I still remember how angry I was when I discovered Tunde was leaving me. The jerk. No I’m not gay or anything but Tunde was one of my best friends and I would never have hidden any good opportunity from him.
We were three very good friends. From childhood. It had always been Tunde, Tola and I. I remember calling Tola to tell her that Tunde was leaving. He hadn’t told her either.
I still remember that night like yesterday. We hadn’t spoken in a while, serving in different states can do that to people but that night I called to check up on my guy.
“Guy! How far na!”
“Bros I dey ooh.”
“This one wey you dey sound like this, e be like say this service dey sweet your body on another level. How Edo?”
“Which kind sweet my body? That one self dey. How your side na?”
“As usual na. You know as this place dey everly dry. I just dey find some small small things to help maintain, you understand na.”
That was the first sign of trouble. True true. Whenever he said that, he was thinking of how to say something. Something heavier than pidgin English could convey.
“So wetin dey sup na?”
“I’m travelling tomorrow.”
“Haaa! Bros na you ooh! Where you wan go chook head? Show me the way!”
Lol, Germany. Just like that. He said it as if people woke up every morning and decided to go Germany. Like Germany was just there, two hours away. Like it was just Germany, that didn’t even speak a completely different language. I was silent. I wanted to ask for an explanation but nothing came out.
“I got a scholarship. I leave tomorrow.”
I remember wanting to hang up but I also remember thinking that would seem so immature. I noticed we had switched to proper English. Shit just got real. I still couldn’t say anything.
“How did you get a scholarship? For what? Would you leave service, we still have like 5 months to go.”
“These things can be arranged. I’ll still get my certificate. One Masters programme like that popped up and I wrote the exam.”
“Hmmm.” And you didn’t tell me? What if I hadn’t called?
“OK na, safe trip.”
I felt awkward and tense. I don’t like awkward or tense.
“No go knack German babes for there ooh, those people still get Nazi spirit inside them. You fit jam the one way get black heart”
I’m sure Tunde knew I was hurt. I never make racist jokes. In any way. The fact that I was making one now probably sent a message. He laughed dryly.
“Na so bros. E go be na.” He sounded like he was glad for something to ease the tension.
“Yea. Try dey halla your guy every once in a while.”
We were back to pidgin English.
It would take years before I forgave Tunde. I finally realized that even if he had shared the opportunity with me, I wouldn’t have gone. The schorlaship wasn’t open for people in my course of study. But that was not the issue and we both knew it.
We kept in touch. We still keep in touch. It’s been 5 years. He is currently working on his PhD in Australia. I just finished my Masters program in Nigeria.
I keep thinking about my reaction. Why was so I so angry and mad at Tunde? I never told him but deep down I knew I was disappointed. He was one of my best friends and I would never have kept something like that to myself.