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Girl Spice: My Nigerian Best Friend

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I should call you family now. Sister, we did practically everything together.

We shared secrets of our first crush with each other.
We decided not to have boyfriends unlike the other girls till we were 18.
We shard those long walks home, just to save money for ice cream together.
We ran up the phone bills at home – catching up on gist and who was the new toaster, while we waited for admission into university.

We had our own little clique.
We memorized lyrics from those music magazines together.
We put up shows at parties together, showing off our singing talents: “The boy is mine” Brandy and Monica. You were Brandy, I was Monica.

We ended up in different schools but we still managed to keep the friendship alive when we caught up over the holidays
It was fun. We had made other friends at our separate schools but ours was still special.

When your hubby came along, we made fun of him together, only because you always complained about how much of a pest he was and how you didn’t like him.

We even laughed about how he would wait outside your office for hours, just to take you on a date.
Ah how can I forget how we laughed at his funny accent too.

But, my Nigerian best friend, when you started to fall in love with him you did not let me know. The day I found out he was something more. I felt like a fool for the times we made fun of him together. But it’s okay, these things happen. I understand that love sometimes just creeps up on you; it hits when you least expect it and in strange places too.

I thought I’d be the first to know you were getting married, but all I heard was: I did my introduction in my hometown last week.

Still I understand: Maybe your mum, who was overly superstitious, told you not to tell anyone: Pastor’s instructions maybe?

When you asked me to be maid of Honor. Of course I was overjoyed and I sincerely enjoyed every bit of tending to you on your special day and it was good to see my bestie marry the love of her life.

Marriage came with relocation: the distance wasn’t just physical. Somehow I lost my friend too.

I didn’t have my partner to go shopping with anymore or for that event with. I couldn’t tell you my secrets anymore because you had a new best friend.

Well somehow those gists about the new guy on my case always somehow got swept under with: “don’t worry when the one comes along you will just know” / “It will happen so fast” and was replaced with talk about what your sister in-law did the other day.

I understand, it’s only because our priorities were different now.

I calmed you down when fears of not getting pregnant came up and I told you to be patient. It was only 6 months into the marriage. Newly wed jitters, I guess.

But, my Nigerian best friend when you got a bun in the oven, you did not care to mention – even when we spoke every other day. You hid it so well.
I only found out when I saw you at your sister’s wedding. I wondered why you kept it a secret?
I think I understand.

Maybe you decided to keep this under wraps because of the last miscarriage you had. You were careful to hide it from all your display pictures and on social media. Now I realise you hardly ever put up pictures of you the last few months.

My Nigerian best friend, when I called you that day to tell you about the new business I was planning to start, you did not sound like yourself. When I asked you, said you were a bit under the weather.

Then the next day I found out you had put to bed. You were obviously in labor when we spoke. You didn’t tell me my god daughter was being born.

My Nigerian friend, Yes! you reading this now

Why do you have to hide everything? The good, the bad and the ugly?

Why did you wait to share the baby bump pictures after the baby was born?

Why do you hide the fact that you are sick and have cancer?

Maybe I can help or maybe the next person can?

Why do you hide the fact that you are going for a visa interview?

Why do you hide the fact that you are relocating?

Even to people you consider your friends? Some family too?
Why?

I still love you anyway, and will always mean you well.

Photo Credit: Noriko Cooper | Dreamstime.com

Girls spice is a girl like any other single girl living and working in the nation’s Capital. She believes in love. Not just any kind of love, the type you see in fairytales. She considers herself an incurable romantic and writes anonymously on https://dairyofanincurableromantic.wordpress.com

25 Comments

  1. chic wen sabi

    May 28, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    this brought me tears…..sorry of my life…..
    good write up

  2. Nigerian girl friend

    May 28, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Just happened to me lately… The pregnancy one. With 2 of my friends. They only told me out of guilty conscience I think, after I announced my bun that was less than 15weeks. I still love tho, but I’ll definitely allow the space mbok.

