Everything happened so quickly that evening.
First, I called a family meeting. Then I broke the news to my parents. Everyone was speechless, the parents most especially. Not even a single word was uttered. It was as though time had stopped and they were all frozen in time. I mean, who wouldn’t be. Each time I remember that night, I laugh in my head. It always makes me smile. I’m thankful my parents were of a sound health or I fear that that day, they may have developed a stroke.
My mum spoke first and then my dad. Mothers for who they are came to meet me privately with a heap of prayer points. Night after night, I had a fresh batch which I always put right under my bed the minute she walked out of the door. I did try to read these prayer points once but they all read so aggressive, so angry and so contrary to the energy that I was basking in. I didn’t want all that negativity in my space (even if it was in the form of prayers).
My sweet dad. He never did say anything to me except that I should take my time. But I would hear from my mum that his heart was broken. That he had high hopes about my relationship and that he was more than anyone else, looking forward to my wedding. Not too many people know this, but I have a soft spot for my dad. When he hurts, my heart hurts too. That day, I felt a bit of sadness in my heart that I had let him down. Some day, I would tell him that his silent support made a world of difference. With my parents, I never knew of the sort of pressures most girls talked about. That in itself was a blessing, and an attestation to the fact that I was born into the right family. God had carefully handpicked every member of my family and made them a fit for my journey.
In the sequence of events, the next phase for me would be to look my best friend in the eye and break his heart and I chose no better time than an evening out on a date. Terrible timing right? But the truth is that there is never a good time to deliver a bad message.
Suddenly, everything had taken on a bizarre sense of urgency and keeping this away from him for an extra minute would be like taking another year out of his life that could never be restored. We had been friends for 2 and a half decades and there I was, about to tell him that he had wasted all that time loving me and investing in us. I felt devastation in a way I had never felt before because he was blameless and kind and most importantly, he was my best friend. “I wish I had this awakening sooner” I kept thinking to myself but I was thankful that it was all happening late than for it never to have occurred at all.
I didn’t know how to begin but I knew that I needed to say something. “I can’t go through with this” I remember blurting out. “I dont think we are right for each other”. “I love you but I can’t make you happy” were the words that came gushing out of my mouth in quick succession. And there he was, like a perfect gentleman holding my hands in an attempt to help me feel better.
But I didn’t want to feel better. I needed him to be angry.
I needed him to be angry with me and to raise his voice at me and to at the very least show show emotion. “I deserve whatever words that comes out of his mouth” I remember telling myself. Intead, as though he were trying to unhear all I had uttered, he kept reassuring me that he loved me and that I was only experiencing a cold feet. I could tell from his eyes that he didn’t believe his own words. I could tell from his face that this time around, he knew that it was the beginning of the end of our relationship. I sat there in silence and watched him with sadness as he pleaded and begged that I trust him and us.
It was one of the longest 30 minutes of our lives but it finally ended and he did the gentleman thing by dropping me off at home. The next few days were much longer. He had questions, he was (finally) angry, he needed more than I had told him. He wondered if there was someone else. He couldn’t sleep or eat and neither could I. The back and forth on emails was so intense that it began to take a toll on me. I was emotionally drained but I continued being there to attend to all his emails because I felt enormous guilt and I felt that I owed him big time. I owed him happiness and I took it upon myself to make it right somehow… to help him heal.
Days turned into weeks and then months and in the 2nd month, I broke down. The weight of carrying my grief and another’s had hit so hard that I slid into depression. I would lie in bed all day and want nothing but to wallow in my grief and guilt. I took time off work at this time because I was of no use to myself, much less anyone else. Colleagues had started to notice that there was something quite off about me and the last thing I wanted was to be noticed. I could barely eat. I just wanted to lie in bed all covered up and just be by myself. The migraines got worse, my chest was filled with a type of heaviness I could not describe but still I kept at it -responding to his emails and to his friends via chats and also to his closest sibling.
Everyday, I prayed for him. I prayed for healing.
In the fourth month, he sent his last email. In it, he said he accepts my decision and will let me go because love isn’t bondage; because, true love sets the other free.
He wished me a good life, he reassured me of his love for me and told me that he didn’t hold anything against me. My eyes filled up with tears at the sound of those words and all I felt for him at that time was deep respect and admiration. I silently prayed that this experience doesn’t damage him for the next girl. I silently prayed that he falls in love again.
He was a best friend like none other but sometimes, best friends are just best friends and nothing more -That was the more important lesson this experience taught me.
What are your thoughts on this story? Should she had just married him? Can’t love eventually grow? Was she being fair?
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