I got a mail in my mail box associated with this blog from someone asking me to share her story. Apparently, she contacted me through the Contact Me page of this blog because the email says so, but after reading the mail, it got me sadder as all i could think of was my friend Nana, who passed on some years ago. Even though its been years, it’s as fresh as yesterday. Maybe it is the right time for me to write this farewell message to her i guess.
Whenever this song ”Forever young” by American rapper Jay Z plays, it brings all the memories of Nana back to me and my eyes always get misty, no matter how happy i was before the jam came on. I recalled when i first heard about the death of Nana,( my classmate in secondary school ), how she was involved in a fatal car crash and just like that she was gone. She was traveling to Kaduna (a state in the central part of Nigeria) to begin her registration process after gaining admission into the university.
If tears could bring her back from death she would be here with us now. Its been years and I still feel like it happened yesterday. I see every details of her face, her smile, her grins and all the troubles we got into at the boarding house. I have come to realize that our loved ones live on in our hearts and will never go away. Time might lessen the pain but never the loss. Goodbyes and farewell is the hardest word so say sometimes in life.
When I received this mail few days back, i was broken again that very moment and with the writer’s request I share her story and farewell message to her departed friend. Maybe one or two lessons could be learnt from it. Being a lifestyle blog, posts/articles like this are permitted. So here goes her farewell story….
– Today makes it 3 years since Faith my childhood friend left me. Only she never lived up to that name.
We went to same primary school. Her parents were doing well. Her father was a business man, her mother was working with the Nigerian Ports Authority and running a pharmaceutical store by the side (she’d read pharmacy in the university). Faith being the last child lacked absolutely nothing as a kid. She got away with practically everything then. Her parents got her any toys she wanted and she could do no wrong. She was a late baby and her immediate elder brother was older by 12 years (I kid you not). Her elder siblings treated her same. She was living the life any child our age including I could only dream of.
I had this longing (not envy) to just be in her shoes, because my parents treated me no different from my other siblings, nothing special. As we proceeded to secondary school tragedy struck, Faith lost her dad, and the mother got so sick and couldn’t let go of the death and in about 6 months or thereabout she also joined her husband. In a year my friend lost both parents. Some people believed the tragedies were spiritually manipulated and orchestrated (the superstitious thoughts of some Africans when such evil befall a family so sudden).
Her elder siblings tried to be there for her but they couldn’t take the place of the parents. There was no will left behind by their parents. The oldest child was mentally retarded from birth, the next was irresponsible, the 3rd was a lady, had always taken up the responsibilities as the eldest and acted as the parents in place of the two elderly ones.
Due to the absence of a will, the fathers’ family came into the tussle and kicked out all the kids. Accordingly to them, a girl cannot be in charge of their brother’s properties, it was against their culture and tradition (Eastern Nigeria). They moved them to a flat in one of the houses owned by their late father. A once happy and bubbling family that lacked nothing became beggars with everyone fending for himself and herself. The siblings started drifting apart in search of survival. The family was torn apart by deaths, lost forever.
I was sent to a boarding school far away, my parents relocated and I lost all contact with Faith and my other childhood friends.
I got a Facebook friend request and a message from her in 2008, I was happy we reconnected on Facebook and I told her I was presently doing my National Youth Service Corps (nysc) at Abuja, coincidentally she was living in Abuja. She invited me to come see her one weekend at her house. I went and was amazed at her apartment. She was living a fabulous life in Abuja, she had 2 cars, she was living in a posh and very serene environment. I was happy and I asked where she worked and how did she manage to pull through school after all that happened?
She paused and told me she is a prostitute, she didn’t finish her secondary education and this was all she could do to survive. She told me she was ashamed to contact me all these years but she always heard news about me and the path my life had taken. She didn’t want to soil me by contacting me. She told me she has lost her eldest brother and also one of her sisters is presently having mental problem. She told me so many many bad tales that happened to them after the death of her parents.
My eyes were wet with tears as my lost but found friend narrated everything she’d gone through in life. She tired to sound okay n normal but deep down me i could tell she wasn’t happy but trying to act strong. I cried for the childhood she lost, the opportunities, the unrealized dreams, the never birthed potentials and the never discovered talents she had to offer to the world. I asked if there was any way I could help her, at least to leave trade and start a business, learn a skill or anything? Because the only way here is down the hills and all she said was ‘’just pray for me sometimes because I am lost already”.
My service year came to an end in October and i moved back to Lagos in November.
One Sunday evening while watching a Mexican soap opera, i got a call from an unknown number after some few introduction, i remembered I’d met her the day i went to see Faith in her apartment somewhere in Jabi area of Abuja. Even though it was a surprise and while still thinking why she was calling, she dropped the bomb shell that Faith is gone! Before I could ask further by what she meant, she stated clearly that Faith is dead….
My phone fell off my hands and my mouth wide open like someone trying to pronounce the alphabet ”O”. Probably she overheard the phone falling off my hands and knowing fully well i could be in shock, she sent a text message of how Faith insisted she got through to me if anything happened to her. I called her back the following day to inquire what really happened, only for her to say Faith died from drug overdose.
I have only heard of top Hollywood celebrities who have died by drugs overdose and for the very first time in my life, a Nigerian, a friend of mine just passed on to the great beyond in same manner.
It’s been 3 years since I lost my friend to the cold hands of death and I am still grieving and writing this farewell message still breaks my heart to pieces.
I know she was tired and ‘d lost all hope, I called her Sunshine but she refused to be one, she believed she was fallen, not worthy of being called my friend, She was fighting so many battles, all in her mind and refused to take my hands. She refused to see herself through my eyes (the eyes of a friend). She refused to believe I see my friend and not a prostitute when I look at her. She refused to rise above it all. Why Sunshine? I never judged you and found you wanting. Why did you think death was better than the sun?
I miss you girl. This is my farewell message to you. Keep resting on my friend.
from your friend,