The task of meeting Jboy’s family, burial arrangement and everyother thing was squarely on me. I just couldn’t find where to begin, how to start or which way to go about it all. I was so lost and empty. Mary wanted to lend me a supporting hand. She promised to help me with everything, but i simply refused to oblige her, instead asked her to give me a little time. I pleaded with her to stay away from me for the meantime which greatly surprised her. She couldn’t believe her ears as i made the passionate plea just a day after Jboy’s unfortunate death.
“no you can’t be making such a request right now. You need me. We need each other. We need to help each other out of this trauma” she protested seriously, failing to realise that the trauma itself increased my disdain towards her. In a way i blamed her for my friend’s death because if she hadn’t been in my apartment that fateful day nor delayed us with her toilet perhaps Jboy wouldn’t have been attacked.
“well i have no choice than to honour your request, if it will make you better” she finally agreed when she saw how serious i was, wiped her eyes with a handkerchief before walking away. I felt her anguish but i just couldn’t do anything about it. I summoned up courage and called Chioma soon after. It really was my first time of calling her after she unceremoniously left me at the restaurant hours before Jboy’s death. I quietly revealed the news to her. She instantly screamed with shock. “oh bloody hell!, and you are just telling me about it after how many hours huh?. I’m coming over” she cried and hung up while i hopefully waited for her.
Learning that she was coming sort of lightened up my spirit. Till today i really can’t describe the kind of love i felt and still feel for her. Thirty minutes later she showed up at my apartment with tears in her eyes. She instantly hugged me, crying seriously. “i can’t believe Jboy is gone. He was such a wonderful friend. I could have lost you too. Karma is now on you guys. It’s a pity Jboy paid with his life. You have to seek peace with God urgently” she cried, sending more fear into my troubled heart.
“do you?, do you believe in karma?, does it exist?” i stammered. “of course the evil that men do often comes back to them. You see i wasn’t wrong condenming what you did to that lady. You have to seek peace with God my dear” she summarized seriously, while i nervously made the sign of the cross. “could she be right?” i asked myself over and over. Believe me, It really wasn’t easy meeting Jboy’s parents who were so alarmed and bitter over their son’s death. I had to play a role i have never played in my life.
I tried to best to console them especially his mother who cried uncontrollably. I made promises too hard for me to handle. I promised to foot the mortuary bills and arrange for his funeral without thinking deep on the effect it will have on the little money i had left. I guess i was overcome with grief that very moment to think properly. However the pain of losing their son never stopped them from asking prying questions, they virtually asked every necessary question to the extent of asking if he was engaged to anyone. I answered all the questions with great intelligence, making sure my answers were accurate and less upsetting. We really had a long discussion before they headed home, leaving me with the huge task of organising my friend’s burial just like i promised.
Seriously i never believed i would be the one burying Jboy In just a short length of strong friendship. Well that was his fate, such a bad one. He never got to enjoy life like he wanted. Yea i was so depressed over the whole thing, but as a young guy i stood strong like a warrior while on the inside i shook like a frightened school girl.
Seeking peace with God was such a good idea but i just wasn’t ready because i was yet to find a way to wrap things up with Mary. I couldn’t go asking God to forgive and take me back while still nursing a deadly feeling for another person. If as Chioma said, ‘karma was the force behind it all. Then i could be the next.
Mary welcomed me happily when i got to her apartment. She gave me her usual killing hug before letting me in. “i have rice, i have soup, what’s your choice?” she asked with a smile, “just a cup of water please” i replied with a nervous smile. She quietly served me without asking any further question. “so how are you dealing with Jboy’s stuff?” she asked curiously after a while. I breathed deeply and quietly told her almost everything that needed to be told. “you are really a good person. You know some friends will simply move on without bothering to help” she said with admiration while i nodded and cleared my throat. “so about the discussion i promised you. I’m now ready for it” i opened the topic bravely.
My new plan was to find a way of telling her a bit of the truth concerning my real feelings just like Chioma wanted even though i knew it was far from being easy. Since Jboy wasn’t available anymore and i had the slightest clue on how to carry on with the old plan alone. I had no choice than to restrategize.
“fine, alright” she breathed slowly, her expression quickly growing more serious. “you know i have been indifferent to you since i got out of jail?” i murmured. She nodded curiously. “it’s just as a result of the things that have happened between us these past few weeks. I can’t really explain further but do believe that I’m trying hard to reciprocate your love and everything. But it isn’t easy for me, so don’t just expect anything more for now” i poured out hesitantly while she stared at me with shock.
“you are kidding me right?, i don’t understand a word of what you just said?” she asked hotly, her colour rapidly changing. “The promises i made while in jail was simply for you to drop the case and set me free, that notwithstanding, i do care for you from the bottom of my heart” i pleaded to calm her down, “i still don’t get you, but i think i’m beginning to understand” she hissed with pain.
“so our relationship was never meant to be. You just came to take advantage of me like other guys huh. Now i understand, the breakup, pregnancy, abortion, get together and promises were just a ploy” she cried, while i freaked out. I quickly regreted following Chioma’s advice. It was all wrong opening up to her so soon without being prepared for the resultant effect..
“Sometimes doing the right thing is not always right” i reasoned. I quickly drew close and held her. “please be reasonable and understand me. Those were my feelings for you but everything has now changed because i’m trying hard to love you. At least you can appreciate my honesty” i poured out solemnly. “is our story really going to have a happy ending?, should i move on with my life?” she asked bitterly while i swallowed hard. “please answer me, do i still have hope with you?, or am i simply wasting the little time i have left?” she asked seriously, her eyes melting with grief and disappointment. I was suddenly faced with a difficult question.
Yes it was difficult because my answer will definetly define the next stage of our relationship. Unfortunately, i chickened out.
…. Stay tuned to Episode 23