What Are Friends For?


Udo Ikwott and his diminutive wife Mayen sat stiffly in Mr Asangausung’s parlour. They had come to ask for something unusual, and the prospect of being refused made Udo’s intestines tremble and Mayen’s eyes ache with unshed tears. Udo hoped for a favourable response, after all both families had been allies for half a decade. He wouldn’t have hesitated to help Mr Asangausung if their fates had been reversed. In fact he would have volunteered.


Efiong Asangausung brought the axe down on the slice of wood with characteristic force. He was a passionate man and famous for his all or none stance to most issues. As the principal of the only secondary school in the entire clan, he was often consulted about matters that arose in his community.  When the clan needed to consult with government about compensation for crops lost to the new road that linked their clan with Uyo, he was the one they sought. When Eka Udo died without a husband or a son to bury her, he was the one that saw to it that she was not left as fodder for rodents and vultures. He was a man that had the respect of his people and it was something he cherished.



“Mr Ikwott and his wife are here to see you”

Efiong looked up from his task to see Uwem, the third of his four sons.

“Well, give them seats in the parlour then and tell them I will be there shortly”

“I already have Papa” Uwem replied

“Thank you my son, tell your mother to set something before the visitors, there is a bottle of brandy in the cupboard and some bitter kola in the basket.”

“Yes Papa” Uwem replied dashing off in a sprint.


Efiong picked the firewood pieces up and swept away the debris. What could the Ikwott’s want? A mirthless smile skewed his lips, a loan surely; they must have come to ask for money for some ‘family emergency’. Well, that being the case he had better see them quickly so they would be on their way. He had no money to loan anyone, let alone a man as notorious for bad debts as Mr. Ikwott. He hurried to the bath area to shower before meeting his visitors. Ten minutes later he was with them in his modest parlour exchanging pleasantries.


“Udo, welcome to my house, it is a pleasant surprise having you here” Efiong offered.

“Thank you my brother, my feet ought to be here more often but the demands of my new job as at the local government council have kept me away.” Udo Ikwott responded a bit too quickly.

“Ma Udo, amedi, welcome, you look beautiful as usual, my friend is a lucky man, sometimes I wish I could oust him and take his place.” Efiong teased.

“Ete Asangausung, you flatter me” Mayen said. Her eyes were downcast and the smile on her lips was lifeless, tears threatened to overwhelm her at that instant. She held her breath and blinked rapidly as her golden brown colour reddened. She lowered her face, sank into the sofa and tried  desperately to hide her discomfiture.


“Ete Asangausung, I know I must have interrupted your busy schedule so I will go straight to the point. Over the years, you have been a brother and a friend to me. I remember when I had to pay my wife’s hospitals bills for her appendectomy; you were the one I came to. I remember you standing by me to bury my younger brother when he died. I can never forget the role you played in helping me secure employment as a clerk in the local government council.  Ete Asangausung, you have been a friend like no other. It is your kind that the Holy Scriptures likens to a brother.” Mr Ikwott intoned

“My brother that is why when the matter I am about to discuss with you arose I could think of no other.  Our people say, we meet our closest siblings on the pathways and bye ways of life. I have found a brother in you. I have noted with pride your progress in every area, especially the fact that your wife has borne not one, not two, but four sons to you. Not only that, but your sons are the most intelligent and well behaved in all their classes. I have discussed this with my wife and we have decided to approach you, perhaps you would be kind enough to plant your seed in her so that we might also have a male child through that act. We know it is a sensitive matter, but what are friends for?”

44 thoughts on “What Are Friends For?” by Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

  1. Thank you for reading,
    Please before leaving,
    Kindly drop a comment or two,
    it can be applause,
    and it can be rebuke,
    even a simple ‘well done’ will do :-)

  2. @nicolebassey, loved this! Eyeneka, amenamabogo!

    1. Awww, you are so kind :-) . Eh en? Awou ade eyen ukan ajid afo utanga afud ami? Sosongo o! Afo anam akan! Abasi Udion!

  3. I no wan bite my tongue jare. Let me speak the one I know. You did good with the story. I like it.

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      hehe, na tongue you dey carry type? try something Jare! Plenty, Boku , Gberekete,Thanks for dropping by, i must do u back, so halla when you post sometin. God bless you :-)

  4. Hmmn.
    I really like the story.
    Some punctuation errors.
    I found the ending very funny too.
    Well done.

  5. Wife lending and hospitality….What are friends for indeed….
    The end was funny…I only hope he does not plant expired seed in Mayen, if he agrees…Well done…$ß.

