This time last year, I was completely consumed by thoughts of Cancer. My 34 year old friend was dying and there was nothing I could do about it. On days when he did speak, I’d spend as long as I could talking to him and saying the most random stuff. Anything but this disease that was slowly taking him away from me. My prevalent prayer point was “Heal my friend, please ” I negotiated and calculated – if he’d lived for 2 years post diagnosis, surely he could make it through to the next year.
When he passed away in February, I was completely distraught. A few months after that, someone saw me sitting in the car outside the office with tears streaming down my face. Showing concern for my apparent distress, she enquired as to what the matter was. After several attempts to say I was just having a moment so I could be left alone, I finally broke and said I was mourning the loss of my friend.
“That your friend that passed 3 months ago?” I nodded in acquiescence. “Were you guys dating or something? Was he more than just a friend?”
That conversation has stayed with me because it was a jarring reminder that there are indeed several levels of friendships. There are ‘friends’ and there are ‘friends’. There are some friends that are there for having lunch at the office – “Who wants to order Yamarita from TFC? Let’s send John together so we can share the Okada fare“. There are some friends you’ve known from secondary school but you have gone your different ways. However, because of the length of time you’ve known them, they expect to be in charge of selling Aso-ebi at your wedding to your new friends from the gym.
There is also the friend that you can’t exist around without having your mutual friend to act as a buffer. You can’t exactly call the person your friend; but because both of you share a ‘besto,’ you find that you’re having cocktails every other week at Metisse on Etim Inyang – slowly building memories together.
Then, you have the friend who is your go-to-guy for how to get to some of Ikotun, and Alaba International. This friend is a walking map of the metropolis and is always up to discover new places. If you’re nice, he/she might even take you to that corner of Osapa London that you’re trying to reach.
You also have the friend that you can share the less-than-savoury- details of your life with. That boy who didn’t have a car but you went on a date with? The one your other ‘cool’ friends must not know you’ve been exchanging WhatsApp messages with. Yeap, that friend is the one you can share certain truths with.
There’s also the friend who is not afraid to tell you that although Ruby Woo is a shade of lipstick that is flying off the MAC shelves, it is not one that suits your skin tone. He/she is that friend who jokingly hides the play suit you have bought because he/she knows that your thighs are going to be ALL over the place if you wear them.
Then you have that friend who gets you. The one who calls every other day to ask if you’ve heard back from the scholarship board because she knows it’s the one thing that’s been giving you sleepless nights.
As we draw the curtain on 2013, think about your friends and the categories they fall into. Think about the friend that you are and the value your friends place on you. Are you that friend that can be called if there’s a flat tyre on 3rd mainland bridge after a long day at the office? You know that friend who has no qualms paying for your lunch because you’re who you are to him/her?
Call that friend today and let him/her know how much he/she means to you. Oh and please share some other categories of friends that I have missed out. Let’s have some fun this morning.
Have a lovely week ahead and see you in 2014.
Peace, love & cupcakes!
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