A draft of a memoir I'm working on regarding the end of a significant friendship.
| June 2010. I'm 19 years of age and I have just finished sixth form at my secondary school in Ghana and subsequently graduated. Though I should be extremely elated and looking towards the future, I find myself in the opposite mood due to mullings over my ex-girlfriend of a year and 3 months and how I was still desperate to win her back. This was in spite of the fact she dumped me for another guy a year ago and ended up cheating on him with another guy recently. Somewhere along the line I check my facebook and notice a friend request from yet another Ghanaian girl I do not recognise, who has sent me a simple but rather friendly message. At this point in time I was pretty fed up with getting messages from women/girls I did not know so my immediate response was to ignore her and move on with my life. 3 months down the line I end up in college in Luton studying an access to humanities course. Not long after posting a status about having a blackberry phone and skype a week into my stay, I find that this girl has sent me another message asking me to add her on BBM even going as far to provide me her own PIN. Baffled by her persistence I ponder whether I should simply ignore her once again or give her the benefit of the doubt as she seemed somewhat sincere. Choosing to do the latter I quickly added her on BBM . I was not prepared in the slightest for all that was to develop over the next 3 years and 9 months.
Through conversations on the first day I find out she happens to be the sister of one of my classmates from Ghana who happened to get with the girl I liked when I first attended, she likes Mortal Kombat, and she seems to know most of my cousins from both sides of my family and even attended school with some of them. I also find out she happens to live in South London in the same area as my old primary school mate, an area not far from where I lived prior to 2005. I later question her on her favourite sex position which happens to be doggy, my favourite as well. Co-incidence much? Later she introduces me to a game on BBM called Word Mole and subsequently whoops my ass continuously, even after giving me many head starts which deal quite a blow to my male ego and pride yet I like this challenge. This girl has now begun to suddenly peak my interest. I send her two poems I wrote for a school competition and she is completely in awe of them, with much discussion on how she recognises the girl who her brother "stole" from me after I mention her name in reference to the second poem in which she is the main topic. She later comments on how I probably got other girls after, which I think led to me either shrugging of that comment, discussing the admirers I had who I didn't get with, or my ex-girlfriend and the drama that unfolded with her. Ah I remember now, it was the latter. 10pm at night after sharing contact details we end up having one of our only two skype calls. She is lying on her bed wearing glasses with her feet up, and for some reason I unconsciously find myself sexually drawn to this yet I make no mention of this. Instead I proceed to provide her details about what occurred between me and my ex-girlfriend something I'm not so sure I should have done now, but hey it seemed to interest her. Before we can continue further however, my OAP of an uncle charges into the room and orders me to turn off my laptop. Having no choice in the matter, I comply reluctantly although I find myself on the phone with her 30 minutes after. 12am/1am after an hour of talking there is silence. I realise she is sleeping and I ask her if she needs to go to bed. She dreamily replies yes and then wishes me goodnight. Looking back now, I realise that with all our subsequent late night phone calls after that time till the summer of 2012, I found her soft and sweet tone of voice to be something that actually did turn me on sexually yet also have a calm relaxing effect . Over the next month and a half, we find ourselves talking about a lot of things such as love, her relationship with her mother and father, my attempts at getting back with my ex, her desire to study law, her love for reading, the story of two animes/manga's by the name of Naruto and Inuyasha, her role as a prefect in her college, a crazy dream in which she was "dragged by her arse by a stranger who entered her house", as well as her crush on her brother in law. During this time as well I get the chance to talk to her sister who also seems pretty cool, and I find myself often asking for help regarding notes I need for an upcoming Sociology assignment. Frequent phone calls cement my view of this girl as a very interesting and unique individual, whose view on love seems to even give me hope on finding it myself through an acronym she comes up with. I find myself noticing traits of her personality which are similar to mine without even making the effort, something I found strange. She eventually helps me with writing an email to my ex asking for us to talk whilst also helping me fix an essay that needed submission. I'm sure most people reading this at this point are asking "Why did you not bother pursuing this girl???" and all I can say is I guess I was stupid and blind to the opportunity I had. I also think that subconsciously as a result of her dream which made me recognise her vulnerability as well, made me decide to not pursue her. However this is merely the tip of the iceberg and there is a lot more of this story that needs to unfold before that question is answered entirely. At this point, she ends up asking her brother in law out after I provide her encouragement to do so and she later reports to me about how well her half-term went with him, particularly how romantic her first kiss was with him. I think somewhere before my leave to Ghana in December we end up talking about what good qualities we see in each other as people, with me focusing on her natural good looks, her intelligence and cultured yet simple style of clothing. December comes by and we find ourselves in Germany and Ghana respectively visiting family. 2 weeks into the holiday I decide to message her to see how she is doing to which I get a very positive reply. We talk about how things are going on our end school-work wise, how her birthday and xmas went, the arrival of her new nephew, and how things were progressing in her relationship. Unfortunately things don't seem too good and she tells me about how her mom is always on her case and how her boyfriend has been behaving in a disrespectful and rude manner. She later adds that she is thinking about ending it all. Being the type of guy I am I sympathise with her and ask her to let me know how things go. I also let her know about things regarding my ex and how her cousins invited me over to theirs. After discussion on whether to go or not, I decide not to commenting on how I feel like a wimp for doing so. A few days later she discusses how she confronted her boyfriend about her unhappiness and his rather apathetic response on and subsequent remark on her finding happiness elsewhere which left her upset. I try to reassure her that everything will be ok and the conversation switches to when we are both back in UK and she seems very excited about the prospect of us being able to conversate on BBM again.
