There are friends, best friends, best friends forever and then then are friends who are family. These are the family that God gave us from different families. There is surely more to being friends than just going out and growing up together.
I remember a while back I was marveling at how my friends’ list on my social media platform had ballooned. A friend challenged me to name the ones I really knew from that list and it dawned on me I didn’t know more than half of them. In fact there are some whom I hadn’t even interacted with since we became friends.
Most of these so-called friends were just there to fill the bus but were bringing nothing to the table. Growing up my mama was strict and observant on the kind of friends you hang out. She’d always call me out on the friends that kept taking and ask me, “Where are you going? Ati to that friend of yours I have never seen? Get yourself something to do in the house.” And that was that. All grown up and I must say it’s the same, and as the Swahili say,”Imani ni kutiana”. Friendship is two traffic and you’ll know your friends when you are down not when your life is happening.
Lemme tell you about three of my friends that I would do anything for anytime any day, my ride or die friends. By the way it’s not that they are perfect or because we share a perfect friendship, on the contrary it is our imperfections that make us such good friends. Like I shared in my previous post,the power of three, we sort of complement each other since we are of different personalities and temperaments.
I met Emily when I was about nine years old and we’ve known each other since then. I know her first crush and she knows mine, we played house,”cha baba na mama” together, heck we even went to the same high school. We lost touch when I joined Uni but got reacquainted when I came back. To say she always has my back will be an understatement. I am probably the sister she never had, okay so am pushing it but I hope you get the picture. Anytime am admitted, in trouble or I just need someone to hold my hand she’s always been there. Even when I let go her hand will stay put to pick mine back. The other day when I went in for the arthroscopy she was the one I found waiting for me at 9.00pm and she only left when I dismissed her. It reminded me of a time before I broke up with Person but I had the intention, when it had started hitting our relationship was headed nowhere. She’s the one person who agreed to go with me into that foreign land to course havoc, to give me moral support. She was going to my shoulder as I cried my heart out after the heartbreak which I did not have the heart to go through with at the time. Sigh. Love is stupid, most of the time. Instead I ended up leaving her in the hotel sleeping all alone as I kept warm in Person’s bed. She is also the one person I can be brutally honest with, I can be a little girl and a crazy bitch at the same time. We invest together, in fact the hustles am in, you know farming, bee keeping and bag selling, we are always partners. I go on my vacations with her be it going to my home or her home, going to Magufuli’s land or just visiting. In fact she was the only friend who came all the way to Seme for dad’s funeral.
Catherine, hmm, I never know where to start. It is interesting to note that she’s Emily’s cousin but it is my friendship to each of them separately that binds us. I have known Catherine since I was in high school but more so after fourth form. With her infectious smile and enchanting deep dimples it is difficult not to make lemonades from everything life throws at you. I remember when I joined Uni my dad bought me a phone but what he never bothered with was to send airtime. Back then calling rates were high and a student needed a phone to receive and not make calls, or so it seemed to my dad. Catherine religiously sent me airtime which I never used on her but instead would call, Kedi, my crush at the time. And even when I attempted to call her she’d never let me use her airtime on her. Catherine is among my few friends that know that we sometimes skipped meals in our home despite leaving in a posh house. She knew first hand the struggles I was going through and even supported me in boosting my shoe business back in campus. She even financed some of my supplies and never asked to be paid back. She was my fairy godmother in my four years in campus. I can’t tell you how many times she’s come through for me but the time in campus will always stand out for me. Am hoping one day, very soon she’ll be available again to go with us on a vacay.
I have known Grace for more than a decade, okay maybe two decades. It’s difficult working around your age when you don’t want to disclose it. Sandbaby and I recently agreed that I’ll remain 30years till she grows up then I skip to 41. I don’t know how she worked it out but I liked it. People always wonder what Grace and I have in common, well I don’t know too. All I know is we’ve always been together, whether it’s same class, saloon, discussion group, same college. Interestingly our dads even worked for the same employer and both of us are second borns. Grace doesn’t know and neither do so many people, but she used to cover my ass during the 10.00 and 4.00 O’Clock break times. She’d somehow have enough to share with me even when I had no cash something that she’d not brag about or hold me ransom to. Whenever we go out we always drink to the old days. The time we went job hunting in the local EPZs and we were disqualified because we were overqualified. The Chinese didn’t understand why we were job hunting when our grades allowed us to pursue other courses. Then we got our first jobs, being waitresses in a bar somewhere in South Coast where we were being paid less than a dollar a day. Hmm the things life teaches you no school nor teacher can teach you. This year Grace has again come to save my face twice, before my mother and my daughter. I can’t say much because I know she would prefer it that way, actually all of them would prefer anonymity. But hell we live once and there is no way I can just be writing about sad things and never about people who’ve had my back.
Between these two cousins and my friend I can never say I am not blessed. I don’t know what I did to deserve them but I am forever grateful and always praying for their blessings. If nothing else is working for them I want them to always read this and know they have been my “neighbor”, ” the good Samaritan” in my life. They can always look back and say,”I have put a smile on one person.” These are my friends in deed, friends who become family, family that life gave me for real.
P.S The title has been inspired by Four Cousins.
Tis the season to be jolly Fa La La… La La La!!!