Chapter eight has arrived. In this chapter, I thought I would just give a little insight into the past and how it affects the present situation.
“And how does that make you feel?” The psychologist asks after I tell her everything that has occurred in the last couple of weeks. She sits across the table with a pen and paper on the table, so far she hasn’t written anything down, she has just been listening to me talk. It took me two days to work up the courage to finally come here. When I got here, the first thing I had done was apologise however she was just thrilled that I showed up again since she considered our situation a high priority. I am glad I actually came, talking to someone has made me feel a lot better.
“I feel betrayed!” I utter in a defeated tone. “This whole situation is a mess. All I ever wanted was a boyfriend who would love me and care for me you know. Someone to call ‘bae’, chat with into the late night and someone who would hold me when I was feeling lonely.” A tear hangs on my right eye.
“You know, in high school I decided not to date. I thought it would be a great idea to just focus on my books and do well. That way I would be able to get into this university and find an amazing guy here who would be the one. James took that away from me, he robbed me off my virginity. How is any other guy supposed to love me when I’m just used goods? I certainly wouldn’t date me after this ordeal. Can you imagine? Keeping yourself pure for two decades to only taint yourself in a few minutes of desperation?”
The psychologist nods her heard every few seconds while she writes in her notebook. She has a poker face. I want her to tell me that it’s ok, that it’s going to work out but she only occasionally looks up to affirm that her attention is solely directed at me. My heart feels heavy as I realise that twenty years of purity mean absolutely nothing after one night night. If only Ndi had reported the bastard.
“And I still can’t believe that Ndi did not report him,” I continue as I turn my attention to Ndi, “What she did was reckless. If only she had spoken up, I would have never associated myself with James. How could she do this to me? She’s my sister and sisters never keep secrets from each other yet she conveniently left out James in her dating history. In Matric she once talked about a guy she was crazy about but after two weeks, she completely went silent about him. I’m guessing that was James.”
“And did you notice any change in her behaviour afterwards?” The psychologist asks curiously. She looks like a detective who has found a crucial clue in a case. I think about it briefly before the dots start connecting.
“Well,” I start in an uncertain voice, “She became more reserved after those two weeks. She spoke less and would often jump a bit when we tried hugging her. I really didn’t notice this things until my other friend enquired about her odd behaviour. I brushed it off as that time of the month.”
“Maybe that is why she didn’t tell anyone.” The psychologist responds.
“What?” I ask while raising my eyebrow. Is this woman trying to put the blame on me.
“Well, as a best friend. You are supposed to notice this behaviour changes and ask about them, find out what’s wrong with her and make yourself available to her. How is your relationship with Ndivuwho?” The psychologist asks. I pause a bit before answering. This can’t be my fault, I’m the victim here.
“Uhm, Ndi and I have being friends since high school. When I moved to her school in grade ten. I was shy, well I am still shy, and on the third day of the school year, I was sitting behind a class next to this huge tree that hid me well from the playground. Ndi and some other girls were passing by when Ndi spotted me. She told the girls she would catch up with them and then came and greeted me. She asked if I was new in the school while sitting next to me. It was the first time anyone had ever talked to me since I got to the school.” I smile as I spoke.
“We started talking. She is the most caring person I have ever met. She helps me with school work, she is always there when I need a shoulder to cry on even though she knows everyone and helps everyone, she is always there when I need her.” I frown as I realise that I was too harsh on Ndi the other day.
“Have you been a good friend?” The psychologist asks.
“Pardon?” I enquire, a bit confused at her question. Did I not just explain myself?
“You have told me everything Ndi does for you but what about you, what have you done for Ndi? Does she ever come to you when she needs a shoulder to cry on?”
“Nonsense, Ndi is the strongest person I know,” I respond enthusiastically, “That girl doesn’t cry. She takes everything that comes her way like a warrior. My friends and I often call her superwoman because she is so strong, not letting anything bring her down. If you were the psychologist in high school, she probably would have taken your job!” I chuckle as I look down. “I love her to bits.”
The psychologist nods her heard as she continues writing. I stare at her in silence until she finishes. She looks up at me, leans back on her chair then thinks for a moment while playing with the pen in her hand. She sighs a bit, looking like someone who is arguing with themselves in their heads. She finally nods once, leans forward while resting her arms on the table then her gaze pierces my eyes.
“I don’t think you are a good friend.” She says sternly, I am taken aback. Is this woman crazy? She continues, “You have told me everything Ndi has done for you but in the years you have known her. You have never done anything for her. You blame her for not speaking out but this is as much your fault as it is her’s, if not more you.” She briefly pauses, gulps a large dose of air and says, “I’m sorry to say this but you and Ndi are in a parasitic relationship.”
“But Ndi is not a parasite.” I spit back, getting angry at her conclusions. How could she accuse the most selfless person I know of being a parasite?
“I wasn’t talking about Ndi. I mean you. You are the parasite. A parasitic relationship is characterised by one person, in this case you, benefiting from the relationship to the detriment of the other, in this case Ndi. That is why she never told you about James. The relationship is out of balance. She took on the role of the mother and you became the child and she always felt the need to protect you and take care of you.”
“But that can’t be it. We are good friends, she takes care of me because she loves me and I also take care of her.” I quietly say as I realise that the psychologist is right.
“I have seen it a million times. Let me guess, Ndi is generally a nice girl. She never says anything that would hurt her. If you two fight, she is always the first to apologise, she has never said no and she is always available?”
“She is a people pleaser Angela. This are the characteristics of people who have unconsciously made it their life mission to keep everyone happy. This of course is not possible, however they try anyway and in trying to keep everyone happy, they themselves become miserable. The reason Ndi did not tell you is because she is your care taker, you see her as this strong woman who never breaks down and she did not want to taint that image you have of her.”
“So I am the monster in this?” I say as the tears burst out. “I have being so self centered that I forgot that she is also human, that she also gets hurt. I even abandoned her when she needed me the most.” I say in between sobs as I realise what I have done. I get up, grab a tissue from the table, wipe my tears and apologise to the psychologist.
“I’m sorry, I have to go fix this!” I rush out of her office and head straight for Ndi’s place.
What are your thoughts? Think you understand Ndi more? Does this excuse the fact that she never reported James? Comment below