When her phone started to ring, Judy was busy working on her laptop. She had a deadline coming up and didn’t want to lose time. The phone went on ringing then stopped.
‘I will just call them back later,’ she thought as she continued typing on her keyboard.
But then the phone started to ring again. Irritated, she stood up and walked to where her phone was, on the other side of her small bedroom that doubled as her office. The phone had been connected to a socket to charge. She picked it up and looked at the screen.
“Hey Eva,” she answered the phone feigning excitement.
“Hey you, how are you, I haven’t seen you in like a minute,” Eva said from the other side of the line.
“I am great, just work. What’s up?”
“Nothing much, I just wanted to ask if we can go out this Friday. I haven’t been out in a long time and I crave some afro-beats party, what do you say?”
“I am not sure, I have some deadlines coming up that are keeping me up on my toes so I really can’t promise.”
“Okay, I promise to get out of there before midnight. I really want to check out this new club and I can’t go alone, please, pretty please.”
“Okay, let’s see how these two days go and I will have an answer for you on Friday morning.”
“Cool. See you then.”
“See you then.”
Judy hang up the phone, plugged it back to charge, and went back to her laptop.
That is how the genesis to the ending of their relationship started.
We are sitting at this fancy coffee house near Yaya Centre where Judy likes to hang out. Their mocktails are to die for. I order a frozen apple margarita while she gets a tropical punch. Judy had a friend she loved so much but had to dump her because the friendship had become toxic. She tells me how it all started and how it ended.
They had been inseparable for five years after working together at an entertainment company for six months. At first, they were casual with each other, meeting at work and saying less than ten words to each other as they worked.
“When I first met Eva, I thought she was a dull workaholic kind of girl who was too serious for life,” Judy tells me, smiling.
Her big smile fills up her face. Anyone in a 20 Kilometer radius can see her smile. She is one of those women who smile more in their lives than frown.
“When did you start hanging out?” I ask her.
She sips her mocktail, her face is in a full concentration of her past life. I can tell she is busy rolling back the curtain.
“After working six months together, we parted ways. But then we met at another function and ended up sitting together. We talked all through the event. When it was over she invited me to another one she was managing the following Saturday. I went and the rest is history. We became inseparable. I met her family, she met mine. We hang out together every chance we got.”
“So what happened?” I ask.
Judy takes another sip of the mocktail.
“I got a permanent one year contract that took most of my free time away, this meant that we could not see each other as frequently as we were used to,”
“Did that change your friendship?”
“For some time it did not change a thing, but then I became too busy that Eva started hanging out with some ladies who love to party.”
“Did that make you jealous?”
“At first yes, but since I was too busy, I totally understood. So I let her have fun without me. But then she started inviting me to go out with the other ladies.”
Eva would call Judy at weird hours of the night to ask her if she could join them at a specific club where they were having fun. Most of the time, Judy would turn down the invitation and continue with her work or sleep, but other times, she would get dressed and join them.
All was going well until one day in the evening while working from home, Judy receives a call from Eva.
“She asks if I can take her out that coming Friday, and even though my gut tells me no, I agree to take her out.”
Friday arrives. Judy takes an Uber to Eva’s place, which is like thirty minutes’ drive away. She finds her not ready but excited for the night. They dress up and leave the house at around 8 pm.
“I have missed this,” Eva says, “You have been very busy of late and I miss going out with you.”
“I am sorry Eva, I wish I could do this more often with you but work has been intense of late.”
“It’s okay, I understand.”
“So tell me, any guy in the picture?”
“Unfortunately no, these guys are nice for one night but that’s it” Eva turns and smiles at a guy across the room, “speaking of them, I have my eyes on one. Let’s go to the dance floor.”
“I am not drunk enough to dance Eva, let me enjoy the drink first. Also, I had no idea you are into onetime situations now?”
“Well… a girl got needs,” she says while throwing glances at the guy, “Come on! Let’s go dance.”
Even after going out Judy still wasn’t feeling that day’s vibe so she asks Eva to give her a few more minutes to drink. Usually, they would hit the floor after the first glass of whatever they were having but not today.
“Suit yourself,” Eva says as she stands up and joins some girls on the floor. The guy she is smiling at stands up and joins her on the floor. Judy sits at the corner and watches the scenery unfolds in front of her.
