Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Friendships Lost 2

Q's disappearance didn't mean much at first. I thought she was playing a rude prank on me and I was going to let her stew. I didn't have her time anyway, exams were approaching and even though I didn't care that much for my books, I had to show some sign of seriousness.

By the third day of her disappearance, I started getting worried. How is it that I hadn't run into Q. at the tap or in class or even at the dining hall for that matter in the past 3 days? Was she ill and at the clinic on admission? I checked and the nurse hadn't seen her all term. By that weekend, there was a red alert all over school. Q was missing!

I found myself being called to the staff room every few hours. It was dawning on me ever so slowly that I was being held responsible for Q's disappearance. Some prefects were assigned to me and I was to lead them to all our hide -outs searching for her.

Somehow, they were sure she was still within the premises at least most of the time. The teachers kept hearing reports of how they saw her at the borehole at the staff quarters or at the tuckshop gate late one night. There were all sorts of reports but no proof.

"Enkay, you are hiding Q. somewhere, you better produce her or risk being suspended!"

That was our form teacher. She was frustrated and frankly so was I!

That night during night prep, I poured my frustrations into my little diary. I accused Q. of being selfish and mean for playing such a prank and leaving me to stew in her mess. I told her I regretted having her as a friend if friendship with her meant the kind of suffering I'd had to go through for the past few days. I said I didn't understand her and her weird ways at all and that if she ever got back, I'd give her a piece of my mind.

That pretty much sums up what I wrote in that book. I'd really had it up to here and my small 10 year old mind just couldn't take any more.

The next day, we were walking back to class from the old home economics lab (The same one we went to steal water from earlier) and we had to pass by our uncompleted dining hall building. The thing had been abandoned to rot and you usually won't find students in it. Suddenly a class mate screamed "Q!". We all turned to see what the noise was all about. The girl was pointing frantically at a broken window "I just saw Q. in there!". We all stared at her blankly as the window she was pointing at obviously had no Q. in it. She insisted and started walking towards the building. the window in question happened to belong to one of the 12 toilets that lined that side of the building. Since the window was quite high, one of us dragged towards it a broken chair so she could at least get a peek.

She jumped down after a few minutes shaking her head "all I could see were cobwebs broken toilets and dry shit"

I left them there and walked towards the entrance of the building. The rest didn't know it but Q. and I hung out at that uncompleted building sometimes. There were rooms in there I was sure no other person even knew existed. Suddenly, I knew where to look. Sure enough, there she was huddled in a corner of the room. There was dried up feaces everywhere (evidence that some others knew the place better than I'd thought). She just sat there and stared at me with a look that dared me to judge her. Her hair was brown and obviously hadn't been combed in all the 2 weeks she'd been missing. Her uniform was dirty. Really dirty. It was obvious she hadn't had a bath the whole time. Did she sleep out there those two weeks? All by herself and in the cold?
Something about the way she sat there staring at me defiantly made me realize this was no prank. This was more serious than I'd thought.

"Leave the entrance all of you! Clear the way!"

It was our house mistress. I turned to look at her and that's when I realized that the rest of the class had gathered at the door way. I hadn't heard them approach. I did as I was told and stepped aside. I don't know what words were spoken but in a few minutes, Q. was being led to the staff quarters. She was to stay with one of the female teachers.

I was asked to get her clean clothes and fresh underwear. I went to her locker but couldn't seem to find any. They'd probably been thrown out by some overzealous senior. Instead, I got out my own uniforms for her and a set of my newest underwear.

By the time I went back the next day, I could see that the teacher had done quite a good job. Q's hair had been nicely trimmed, even though the unhealthy colour was still there. She looked clean and my uniform though a bit large on her somehow sat right. She wouldn't look at me though. I wondered why. I just sat there in awkward silence. I had so many questions to ask but she returned barlely one day ago and it didn't seem fair to bombard her like that.

She was at the teacher's place for another 2 weeks. Her parents had been notified and they were asked to come get her in person at the close of the term. Stories traveling through the grapevine had it that Q. said she was frustrated and wanted to kill herself. What?! What did a 10year old know about frustration and suicide for goodness' sake?!

Even when she returned to the hostel, Q. still wasn't speaking to me. She avoided me like the plague and treated me like a stranger. What have I done now?

We wrote the exams and got ready to go home. Two nights before we left, Q. walked up to me...
"Thank you very much Enkay. I heard what you wrote about me in your little black book. I thought we were friends. Now I know better."

She just turned and walked away. I was shocked to say the least!
First of all, who told Q. about the stuff I wrote? Secondly, is this how I get paid for the stress she put me through?

The next day when I asked her, she had no explanation but to say "It was B that told me what you wrote!"

She and B had become fast friends in those last few days. I should have known.

I wanted to apologise but Q. didn't give me half a chance.
Her mom came to pick her at the close of the term.

I don't know what the principal told her but Q. never returned to our school the next term. She'd been transferred to another school closer to her hometown.

I never got the chance to say my own side of the story. I never got to apologise. I'd lost Q. forever and with her, a great friendship.

Nearly 20 years later, I run into Q. again. I wish I had something really pleasant to say about that re-union (If you'd call it that). We met again on FB.

"Hi! is this the same Q. that went to XXX school? Do you remember me, Enkay?"
"Yes it me. Nice to see you again. Keep in touch"

And that was it. Nothing more.

From her frofile I could see she'd grown into a pretty, self-assured young woman currently doing post graduate studies somewhere in the UK. I was glad for her. That stint with Enkay many years ago probably forever wiped off her memory.

Still, I'm glad we were ever friends at all. That our paths crossed. For even up till now, I am yet to meet anyone like my dear, dear Q!