  3. Nigerian girl friend

    May 28, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Just happened to me lately… The pregnancy one. With 2 of my friends. They only told me out of guilty conscience I think, after I announced my bun that was less than 15weeks. I still love tho, but I’ll definitely allow the space mbok.

    • DAME

      May 30, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      My cousin who i planned and coordinated her wedding, took a week off work to finalize plans..is almost 6 months gone and still denied shes pregnant till 5months when d belly was too big too hide ….still can not understand…still beats me

  4. Darius

    May 28, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Wow! Beautiful piece!

  5. WhoamI

    May 28, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    This is the best friend that I have become. This is who my own best friend has become. Sad.

  6. Nat

    May 28, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Nigerians are too damn superstitions that is the real issue. Sometimes they tire me out. Life shouldn’t be so stressful..

  7. Ajala & Foodie

    May 29, 2017 at 1:41 am

    This happened to me and one of my cousins. We were very close, we planned everything together, she is older like 4-5 years older but that did not affect our friendship. Her ex boyfriend in Nigeria knew I was the one that he had to be friends with to get with her. They would invite me as the 3rd wheel because their relationship was on the down low with her dad. So to throw him off anytime he was in Lagos (they lived in Abuja but she was always in Lagos with us during vacation, her bf lived in Lagos too). We planned to leave the country at the same time, she to ?? and myself to the ??. She left a few months before, but things changed after she got married. Unfortunately as a “rich” student I could not make it her wedding.

    After that though things changed, I did not know she was pregnant until she had her first baby, I kinda talked to her about it a lil bit, but when she had her second baby, she only told me about it because she had no choice, she has one month away from having her baby and I was planning visiting her, so she had to tell me. I thought I could understand too but it came to a head when my sis died. I was tired of pretending that I was not hurt, by her actions, that her wanting to know everything about my life but constantly sidestepping questions when it came to hers did not get to me. I felt life was too short to keep hanging to a one sided and what I now considered a fake friendship.

    She complained to my bro and sis,who after hearing her complain incessantly decided a conference needed to happen( yea my siblings called meeting on my head). I explained why and we all agreed that I owe her an explanation to least explain how I felt and why I had to cool things off between us.. I am yet to have the opportunity to speak with her because the chasm is already in place but I know one day I will talk to her(I hope since our tomorrows are not guaranteed). I still feel though that if anyone was to wish her Ill would it be me or any of my family? I mean if we did, would we wait till you were married to do that??? I really hate all this ridiculous secrecy. I understand protecting your privacy but shouldn’t there be a limit to that??? I mean she was not just my friend, she is my cousin!!! Relationships be it friendship, family or whatever means a lot to me so it hurt real bad.

  8. tanonymous

    May 29, 2017 at 3:54 am

    just cut off all ties with a so called good friend just few days ago too. And will be doing so for the rest of those I consider selfish n opportunistic relationships as well. tired of one sided friendships. It is draining. I am willing to be alone till I make 3 to 5 genuine friendships along the line. I only need 3 to 5 friends in my life. But they need to be real.
    what is the use of a friend who heard of ur mom’s death – came into your town and didnt even think a 5mins visit was necessary? in fact, there r so many other stories sha. But like Beyonce once said “I am known to walk alone. I walk alone for a reason”

  9. tanonymous

    May 29, 2017 at 3:55 am

    friends are important. but bad friends are worse than no friends. They r not even friends.

  10. Dr.N

    May 29, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Incredibly well-written!
    I applaud u

  11. tunmi

    May 29, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Seriously well done!!!!!!! The writing is good. It didn’t place blame, it actually left space to have that conversation should it ever come. Our culture of secrecy needs to change. Slowly but surely it will

  12. Kay

    May 29, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Girl!! This is how I’ve been feeling lately. Relocated to a new country & the few nigerians I just made friends with have been so secretive while I’ve been there encouraging and trying to help them. I don’t get it o.

