By Yetude Arebi
Last week, I told you how I ran into two quarrelling friends at my cousin’s place and was asked to help resolve the issues. You already read Tessy’s story, now you get to read Bianca’s. The beautician cum business woman, refuted her friend’s allegations and insists she was only protecting their homes.
“I believe the whole problem started the day my husband and I met her at a party with one of her lovers. We had both planned to attend the party together, but along the line, other things came up. I had to go somewhere with my husband first on that same day. I informed her of the development and we agreed to meet at the party later. Please ask her if she told me that she would be attending the party with a male friend?
In fact, the party was such that she should not have gone there with anyone at all. You see, the people hosting this party were family friends to both our families. They used to live in our neighbourhood until a few months back when they parked to their own house. Common sense ought to have informed my friend that we were bound to meet people there who would know us, including people from our neighbourhood. So, I never expected any funny games from her and she did not tell me she was inviting anyone.
As I said, my husband and I had to attend an impromptu meeting somewhere earlier in the day. Our plan had been to return home from our outing, then, I could attend the party later. But we could not leave the meeting on time as we planned. Going home first to drop my husband and change was not realistic too. And because I had forced my husband into believing that the party was very important as it was also a business opportunity for me, he decided that we should just attend the party together.
At that point, I could not think of any excuse good enough to shake him off, so I had no choice but to take him along. It was not the plan, but there was nothing I could do under the circumstance. Besides, I never planned that we should spend such a long time at the place.
So, it was a surprise when we got to the party and I saw her in the company of one of her boyfriends. As soon as I saw them, I knew it would be dangerous to share the same table with them because anything could happen. I did not want my husband suspecting her of any hanky-panky, so I led my husband to another area of the party to seat with some other friends.
Despite this, my husband and I went over to greet them and I also went to her on two other occasions before we left. What more could I have done under the circumstance? If she had informed me earlier that she was planning to leave her matrimonial home, then I would have known what to do. And please help me tell her, if that is her plans, I have no plans to leave my own family. So, why do something as foolish as bring my lover to a party that I know many familiar faces will attend?
Prior to this statement, I had no idea that Tessy, was married going by the sort of things spilling out of her mouth. Even when my husband asked me who the man beside her was, I told him I didn’t know him and only greeted him because I saw him at their table. I believe I did everything with sincerity, honesty and love for my friend and was trying to protect her. If we sat at the same table, there was no way my husband would not have guessed the identity of the man, and you can imagine the type of problem we would all be in right now. Again, if he discovered that I knew the man, there was no way he would not conclude that I am engaged in a similar activity since we are supposed to be best friends. I don’t think I could have done any better given the circumstance. But my actions annoyed her and this I believe is the cause of the whole problem.
Since then, she has been behaving funny towards me. The following evening, she came to my shop and accused me of putting her down in front of her our other friends. That they all complained that I neglected them and behaved as if I was superior to them. She wanted to know why my husband had to accompany me to the party without her being aware of my plans. She accused me of trying to pretend I am a saint. I must confess that I was very surprised because such a thing had never crossed my mind. I tried to explain what happened to her and I thought she understood. But I made a mistake. From then on, she stopped coming to my shop to spend time with me like she used to whenever I am around. She just began displaying all sorts of attitudes I had never imagine her capable of.
Prior to this, she used to inform me about most of her activities. In fact, sometimes when they bring things for sale in her office, she will buy for me and either collect her money later or tell me not to bother. This is because she always insists on our using the same or similar things for outings. At times when I have goods for sale, she takes them to her office for me too. But this changed after that incident. I started seeing things on her that I had never seen before. When I ask, she would always have an excuse or explanation for it. It was either sold to her at the office or a gift from one of her lovers or friend that I did not know, which is quite unusual. I realised that she was actually trying to sideline me, so I took it in my stride too. This was when I started doing some things secretly too. Ask her if it is a lie that I did not accuse her several times about these things. She wouldn’t talk about that now, would she? I really don’t have much to say about all these. In fact, I feel ashamed coming here to discuss this sort of thing, especially in the presence of your guest who is a stranger to us. But as she said, you are a woman and ought to understand some of these things. I would never have raised this issue but for the fact she came to report me. I am not quarreling with her. And that is my own case.
However, before I round up, I must touch on some of the issues she raised. She claims that she has given me boyfriends and that it is not her fault that I don’t have enough. Well, I know that I don’t have many, but it is not because they don’t approach me. It is because I don’t want them and I have not complained about the few that I have. I believe that one good man is better than several irresponsible men. I just can’t start going out with any man unless I like him. For me, it is not just for the money, there should be some degree of likeness in it, otherwise, one will not be better than a prostitute soliciting customers in a hotel. Moreover, how many men will I go out with at the same time? Ask her if I have not introduced some men to her in the past too. At least, I can mention names of some men she met through me. How many times do I go about telling people that I introduced someone to her? Of what benefit will that be to our friendship? She is the one that is jealous of me. I have known this for years now, yet, I have accommodated all her excesses.
Whenever I have a new friend, I mean female friends oh, who come to visit, she will always go cold. If she sees me going out with anyone other than her, then, I am in trouble. She would nag and find fault with them. She would tell me not to discuss her secrets with them, as if that is all I have in my head to discuss with people. My friend’s major problem is that she never owns up to her faults, even when they are glaring. She believes that because she has money, everything and everyone must bow to her. And this is her attitude even to her siblings. And because people want one favour or another from her, then no one has enough guts to tell her to her face that she is wrong, or simply call her bluff. She is my friend and has done a lot for me. She is also older than I am, so I respect her a lot. All that she is talking about are lies, figments of her imagination. If I were to be like her, there are a thousand and one things I can open up to discredit her. But I will let it pass. Aunty, I know you are an intelligent and responsible woman who can differentiate truth from lies when you see one……..”
“Are you saying that I am lying?” Tessy interjected, clapping her hands together in disgust. “But for the love I have for you, and the respect I have for aunty, I will not be here and you are talking rubbish. Let me tell you, you are a nobody. A common hair dresser. I will make sure that nobody patronises your salon anymore. You? You are too small for me to deal with. …..”
At this point, my cousin steps in and calms them down. She turns to me for my opinion and I couldn’t piece a sensible one together. Though it appeared like a simple misunderstanding handled badly by the two, I could also see that there were elements of envy and mistrust dating way back. Tessy, the older friend who had come to lodge the complaints may have genuine reasons to be offended, but she also had far more on her plate than her friend who had decided to remain quiet and bear it all. That she was raking and raging like a wounded lion was a great indication that she had a lot to hide and was only trying to intimidate and silence her friend to submission.
It had dawned on her that her goodwill and money could no longer keep her friend glued to her side. Something serious had gone down between them that they were both not talking about. Sometimes being loud does not mean one is right, being popular does not mean being right, you only need to read between to see the truth. Jill Blakeway’s famous quote came to mind. “Beware the person who stabs you and then tells the world they’re the one who’s bleeding”. Unfortunately, many don’t think deep enough anymore, we often prefer to roll with the bandwagon.
By the time the two friends left my cousin’s place, I knew the relationship was dead. Would there be casualties? What would be the collateral? Things may never be the same again, unless they agree to sheath their swords. When friends, especially women turn into enemies, everything and anything around them becomes a target and weapon. Anything can go down. Dear sisters, make friends with caution. Create boundaries, have limits. The worst enemy to have is a one time friend. Always remember to make provisions for when things may fall apart.
Do have a wonderful weekend!!