It's now January 2011 and my new friend (and obvious subconscious interest) discusses her birthday outing and invites me over. I'm initially unsure of whether I'll get there due to the fact she is a girl however I manage to concoct a lie that it's my old schoolmate's birthday. My friend and I also arrange for me to spend the weekend there as she can help me with my sociology assignments. Meanwhile she discusses a book she once loved reading but subsequently left in Ghana, and I don't know whether it was subliminal manipulation or me being genuine but I ended up going to the WH-Smith in town and buying that book within 30 mins without a second thought. This was the first time at this point in my life where I actually made the effort to get a gift for a girl, let alone without my ego driving me. We then later on began discussing each other's height, her helping me out with my assignments over the weekend as well how great it would be to take pictures together during the outing to TGIF for her birthday. Speed over to the weekend and there I am making my way to Croydon town centre. The experience of riding a bus towards this part of London feels almost alien to me even though I had previously gone shopping there 3 years prior. I call her and let her know I have arrived and wait for about 20 -30mins. I look in the distance and I see a girl in a hairnet with another in a black top (if memory serves me correctly) and after two minutes of them approaching closer, I recognise this to be them. She approaches me arms extended smiling (this was one of the two times I received a hug from her unfortunately along with one of the few times I ever got to see her smile for reasons which shall be explained later on.) She has a nice soft feeling to her figure as well as a very youthful appearance about her. I introduce myself to her sister and we proceed to head towards Primark whereby I openly joke about them picking up the cheapest shoes available to which the older sister makes the remark along the lines of "Good shoes are good shoes". Not long after, we head towards their house on the bus 109, with me sitting in front of the both of them whilst the older sister has offered to hold my laptop. I can't help but noticing my rather positive demeanour around them as well as their own, particularly my subconscious interest in question. 30 minutes later we finally get off the bus and head towards their house. The next few hours after that period of time seem to elude my mind, although I distinctly remember having a lengthy discussion with her older brother about him choosing accounting and how African parents always seem to dictate what subjects are worthy academic pursuits for their children and how he and the older sister where actually twins. A little while after this I'm suddenly offered a bowl of salad with bread by the older sister, and while this sudden hospitality takes me by surprise after having already been bought some confectioneries by the older sister at Gregg's, I tuck into it with a mix of uneasiness as I was somewhat full but glee as well. A little while later I and my new friend are left alone and I realise that I have forgotten to give her the birthday present I bought her. I hand it to her, which she responds to with a pleasant "Thank you" and she proceeds to ask what music I happen to have on my laptop. I hand it over to her promptly after logging in, which leads to about 30 minutes or so of silence. Being someone who finds silence somewhat intolerable, I ask her if she is finished to which she snaps at me for not being patient (once again my memory eludes me on whether this happened although I know she didn't respond to positively to me asking if she finished). The evening arrives and the older brother guides me to some chicken stew which he has left in a pot in the kitchen for me to help myself to as in when I feel hungry before heading upstairs. I promptly head towards the kitchen, fetch myself some rice and chicken stew and place this on a plate. What ensues after my first forkful is a state of euphoria and bliss which I very rarely experience unless the food really stimulates my sense of taste. "How can such a chicken stew with such an overwhelmingly powerful sweet taste exist and why am I now experiencing this???" I think to myself. I make a mental note to ask my friend about the recipe for this later on. The evening arrives and I find myself discussing my feelings for my ex-girlfriend and the guy she is currently with, to which my friend eventually states the blunt truth of the need for me to move on which catches me off guard although I realise that this is probably the best decision to make. I suddenly grow a sense of respect for her for being straight-up with me. Both my friend and older sister later discuss said fellow's skill with the ladies, particularly stating how he thinks of himself as Biggie Smalls and how he managed to bed a girl on the same day of meeting her. The topic then