In March, we’re bringing to you letters written by women to women they love, miss, cherish or just remember. To celebrate the support women continue to show each other, this is #ToHER.
From: The woman that’ll never admit she has a best friend
To: Tega, the best friend turned flatmate
I tell anyone who cares to listen, you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’ve never had someone that cares about me as much as you do. You ask me genuine questions about my life and what I’m going through. It makes me grateful for you.
I cherish the day we met. It’s been eight years since I walked into my first lecture in uni and found you. I wasn’t expecting to find much; I was even ready to be the odd girl in class people made fun of for her accent and name, which had happened through school since I moved to Lagos at four years old Village girl, was the name that haunted me until I finished secondary school.
Inside, I wanted to finally have real friends. Friends that didn’t tease me about things I couldn’t change about myself. Honestly, I was fine with just one — a best friend, and I met you.
I watched you pull out the seat next to me and turn to say a high-pitched hello. You were the epitome of ajebota. The by-force American accent, your fancy boots with the gold chain, and your chubby cute cheeks. Oh! That purple braids you had on was everything. Thirty minutes into sitting beside each other and you had asked me about fifty questions. Where did I live? Did I stay on campus? Why did I pick Urban and Regional Planning? Whenever my answers were vague, you dug deeper. I had never felt so seen, but I was stressed.
You tried to give me a little bit of yourself so I’d feel comfortable. “I live in Abuja and I stay at Honours hall,” you said. Then continued questioning me for most of the day. We talked about how we hated our course and the series of unfortunate events that led us there. We went for lunch together, walked back to my hostel together. Letting you in was so easy.
I’m writing this letter to you because I can’t think of anyone I’ve had more genuine moments with. From talking about the dumb boys we met — thank you for not judging me when I told you about the boy that hurt me. To being there for me even when I went back to him. Tega, thank you for letting me know I was strong enough to leave.
Even when we were done with school, and you moved back to Abuja, distance didn’t change your endless inquiries about my life. Yes, there were weeks we didn’t talk, but all we needed was one phone call or voice note. Thank you for pushing past the distance between us. You were miles away, but I never felt alone, Thank you for the days you forced me to get out of bed and chase dreams I thought were impossible. I’m so proud of everything you’ve fought for. I’m so proud of how you believe in yourself. Thank you for making me believe in myself too.
I admit when you decided to come back to Lagos, I had mixed feelings. First, I was happy I could easily see you again. The worry came when you asked us to live together. I was worried you’d see parts of me you couldn’t accept. The late nights, the partying, the drinking. I thought you’d hate the person I had become. Well, It’s been four months, and we’ve had a few drunk nights, so I’d say there are parts new parts about you I’ve gotten to see and love. Thank you for making our one-bedroom flat feel like a home. Thank you for accepting all the parts of me that changed.
I never imagined sharing a home with you, babe. It was a weird decision for me, but the truth is, I love it. There is no one else I would rather want to live with. Forget all my hard guy; you’re my girl for life
Ps: I’ll never admit loving you to your face and I’ll deny writing this letter.
Till the wheels fall off,