Do you know how it feels when you are cornered with no leeway of an escape, yeah. That’s how you’re feeling today, impotent with not a tad of a way out. Chep, you and Jafari’s mutual friend, has been badging you about coming clean. She swore to tell him if you didn’t because she doesn’t appreciate being put in compromising positions. She abhors you, labelled you an egocentric despicable human, which isn’t far from a fact, you deserve what’s coming your way so you have to tolerate her sneers at the office. She gave you a two day ultimatum, after which she would take the initiative, as of now you have an hour. The only two alternatives you have; let her tell on you and watch everything fall to pieces or be the bigger person, and again watch everything fall to pieces. The only variation being if you go with the latter – things will break, yes, but there’s a flicker chance they might not shatter. So here goes nothing.
It’s Sunday. Jafar taps the ash from the end of a burning menthol cigarette sticking from his fingers, the other hand sits in the pocket. A tall man, stubble on his face, shaggy hair and puffy undereyes – a little under the weather. Looks like he hasn’t been taking care of himself lately. You are sipping a can of White Cap beer. You guys saunter through the neighborhood, a cluster of kids frolic about – childhood in all its glory, worrying about nothing but snacks mom would bring from work and someone blowing into their sharpener. A few metres away there’s a hullabaloo. “Manager wa lodging gani? Na itabidi umelipa ya jana,” a scantily dressed woman manhandles a man outside a rusty gate; his shirt collar gathered in her fist, his hands clamped together as if to beg. You both let out maniac laughs because why not. Jafar in particular knows how miserable it feels chasing payment for a service offered so he instinctively sides with the woman. You prod him away, if you didn’t he’d watch out the whole altercation play out.
“You guy my guy, just hypothetically, do you think you hold things to heart?” You ask Jafari trying to gauge his mindset.
“I don’t know bana, depends on what’s at stake,” he tepidly replies in a ruspy voice telegraphing years of literal smoke, you know, like the Dave Chappelle voice.
“Let’s say someone messes with your wife he-he, like just hypothetically”
He gazes at you, rubs his moustache as if in deep thought and goes, “In that case then yes, I’ll take it to heart because she’s my person man, my teammate.” Pauses, he adds, “I don’t appreciate the example though. Sheila and I have been having some problems, after 8 years i’m just not cutting it for her anymore. Business is bad man, I filed bankruptcy last month and I think she’s seeing some other guy. Juzi on my birthday she surprised me, niulize aje?”
He titters preposterously and says, “She surprised me by not being there, she spent the night away.”
A palpable moment ensues, your body tauts up as you struggle concealing a perturbed face. You’ve known Jafari for the longest time, you have been friends since freshman year, you’ve picked each other up when it’s shitty and still right hand men a decade later. So yeah, you are cognizant there has been strife in his marriage. So you do the only thing you could do in instances like this and say, ‘Waaah.’ Partly because you are a clown, majorly because you are heavily involved.
He grabs his ringing phone from his pocket, “Hello Chep, I haven’t heard this voice in a while…” He glances at you, “Errr, yes we can talk.”
After what seems like eternity a dejected Jafari hangs up, sighs and gazes down. A lump forms in your throat, a cloud of poignance lurks. In a minute, you – the traitor who hits others when they’re down will face retribution. Your mind opens up from its stupor. A relation imminently about to receive a massive dent, it already has, the mileage that friendship had soaked was about to be wrung out. Yes, on the night of Jafar’s birthday, his wife was gracing your sheets, you have been having an affair with her and not because she has an inducing waistline, not even for her arresting booty, not because of her syrupy tone and cock sure her availability didn’t feed into it. You did it because you’re a … I didn’t catch that. What did you say again? Makes sense. You did it because you’re a B**CH.