By Akandu Sarah Chinenye
I was never a psychopath until life turned me into one. I’m not insane but ‘sanity’ seems to be gradually fleeing away from me. Life has taught me that true friendship does not exist. The so-called friends around you are only interested in pulling you down and watching you fall with a great thud like an earthquake. I have lost, I have learnt and I have realized that I am alone in this entire world.
‘Friend’ is a mere title that holds no obligation and ‘trust’ is an emotion that has gone in extinct ever since Ada swept through my life like a hurricane and ruined it. Now my heart knows nothing but hate for everyone around me.
Pay heed! For this is the story that has turned me into the monster that I have become this day. For I once had a beautiful viper as a friend.
Ada and I have been friends for over a decade. We shared virtually everything together; joys, pains, sorrows… She was like the sister that I never had and I was thankful to God that she came my way. I was from a wealthy home, I had everything I needed in abundance. I had an elder brother by the name Victor, he was away in London studying medicine, Victor was ten years older than I was because my mum suffered from secondary infertility, it took a long while for her to get pregnant after giving birth to my brother, and after giving birth to me, she decided to give it a rest. Victor was hardly ever around, and as a result of that, I got the kind of treatment given to an only child. Eventhough I had everything I needed, it never got into my head, my parents never failed to caution and scold me whenever I did something wrong. I can proudly say that I was from a humble home. I had a warming and quiet spirit. I was the reserved type, I only talked when there was something reasonable to talk about. I was practically the shy type but that didn’t stop me from being friendly and always lending a helping hand to those in need.
Ada was from an average home, her dad was a cab driver and her mum was a receptionist in a hotel. She had two younger siblings, Amara and Ekene. Their mum was hardly ever at home because her job was time consuming, and mostly at night. Ada ended up being the one who gets to look after her siblings. They occupied an apartment in a building two blocks away from ours. Her background wasn’t a stumbling block in her education, she always found a way to balance everything and that, I admired about her. She got the privilege to be in my school as she was on government scholarship because of her outstanding academic performance, it was a school which was mostly for children from wealthy homes. She was simply an intelligent being and a role model to me.
Although I was quite intelligent but not as intelligent as she was. We were seat mates in class, people always took us for sisters, not just sisters but twins, we were seen together at all times in school, whenever any of us was absent in school, the students and teachers will turn to the other to find out why. The difference between us was that Ada was a year older than I was, I was fairer in complexion, two inches taller than Ada, coupled with a slender figure that made me look like a runway model. Ada had chubby cheeks but she couldn’t be called ‘fat’, I would say her skeleton was able to accommodate a little more flesh than mine. To me, she was the motherly type and I was happy to have her around, she was always ready to help me out academically. My parents grew fond of her, they approved of our friendship and her company was well appreciated by them. They even helped out with her siblings’ school fees on some occasions. My mum even obliged to take care of her academic needs. We were quite the pair. Ada had always been fond of my elder brother, Victor, I had always thought it was the usual kind of feeling anyone would have for someone who buys them goodies as kids, I thought it was the platonic kind of feeling that she had for Victor, because we saw her as a sister. She would always ask me to call Victor whenever she came around, she was always eager to hear from him, it always made me laugh because I thought she was interested in the goodies he always brought home whenever he decides to come back during holidays.
After our graduation from secondary school, it seemed like everything changed, the need to hear from Victor increased, she was always asking after him, especially about his relationship status. I couldn’t understand her sudden interest in Victor which seemed to have become more intense by the day. One fateful day, as we were having our usual chitchat over some snacks in my room, her voice came through the discussion, “Oma, will it be possible for you to hook me up with Victor?” Her question unsettled me, I had been suspicious of her feelings for Victor, but I wasn’t certain because I found it hard to believe that she would fall in love with a guy much older than she was, I was only hoping she could get over it. I never wanted to tell her that Victor was engaged to be married, I didn’t want to hurt her feelings but I felt that the truth would be the best thing for her.
“I’m sorry Ada, Victor is in love with someone else. He is even engaged to be married soon. If there was anything I could have done, I would have done it for you as a friend.”
She picked up her books from the bed and left the house without saying a word to me. Weeks passed and I didn’t hear from her, my mum tried to find out why she stopped coming over to my place, and when I explained everything to her, she asked me to go over to Ada’s place and apologize to her.
I left my house immediately and headed straight to her place. On getting there, I met her outside, washing her clothes and that of her siblings. She welcomed me with what seemed like a mixture of a smile and a smirk, but that didn’t stop me from easing closer to her. I sat on the edge of the bench where she sat washing the clothes. Silence stood between us, I couldn’t help it anymore, I decided to break the silence.
“Ada, I’m sorry. I never wanted to hurt your feelings, that was why I never wanted to tell you about Victor’s engagement.”
She turned around immediately, her eyes fixated on my face, she wiped her wet hands on her wrapper and hugged me. I was surprised at her reaction, I never expected it to be that easy, but all the same, I was thankful. I reciprocated her hug at once.
