Not Everyone Is Real

By Apio Irene

Arian and I had been in a relationship for five years. We started living together after three years. The relationship had always gone smoothly until recently, when I got pregnant. At first, we were both extremely excited about our child coming into the world. My husband would wake up in the middle of the night just to talk to our unborn little one inside my belly. It was one of the best feelings in the world. Time went by, and then things between us were different, and at first I didn’t realise it. My husband’s character began to change. He started coming back home very late at night, or even the next day. This went on for almost a week and it started worrying me. I decided to confront him about his recent behaviour, but he just fell silent and walked away. Two days later, I saw a text message on his phone from another woman saying how much she enjoyed being with him the previous night. I was so filled with rage that I told him to leave the house.

Little did I know that he was just waiting for an excuse to leave me. My asking him to leave the house just gave him a good excuse to end our relationship. Without even trying to beg me to let him stay, he packed his things and just left the house. He stopped paying the rent and our other bills. So I decided to turn to my friends Brenda and Lisa for help since I didn’t have a job. I always thought I knew who I could count on when life got hard, but little did I know that those were just words.

Brenda and Lisa turned their backs on me. They started ignoring my calls and messages because they knew I was going to ask for money since I didn’t even have enough money to feed myself. Days went by and the going got tough, and life knocked me down. I tried reaching out to them so many times, but no luck. My landlord got tired of my excuses and kicked me out of the house. I realised that I was alone and had completely no one. Neither of my two best friends showed up when I needed them most.

I was hurt so badly that my friends weren’t who I had imagined them to be. But when things got challenging, I found out who the loyal souls were. They showed up and had my back. Surprisingly, they were the friends I least expected anything from. I fought back tears as I tried not to feel betrayed, and I forced a smile through my turbulent emotions. Daisy, someone I didn’t consider a close friend, took me in. She helped me clear my pending bills for the house I was staying in and took me to her home. Without asking for anything in return, she fed me from the day I started staying at her house. She was like the sister I never had. She listened to my worries and comforted me, assuring me that everything would be okay, and that one day I would rise up again because no condition is permanent. She made me feel so comfortable in her house until I gave birth and got back on my feet. It was a really painful experience, but at the same time it opened my eyes. At least I got to know who to keep close and who to cut out of my life. It still hurts, though, to lose people I once cared about. Not because I didn’t want them in my life, but because they didn’t care enough to stay.

I guess I didn’t really understand how someone could just tell me what they thought I  wanted to hear. Not telling me the truth of the situation, nor admitting that they’re not really going to be there, that they were just pretending by calling to check if I was okay, knowing fully well that I am perfectly okay and didn’t actually need anything. But when the time came for them to actually call to check on me and ask me if I needed anything, they disappeared and were nowhere to be seen. But as I look to the future, my heart is lifted at the thought of those beautiful souls like Daisy that I now call my true friends.

I understood that it was time to start a new chapter and let go of the people who never really were going to make it to the end of my story. And I’m okay with that. I’d rather have five amazing people beside me than a hundred fake friends that will never show up. Not everyone is going to like me, and many people won’t do whatever they can to be there for the ones they claim to love. It still won’t change who I am or how I love. I will just be more selective in who I choose to let get close to me. Maybe that makes me guarded, but my heart is worth it. I will always give what I get, so all the fake people pretending to be what they aren’t, well, they can just keep walking. I have my people now and I’m good. I’m more than good, I’m awesome. I got this.

10 November, 2023