“All I ever wanted was to turn 23 except I don’t now that tuesday happens to be the ‘D’ day.To be honest,I’m not really excited about it….I…I…”she told me weeping all these while.We were sitted in a bedroom which she happens to share with her niece,technically her’s now that the kids are still in school.She is not the girl I know or rather the girl I’m used to(let’s call her Bernice.)She was busy folding her clothes before I walked into her room.She was happy in a sad way to see me.I could tell from the look in her eyes that she was scared of letting me into her little world not sure if I will fit as she expects me to.
She walked to the closet that was behind the bedroom door.Bernice loved her room tidy because most of the days I came to her placeher room was well kept and even the niece knew that she was to leave that room the way she found it.She opened the closet and arranged the clothes she had folded nicely as well as hunged the rest.All this time I was seated on her bed watching her because I figured she doesn’t know how to multi-task.Every conversation we started we had to pause for a while for her to finish up fixing the room before we could finally commence.”Is there anything else left to do so that I can help you with it,I really wanna get done with this…like real quick.”I asked,”NO!!! NO!! NO!!!,I don’t want tyou to do anything here.You always help me everytime you come here.”Hahahah,we both laughed to that.Finally breaking the ice.
We both stood from the bed and removed all the sheets including the duvets so that we came the bed quickly.We closed the bedroom door so taht we could have a private girl talk.”Come here,I haven’t said hye to you nicely.”She held me close giving me a very tight hug from my back.I could tell she was happy to see me.Suddenly,she started frowning again.I was shocked so I asked why she was so hormonal.”hhahaah,of all the words you had to use hormonal???!”I was only trying to be funny although I know I struggle with that.I’m only good at serious talks but jokes…….naaah!
Bernice looked at me deeply in my eyes,”Sharky.you’ve been my very good friends for the past few years.Ts been like forever with you.”She started sobbing so I moved closer and gave her my shoulder to cry on.”I’m still your friend Bernice,why are you telling me all these???!”I asked.She got hysterical and bursted into tears.’I’ve lost so many friends along the way,I’m not even sure whose really one and whose not.I’m I a bad friend??!’She asked me again.I kept quite this time letting her vent so that I can understand what she was really talking about.
She lifted the hem of her night dress and dried her tears off.She then stretched under her bed where she had a box hidden there.There were several albums,she gave me the cream one.I waited for her to allow me to open or whatever she was all about.She held her brown diary on her had.A gift she recieved from her sister three years ago when she attended a meeting on her behalf at Intercontinental Hotel.
Each page I turned had a display of photos as though collage.I could tell she was very sentimental from how long she looked at each picture,pausing for a while before telling me the story behind it.She took her diary again and told me taht that was wher she wrote all her secrets and everything about everyone who had an impact in her life.
She walked to her closet again and started unhanging her clothes one by one.’What’s the point of going out this tuesday with friends who only look for you when ts time to pop bottles??!I want something different this year.I don’t want to go out this birthday.I don’t want no alcohol.I don’t want no Birthday cake…’She seemed bitter.I still didn’t talk to her as I was still listening to what she was saying.One dress after another,she threw all on the floor.She stared at herself on the mirror for a while as though insecure about something.
“23,23,23 hhereeee I come.You berrrrrra be reeeeady for me coz I’m coming either way!’She shouted herself hoarse above bin.
I could tell that she was ready for a change.All she told me was she was done with so much wrong in her life.Bernice wanted to set a good example to her niece.She told me that she was set to turn a new page of her life by talking to her niece to pardon her for the countless times she witnessed her come home late smelling like brewery.She was wanted not to act ignorant because as much as she knew for sure that her niece might never ask,she wanted to make peace with her past by being sorry to everyone who might have been affected by her mis-conduct in anyway.She felt the burning most on her niece.She really loved her and always wanted the best for her but life made her care less along the way.
Bernice talked to me about salvation.For a while I was taken aback.This was one of the conversations I never saw coming with Bernice.She told me of how much she was tired of these temporary highs of life that never seems to satisfy.Bernice pledged.She went quiet for like twenty minutes.She gave me the rest of the photo albums to go through as she wrote through on her diary.She told me she was tired of writing memories of how she went out,how many boys she has ever dated,who hurt her the most amongst them all,who took her to the most fancy date,who was her most trusted bestfriend and the kind of secrets they shared,who…..
‘Sharky!!! Sharky!!! Shar…..”What!!!Bernice,I’m right here with you.Do you have to shout???!”
“Sorry!! Eiiish!! Usianze feelings apa.Please don’t kill my vibe.I’m not yet done with you.Anyway!!!…I want you to take me outside at the kitchen garden.” She said to me as was walking fast holding my hand as she dragged me down the stairs .They lived in a bungalow house in Buruburu Estate Phase 3.Their house had three bedrooms one big sittingroom and a dining area.Three washrooms two upstairs and one next to the dining area.One spacious kitchen and a pantry size yake tu!
They have a 18months maltese dog which loves people.She locked it in its kennel and took her diary.She dashed in the house to get a matchbox and told me I bare her witness to her salvation.We watched her diary burn to ashes as she sobbed silently.We later on went upstairs.”That’s all I had for you Shar! haha I guess its about time before all my friends figure me out and one by one off they’ll fall from this tree of friendship so I thought that we’d grown.I won’t be surprised if you don’t find me interesting anymore Shar!!”
“All I want for my birthday is to turn a new leaf.Perhaps a small family dinner with afew friends ofcourse who will be willing to come.I want to use my new diary the one I bought yesterday at Naivas when I coming from work in the evening.I want to be writing prayer requests,miracles and what I expect from God.I want to write about my relationship with God.Perhaps be hte next david from the bible,the record keeper.”She told me all these with alot of asurance.
“You’re not alone in this love,”I said to her smiling as I gave her a long tight prolonged hug.
“Ts already 3:30pm,I have to leave for town I have few errands to run for my mum before dusk.Please allow me to bounce for now.”I almost cursed at how fast time had to cut us short but then I remembered her salvation was at work and I wasn’t ready to be the first person to make her sin.
Being on a Saturday,I could never think of any better gift to give Bernice for her birthday come tuesday other than a BIBLE!! I don’t remember Bernice ever mentioning God in any conversations we ever had other that that day.It was easy to assume she never owned one.I never promised her anything considering we never quite finished that conversation we were having.