“I have missed you Oma, there is a lot to catch up on. Let’s go inside.”
She left the clothes littering on the ground and led me inside the house. She narrated how she met a guy which she had become head over heels in love with, she asked me to go with her to his place on that weekend. I was surprised at her sudden change of feelings, I wondered if that was how ‘love’ worked. I decided not to say anything to spoil her mood because I felt I owed her that.
That weekend, I hastily carried out my house chores and rushed over to Ada’s place, I was really trying my best to make up for what I felt I did wrong. She was already dressed up and ready to leave, I met her in front of her house and we both left for the house of her so-called boyfriend whom I knew nothing about. On getting there, a young man who seemed to be in his mid-thirties, ushered us into an apartment, I was surprised at the kind of guy she decided to fall in love with, he was masculine and seemed haggard like a drug addict. His hair was unkept. He flung his arms around her and hugged her tightly, the display of affection irritated me. At first, I was reluctant to go in, but Ada took my hand and pulled me gently into the apartment.
“Oma, meet Kingsley, he is the love of my life,” she said, smiling from ear to ear.
He offered a handshake which I reluctantly accepted. He went into his room a brought out two packets of juice and some biscuits in a tray which he placed on the table in front of us. Ada reached for a packet of juice, gulped it down at once and devoured some biscuits almost immediately. I fluttered my eye lashes in amazement, I couldn’t fathom where her sudden hunger emanated from. I picked up my own packet of juice and slowly sipped from it. Suddenly, it seemed like the whole room was twirling, my vision blurred, I tried to stand but my legs seemed too feeble to hold me up. I slumped back into the couch, as I was struggling to keep my eyes open, two other guys appeared in the room, Ada turned around and gave me a malicious grin. She stood up from the couch, planted a soft kiss on Kingsley’s lips and left without turning back or saying a word to me. Before I could say a word, Kingsley pounced on me, I struggled to push him away but my efforts were useless, the other men held my hands and legs, and I passed out.
The next morning, I woke up on a hospital bed, my mum was seated at the edge of the bed, crying helplessly. I was told that a good samaritan found me lying unconscious by the roadside the previous night, he brought me to the hospital and left hurriedly. It was the doctor who scanned through my phone and called my mum. My parents had invited the police but I refused to divulge any information to them.
“Chioma, you were raped, the doctor said that it would take a miracle for you to ever get pregnant and you still don’t want to tell us who was behind this?”
My mum was bitter, her voice was shaky, it was obvious that she was pained. I did nothing but stare into space, my mind was lost, I couldn’t understand. I returned home from the hospital after some days, I waited for weeks but there was no sign of Ada, I wanted to be certain that she had no hand in what happened. The truth was staring at me in the face but I didn’t want to believe it. That weekend, I picked up myself and headed for Ada’s house. On getting there, her neighbor told me that they had moved out, I tried to make inquiries about their new location but I got little or nothing. The truth then dawned on me, I didn’t need a soothsayer to tell me that she had a hand in it all. I swore to get my revenge at any cost.
I hunted all over town to find her, and when I uncovered her new location, I spent days watching her every move and gathering the information I needed. I discovered that her mum takes her younger siblings to their grandma’s on Friday evenings after school to spend the weekends over there. I decided to drop by at her new place that Friday evening because I knew that neither her parents nor her siblings were home. I gave the door a dull pounding so as not to arouse the attention of the neighbors, in a minute or two, the door flung open, her eyes widened in surprise on seeing me, it was obvious that she wasn’t expecting to see me.
“Why did you do it?”, I asked with bloodshot eyes.
“You have everything I want and I have nothing. You are always a stumbling block to my happiness and I wanted to pay you back. That was how I fell in love with Chike, the senior prefect in school then, but he never wanted me, he wanted you instead. And then your brother, but you never wanted anything good for me. I wanted to hit you where it would hurt you the most and I’m glad I did. I have no regrets.”
Her words pierced through my heart, she was a friend that I would have done anything for, the pains in my hearts were unbearable, all I had ever done was for her own benefit, I did everything I did for her sake. I thought she was not just a friend, but a sister. I reached for the knife in the back pocket of my jean trousers, pulled it out and thrust it into her chest, I wanted to make sure that the blade penetrated through her heart, so that she would feel the pains that I felt. I watched her until she drew her last breathe. I couldn’t explain the feeling of peace and accomplishment that I felt as I watched the cold hand of death take her. There was nothing else for me to do, I just fell on the cold ground and cried.
“I killed her,” I muttered to myself as hot tears rolled down my cheeks. I watched as blood dripped down from my hands, the blood of that one person whom I thought would never betray me. I marshaled enough courage to lift myself from the ground, I called the police and patiently waited for their arrival. I held the blade of glory in my hand, I was ready to kill her a thousands times over, if she ever came back to life.