I find myself reminiscing about a childhood friend of mine.
There’s one occasion in particular, when she couldn’t stop raving about this club she’d recently been to “around Lagos”; one that she’d frequent for the weeks to come.
I hadn’t seen her that excited since giving birth to her son. It wasn’t long before she asked me to tag along, but I was reluctant to accept her invitation considering her fondness for the fast life.
Some very unsavory rumors surrounded her during that time. The most prevalent rumor being that she was a prostitute. I chose to completely disregard the gossip.
I also chose to remain oblivious to her sudden cash injection and her subsequent drug addiction, despite being unemployed and receiving no financial assistance from her baby-daddy.
She never disclosed how she got access to so much money and I never bothered to ask. It just wasn’t my place to.
A few months later she was pregnant again and trying to get money for an abortion from her South African lover, but he wouldn’t budge.
According to a text he’d sent her, she was an opportunistic township whore who wouldn’t get a cent from him.
I would’ve consoled her if I wasn’t so repulsed.
Not only did she confess to trying to extort money from the gentleman who was in fact, not responsible for her pregnancy (she wasn’t even sure who was), she was also high on drugs and it was obvious that she hadn’t bathed in some time.
She became more and more self-destructive as the months passed by and I just sat there and watched it all play out in front of me because “it just wasn’t my place” to do or say anything.
My indifference towards her behavior eventually made it impossible for me to associate with her, and she in turn stopped trying to reach out to me.
When I heard she’d died of a drug overdose, I was consumed by immense shame for not having done anything to help her out of that chaos, as a friend ought to.
My heart bled at the thought of her two children being raised by her alcoholic and sexually abusive monster of a father. Thinking about how they’d have to relive the same repressed pain she had harbored for so many years was crippling.
Overcome with guilt, I contacted the authorities for the sake of the two innocents she’d left behind - with the hope that it would somehow also absolve me of my nonchalance to their late mother’s cry for help.