Watching Jack and Jill Fall Down The Hill

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Ok, so a lot has happened in a short while. At least emotionally, to me.

I know I am hormonal and all that ‘isht’ but at the same time that doesn’t explain how or why this should have happened or why I am letting it happen. I know why : I am a very proud person. And I’ve never known how to reconcile with friends. When I was in school, or just when I was younger, if I had a fight with a friend I would pray to God to reconcile us, or be hoping that someone does. It never worked. LOL. But we always settled eventually.

Anyway, the real story here is that I am feeling quite lonely and alone and it’s because the two people who have been closest to me in Lagos have been given a wide berth by me. Let’s start with my closest friend and benefactor, J. Everything was going well until one Sunday when we went to Shoprite together. After a few hours of shopping, plus the fact that I had woken up really early, about 6.30 am, even though I slept in the early hours as well. I wandered off to the room to sleep and was quite fast asleep when her sister barged into the room, not once,but 3 times! Now if she did this noiselessly it would be less of an issue but she does this noisily and all the time. Also, getting to sleep is a luxury I cannot afford to waste, in this condition. I find it difficult to sleep at night, because of the baby, and during the day because of the noise of people in the house, so when I can catch sleep I do, and I guard it jealously, or else I wake up with a headache. Which was what happened with this girl. I was so angry I went to the kitchen where she was and was scolding her, she knowing me and my sleep issues was smiling and saying her sister, my friend, sent her. I was like ‘ Even if she sent you, how many times did she send you,? Don’t you know how to open doors quietly, etc. Her sister, J, then said ‘Joie, I sent her. I said ‘ How may times?’ She said ‘ Joie, If I didn’t send her she would not have come’. I don’t know if it was the tone or the message but that came across badly to me. I felt, for one, she had just given her sisters- there were two of them there- permission to go into the room at any point in time and disturb. I also wondered what would happen when I really needed the peace and quiet, when I gave birth. Then it occurred to me that I had got too comfortable here and was beginning to feel like I had rights in this house. For a day or two, I sulked and then finally gave it up. I was in Dolf’s house one night and I noticed he had no plans to take me home that night so I called her , J, to say that I would be late and she was extremely cold. I also noticed that she was not nice at any point in time since then and had been like that since then. If she liked she would say a good morning to me, or reply mine, or if she did not like she would walk past , and that’s the way the situation has been. Maybe she thinks I have taken her kindness for granted. To properly understand this story, let me situate it. I had stayed in a spare room in J’s house for about a month before she told me that I would have to move cos the room was for her housemaid. She wanted me to move to her room, which I did, with the understanding that she and I would stay together. Barely 2 days into that arrangement she started sleeping on the couch. I tried hard to get her to the room, and to this day am still uncomfortable with seeing her on the couch but nothing worked. I guess she’s tired and I have gotten too comfortable having the room to myself. It’s just that rest gets more and more important to me as the weeks go by. Oh well, time to move on, I guess.

As for Dolf, I sense that he’s reached his limit as far as this our ‘love’ can go. A few weeks back I was at his house, J was fumigating hers and I needed somewhere to go. He came to pick me up but while there he seemed determined to do everything, and to go out of his way to show me that he does not care for me intimately. I was making lunch for myself, cos I always carry food with me, and he sent an sms that he was on his way home and he was hungry. I gave him part of my lunch when he came and while he was eating I asked if he minded that I was going to change into a small, top. (Pregnant women get incredibly hot at some stage, a lot of my friends have testified to this.) He said I should allow him finish his food first, as though the sight would disgust him. Again, later that day we were talking about my job situation with him asking what happened with the office and so on; it would be the first time he would ask about it. I told him the story and he said maybe they would come back. I answered that they could go to hell for all I cared. He then said, ‘look I can take this risk cos I have no wife who is pregnant for me, no child at home to feed, nothing. You have a baby on the way, no house, no money , no car. You cannot afford to be [nonchalant]. Ok, even if you don’t want to go back what are your plans? Your friend J, and I, and everyone you think you are relying on now can only take you so far, blah, blah, blah, and on he went. As he was speaking I was growing more and more frustrated with the situation, angry that a useless company like that had pushed me to this point of desperation, unhappy that I was so dependent on people and tears just welled up in my eyes and started dropping. As he saw me crying, for some reason he got angry and stopped talking. I tried to explain to him that it had nothing to do with him, but I was just thinking of the general situation but he would have none of it. after, trying to get him to understand for a while to no avail I got angry. We spent the next few hours in silence until he was ready to take me home.

