I‘ve always had issues with making choices, but this was one of the hardest choices I’ve ever had to make in my entire life. It wouldn’t have been so hard if Funto, my kid sister, was alive.
Funto died in an auto crash on her way to Benin for her second semester at the university. It was tragic! I remember how I tore the T-shirt of the fellow who came to deliver the news at our house. He said he had heard it over the news. Just two days before, I had gone to the market with her to shop for groceries and clothes she was to take to school. We had chatted away about campus life and all the boys whose attention she’d been getting. bei I was already in my fourth year and was glad to finally see my little sister experience all I’d been telling her about the university. Funto couldn’t curtail the euphoria she felt about school; lectures, hostel life, new friends, independence and most especially, a certain boy in her faculty. His name was Andrew. I just kept smiling every time Funto dreamily talked about this boy. Sometimes I coughed teasingly, sometimes I smiled mischievously, and sometimes I even called her ‘Andy’ sarcastically. It was exciting to see my little Funto in love.
Once, I even spoke with this Andy guy over the phone. He seemed nice. I was happy that my sis was making a good choice, but I just hoped she wasn’t moving too fast, since she had just spent a semester at that school. You never know with all these campus boys, you know. Even my Dee wasn’t really a campus boy anymore when I met him. He was already a final year student working on his final project. I was in 200level, second semester. I was wiser by virtue of the things I had experienced in year one in the hands of one of these so called campus boys, Umor. Immature, insensitive and insolent will be understatements to describe my ex-boyfriend. I still remember one conversation we had very vividly. We had a misunderstanding, and then he just started to make unwarranted senseless statements.
‘What’s your problem, Folake? How could you be so stupid?’
I felt terribly insulted.
‘Don’t you ever say that to me in your life again!’, I warned him. He laughed out loud, shaking his head.
‘What if I did? What can you do?’
‘I can’t take this any longer.’ I said, already sobbing. This wasn’t the first time he’d talk to me like that. Anytime he got angry, he just always lost it without control.
‘Oh, you want to start crying now, innit?’, he gave me a leering look, I almost succumbed to the temptation of daring him to hit me.
‘Isn’t that all you do all the time? Go on and cry, little princess!’ he went on sarcastically.
I held back my tears with all the strength I could muster.
‘I want us to break up.’ I said curtly, my teeth clenched.
‘Fine!’ he blurted out. ‘Fine!’ he repeated, as if to convince himself.
‘Fine.’ I said coolly, and started walking towards my hostel, totally conscious of his angry eyes following me.
After crying my eyes sore, and promising not to love again, I received a text message from him the following morning saying he was sorry and he didn’t know what he was thinking…blabla…
He called me later, sent gifts, wrote notes and before long I was back in his arms again. It wasn’t until the long break between 100level and 200level that I finally broke up without going back. I just hoped my sister wasn’t blindly in love like I was then, so once in a while, I managed to chime it in that she should be careful to love with her head too, and not just her heart.
The loss of Funto was a great one to our family of five, turned four. Being the only legitimate child of both mum and dad, it tasted like spoilt egg. Mum, who had often been spited by her in-laws for having just girls and had always prided herself with the fact that her ‘just girls’ were responsible geniuses and worth many times more than a handful of men-children, was particularly devastated. Dad, who openly regarded Funto as his favorite, was broken. Even Biola, my half brother, couldn’t recover from the shock for months. We were all badly affected but that was three years ago. Time had healed our wounds and everyone was moving on. But the effects just won’t wear off of me.
Part of the deal I had with my sister before her demise was that she was going to be my chief bride’s maid at my wedding. It was signed, sealed and…well, almost delivered. I told my friends back then and they all seemed to be fine with it. But again, that was more than three years ago. Whoever knew time could run this fast! My five-year relationship with my Dee was finally heading for the altar. Dami, my heartthrob, had proposed and the wedding date had been fixed for the next six months. Being a natural procrastinator, I had left my choice for bridal train for the following day which never seemed to come. It was too hard a choice to make, so I kept dodging it, hoping that someday, I’d finally settle for someone as my chief bridesmaid and the others will be maids. Don’t be quick to judge me. It comes easy for some, and a lot easier for others, but for someone like me with four amazing best friends, deciding without hurting anyone’s feelings is the hardest thing to do.
So we have Alero Ninma, my sweet friend from high school. Alero was head girl while I assisted, and that was the premise of a friendship that will last forever. We complemented each other perfectly, I’m sure the school authorities must have been so proud of their choice. When we eventually left high school, we were practically legends! We had won every competition our set went for, we had instilled a lot of discipline into the students, we had recorded a drastically reduced rate of misbehavior and we had raised academic standards. Our set was awarded the most outstanding since the inception of the school and everyone was proud of us. Alero and I had decided to apply to the same higher institutions and it seemed like a plan. However, fate had other plans in store for us. The day the admission list of UNILAG was released, Alero came to my house with some juicy news.
‘FK, I’ve been admitted!’, she said excitedly. I rejoiced with her with hope that my dad who had also gone to check for my name will return with similar news.
‘So you will start wearing white and black all over the place now, ehn?’ I said teasingly.
‘Yes o! And I’ll be wearing it proudly sef. E easy?’ she replied, laughing.
We were together till my dad came and though he brought news about my admission; it wasn’t the kind I wanted.