Unfriendly Friend: How God Used My Roommate And Best Friend’s Mean Actions To Change My Life’s Story
No one is like God in this life. Yes! No one is like God and no one can play God to another and God allows the evil intentions of the enemy to come to fruition. Only God is God and capable of putting a new song in our mouths when all hope is lost. And when you think you have been sidelined by God Himself due to challenges you never believed would descend on you, but God gave you the grace of patience, that is when the dark gathering clouds begin to dissipate.
I can’t appreciate this kind God enough over what He did for a miserable sinner like me! I met Constance at the university. We actually met at the Registrar’s Office when we went to pick up our admission letter. I was about leaving when she walked in and asked me the direction to the Office of the Registrar and I pointed it out to her. She was relieved and betrayed her appreciation with a perfunctory greeting to me. I joined a university cab to the Permanent Site where my department is domiciled. The stress of the admission exercise was beginning to tell on me when I finally located the building that housed my department. I was on the lookout for my department proper when I ran into Consy again and to my relief, we are both of the same department. She it was who took me to our department where I completed my admission exercise. Then we ended up in the same Hostel and in same social and religious groups on Campus. We were both members of Sister’ Fellowship on Campus.
Our university days were well spent going from one religious activity to another. Our social skills weren’t that rich, but we utilized what the activity of the Church offered us to the maximum to ward off the onslaught from male undergraduates who wouldn’t let us be. It got to the point people started calling us twins. That cemented our closeness. We later left the School Hostel for a room in the University community in our final year.
I will not forget to tell you that we both look beautiful and pleasant to the eyes of most people who beheld us while we were undergraduates. At last, our university days came to an end and we all moved to the closest city which happened to be Enugu in search of job. I secured a job first with a Micro Finance Bank and rented a room apartment after our NYSC year while Consy remained at home with her parents while teaching in a private secondary school. When her school moved to their permanent site, Consy had to join me in the same compound as a room was vacant and our sisterly love continued to blossom. Life was good again. I was no longer alone and helpless to the onslaught from male admirers and philanderers. Consy is adept at telling men off without giving them the slimiest of room to achieve their ulterior motives.
Eventually, we both felt the need to encourage real men with potentials to come into our lives as we were getting older. I was 28 when Emeka walked into our banking hall looking replesdent in his obodo oyibo attires. The ankle chains, Calvin Clein wrist watch, and this polished intonation and diction that made my head swoon endlessly. The perfume he was wearing lingered in our banking hall for days on end. As the Customer Care Officer, I gave him the best service that he showed his appreciation by gifting me the sum of ten thousand naira. I had never received such an amount in one fell swoop before and it made my heart soften towards him that I made up my mind to accept him if only he could come after me. Women and such dreams! Lol!
He did come after me, but disappointed me when he wasn’t coming from any obodo oyibo but from Lagos. Not so bad but I was disappointed. I have always prayed to travel out of Nigeria and see what civilization is all about. I have as a result of this firm resolve been saving my salary to enable me travel out for my masters. Luckily for me, my parents are well-to-do.
Consy’ disposition towards me started to change mostly any time Emeka happened to be around. But as soon as Emeka leaves after his countless visits, she would brighten up and be her usual self again. When I thought about it, I decided to confront her. Her answer was plausible enough. She said she was looking out for me as men are known for taking advantage of good ladies like us. Okay! I let it slide.
Eventually, Emeka declared her undying love for me and proposed to me on a Valentine’s Day. I was completely taken and delirious. It was like a slice of Heaven. I ran to me priest for confirmation and he concurred that Emeka was the man for me. Then we started going for the Church’ marriage counseling fellowship. Emeka would fly in from Lagos whenever the counseling session came up. Such a kind heart and a man of understanding! I couldn’t have asked for more. He even shared with me how he had always dreamt of traveling out of Nigeria. How else do dreams come true!
Then bang and out of the blues, I waited for Emeka to fly in from Lagos for our usual marriage counseling session in our Anglican church to no avail. I was worried with my heart jumping out of my mouth. What with this issue of air crash? Jesus please show mercy on my Emeka! I called his number and it was switched off. For days on end, I suffered and bore my pains alone as Consy suddenly went back to live with her parents as she had to –according to her scope – take care of her sick mother. At the end of the third day, as I didn’t hear about any plane crash news after scanning many Nigerian online news portals, I went to my priest to share with him my worst fears. He consoled me by telling me that my own Emeka would come to me.
I licked my wounds and took my disappointment to my parents who have been visited and dowry paid to. They were shocked and did their best to hide it so that I would not suffer so much. But I suffered and went after God to figure out why such a fate had become my portion. No answer from God. No signs in my dreams, rather, I kept on seeing where Emeka was happy in the arms of another woman who wasn’t me. I accepted my fate and handed it over to God in prayer. It was difficult to forget Emeka, but I tried my best at my place of work where my colleagues were in the know of what we once shared together. They all showed their concern but allowed me carry my cross with dignity. I was as stoic as I could be, like a widow.
Two months later, Consy surfaced in my life with the story that she’s getting married and that I would be her Chief Maid. I was so happy for her. She couldn’t tell me how she met her fiancé, but her joy was visible. I couldn’t but be happy for her. On the day of her wedding, I realized to my shock that her betrothed was no other than my Emeka. I was able to withstand such shocking revelation by the special grace of God. What betrayal! What did I do to deserve such a friend like Consy? What made Emeka deal me such a dolorous stroke in my poor fragile heart? A thousand questions assailed me without obvious answers. I went home to lick my wounds.
Two weeks later, I heard a knock on my door on a weekend like others. I answered the door and met a dashing young man looking like Ramsey Noah by my door. I did a double-take and calmly enquired why he was by my doorstep. He shared with me how her fiancé told him she lives in our compound. Who? Consy! Consy?
“But Consy got married only weeks ago?” I answered in obvious sense of bewilderment.
Consy had been hiding such information from me whereas I shared with her all of my goings-in and going-outs. Chai! I then realized how deeper than deep Consy is. They had met in Enugu two years ago and became affianced when he came back from Belgium. He made her promise to wait for him for two years. He left in tears. I consoled him with little knowledge in me about friendship and betrayal.
The next day, he came back. I wasn’t expecting him when I opened my door. He came this time bearing gifts. He assured me he bought them for Consy, but since Consy had disappointed him big time, those gifts became mine. I refused them flatly. He started crying again, and out of embarrassment, I allowed him into my room and we shared some oranges and chatted some more. He then suggested we hang out. Me? Hangout? Akuko! I declined his invitation. He left after collecting my number from me.
The next day he gave me the shock of my life. When I walked out through the gate of my place of work for my lunch, a horn ripped through my heavy mind and when I looked toward the gray four-wheel drive, the glass wound down and lo, it was Anselm.
To the glory of God, Anselm is now my husband and I’m writing this story from the balcony of our two-bedroom apartment in Antwerp.
Aj’s Note: What a mighty God we serve! He rewards us for our trust and hope in Him when it seems like all hope is lost. Unfriendly friends’ actions as you can see can end up as the stepping stone against the stumbling block.