21 Feb Friendship Series- The Lone Ranger by Otin Babine
I seem to always have the worst luck when it comes to friendships. From my supposed older “friend” who spilled my secrets to the entire staff-room, to my agemates who made me think less of myself and threatened to spill my secrets, to those who actually spilled my secrets, and finally to Frank. Before I met Frank, I had been completely content in my state of friendlessness. It was not like I did not have people to talk to–I had a few acquaintances but I was a lone ranger, a happy one at that. However, on the suggestion of Susan, I decided to give the boy-girl close platonic friendship a chance and that was around the time I met Frank.
I met Frank at an event; a basketball tournament that a church member, who happened to be one of the players, had begged me to attend and I immediately noticed his jovial nature as he was seated beside me and kept on making funny remarks. He was tall, dark and had the fullest hair I had ever seen on a guy. I unconsciously laughed at one of his jokes and he winked at me. At the end of the event, he collected my number and we kept on texting on whatsapp till he decided that it was time to meet again at the same park we met, since I had been disturbing him to turn me into a basketball pro. He fulfilled his promise of teaching me how to play basketball that day, and despite the fact that when it was time to leave I still had not shot any hoops, Frank encouraged me with his light hearted jokes. For a girl with only negative experiences of close friendships, having someone that was not a member of my family willing to encourage me made it easy for me to decide that Frank was going to be the male best friend Susan had encouraged me to have.
Due to our weekly basketball practices, Frank and I got very close and soon, we knew everything about each other. Frank was the perfect friend to me except for his predilection for the word “shut up”. I soon discovered that Frank belonged to the group of guys who believed that women’s opinions were invalid once it did not coincide with theirs. This, coupled with my mother’s warnings about men like that, was not enough to reduce the intensity of loyalty and love that I felt towards him. Besides, we rarely disagreed on issues; we were perfect for each other. Or so I thought
I was blinded by the promise of a secret keeper and a sadness binder. I admit it, I was selfish; I expected him to be all of that to me without getting anything in return. But then again, I was naive enough to actually believe that our friendship was enough settlement. Oh, was I wrong! I found out on a windy Thursday afternoon when Frank invited me over to his house.
When I got there, I hugged him then I plaited his long hair and we talked about a lot of silly things. As we talked, I noticed that his gaze was directed at my lips but I overlooked it, thinking he was one of those who lipread to understand faster(even though in all our past face-to-face meetings, it had never happened). Frank got up from his seat and ordered me to dance, in the same tone that he had used to order me to shut up in the past, and my heart beat quickened. I got up and playfully swayed my body from side to side, although I was guarded. Frank excused himself to another room and returned shortly after, asking why I was not dancing well. As he asked, his younger brother walked out of the same room and left the house, but not without giving me a knowing glance that triggered alarm bells in my head. We were alone except for the dogs and his little sister. This warning had set off alarms that caused my eyes to spin and my head to pound.
Frank forced me to dance with my back facing him and he kept on trying to kiss me. As punishment for my reluctance, he dug his long nails into my veins and refused to let me go till I forcefully dragged my lips and body away. I knew that if I had not done that, he would have raped me because I could already feel his member rising through his shorts. I left under the pretense of picking a friend with a promise to return. Of course, I never did.
I do not know which hurts more–the fact that he betrayed my trust or the fact that he did not even apologise for his actions. Asides accusing me of not returning, Frank did not say another word to me. Till this day, we have not spoken to each other. I am now fully convinced that he saw our friendship as a joke, just like he saw every other thing in life as one.
This phenomenon called “friendship” has once again proven itself to be an unnecessary emotional roller coaster that always ends up hurting the weaker person the moment trust enters the picture. But what is friendship without trust? Nothing. What then do I need a close “friend” for? So the next time you see that lone ranger, rather than call her a loner, look at her with a little more respect. She knows what she is doing.
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