It’s 12:30 am. Eva had agreed that they will get back home at 12:00 because Judy has an early morning meeting. Judy looks at her watch then turns to look at Eva on the floor. She doesn’t look like someone who is about to stop anytime soon. In fact, she is surrounded by two guys dancing with her. The guys look more like they are pouncing on her than dancing. She has been too engaged with her phone to notice that her friend is totally drunk and is now being hunted by hungry men on the floor. She stands up and walks to the floor.
“Eva, we need to leave,” she shouts at her.
“What?” Eva shouts back.
“I said we need to leave,” she pushes past one guy and takes Eva’s arm who jerks it off.
“Come on!! It is still early.”
“You heard her,” the guy who has been pushed aside quips and moves back to grinding Eva’s back, “she does not want to leave,”
“Maybe you should join us,” another guy appears and hold’s Judy’s waist in an attempt to push her forward so he has access to her backside (the Jamaican twerking move.)
“Don’t touch me!” Judy turns and pushes the guy away, then she turns back to Eva, “Come on Eva, let’s go, it is getting late,”
“You go, I will be fine, I don’t need you to babysit me and if you don’t want to have fun, you can leave,”
“You either join us or leave us alone,” the third guy says, “you are spoiling this moment and she has made it clear she doesn’t need you,”
“Leave her alone,” Judy tries to push the guy in front of Eva away but then he pushes her so hard she falls on her butt.
Judy is angry, exhausted, and panicking now. There is no way she is leaving her friend (even though she is pissed off) with those hyenas. She walks back to her seat and tries to think of a solution.
“What did you do next?” I ask. Her face has turned red, and she seems to have traveled back to that moment.
“I stood up and went to the bouncer at the door. I explained my situation and gave him the most innocent face I could muster. I told him that my girlfriend was in danger and very drunk and since I was alone, I could not fight those three men. Stone-faced, he tells me no, but I plead with him hinting that I only have a thousand shillings. He goes quiet for a moment, then agrees to help me. I get an Uber and as it’s on its way, he goes and takes Judy, after an altercation with those men. He carries her like a baby and takes her out. I follow them while looking back to make sure them boys are not following us. He drops her at the backseat of the Uber, takes the money, and warns me to never go to a club without a bodyguard.”
“You are such a good friend,” I tell her, she rolls her eyes.
“I was barely keeping my cool. I had thought of leaving her there severally but the guilt would not be worth it,” she says. Her smile is back.
Does the story end there? I know that is what you want to know. You are curious to know if that is how they ended their relationship. Nope. There is more. And if you have just joined us, Judy is telling us how she dumped her best friend.
So Judy takes Eva home. It is a quarter to three. She is exhausted, and she can’t stop thinking of her morning meeting and the project she was supposed to finish tonight. She decides she will drop Eva, make sure she is okay then take the same Uber to her place.
“You are such a party pooper,” Eva slurs in the silent ride home.
Judy looks at her but says nothing.
“You know you didn’t have to spoil my fun, you should have left me there, I am not your responsibility,” Judy remains silent.
They arrive at Eva’s place and Judy asks the driver to wait for her as she takes her friend to the house.
“Where are you going?” the driver asks.
“Buruburu phase two,” Judy answers.
“I am sorry madam, but huko ni mbali tu sana mimi siendi. I am actually done for the night”
Judy has no choice but to pay up and take Eva to the house. She opens the house, leads her friend to the bedroom, undresses her, and tucks her in. She then goes to the bathroom and brings a bucket then places it beside the bed. Since she knows the house well, she looks for extra bedding, settles herself on the couch, and sets her alarm to 5 am. She is so pissed off, that sleep takes some time to come.
When her alarm wakes her up, she is disoriented. She wants to get in the kitchen to look for coffee but time will not allow her. She carefully tiptoes to the bedroom to check on Eva, who is spread on her bed like an eagle, dead asleep. Judy walks back to the sitting room and orders an Uber. As she waits for the ride, she gets a sticky note and writes these words.
“It has been great knowing you Eva. We have been friends for long and I will always cherish what we had. But now I feel we are on two different journeys and have to part ways. Take care. Love always, Judy.”
Over the note, she puts the spare key given to her by Eva.
The ride arrives, Judy opens the door slowly and locks it carefully. She doesn’t look back as she gets inside the cab.