Monday, October 17, 2011

Long time no see straight

Gone are the days when ladies were required to comport themselves with poise while fending off approaches from fervent suitors who bothered to fake a dignified bearing. The 21st century's gat them chasin' that paper - both the ladies and their suitors.

So I had just found a three-year old apology addressed to me. I could have called The Ex: “Hey, remember that drawing book of mine you burnt, way back in 2008? I didn’t know you were sorry but now I know so it’s alright I forgive you.” But I foresaw all the ways that approach could backfire on me.

“Let me go beg her for you now,” offered Angela in a mock Naija accent, when I went to her room many floors above mine to accidentally describe the details of the fix I was in. “After all, she’s our wife.”
A happy couple splitting the work

She seemed to relish the prospect too. I was in luck, considering that I had set my hopes only as low as some good advice (like "Argh, it's been three years, forget about it!") I was all too happy to let Angela make the call. She had been my "lawyer" once in the past, and had done a good job. I think.

As Angela chattered on phone with “Our Ex”, GalPal emerged from nowhere - alright, from an inner room. (Impulsive catching of the breath.) On seeing me, glared daggers. I said hi: "How was rehab? Long time no see straight?" Rolling her eyes, she traipsed over for a spineless handshake. “You know what your problem is?” she said to me as she took a seat, “You’re too nice.” She sneered. "And too slow. Such a turn-off." If I thought my ego was taking damage, she wasn't finished yet. The bombshell: "Do you sometimes obsess about me, Antony? coz I saw your blog."

Angela laughed, betraying that she was no longer on phone. "He has a blog?"

I would have denied that the two had anything to do with my blog, which I didn't even have, but GalPal tore my would-be defense to shreds even before I got to it. "Yeah, in his blog I'm GalPal and you're Angela." She HAD read the blog. Why did I assume it would never be found?!

So I told GalPal rather obliquely that, in my blog, it wasn't her that I obsessed over, it was me.

"But I kinda get it," said GalPal, dismissively, "You like me; but you don't trust me, right? Too bad I don't give a eff!" (Accompanying hand signal.)

I patiently reminded her that she had already given a eff. "One night last semester."

That shut GalPal up, but at great cost. Before she could dream up a retort (tongue-tied by the awesome quickness of my wit as she was), Angela fixed us knowing looks after overhearing the foregoing, smiling like she had swallowed the cat that had been let out of the bag.


Having lost that particular verbal bout, GalPal turned her back on me and got real personal with Angela. Topics of discussion were carefully crafted to exclude me. It became as though I wasn't even there. I think it takes rare skill and a very cold heart to make someone feel like they are not where they actually physically are.
Absent? Present?

And time crawled. My own business with The Ex having been suspended, I couldn't help overhearing whatever else happened to be on the agenda. And they couldn't discuss weaves and high fashion forever. Eventually, GalPal got round to doing what she really came to do, which was apologizing to Angela for stealing her ex-boyfriend (anyone remember QezH?) from her. Strange apology to be making. By all appearances she was being sincere. Still, I nearly choked on a big lump of Incapacity To Believe Her Guts.

According to rules no one has written anywhere but everyone knows, (best) friends do not inherit the exes of (best) friends under any circumstances. It shouldn't matter that the said (best) friends are male or female; bitterness bites nevertheless. Guys just know how to stifle their choking gall better and can thus fake friendship as though it's all cool, when it's really uncool in our heart of hearts and we're waiting with wicked patience for the perfect chance to strike back with cold devastating revenge. Ladies will rub friends forever immediately and/or kill someone same time because that someone is their worst enemy who used to be their best friend. Betrayal brings out our worst inner beast.

Angela said exactly nothing at the end of GalPal's hazard venture. Just stared, blinking regularly. I considered leaving them to their privacy but hey, ringside seat, gimme a break. Besides, they might need a referee anytime now. And it only got more intense because suddenly GalPal cried real tears. And then Angela started crying also, but before she could forgive GalPal, she first unleashed upon her person what Kenyan journalists like to call "a string of epithets." GalPal nodded sheepishly through it all. When all bad feeling had thus been successfully exorcized, the two friends cried some more in each others' embrace.

Even though I said "Hm! Women," my eyes were a bit moist and I was happy for them so I clapped to advocate my happiness about their renewed alliance.
...if only there had been a vuvuzela nearby!

To those two BFF's, I had always been the witness of major events, or sometimes a disposable band-aid, and even a long-term crutch for their testy episodes. They are more like sisters if you ask me. Somehow I held a stake of a sort in their continued alliance.

While they were still hugging, I seized the opportunity to extricate myself from the emotional tangle, crept out while they sobbed, fled from embarrassing questions about the motivations behind my blog and never saw them again to this day.

As I walked down the stairs, I determined that I would talk to The Ex by my own initiative. Apparently, cautious, indirect people are a turn-off for ladies of this generation. They want us to BRING IT ON. Ask GalPal.


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