The One I Call Friend
Mazi watched as his son happily talked about the last hangout he would be having with his friends the next day before leaving the country to go study abroad. Chidi had been given scholarship to go study engineering’s one of the best universities abroad and he had told his friends all about it some few days ago. They had all later agreed to hangout one last time to say their final goodbyes before he leaves.
“Do you really feel your friends are genuinely happy for you?” Mazi had asked his son.
“How about we put that to a test?” Mazi said as his son looked at him, confused. He had no idea what his father had in mind and couldn’t wait to find out. He watched as his father brought out his phone and requested for the number of the five friends he was planning on hanging out with the next day.
He was going to show his son that not everyone he calls his friend is actually a friend. Chidi watched as his father dialed the numbers of his friends one after the other. Chidi’s dad pretended to be very upset on the phone while speaking to Chidi’s friends. He had lied to them that Chidi had not been home for a while now and if he didn’t come back in the next hour, he won’t sign the scholarship papers and Chidi would go nowhere. At first Chidi had no idea why he dad said what he said but by the time his dad was done with the fifth call, he understood perfectly. His dad had done that to know whom among his friends would call and warn him of the threat.
His dad was about to drop his phone when Chidi’s own phone rang, it was one of his friends his dad just called. Chidi tapped the loudspeaker option on his phone as both him and his dad listened as his friend quickly advised him to start going home because his dad was furious with him was threatening not to sign the scholarship papers. Chidi was all smiles when he hung up the phone. It felt so good to be right and Chidi couldn’t wait for all his friends to call too.
It took a few minutes for the next call to come in and when it did, Chidi looked at his father as if to tell him “I told you so”.
Just like the first call, the second caller had called to tell him about his fathers threat and had advised him to run back home that instant. By the time Chidi was done with the second call, he was convinced the third call would come in any minute but he had been wrong. They waited for about thirty minutes and still there was nothing from the other three friends.
“How about you call them and say hi, maybe they also want to call but have no airtime” Mazi had said to his son who immediately did as his father said. The first person he had called was James, and after exchanging pleasantries, James had asked him where he was.
Chidi had lied and told him he went to have a good time at a bar somewhere “You know very soon I won’t know what Nigerian drinks taste like because I will only be taking foreign drinks” Chidi had joked and James had laughed. Chidi had thought that this was the moment James would tell him about his dad’s threat but what James said next shook him to the bones.
James said “How about you send me your account details so I can send you money for more drinks, you need to relax and enjoy yourself”
Mazi had watched the excitement on his son’s face drop to total disappointment and by the time his son was done with the call, he stood up and said “Becareful of those you call your friends” before walking out.