I was never the fun kid growing up. I always had my head buried in a book, caught up in a different world. This was probably why my friendship circle was unusually small for a child. It was a miracle, but I had a childhood best friend- Mmesomachi. Our friendship was very peculiar, more of a long-distance relationship. We only saw each other at Sunday School. During our break time, we would stand in the hallway, hugging and yelling so much information at each other, eager to make up for the time we lost during the last week before we parted ways again. And after Sunday school, we would also scream our goodbyes as our parents dragged us to their cars.
One day, my family and I went to visit my aunty Udo who lived on a different street. Aunty Udo was my favourite because she filled my little hands with candy whenever we went to visit her. As I came down from my mother’s car that day and walked towards her front door, I heard my name. It seemed to float in the air, high-pitched and excited. My eyebrows rose in surprise as I looked around. I heard my name again. It was coming from an upstairs window in the next house and sounded like the shriek of a little girl. I looked and saw a little figure waving frantically at me from the window.
“It’s Mmesoma!” she screamed, jumping and waving. I gasped. No way. “Mmesoma!” I squealed, doing a little dance with my hands. Why haven’t I seen her before? I wondered. “Who’s that?” my aunt asked, squinting in the sun to get a clear view. I glanced at Mmesoma and looked back at my aunt, contemplating if to let her in on this secret. I’ll keep this to myself, I thought. “That’s my friend from church,” I explained, squinting at my aunt. Mmesoma stopped waving. I gulped. This wasn’t good.
“Can you come down and play?” I called at Mmesoma. “No, I can’t,” she replied, her voice was low this time. I rubbed my palms together and looked down at my little shoes, disappointed. “Okay, bye. See you at church.” I said. She didn’t reply. I turned and walked away; my shoulders slumped as tears formed in my eyes.
That was the last time I saw Mmesoma before my family moved away. Sometimes, I wonder if I had called her my best friend that day, maybe she would’ve come downstairs and played with me.