On the way he tried to make me talk to him, but I refused. When I got home, my friend, J, did not think it was safe for me to be in the house because the fumes were still strong.She called him and tried to get him to take me back while explaining the situation, he said he would come back but that he was going out with his friends so I would be alone at his house. She said if I was safe that was not an issue. He called me and said he was coming to pick me up. Later he sent me a bb message that he was going out with several guys and that they were in his friend’s house where he was, so would I stay in his friend’s house? I had only met this friend once so I said no, it was okay, but inwardly I was seething. I knew he felt like I was a hindrance to his plans and that he did not want to be bothered, but I felt wronged especially because, in the past, I had gone out of my way to give him money when I noticed he was broke, to bring food over to his place when I knew he had nothing, to constantly take care of him when things were not so good, business-wise. And now, on something as critical as my health or maybe even my baby’s life, he walked away. It made me feel he was just saying.’ wetin concern me with your wahala?’ Anyway, to cut a long story short, I had to sleep on the porch to avoid inhaling the fumes. The other members of the house all slept in the living room cos the rooms were still too unsafe.

After that I began to avoid him for a while, he noticed, and after unsuccessfully trying to solicit conversations via bb and phonecalls he came to the house late one night and began to apologise for whatever he had done, and ask that I forgive him. I did, and that matter ended. After that we had a long bb conversation where I said we had to lay down rules to this our friendship so no one would get hurt. He agreed but kept breaking all the rules deliberately, just to avoid putting a wedge between us. I shrugged it off and continued as before, but we mended things when there was a fuel scarcity recently, he was flat broke and hungry and I had to go and help him out with some money. Only for him to do something more nasty recently.

So I come home from the hospital, to find the doors locked. I had been struggling with a bout of malaria, or so my doctor thought, and he was worried about it because of my condition, so that morning I went o the hospital which is not far from the house and was given some medication. When I got back to the house everyone had gone out and the doors were locked. The onl person with the keys was J, and because of how she was behaving I could not call for the keys, so I had to look for somewhere else to stay. I then called Dolf to see if he could help out, he agreed and I took a taxi to meet him up. As we were going to his house he told me he was searching for a girlfriend. Inwardly, I wondered why he would tell me such a thing except he had found someone and was trying to hint me me to move over. I however, joked about it and said I would take him to the depot where they kept girls for foolish boys like him. At his house his flatmate was there, I sat down to eat the food I brought – I’m pregnant, sue me- and he sat down beside me probably to eat too. As he did this I raised my feet to plac ethem on the couch but they landed on his laps. The next thing he said was’ Please,don’t let my wife catch you o’. Again we joked about this with me telling his flatmate that I didn’t understand this girlfriend/wife business all of a sudden. Then a friend of his who came in from London, for the holidays, came in to join us. The friend and I apparently have the same taste in music and we hit it off. At some point, the gfriend tells me to ‘balance the equation’ by calling my female friends to join us. That’s when Dolf said what for me was the last straw,’ Don’t tell Joie, he said, all her friends are either 38 or thereabouts or ‘after-one or after-two’. Meaning, my friends were all either single mothers with one (after one) or two children (after two). He said he was joking but I took that seriously for several reasons. He’s met just my friend, J, who IS a single mother. I am older than him by one year, and ‘after one’ is a derogatory way to refer to anyone who has had a child. The way I see it it would only be a matter of time before I become an ‘after-one’ myself, spoiled virtue, discarded trash, if he hadn’t started thinking in those terms. He could tell I was upset but I denied it vehemently. In my mind my decision was clear; the road had closed on this relationship. For what it was worth, I had to leave with at least some part of my dignity intact.

So I stay away now, it hurts when I imagine what I hoped could have been but c’est la vie. Meanwhile I am house-hunting o, with no money. Wish me luck.

Joie

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