“BJ, there is something that is troubling me. Can you keep a secret?” She asked as I brought out my bicycle from the garage.
“Of course Ronke, we have been best friends for a while now. Your secrets are safe with me. Please talk to me. What is bothering your mind?”
I could see the worry written all over her beautiful face as we pedaled up the hill.
“Ronke, come on! Talk to me! I really do not like the expression on your face this morning. What is on your mind?”
“BJ, I am trying to find a way to say this, but it’s difficult for me. I think it is very stupid. Do not let me annoy you with some stupid drama on this wonderful sunny day”.
“Ronke, I have told you times without number! You can never annoy me”, I said as I stared at her as she was whipping her hair back and forth, allowing the fresh breeze comb through the back of her neck.
Buried memories started to stick out their ugly heads out of their graves.
Time kind of heals wounds, well almost all kind of wounds. Almost three years ago, I fell in love with this lovely lady. She was my best friend, we spent quality time together; studying, cooking, eating, visiting cities and enjoying each other’s company. It was all pure friendship feelings at first, but all of a sudden, the feelings and the emotions began to change.
“I love you, Ronke”, I always practice in front of the mirror. “How am I going to tell my best friend of two years that I am falling heads over in love with her?” I kept asking myself. I tried for months to kill the feelings for her. Her friendship was of more value to me. I did not want to ruin our perfect relationship, but some days, I could not handle it. My heart beats faster whenever I see her; I sweat a little bit extra whenever she touches me. I knew I could not take it anymore because I started getting jealous whenever other boys ask her for her number or whenever one of them is sending her too many messages.
I did not know how to tell her about my feelings. We talked about everything else, but nothing about how I really felt. Behind my smile was always a frown or a crying face. I could not allow my little secret drown me in the deep blues.
“Grow some balls, little man”, I told myself in front of the mirror once again. “Man! Oh Man! Oh Man!! Here goes nothing…”
After dreaming about her the whole night, I sent her a very long expressive message about how I truly felt for her. I tried to distract myself the whole two hours between the time I sent her the message and the time I got a reply from her. The two hours were the longest ever. I spent extra time working out and even more time praying to God in the shower. It felt like waiting for the result of a very important examination.
Around 9:30 am, I received a message from her that almost shattered my heart.
“BJ, I love you so much.
Please do not let this hurt our friendship, but I do not like you in that way. You are like a brother to me.
Much Love, Ronke.”
It was a pretty polite message, but it was dropping me from the top of a bridge into a flowing river. I felt so stupid for allowing the feeling develop and also getting the best of me.
“Why do you like to destroy every good thing, BJ?” I asked myself. “Will I still be able to face Ronke and talk to her the same way?”
“BJ!! I have been shouting your name for quite a while. What are you thinking about?” asked Ronke. “You are always faster than me, but today you are like 3 km behind. What’s up?”
“Nothing! I think my legs are just too weak because of all the leg workouts that I did yesterday”, I lied. I don’t even know what a leg workout means.
“So, Ronke, what is on your mind?” I asked as I smiled at her.
“Let us keep on riding till we get to the lake”, she said.
I can remember always getting sad whenever her phone rings or vibrates. Always thinking that I should be the only one sending her heart emojis, telling her how much I love her and how much I enjoy every second we spend together. I have always felt like a selfish person whenever it comes to Ronke, but I have taken quality time to adjust and accept the fact that we were meant to see different people.
“BJ! BJ!! Once again, you zoned out!” shouted Ronke as she placed the picnic basket on the blanket that she has well-laid on the green grass by the lake. “Would you lock up your bicycle and join me please?”
“I really need to get myself together. I have to be present and here for Ronke. She definitely has something bothering her mind and I have to be her best friend as always”, I said to myself as I struggled with the lock of my bicycle. Ronke has always been my rock right from day one. Right from the time I used to feel lonely, neglected and depressed.
“BJ, I brought your favourites”, she smiled as she opened her picnic basket. “I always enjoy our time together. You are the best thing that has happened to me in a very long time.”
“I am glad to hear that, Ronke! Tell me what is making you feel sad. I hope I have not offended you in any way.”
“It is just this very awkward feeling that has started to develop and I really do not know how to deal with it”.
“You know that you can talk to me about anything”, I said as I held her hand.
“I really want to talk to you about it, but gosh! It is so difficult. Please can we just enjoy the view for a while? Maybe I will gather some courage to talk to you about it”.
“Sure, no problem”. I smiled as I looked at her face. “I think I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Ronke”, I said to myself.