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      Na ! @bubblinna he ( my father-in-law) passed. :-) thank you, for your thought and your time.

  6. Tell Mr Ikwott I would like to be his friend! Well written, as usual.

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      I will @magnus ekpiken, i surely will. Thanks for reading. :-)

  7. @ablyguy I hope Sosongo o will not harm an ant.
    This is from Sunshine. I dere ofuma o!

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      @ablguy @ostar Imela.

  8. This is hilarious! Na wa for dis kind friendship o… wonder what they’ll seek to borrow next. Good one here.

  9. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

    @shadiat I was just as shocked when i heard the live rendition, some people have no shame …

  10. hehehehe….interesting piece!

  11. @teewah ! Great to see you here again and glad to know you like it.
    Truth they say is stranger than fiction.
    Many thanks

  12. @Sunshine: The Udo dude is a dumbo! CONFIRMED!!! Enjoyed reading despite the abruptness

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      thank you @tosyn , is he? i think he was just ahead of his time… thank you for enjoying my offering :-)

  13. lol…waiting to see what ”friends” will do…well done!

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      @QueenNobo thank you for reading . :-) . Friends will remain friends abi.? I didnt plan a sequel, should we collaborate on something?

      1. :-) dont know if ur joking or not…@nicolebassey

  14. This is really really nice. It’s very real in its setting and characterization. Plus the way it ended just made it lovely.

    Thanks for giving us this. Keep improving your art.

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      :-) , thanks chemo, i will, i promise.

  15. @sunshine, Sincerely this is tight, I had to come back a couple of times but when I got to the end it was really great. It is definitely not ended yet, right ? :D

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      thank you! @positive. was the middle boribg? what made you lose interest midway? A sequel? hmm, i dunno o! If Inspiri strikes maybe but something tells me it ll be anti-climatic :-)

  16. Oh my gosh! I laughed out loud! What a request? Well done…you took me by surprise…watch out for your punctuations though.

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      hehe , i am glad you like it. It must be my blind spot. Thanks for reading

  17. This is a nice story with a witty ending. The suspense is strong, and that is a plus. Check your commas because i noticed quite a number of them either wrongly placed or omitted. kudos

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      Thank you for reading. I ll appreciate specifics as per the comma business. thanks for reading

  18. good writing- well done

    1. Thank you for reading.

  19. Engaging piece. Wat else can i say …. K, grasping, breathtaking most of all suspence filled. Kudos.

    1. Thank you @lactoo. Thank you very much.

  20. Good stuff! Efiong don enter wahala. Wasn’t he just saying how he sometimes wished he could oust his friend and take his place? Well, e don reach for omume!

    This just goes to show you how much value our society (rightly or wrongly) places on male children…

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      @Obinwanne a case of getting what he prayed for, lol.
      Where are you, we miss you here on NS.

      1. @nicolebassey: Yeah, exactly. Be careful what you ask for, even in jest!

        True, it’s been a while. Haven’t written AT ALL for a long time now (work stress – and yes I know that’s no excuse), so I’ve been on a self-imposed exile. But I still sneak back from time to time to see if there’s anything interesting on the site. OK, I promise I’ll write something in the next few days, time permitting…

  21. SHIT! That is my reaction @nicolebassey.

    pls permit me to say this word “appendectomy” was out of place [to me]…too bookish

    1. SHIT? Break it down sir, thank you.
      Appendectomy? I agree, i let my medical training creep in I ll adjust that to Appendix operation , I hope that will be Oll Korrect .:) @xikay

      1. How can my friend ask me to impregnate his wife for him?….SHIT!!!

  22. Bia, this one Samsung or whatever, what did he say sef?

    This writer kills!!!

  23. @nicolebassey
    lovely and written in a way so comely
    it found a home
    in my heart

  24. This is hilarious, becareful what you wish for, it might just come true, he wished he could oust his friend, hehehehe.

  25. Indeed, what are friends for? But they are brothers now based on familiarity and proximity.

    This same male child issue is still driving me crazy. Why are people so obsessed with the gender of a child?

    Nice one there @nicolebassey

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