AUTHOR/WRITER- Halimah Ganiyu
In my society, you might be depressed but you are actually not allowed to be. People feel that you have no right to be depressed because after all there are other people going through what you are going through or worse. You hear them say ‘So she thinks she has problem, did you know that Sola’s parents are dead and she watched them die?’ They would go on to talk about her and what other people are going through. But do you need to loose your parents before you are depressed? Do I need to go through a really life changing experience before depression can set in? I did research about it and it seems that a lot of people are depressed in my country yet we do nothing about it. It leads to people suddenly committing suicide but maybe it’s not sudden. Maybe the signs have been there but we refused to see it or we ignored it because we all have our own life problems. So we turned the other way and tagged it as no big deal and when the people we have ignored decide to take their own life we tag them as foolish, stupid, dumb and useless but we never think that maybe, just maybe we could have done something to change their life, maybe by just smiling and complimenting someone the person might decide not to take their life. Maybe we could have made a difference.
Tears fall as I think of the difference I could have made to Tina’s life, if I had not been too busy, if I had just taken the time out to see her when she called, now that I think back she had seemed out of place but I had been busy and stressed out so I didn’t count it. I told her I was going to see her during the weekend. I had not even told her I loved her and how much I missed her and now she was gone forever. People keep asking if she had said anything to me. If I knew the reason why she took her own life. But I have no clue, she had been my best friend and I had no clue why she decided to take her own life. Why she decided to end it just like that. She had always been a vibrant, lively, loving, kind, easy going, intelligent girl. I keep searching my brain for reasons why she might have done that but I come up blank each time. I feel guilty, so guilty, what kind of friend am I? What kind of human being am I? How did I let that happen to my friend? My best friend, people used to call us twins in our year 1 and year 2 days in the University. We had been so close but by the time we were in year 3 we had both been busy in our various departments and we started seeing less of each other. My heart is heavy, the guilt weighing heavily on me, the tears fall harder, my heart twists and the sobs seem to come from deep within. I am falling under the weight of the guilt and sadness. I take out my phone with shaky hands and call my boyfriend but he does not pick up, so I call my sister.
“Hello sis”. I hear her sign, “Farhat don’t tell me you are crying”.
I can’t seem to stop the tears and in between sobs I try to explain how I am feeling right now.
“I just wish…….i just wish I had……….known. I mean what kind of fr….iend am I if I didn’t even know my best fr….iend was going to commit suicide?”
“I don’t think that people that want to commit suicide usually tell their loved ones. Farhat you need to stop or the guilt will kill you.”
“You don’t understand sis, she called me said she we wanted to talk and I told her to wait till weekend. I knew something was off but I just ignored it. I ignored it.”
“Listen to me and listen well. Snap out of it, I know it hurts and maybe you could have done something if you had seen her that day but it’s all a matter if maybe. She made a choice, a choice without considering the people that love her, without considering that it is just morally wrong to take your own life. Whatever she was going through she was not strong enough to get help, really get help or make an effort to get past it. So you need to stop before you go to places that your young soul does not need to be.”
I know she is right, at least about me needing to snap out of it but I was past been rational, all I could hear was her voice saying “I need to talk to you Farhat”. And I can’t seem to get the image of her body, drained of blood and lifeless out of my head. It’s been three days and I have been dreaming if it constantly, in my twisted dream I see her laughing at me as she takes a blade and cuts her wrist while I shout at her and beg her to please stop. I mumble a good bye to my sister and I hang up and stare out into nothing.
Two days later I receive the shock of my life when I check my email and discover that I had received one from Tina a day before I found her body. I open it quickly and read through it.
If you are just seeing this the it means that I have decided to end it, I can’t go on like this again I am sorry. I wanted to talk to you about it but what’s the point I mean it’s not like you have a solution to my problem. Where do I start from? You know I have been dating Tunde since our year 1 and I love him so much. You might not understand because you have never really been in love, you have never felt this soul consuming love I have for Tunde and I hope you never love that hard because it has consequences especially if the other person doesn’t love you as much a you do them. I have loved Tunde for as long as I can remember, I feel I have loved him right from the moment we met and the feeling just kept growing. I have done a lot of things all in the name of the love I have for him. He has cheated on me several times and I forgave him because that is what you do when you love someone, you forgive all their weaknesses. I have also aborted several times because we were not ready to have a child. I know this might come as a shock because you always thought I was a virgin. Well I lost it since the end of our year 1, it was not all that pleasant but I did it with the man I loved and that made it perfect. I removed the first foetus when we were in year 2, you remember the time I was so sick I had to be admitted? Well it was as result of the abortion. I have since removed five more and the last one I did the doctor said my womb has been so damaged I will never have a child again. Tunde promised to stay by me, he promised to love me no matter what but guess what? Just three days after my last abortion I caught him with a girl he has been claiming is just his friend. I was ready to forgive him but you know what he did? He said he was done with me, that he didn’t want a whore anymore. I begged him, told him to remember his promise to me but he didn’t listen, I even told him he could keep the other girl as his side chick but he refused. After everything I did for him, after all the love I gave to him. The pain is too much Farhat, too much and I can’t take it. What hope is there for my future? It’s best of I just end it. Everything is so pointless now, there is no meaning to anything. I am sorry if I hurt you, you have always been my best friend and I have always envied you. I want to be like you when I glow up (lol). Tell my parents I love them and am sorry, that I never meant to hurt them. I love you too Farhat, always.
I cry, harder than I have for the past week since her death. She had been my best friend and I had not even know her. She had been a totally different person with me and another person with her boyfriend. I could not believe that she had aborted so many times to the extent that her womb was damaged or that she had done it for a man. I think back to all our conversations about men and how she would agree with me that men were not worth doing some things for. So it had all been a lie on her part, she had given her all and then some more to a guy that was not even worth it and till the end she had loved him. I decide to send Tunde the email and I added my own message for him. I ended it by letting him know that he did not deserve her.
“She was a fool to have given you so much, a fool to have ended her life for you. You did not deserve the love she gave to you, not a bit of it, the devotion she had and I hope you keep regretting it till the end of your life”.
Then I remember what my sister told me about choice. She had choices and at every turn she had decided to make the bad one. In her mind she had felt it was the only way out, that she could not live without him, it had always been about him and she never once thought about herself and at the end of the day that had been her downfall. I also realized it had never been about me or my fault and that she had only decided to show me one side of the coin and I had only seen what she wanted me to see. In the end I know that it’s all about choices and making the right one. The person she has done it for would go on with his life, he would graduate, get a job, get married, have kids and grow old and maybe just at fleeting moments he would remember her faintly because she would fade from his memory little by little. Her parents would not be able to forget, they would think that they has done something wrong, they would blame themselves just like I had thinking that just maybe, maybe if they has shown her how much they loved her she wouldn’t have ended it. It will haunt them for a long time, probably till the die, forever they would remember her. I was not going to forget her for life either. I would always remember her as the best friend who took her life for a man she loved who didn’t even have any feelings for her. I would remember her as the friend that I never really knew and I would remember her face blank and lifeless drained of blood when I found her.
Choices, we all have them, it was a matter of how she wanted to be remembered because a lot of people would not remember anything about her except that she was the girl who ended her life. We all have a choice of how we want to be remembered.