    You tell people what worked for you, but the minute they find a solution to a problem you might have they are mute.

    • Girlspice

      May 30, 2017 at 12:48 am

      Just continue being you. Don’t let people’s attitude change you

  13. L

    May 29, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Beautifulll piece. Good job girl spice. You sound like me. I have a feeling you are a someone I would love to be friends with.

    Anyway, @tanonymous. I feel your pain. I have cut off from a number of so called friends that wouldn’t even call let alone visit after hearing about the passing of one’s parent. It’s quite sad. Such people are evil to me. I feel a lot of friendships are false and very manipulative and opportunistic. People would come close when they can benefit from you but drop you like its hot when they get all they want.

    Regardless there are still good people out there and all I have is love. You gain some you lose some. At the end you came alone to this world so put yourself as priority and love you!

    • Girlspice

      May 30, 2017 at 12:51 am

      Thanks L. Would love to be friends with you too. Please reach me on that email on the “About” section of my blog in the bio ☝

  14. Girlspice

    May 30, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Thank you

  15. Marian

    May 30, 2017 at 1:27 am

    One of the reasons we are not at the top of the food chain. I love Asians for this mehn, they pull eachother up and carry their people along.

    My mom asked a friend about a job they both applied for and she lied about getting an interview only for my mom to meet her there. Mom and I had a good laugh about it though.

    Is this a female thing? Most of my friends are guys and i’ve never been through scenarios like these with them.

  16. The real dee

    May 30, 2017 at 2:33 am

    You know, real friends dont keep secrets from each other. When your friend starts keeping secrets from you, its because something has gone wrong in that friendship.

    As i was reading this article, it felt like some of my friends wrote it, at least some parts of it. And I thought of a response.

    To the friend who I kept my bun in the oven from, I kept it from you because you became a burden to me, you became the reason for my tears, I found out you didn’t value my friendship and you were always guilt tripping me, you wanted me to feel bad for getting married before you, you wanted him for yourself because you felt I didn’t deserve him, you would always call me to talk about all your problems but was never ready to listen to mine, you threw the advices you requested from me back in my face because you felt my life was perfect and I could never understand. I loved you but you threw our friendship away when you started making me feel valueless. I needed to stray from you to keep my emotional sanity.

    To the friend who I avoided talking to, when I call you and the first thing you start talking about is how I’m such a bad person for not calling you in a long time bearing in mind you never called me too. When I excitedly say ‘hello’ and what i get in return is a cold response. When I ask what is wrong with you and you tell me ‘nothing’ knowing fully well that there’s something wrong. When you start reading meaning into everything i do and start overthinking everything I say. When I can’t wear my flip flops without you telling me how i’m so terrible at dressing well. When I can’t tie scarf to church because you think, i’m not woman enough for not knowing how to tie gele. When you don’t open up to me but I tell you my life story, history and future plans. Shouldn’t I wake up one day and realize I’m laying my eggs in a hostile nest?

    Sometimes, you’ll think you’re friends with someone, you go all out to be there for them, you appreciate times they were there for you, you give an arm and a leg for them and then you find out they were only using you, or they were only managing you or they never really valued that friendship, or they were just pretending.

    Rant over.

    • Common sense is rare

      May 30, 2017 at 3:26 am

      Thanks so much my sister! I wish I could give you a high five for your rant! Whoop

      My ‘best friend’ hat got dropped when she/they………..
      – Always made me feel guilty for not calling even though I was battling work/school/ kids etc
      – Made me feel guilty that I was happy in my marriage
      – Wanted to know EVERYTHING about me without sharing a nugget about her/their life
      – Made me feel uncomfortable whenever someone paid me a compliment while we were together
      – Never asked after my kids while expecting me to remember her kids’ birthdays etc

      So over it.

    • Girlspice

      May 30, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      Thank you . it is nice to hear another side of the story

  17. Abi

    June 1, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Everyone is blaming their friend but have you lot checked yourself??

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