The friendship that never was

Ever had a friend who you wish you had never met in your life? Ironically, in your time of friendship you had wished you met her earlier. She was there for you. You were always together. If you were alone, people would ask, “Where is your twin today?”

Well, if you have such a friend, Esther will flash the red flag on you. She has had a bitter experience with a certain Monica.

Esther met Monica in a women’s development group, locally known as chama. A mutual friend had invited them to join and they seemed to click immediately. Their opinions on the chama ongoings agreed. They entertained each other by gossiping fellow women.

“Is this the chairlady? The MP’s wife? What did he see in her?” Monica whispered in Esther’s ear.

“I know right! I was wondering the same! She looks older than the MP!” Esther replied.

“And that treasurer looks like running away with all the money!” Monica said quietly.

Esther laughed and hi fived Monica. “She looks suspicious. Always talking about contribution deadlines!” She added.

They exchanged numbers and chatted on and the friendship blossomed. They ascended to the next level of gossiping their own husbands.

“Mine, lasts like a cock! One minute he is in, the other minute he is deep asleep leaving me with a “What just happened?” feeling.” Monica would say and they would break into a loud guffaw.

“Wah!Wah! Monica don’t even remind me. Mine’s the size of a toothpick. Then you will hear him say, ‘Darling I want to smash you with this hammer!’ Silently I ask myself ‘Hammer really? More like a small nail!” Then they would shrill in laughter again.

“Essy dear, I need to hang up now. The kids are almost coming and I haven’t prepared a snack for them.” Monica said. Esther was also busy, she had a report to finish by the end of the day at the office so they said their goodbyes. They planned to meet the next day.

They always kept time and this day was no different. They met at The Coffee place, their usual meeting point. Monica\’s sister-in-law was at home so she would take care of the children.

“Let her make up for all the food she eats in the house. Some baby sitting will do her good!” She said. Something distracted Esther. It was her friend, Josh who worked in the County offices. He was accompanied by a friend. Monica turned to what had caught her friend’s eye. The men approached them. They introduced each other. Josh’s friend was a colleague. He was the Head Procurement Officer in the County office.

” Please have a seat next to us.” Monica offered. The gentlemen pulled chairs next to them and the four had a chat. The chat became business. The ladies saw an opportunity and grabbed it. By the time they were saying their goodbyes, they had already made a business deal with the high profile men.

They agreed that because she was less busy, Monica would do most of the work. She would have to visit the Procurement Officer more times and compile all necessary documents herself. Esther would help out where need be. She was rather busy at her workplace.

However, Zack, Josh’s friend had other plans. He did not want to transact any business with Monica. He preferred Esther. At one time he called Esther and asked for photocopies of some papers he needed.

” You know Monica can easily do that,” she said.

“I know but there is something about that woman that I don’t like. I prefer to deal with you.” He replied.

” She is my friend and very efficient in her job Zack. I am a bit busy right now.” She persisted.

” Well, looks like you do not want to do business with the county. It was you two who requested for a deal, not me.” He said, ire in his voice.

Esther had no choice. She wanted the business deal so bad.She and Monica had to succeed on this. She would have to work long hours and have sleepless nights. She needed the money to help her husband pay off a loan he had been granted to pay for their son’s cancer treatment two years ago. Even with an enormous bill to pay, their son had succumbed. It had left them devastated. He was their only child.

She agreed to meet him whenever he asked, but only for a formal meeting. She was a happily married man so he better not have any evil thoughts. He said he was not interested in her in that way. He just did not like Monica. So they met often to sign this and that.

One Monday morning saw her rush to Zack’s office to present some papers to him.

“Mmhh…so you two have decided to throw me out of the deal,huh?” It was Monica standing on the doorway of Zack’ s office. Esther looked at the menacing look on her friend’s face.

“Monie, you have got it all wrong…” She said.

“Have I really? Tell me then why is it that you are here, am I not the one who is supposed to do what you are doing? Ain’t you supposed to be working at your office?” Her voice rose higher by each second. On sensing danger, Zack rose up from his chair. He would have none of the drama. He took Monica’s hand and pulled her out at the parking lot. Monica was vexed.

“You will regret for doing this to me Esther!” Monica shouted as she entered a taxi. Esther looked at Zack iratedly. “You did not have to mishandle her like that!” She hissed as she walked towards the parking lot to her car.

“You are a special woman, you know that. If I were you I would not defend her. She is not worth it.” Esther glared at Zack who was following her. “What do you mean?” She asked.

“Well, lend me your ears for just a minute. Monica came to my office the day after we made our pact at The Coffee Place and asked me to join her in taking you out of the deal. She said you had money and was just greedy to want more. I laughed and told her off.” Esther stared at Zack incredulously. She entered her car and banged it, driving off in anger. Zack was speaking gibberish. Monica would not do that!

She tried to call Monica several times but she would not pick her calls. Then a colleague called her and urgently told her to check her Facebook account.She stopped the car and checked as advised. She was astounded when she saw Monica’s malicious post.

Friends, I wish to inform all who know me and Esther that we have broken up. I am a principled woman who cannot tolerate to see a woman cheating on her faithful husband with one Zack Mapesa who works at the county office. I have tried to warn her several times but she insists on eating the forbidden friut.Today I caught them pants down! I am in tears. I have lost a friend to the devil! Put me in your prayers!

Esther could not believe what she was reading. Why did she choose to be this dishonest? She read the comments and to her surprise,she realized that Monica had engaged in gossipping her even before this. Not with comments such as,

Well,did you not tell me that her husband owns a toothpick, maybe this Zack owns a real hammer!

Esther turned around. She was not going to Monica’s anymore. She would go home and have a good cry. But she did not get to enter her own house. Her suitcase,full of her clothes was waiting at the gate. She called her husband . He did not pick her call. He replied with an audio text. She listened.

“I was happy when our son passed on…”

It was her voice. She was beyond shock when she realised what Monica had done. She had sent the clip to her husband. She imagined the pain he must have felt when he heard her saying that she was glad that their son had died. Monica had failed to sent the whole clip.

She remembered the conversation they had had over the phone,over a year ago . She had said that she was happy that their son had died after suffering so much. She had told Monica that death was better than the endless agony Kyle went through in his last days. That is what her husband should have heard.

Esther was befuddled that Monica had been recording their calls. She then knew that there was more to come! They had shared a lot! And Monica was doing a great job at exaggerating and tarnishing her name.

Monica sure did her job well. She made Esther lose not only her husband but many friends. She could not hide her face anywhere in the town . Word had even spread that she had killed her own child! It was so atrocious that she had to take a transfer . She decided to start afresh.

She knew she could not trust again. She had made that terrible mistake with Monica. She turned a new leaf and made pledges to herself. No more sharing secrets. No more sharing intimate stories. No more gossiping. No more minding other people’s businesses. No more hating. No more best friends!

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