- By Emmanuel Eromosele Ujiadughele
One fateful morning, you walk into the office. You notice that Juliet, the secretary, has her head on her desk. She is sobbing and shaking uncontrollably. You move close, raise her head and she immediately falls into your arms.
Her multicolored face, and tears, ruins your very fine shirt. Finally, she calms down and explains that she’s currently having relationship issues. Instantly, the burden bearer in you pops out. You give her a shoulder, and a chest, to lean on. After that day, you become her confidant.
Over the weeks, you become very close. You go out, eat, swim and do everything else together. You become her therapist. Tongues begin to wag at the office but you ignore them.
Your bond with Juliet begins to grow stronger. And your bond with Tonia, your partner who knows nothing about Juliet, begins to wax weaker. Your partner begins to see less of you, she barely hears from you. She is worried sick at her father’s house, but you are busy helping Juliet. And some unfortunate chemistry is beginning to brew. Your relationship is suffering but you cannot see it.
One day, you are at the canteen with Juliet and your phone rings. Tonia. You ignore the call. Juliet asks you why and you tell her that the caller is one of the less-privileged church people that you are responsible for.
So you begin to drift away from your partner and as you watch Juliet become happier, your mind tells you to go for the kill. After subjecting Tonia to emotional torture for long, she finally walks away. You smile to yourself.
Good riddance, you exclaim. From that moment, you begin to bid your time. Every day and night, you rehearse your lines, waiting for the perfect moment to ask Juliet out.
Finally, the day comes; at the same canteen. After doing the mushy mushy things that couples do, you put on your most charming smile-the one she always admires- and you ask her out.
She almost chokes on her juice as she laughs and tells you that you both can’t be together like that. You look into her eyes and ask, “Juliet, what are we?” Unfazed, she looks into your eyes and says, “We are nothing but pencils in the hands of the Almighty.”
Your heart drops into your stomach as she proceeds to tell you that her relationship has healed. She thanks you for giving her the strength, courage and inspiration she needed.
She says you are the big brother she never had. Almost immediately, she crowns you Otunba Asiwaju of the Brotherzone Dynasty. Then her phone rings. You glance at the screen. “My Life.” She excuses herself, picks the call and walks away, chirping happily on the phone.
As a sharp guy, you unsheathe your phone. You dial Tonia’s number. It rings. Once. Twice.
“Hello, Tonia. It’s me.”
“Who is this?”
“It’s me, James.”
“James? Which James?”
“Baby, come on. Don’t tell…”
“I’m sorry, the only James I know is my cousin. The other one I know died of a terrible accident last week.”
“Baby, please, I….”
Click. Static. Silence.
Then it dawns on you. You seek death but your guardian angel pops out and says, “You shall not die but live to declare the glory of God.” You look for where to faint but all the fainting spots have been taken by the social media “fainters.” You bow your head and begin to cry. But it is too late. You have lost. Twice. Two gems.
Brother, when a girl is in emotional distress and she comes to you, she needs your attention and your counsel. It doesn’t mean she is in need of a lover. In fact, together with your partner, you can help any female friend overcome any emotional problem.
Don’t mistake vulnerability for availability. Refuse to be led on. Do not throw away diamonds while searching for stones.
I have warned you.