“Deji, I am so sorry, I don’t even know what to say now…Hmmm! You are asking me out, Hmmm! I thought we have (stammering)…we have…I thought we have passed that level. I see you more like a brother. You have been a very good friend to me; you care for me just like my siblings. I know you really like me; I like you too but let’s not mistake this for love. Given that you are 3 years older than me, I see you more like a school father figure! Please let’s keep it at that, no hard feelings!”
Those were my words, you heard me right. You have been zoned. I am sure you are wondering if to believe your ears. Yes, it is me, of all people in the world calling you a brother, a school father and whatever. I could have said you are like a father to me but I didn’t want you to land me a punch on the face.
Deji Adetiba, my best friend, I knew a day like this would come. You would ask me out and I would put you on the friend zone. There are no surprises; it’s just my predictions and my mother’s words playing out true. My mother always told me: “you can’t have a man as your best friend and insists that no strings are or will be attached, strings get attached”.
It is not your fault for asking me out, I take all the blame because I made you ask me out. How? You ‘ll ask. We were too close as fiends and felt too comfortable in the company of each other. I tell you about all the guys that come to ask me out, we laugh at them together. You tease me by saying “your prince charming will arrive when you are 30”. I tell you it won’t take that long. No, it didn’t take that long, you will soon get to know him.
I have always been there for you too. I have screened all your girlfriends for you. I remember Bola, Funmi and Yetunde that you have dated at different periods of our friendship. They all saw me as a threat to them getting your maximum attention. Of a truth, I was jealous they were diverting your attention away from me. However, your relationships with any of them didn’t last up to 6 months. I have the record. You always came back to me, your dear friend. Without sparing words, you tell me all that transpire in your relationships. I know too much about you; your dirty secrets and weaknesses. I discerned why your relationships didn’t last all along but I didn’t tell you. It is because you unconsciously compare me with those ladies. Yes! That is what you do.
Brother, as I have called you, we have too many public display of affection. You are the first person I hug anytime I am very excited, I hug you to bid goodbyes and just randomly not minding whoever is watching us. It is usually “a random holy hug” but I hug you more often than not. When you want to act naughty, you always peck me at the back of my right hand. Interestingly, there is a 70% chance that you will act naughty every time we are together.
School father, as I have said, I have been too comfortable around you. You knew this; I can fart while sitting next to you. I love you! I love you as my best friend; I don’t want to lose you. I want to always have the friend I can run to when love acts up. I am afraid to lose you to love. I don’t want us to start acting strange when dating comes in. I always want my best friend waiting for me somewhere else not in the condo of love.
These are my fears, I hope you‘ll understand.
NB: This is a work of fiction; all names, incidents and resemblance to reality are products of the author’s imaginations.