20 comments:

Rose said...

I guess you had to some way or the other pour out your frustrations concerning Q's disappearance....
Though she shouldn't have been quick to pass her judgement.....
Sorry you lost a friend...

Original Mgbeke said...

Wow, I wonder what happened and why she had to go off like that. Tis truly sad that at that age, she just jumped to conclusions and judged you. And I was hoping that the reunion would be a more pleasant one but ah well, ah well...at least you go to meet her even if it was for such a short time.

Funny cos I was about to jack you to finish the tori and I see that you did. :-)

Danny BaGucci said...

Guess people move on for different reasons.. Sad that it had to have a veneer of hurt on Q's part.. I'm sure there will be opportunities to mend fences in future... Not something to beat yourself over i think...

Gee said...

na wah 4 u o...u blog today nd the next time is a year after.lol
shuuu!
ok lemme go read naw!

Adaeze said...

YAY! Finally you put up the second part! I have been waiting for this :-)Enkay, you write so well and I love hearing your life stories. I love love love it. Just had to say that, now on a more serious note. Wow, that story is so deep and it really made my mind wander.
I don't know what happened, but to me this reeks of something not being right. To me it seems very for sre something MUST have happened to her to make her disappear for 2 weeks and be huddled up like that. Something bad. I don't know about how your living conditions were and all but..I guess no one will ever know what really happened. It was a long time ago too and things must have been a bit different?
She shouldn't have been so quick to judge you, but the way I see it, not excusing her behaviour but u know, since u guys were so young things are different, maybe if something terrible did happen to her she was just really confused and that was her natural reaction? I'm just thinking. And the reason for her acting so cold now might be cuz she feels awkwad about the whole thing. Just an alternative perspective, I'm not saying I know what happened and I guess th ebest thing for u to do is to move on. I am sorry that you had to lose her. Sometimes this is jsut what happens, unfortunately. I admire you for still being thankful for having her! I have some similar stories of my own, and you have inspired me to write them down. I thank you for that my dear.
And I must say that I have so much respect for you. You seem so wise and thoughtful, and you've seen your fair share of both people and life it self its just amazing for me to read. Anyway, check out my reply to ur comment on my blog! Have a wonderful weekend with your loved ones.

Saved Girl said...

beautiful soul stirring post.

Olufunke said...

Very interesting stories.
Beautifully written.
I guess friendships come with their pros and cons
I wish Q knew all you went through......
I wish Q knew she was blessed with a great friend
I wish you knew where she went all those days
I wish you had answers....I wish that friendship was not lost

but then that is what makes our lives full,we loose some, we win some and I believe God has blessed you with more friendships than the ones you have lost.
Nice post!

Enkay said...

@ Rose - Thanks dear. We win some and lose some.

@ OM - I've just been too lazy is all. As for Q. some of our friends went as far as saying she was a mental case. I doubted it though.

@ Danny B - Yup, not beating myself up over it at all!

@ Gee - no mind me o jare! blogging don become full time work!

@ Adaeze - I'm always excited to read your comments. I doubt you are even capable of making one-liners and I just love reading them!
Expect my mail soon.

@ Saved girl - yes dear, it is. Just wish the ending was different.

@ Olufunke - If wishes were horses.....Still grateful for the friends I've got!

Beulah! said...

Ewwooo...i wonder why i am just reading this post. Very very interesting & to think that i couldn't wait for this part 2 to be out?

Like u said, I'm sure Q got over the experience in her mind if not, she wouldn't have grown into the pretty self-assured lady she is today like u mentioned.

Enkay, i love ur posts!!!!, pls keep bringing 'em on ok?

Today's ranting said...

Awwww she couldn't even give you the chance to narrate your own part of the story. It must have really hurt you. Hope you don't feel guilty in anyway.

THE REPUBLIC OF FASHOLA said...

Very intresting and nice I must say.

Enkay said...

@ Beulah! - Thanks dear! Yeah, I'm sure Q must have gotten over it all. She looks truly lovely now.

@ TR - Yes it did hurt but it happened so long ago. I don't feel guilty at all.

@ TROF - Thanks! Thanks for stopping by!

pink-satin said...

wow!is this a true story?

CaramelD said...

You brought up some many boarding school memories for me. That must have been frustrating for you, with the diary and everything. Such is life sha!

Charity Otojare said...

The place Q was found is quite funny, I wonder why a 10 yr old will be hiding in an uncompleted building with feaces around!
Anyway I am very happy Q was found I was a little scared when I was reading that maybe something terrible happened to her or worse she died. The beauitful thing is that you guys found eachother again. Did u ever ask her why she ran away for 3 days? By the way the part about finding a change of uniforms and underwears and finding none was very funny.
Finally I feel like with every story I read from you, there is this huge amount of growth. You are becoming a better writer everyday!

aloted said...

wow...

short of words...guess friends come and friends go...but we have our memories...

so for two weeks was she really hiding out? weird!

this was beautifully written

meanwhile your attention is required on my blog x

Enkay said...

@ Pink Satin - True o!

@ CaramelD - Yes it was my dear. Like you said, such is life.

@ Charity - Well thanks for the compliment!!

@ Aloted - Thanks! Just checked out your blog. Be working on the concept!

tobenna said...

Why you put up posts barely once a month bothers me, because, you write brilliantly.
Brevity, clearly has no relationship with you but I havenot been able to not complete reading your posts.
Keep it up.

Gochi said...

First Time here and loved the way you had me hanging on to every word, felt the pain, the relief the loss.

Well written :)

Tisha said...

hey
i am not sure what i should say
i am glad she is okay

what do you think happened to her?