I have always said the best thing in life is when two best friends fall in love. A relationship should involve two people who are great friends to each other, open to each other and can talk about anything with each other. Recently, I met a friend who after I listened to her story, I have changed that to “the best thing in life is when two best friends fall in love almost at the same time and then blah blah blah.
One Sunday evening, I was so bored out of my mind and I decided to take a walk. I ended up in a café with the intention of doing a bit of people watching. As I was sitting down, I saw a friend from way before. I almost couldn’t believe it. The last time I had heard from her, she was studying for her bachelor’s degree in the UK. I called out “Ekky”. She turned round hesitantly probably wondering who would know her in this foreign city and saw me. We ran towards each other, hugged and jumped up and down a bit squealing like little children. She was visiting for a couple of days. We had coffee and cheesecake – my recommendation. We talked and laughed so much together. It seemed like it was just the day before we had seen each other last. Of course, we arranged to meet again and I suggested us taking a walk round the not-so-touristic part of the city. She had a good friend then, a guy. They seemed so nice and cozy together. She always insisted that he was like a brother to her and we (other friends and I) would say “Ah Ok! That’s how it starts”. So when we hung out a second time, I just had to bring him up. I teasingly asked her if he was still her brother or if his status had been upgraded.
The strangest thing happened, Ekky burst into tears. As I wasn’t expecting it, I just stood and stared for like 5 seconds before drawing her into my arms. “What’s wrong darling?” I asked. She just sobbed and sobbed. I started to hope that he wasn’t dead or something. Luckily he wasn’t and then I heard the most sweet-sour story ever. Ekky and Shola had indeed started out as good friends. Shola was sometimes extremely sweet to Ekky, other times, he was just “normal”. They talked about everything, totally everything. Shola had told Ekky about how his parents wanted him to end up with a girl from his own tribe and Ekky had teasingly told him that she believed that guys from his tribe did not make 100% faithful husbands. This didn’t mean they couldn’t be friends after all, they had a lot of things in common and they both tried to enjoy each other’s differences. Ekky had started to date some guy but she always found herself to be talking to her “brother” more. The boyfriend couldn’t stand it and after a while and he ended things with her. Ekky didn’t mind as much as she thought she would, after all Shola was there for her to lean on. As for Shola, he wasn’t in any steady relationship but he had a stream of women here and there. With time, this began to annoy Ekky and one day, she realized that Shola’s status had been upgraded in her head and heart. She didn’t dare tell him. He did not appreciate easy woman. He needed to do his own hunting. The harder it was to catch, the more effort he gave it and the more appreciation he had for it. Although, he had so many distractions around him (aka women), whenever he did have time for her, they had fantabulously great times so she just kept hoping that one day he’d realize that he was in love with her too or something like that.
To the outside world, she kept telling everyone that he was like a brother to her and anytime she said this, her heart would break a little. She would even tease him about his many women and tell him that he needed to settle down and silently add “with me”. Really, it was just a pathetic situation. To show that she was wanted more out of the friendship, she put herself out there for him and became more of a doormat. Unfortunately Shola did not pick up any signals. Seriously how are men wired??? She started to panic especially as Shola was seeing some drop dead gorgeous girl called Temidayo. According to Ekky, Temidayo also happened to be an airhead with no real goals in life. She hoped that Shola, liking smart women, would soon get over her.
She had to travel to Vietnam to do a voluntary service as part of her job for six months. One day, over the phone, Shola excitedly told her that he had decided to settle down after all, that was what his “sweetest” friend wanted. Her heart skipped a bit. Maybe he had finally “come to his senses”. She stayed calm and waited for him to finish. He had asked Temidayo to marry him. EKky’s head screamed “What! After only 8 months of knowing her!!! I have been with you for 4 years!!! We have been through a lot together!! I even stayed single waiting for you knowing that that dreaded age of 30 was looming around the corner!!!” She choked up a “congratulations, I wish you the best….” and said that she had a patient waiting.
After her time in Vietnam, she had decided to come to France on a short vacation to see if love is really on the streets and to kick it in the head. I didn’t dare burst her bubble. I was going to join Ekky’s army!
I keep wondering what Ekky should have done differently. If I were in her shoes, I would probably have done the same thing except putting myself out there. Proud Edo girl like me! A friend once said, never fall in love with a friend, you should fall in love with a stranger. How does this work? I still don’t believe in love at first sight though there is, of course, attraction at first sight. What is it with guys? They don’t like easy girls. They never see what it really in front of them. They’d go out hunting for the so-called-prize when the real prize is just right under their noses. Oh yes, girls do the same. I know that. They probably don’t hunt though. Girls, on the other hand, can probably tell when a male friend likes likes likes them. They might just choose to ignore it or think that they must be over thinking things. How do we get that sweet love born out of friendship? I now realize how painful it can be when one out of two great friends is in love with the other and the feeling is not reciprocated. I understand the fear of losing a friend because you moved ahead in the “feelings” ladder too quick. One friend in love and the other not, is like slow poison. Oh my! Why are these things sooo complicated? Do they have to be? In the meantime, Ekky and I just try to have fun together and I got to do a moviethon with her drinking sodas and eating popcorn and every sinful food we would have to repent of by gyming our butts off. For her, I can’t stop dreading next week when she would have to return to England and meet Shola who says he has missed her and he wants to give her the 4-1-1 (details) of his relationship. And for her sake, I say “What an ass!!!”