switches to the older sister's unhappiness about her then bf's desire for sex upon her visit back home in Ghana. Once again memory fails to serve me as to what I said (no I do not intend this to be a running theme or gag joke just so you know) but it was probably somewhere along the lines of "Well that's just his way of showing he misses/loves you" which she probably wasn't happy to hear find ourselves watching an episode of American Dad which involves the main family cast on holiday in Saudi Arabia. At some point Francine Smith the wife of main character Stan Smith engages in a song which serves the purpose of ridiculing the cultural practices of the Saudi Arabian people and Muslims as a whole, which prompts me to remark rather loudly "Yooooo how can they be taking the piss out of Saudi's like this???" with my new friend's older sister affirming how bad it is through a laugh and response "I know right!". I glance towards my friend at the far edge of the sofa who remains silent and fixated on her phone. I ask her question to which she responds in a rather low-tone leaving me to feel as if I'm either harassing her or not asking her the right question. Not long after American Dad ends, myself and her end up heading upstairs where I sort out my pj's before surprisingly being invited into their room by the older sister to watch tv with them. I enter the room and ask if I can sit down on her bed, to which she responds by moving the various books, magazines, handbags and teddy bear placed on them. I notice the rather small size of the TV to which I think to myself, "Damn how are they managing to watch tv on this small ass screen???. I casually inspect the various number of Michael Jackson posters among others covering the wall as well as pictures of herself and her siblings during their youth along with their father. I notice how my friend in particular seems to maintain a stubborn expression on her face in all these pictures making her out to resemble an irritated princess in her white dress and mini tiara. I casually remark on this to her and later comment on how cute she looks to which she responds somewhat apathetically too but I'm calm about it. As I sit on the edge of the bed she finishes her bowl of rice and chicken and proceeds to leave it on the dresser next to the bed. I once again make a casual remark on her laziness to which she responds with a sharp and quick "Shut-up". Due to the uncomfortability of sitting on the edge of the bed I find myself moving closer towards her and lying next to her, with my head resting on her stomach. "Hmmm, feels as soft as a pillow", I think to myself and I notice her older sister smiling as she sees me doing so. Not too long after I believe we both fall asleep and I later on wake-up, deciding to move back to the bedroom prepared for me although looking back now, I did unconsciously consider remaining on her bed as I felt a sense of comfortability and calm in doing so. Day 2 of my weekend at my friend's house comes and I wake up to use the upstairs toilet. Little do I expect to find her sister having a pee as I open the door, and this leads to us awkwardly staring at each other for a period of 5 seconds before I gather myself and close the door. I find my friend downstairs and we both provide a good morning greeting to each other. As I proceed to look for food, I begin whistling as I'm in a cheery mood however this irritates her and she asks me to stop. Although baffled by this, I humbly adhere to her request. Fast forward to the afternoon and she and her older sister are both doing each other's hair. My friend in particular seems to have a lot of skill in this regard and I make my surprise and admiration in this known to her whilst this also adding to the growing positive opinion I have of her (minus the instances of her snapping back a little). It was either at this point whereby I recognised her potential as a hairdresser or model (I probably sound whipped to a lot of guys at this point even though I was still slightly fixated on my ex even after her advice on me getting over her). I comment on how there is no need for them to ever go to a salon shop and how this helps save money to which they both agree. At some point, the older sister praises her about a particular quality which I acknowledge and she later comments on how we should both get together. Either out a sense of denial or sense of shock at such a statement, both me and my friend quickly remark "No I think we'll just remain as friends", with me later adding the remark "she'll need to get in line because there are other girls in front". Unfortunately for me this wasn't as true as I made it out to be and I recognise this was just my ego merely acting in defense of the subconscious interest I had in her which I had yet to acknowledge to myself. Fast forward to the evening and we are all dressed up and heading out to the TGIF restaurant where my friend will be holding her birthday get together.