him in the past?”
“Chipili!!” Someone says.
She never knows when she’s gone too far. She believes what she wants to believe.What do I say to that? What does someone in their right state of mind say to that accusation? And in front of everyone? Our friends and her family. I’m speechless. She still hasn’t changed her stance. She still thinks I’m after the man standing next to her, drunk and bleeding looking at Nawa with his bloodshot eyes. I had hoped that maybe she had changed but no. All that hope was all for nothing.
“Is that how you see me? That low of a person?” I ask her.
“Please Malama. Why are you even here? Take your boyfriend with you and go.” She says.
Nawa pulls my arm and I look at him. He shakes his head at me, and I know he’s telling me it’s a lost cause. I wish I could be petty and show her the pictures. I wish I had kept them. Gosh if I had I would connect the phone to a television and simply press play so that everyone sees what kind of man she has in her life. If I could be petty but I’m not. Deep down my heart I know she’s still my best friend. I take a step towards Nawa but I turn to look at Chipili one last time and shake my head.
“You should go now. You’ve already caused enough drama here. The door is there.” She whispers.
I see the sadness in her eyes. Where has the sparkle she had in her eyes disappeared to? Is she unhappy? With Chawezi? Nawa drags me through the crowded livingroom. And I let him drag me away because I don’t think I have enough energy to do what needs to be done. Nawa does not stop till we get to his car. He wants no part of being around the party; I know him, he will go back and hit Chawezi again. We get in the car and he drives out. We keep silent in the car. I wish I never went for the party in the first place. It was already bad enough. Now this.
When we get to his house, each of us in limbo in our own thoughts or maybe regrets. Stepping on egg shells afraid of upsetting the other person in the room. I decide go to bed while Nawa decides to have a smoke outside. I know it will take time for him to calm down and come to bed. I do not ask him what time he will come to sleep. Instead I kiss his cheek and leave him to face his anger. I do not sleep when I get into bed, I keep thinking about friendships and the secrets we keep to keep the wheel moving. If that’s how friendship is then maybe I am better off alone. Then maybe Chipili did me a favour by alienating me from the rest of our friends. Gosh I wonder how she’s doing. I wish I could call her and talk to her. I miss my bestfriend. I miss her alot. How does one erase the memories? How does one forget the past? Nawa comes to bed hours later, calm and in a better mood. He lays down next to me and wraps his arms around me.
“I can’t blame him alone though. You are a beautiful woman.” He says.
I smile and shake my head.
“I’m sorry I hit him. He made me so angry. And if that’s what Chipili goes through everyday then she’s making a mistake.”
“It’s her life.” I respond.
“I know you miss her. But if she can’t see what her future husband does to her friends then she doesn’t deserve you.”
“You are a good woman. You’re a good friend. Anyone who knows you knows that.” He whispers.
And for some reason that brings tears to my eyes. Maybe today was the tipping point. Maybe today is the beginning of a new day. No more fighting for friends that will not fight for me. I go sleep thinking about Chipili and realising I’ll never have a friend like her again.
Life has to move on.
That river has to flow in a different direction.
2 months later…
I can’t sleep. I wish I could. But I keep thinking about her face. Her sad face. I can’t get it off mind. The same sad face she gave me months ago when I accused her of throwing herself at my boyfriend is the same one she gave me two months ago at Mable’s birthday party. Gosh I wish things had gone differently. Malama, Mal as I used to call her when we were friends. Friends. What does that mean now? What does it look like? Betrayal or support? Love or hate? Laughter or sadness? She looked happy when I saw her with Nawa, I guess she made the right choice in men. I made the wrong one. Four years plus and now I believe I have to start afresh.
I sit up in my bed and look at the clock on the wall. 05:30 it reads. Too early. I need to wait. How did I not see the signs? How did I not see a thing he did? How did I not see it all? Gosh. I was blind and foolish. No. I was foolish. Not blind. And I couldn’t even listen to the truth. How do I face that now? Today. How do I live with my choice? Men. Trash. I remember the day Malama told me she saw him with another woman. I remember how when I went to see him he told me Malama lied to me, he told me how Malama wanted him years before; and how she still wanted him then; he told me so much and I believed it. It made sense to me. It was right because how could the man I loved for four years cheat on me. What would I do. And oh my she tried to explain, she called, she sent messages, she tried and I refused to hear her out. I ruined a perfectly rock solid friendship. Pride? Maybe. And then he proposed. Right there and then that night. How could I say no? I was in love. I was happy. I was going to get married. Oh my. And that night, the sex was extra special, extra good. It was beautiful. And when I saw her the next day all I wanted was her out of my life. The insults I said in my heart that day. They haunt me now. And at the party when I saw her, I was jealous she was happy while I was not. I was dealing with an alcoholic; as if that wasn’t bad enough I was dealing with a man who wanted Malama. After all the drama, when the party was done and I took him home, I realised the truth. I always knew the truth. I just simply chose to ignore it. There was no way Malama would throw herself at Chawezi with Nawa around. She loved Nawa. She respected me. Chawezi had lied to me. And I got to know how far he went, first hand. Did I not find him with different women some nights. Did I not learn my lesson each and everytime I found him with a new one. Why I continued with the wedding I have no idea. Maybe I thought I could change him. Change a broken man. What a joke. In the end he broke me too. Well that was done now. He is gone now.
It’s 06:03. Now? Maybe? Well I will lose nothing. Besides I’ll need my friend for what I have to face in my life. I get my phone from my bed, take a deep breath and type.
Gosh I haven’t used that name in a while.
They say pride comes before a fall. Well I guess they meant this.
I’m sorry about what happened at the party. I should have listened to you.
I’m sorry about alot of things. I am so sorry.
Can we meet? I would love to talk to you. If you will let me that is.
Hoping you respond.
Okay. Will she respond? Or will she ignore me like I did her for months. I hope she won’t. Or maybe I should have called her. Should I call her now? Maybe I should write her another message.
I’ll understand if you never want to see me again. But I’m really hoping you will want to see me. I know I did you wrong. I know I ruined our friendship. And maybe I can never get it back. But I would like to see you and tell you all this in person. And you can ignore me forever if you want. I should have listened to you. I should have. But we can’t go back in the past and redo it. But I am hoping you will give me a chance to make up for it. So would you love to meet? Any day. I can wait.
I hope she wants to see me. I need to apologise in person. I need to say sorry for the pain I caused her. The minutes tick by and my heart beats fast. I’ll probably die from a heart attack at this rate. I put my phone on the bed beside me and lay back on the bed. Minutes or hours or maybe it’s a lifetime of waiting. The phone rings and I quickly reach for it.
Hey.. Hi. Omg.
Sure. How about today? Lunch? Is that okay? You pick a place.
I smile. I can fix this. I can fix what’s left. It’s all I have left to do. Everything else is destroyed anyway. Maybe if I can fix this then everything can go well for me. Maybe then I can learn to forgive Chawezi. Maybe then I can live with the fact that I didn’t listen to my friend and didn’t care about what the man in my life was doing.
How does Hussar Grill sound? 12 hours okay?
Great I’m free at 12.
Thank you. I can’t wait to see you.
They say true friendships never end. They go through rough patches and some seem to grow stronger when fixed. I smile as I read her responses again.
Its the first step to the future.
Maybe now I can face the consequence. I can live with the fact that I am HIV positive if I have my friend around. Maybe now I can smile again. Maybe. Only time will tell.
Time heals all right? It’s true.
I think I just got my life back through an old friend.