…and never may.
A year after secondary school, an old classmate called me from the blues, I was very surprised, it wasn’t because we were no longer friends.
Years back, she was a new girl in my school and we sort of hit up nicely, but we couldn’t have been termed very close friends by the end of secondary school, and no, we didn’t fight.
So, I hadn’t been expecting her call, but it came, she said she had been to school in a private university and that she was around and would like for us to see and catch up.
I was happy, I quickly agreed and looked forward to it. I was uber shocked when she passed on days after that call, perhaps, it was to be my first close lesson on the fickleness of life.
Years after, in 2010.
My mother came into my room one night and asked me who I was speaking to, I was like ohh, it’s ***. That was when I realised that whatever happened few minutes before my mother walked in may have been a dream, but surely not my imagination.
Let’s imagine her name was Beatrice.
Beatrice had walked into my room and sat on my bed and I screamed in delight and we started gisting about school and everything in between. We laughed a lot, I remember this because I sent a message to her cousin afterwards, telling her of how much we laughed.
After a while, I told Beatrice I was upset she didn’t keep up with our plans to see -I didn’t think she was dead in the dream.
“I’m sorry, I travelled.” She apologised.
“When would you be back?”
“It’s a long journey, I want water please.”
I got her water and we continued to gist, then my mom came in with that knock.
For years, I pondered on this, I began to question death, life and all that happens in between. I had never been of the school of thought that once we die, we are dead and gone, poof! And even though I can’t exactly say what happens, because no one alive knows, right? It would be very hard to convince me of the poofness of it all.
Because in all the times I needed closure, it has come more from my friends who have passed on.
This thing called friendship
I used to speak fondly of my primary school bestfriend, who seems to have disappeared from everywhere you could find a person.
I went to Queens College from Primary five, she had gone on to primary six. I have searched Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, no luck. She was a sweet person, so recently, I started wondering if she was alive, or not, and if she was, why wasn’t she searching for me too? Was I joke to her those years? Lol!
I read a few tweets about ghosting, one was written by a babe, in the way that I would have -profoundly expressed the pain and diluted it with humour.
I remember a person who used to ghost on me back then, zero explanations, till date, I am not certain what to answer if I am asked if we dated -that is how proficient the ghosting was.
So what makes people give in to this utterly cowardly temptation?
Sometimes you want to know so badly why a friend (all encompassing, not limited to romantic relationships) stops talking to you, why they stop visiting, why the phone would never ring with their caller IDs again, and you sit and imagine what would have gone wrong, and you just never know.
You go from shock, to anger, to disbelief, to the resignation of it, and one day when you think you are healed, a song or someone’s gesticulations trigger a memory of a joy you once shared, then you give in to the grief again and begin the cycle afresh.
Unlike dead friends, you know sometimes that they actually are a call or visit away, but you also know what what has died in the friendship is beyond calls or visits, you remember that you are here because previously attempted calls or visits yielded nothing.
Emotional ghosting, so you avoid the awkwardness of it all. Or if it was a romantic relationship, you decide not to disgrace your ancestors anymore by begging a person to love you back, so you grieve and move.
Sometimes, people change, from good people to deputy demons. They are driven by things that are unexplainable, and that is when you understand that what you have been calling a change is just a character reveal. That the person who wears long saintly skirts and smelt like heavenly roses doesn’t really live by the coinage -WWJD.
We all have our fair shares of the excruciating pain of losing friends, friends who are still alive and breathing.
But you see, in the end we must learn to mourn the loss of death and the loss of what is dead in a person who is alive.
I see dead people.
When Chief’s bestfriend died, it had been without a good bye of any sorts, the shock of it, and so I was angry, but not for long, because between Beatrice and most friends I had lost to death, our dreams of closure have become normal.
I had dreamt of having to host a big party at home. He walked in through the door into my kitchen and asked to help me with the tray of food I was about to take out.
I held unto it, laughed and said
“Go joor, where have you been? Next thing you will disappear again.”
“Disappear? I can never abandon you guys.”
He insisted and took the tray from me. A while after, people left and he offered to clear up.
There was a knock in the door and he was in the kitchen, it was another of my friend. I opened the door and excitedly told her that our friend hadn’t died and he was infact, helping me out in the kitchen. I took her to the kitchen and there was not a single person there. I heaved a sigh and woke up.
But in that and a few other dreams, he looked very very healthy. They always did, and somehow, that helped me make peace with their death.
So here we are, dealing with malice, hatred, bitterness, envy, jealousy…people cry at funerals for the closures they could have had while alive but didn’t, and still never learn.
We all won’t see ghosts, some closures may never come.
Live, laugh, love,