MY FRIEND by Chidera Ifechukwu
Something has died. I could feel it; the atmosphere shifting to a damp swampy place occupied by mucus dripping from the wall. My nose felt like it could breathe in the whole surrounding. Something was dead, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
“Why do you stay here?” I turn to look at James staring at me, his eyebrows raised like he couldn’t figure me out.
“It smells like something died in here. Not safe at all”. I chuckle a little at his dramatic behavior. Suddenly, I felt his demeanor change. “Do you think…” My eyes quickly lock on his, severely telling him to shut his trap. Yes, trap. Maybe a trap laid somewhere and caught something awful. “It’s definitely not a trap”, James retort, as if reading my mind. I sigh inwardly as I rest against the window looking down to see my little sister, Annabelle, playing in the backyard with Jasmine, our puppy. I hated her; she always looked at me like I the outsider in the family.
“Why don’t we go play with Anna?”
“I’m not in the mood”, I state nonchalantly as I sit on the floor and casually move my toy cars from one point to the other.
“Sooner, or later you’ll have to talk to her”. I don’t reply as I continue to move the toys. Sometimes, I wish I could drive so that I can move away. Far away from all this.
“You’re enough for me”, I finally speak
“Having just one friend is unhealthy”
“But you’re my favorite friend”
“I am your only friend. Why don’t you come over sometime?”
“Your mum dislikes me”
“No, she doesn’t. She worries about you”.
“Can this conversation not be about me anymore?”
“It’s always about you.”
“Stop making the conversation about me”
“I’m not. You are”. I stand up, anger building up within me.
“Why are you doing this?”
“Trying to force me out. You enjoy coming here, don’t you?”
“I do but I still worry for you”
“Or you worry about your reputation, that’s it”
“I have no reputation. You know that”
“I only want to hang out with you!”. Like a glass, I felt his face break into a million parts.
“James?” I quickly turn to see my mother, standing by the door, her hand firmly placed on it like she is considering whether to stay or go. “Who are you talking to?” I look at her, her face giving away several emotions- pain, confusion, hurt, worry.
“No one”, I answer with a straight face. She won’t believe me. No one does.
“Okay. Well, it’s time for dinner. Do you want me to bring it here?” Code word for ‘You are too crazy to be my child’.
“My room will be best”. She nods her head and turns away, leaving the door open for me. I left the room feeling hopeless and sad; I still couldn’t figure out what had died.
Chidera Ifechukwu is a student and a passionate writer. She blogs at https://lonelyheart2016.wordpress.com