My One-time Friend

We all have a one time friend whom we shared one of the most wonderful experiences with, mine was Tinuola Adesanya.  We  became friends in our third year in high school  due to our unyielding attitude towards academic excellence. Tinuola was the apple of everyones’ eye, the promising girl every parent wished for as a daughter and a friend anyone could wish to have in their circle. She was excited about her goal of becoming a renowned medical practitioner which placed her dream beyond that of an average Nigerian girl. Unlike me, she was very ambitious and confident of her abilities.
Queens hostel drove us closer as we were Hall mates which ushered in a bigger opportunity for our collaboration. But as time passed by, our friendship began to fall apart. A solo attitude from her and an I don’t care attitude from me became our default character. In the mix of these events, I vehemently told my friends I would never have anything to do with her. How wrong I was  about Tinuola!
My recent reflection depicts my level of admiration for her while also showing my level of insensitivity  to her feelings while we were friends. My insensitivity aroused based on my conclusion that she had become very proud due to her recent admission to University of Ibadan as a medical student which was a great feat judging from our background and the level of competitiveness of the course. In my humble way, I opted in for Biochemistry as a student so I was jealous.
Writing this piece is purely out of regrets. I got to know she had Leukemia only when her obituary came out. Alas, here I am wishing I had loved her with my heart and soul without insensitivity.  I lost sight of her at our second year of university resumption.  With the state of our friendship, I secretly enquired about her from the hostel portal to know if she had resumed into the school hostel. After weeks of resumption and school activity and no news about her where about, I decided to travel home to find out what really was going on. Meeting her mum at home was a huge shock to me because I know her mum works with a very busy telecommunication company somewhere in Lagos. She became very emotional immediately she saw me at their house and being a very emotional person, I was moved to tears too…After some time I had to pull myself together and ask about my friend.
Me:- Good day ma. I actually came to ask Tinuola. I haven’t seen her in school.
Mum:-  you came dear!!! Yes you did… Tinuola actually told me you would come looking for her one day.
Me: what happened? You are scaring me ma.
Mum – a moment please…

After some minutes, her mum came with a note that actually was referred to me. It reads

To my one time friend
Dear Lola,
I know you loved me and you really did care about me as I saw how you looked at me back in school and wished we were best of friends. You know what? I really wished that too and I personally wished we could do all the crazy things we used to do when we were kids_ those great memories I  would be taking to my grave now. I heard when you told your friends I am now very proud. How wrong of you to have assumed! I was dying Lola! Really was… I was diagnosed with stage two Leukemia immediately after we graduated from high school. I personally  never wanted any of my friends to feel any pity for me which I  sometimes wish things could turn out differently. I had a lot of wishes  Lola you know but I guess none of it was meant to be. Currently writing this letter to you to let you know I really did love you and you were a one time sister we never had the privilege of knowing ourselves for a long time. Even when I was slowly fading away I still was thinking about you a lot and that’s why I am dedicating my 5.0 -100 level results to you obviously aware you would really love to be a medical doctor in the future.  I want you to fly on my behalf and achieve everything I had always envisaged to become.  Lola I’m on my knees please don’t doubt your abilities… Can you please follow your heart? I am smiling now because I know you will definitely make a fine doctor.
Your one-time friend,

Reading the content of the note came as a huge shock to me. Depressed was an understatement of how I felt meanwhile I had to admit she was the only friend that knew me beyond bounds. She was right; I had a special love for medicine. She truly had a pure heart and a gentle soul and seeing her mum was a bitter sorrow too.    Reminiscing about all that had happened eight years ago I  really have to visit my one time friend now. I now found solace in visiting her final resting place. Strongly believing  we are now separated by the clouds. I need to tell her, her friend just became a certified medical doctor.
To people like me out there… Never assume your friend have changed due to some already prepared notion. Ask questions if you really do care. Your friend could be dying without telling you.

Writer: Gbadegesin Balikis Olohuntobi
Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State,  Nigeria

My One-time Friend

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Senami

    I too feel this post, only that I feel like a Tinuola who is dying and all my “friends” don’t even know,
    Funny isn’t it 🌼

  2. nenyeemjay

    Very emotional…… The writer described my actions before I lost someone, I guess that’s why I have few friends so that I can butt into your business when I notice slight changes. Kudos to the writer

  3. TundeVal

    I am so low in spirit. I feel sorry for someone else’s guilt and innocence. This is actually enlightening and educating. I wish the hand of clock can be turned back. 😭

  4. natha

    How little things make us drift apart from the ones we love. So heart breaking💔

  5. doc_kenny

    Honestly I don’t know how I feel, i mean how can I feel so sorry for someone I don’t even know, I mean people need to see this it’s heartbreaking an eye-opener. I gotta say am emotionally caught and that’s not something that happens to me.
    Thank you so much miss Gbadegeshin

  6. Celebranda

    Great Job Gbadegesin. Stereotype and prejudice have hauled milestones at interpersonal relationships, destroyed homes and wrecked the walls of the humanity once solemn. If only we can reach out and ask after our friends when their attitude become unusual, if only we can be humber, if only we can crave to understand more than to be understood… How I wish.

  7. Alabi Samuel Toluwanimi

    Kai, reminds me of my one time friend.
    Sharon Nwansimo, my childhood friend. she died of leukemia…. Rest in peace Sharon, I miss you… 😢😓

  8. Mimi Nma

    Hmm….A story that needs to be passed on to everyone
    It’s really disheartening seeing someone who u chose as a closest friend staying away from you when dey notice some changes in ur attitude 💔💔instead of showing concern… They having d “she is now giving me levels” in their mindset…Smh😪

  9. Deolabliss

    I also lost a friend cos I felt she was becoming too proud cos her parents are based abroad. I started drifting away deliberately with no explanation whatsoever to her, I really love here and still do. Just last week, I posted a prayer on my status and she was the only one of my over 200+ contacts to say an AMEN and add more prayers. I never expected it, I was moved beyond words can tell and cried and ocean. I’m just glad I have another chance and it’s not like too late. She’s gone to meet her family but really wish she was here with me 💔💔

  10. Simply_chelsea

    The plot twist is commendable, honestly great plot in general. But the story build is a weak link. The piece felt like I was reading a diary of an insecure 9 year old who cannot convey emotions, no wonder the dailogue was seemless. Everything feels baseless, unemotional. You cannot identify with the pain of the characters, no matter how hard you try. It could have been better.

    1. Queen Shamsiya

      Thanks for the feedback champ but can you help me out pls?🤔

  11. toms

    If there is anything I am ever scared of,it is misunderstanding people. Over the years I have taught myself to put myself in other shoes,make excuses for them and try my absolute best for them. It has not been easy since sometimes I feel frustrated because I don’t get the same energy. But this write-up just encouraged me. It’s really worth it. Only if Lola had at least tried to save their friendship instead of concluding, she wouldn’t have had to deal with guilt

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