I Hate That I Can’t Remember Your Face

March 18, 2022

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: A woman who never wants to forget her best friend

To: Evelyn, her best friend

Dear Evelyn,

One might say we were an unlikely match and I’d understand. In fact, I had the same sentiment when my family moved into the neighbourhood and I saw you for the first time. You were loud with a bubbly personality, all the things I wasn’t.

But to our parents, we were so similar. The same age, from the same ethnic group; to them, it was the perfect recipe for a great friendship.

“Go on, talk to her. She’s the same age as you.”

You beat me to our first words to each other. Typical you, so intentional and sweet. Whenever we fought, I’d make up my mind to come to you, but you’d beat me to it. I’d find you at our backdoor, obnoxiously calling out my name to ask me for something you obviously didn’t need and then we’d be friends again.

The details of our first conversation are insignificant but symbolic. I was too young to know it then, but it was the beginning of the greatest friendship I ever had.

From that day, we stuck together. “Thick as thieves” was child’s play to us. Siamese twins were more like it. Although we went to different schools, we always left the house together. We literally started our periods at the same age, 13 I believe. We gossiped about the boys toasting us, well, you, because you were the beautiful one; the one everyone adored and loved. I was honoured to be your friend. 

RELATED: 10 Types Of Friends Every Woman Should Have

When I started writing this, I thought it was just a letter to a friend, but as I wrote, the words revealed something else, something more. 

Do you remember?

The first time we kissed? We were playing mummy and daddy; we were only playing pretend, but it felt so real. We did it as a joke, but from that day things changed. We’d sneak in quick kisses and pecks whenever we could find time away from prying eyes and ears. 

Do you remember?

The time Aunty Kelechi caught us and threatened to tell our parents? We cried and begged her for weeks not to tell anyone and that we had stopped that “’bad thing” as she called it. We didn’t, but still, the thrill of the pretence was just as fun.

Do you remember?

All the times we’d spend learning Nicki Minaj’s rap? From Moment for Life to Roman’s Revenge God, I miss the old days when we spent all of our time dreaming of what we’d be like as adults… It’s not as fun as we thought it’d be, ba?

Do you remember?

The day before the last? You came over to collect a CD from my house. That afternoon, I roped you into playing football with the rest of my family into the evening. When you left, I told you not to stay up late watching it, since you had school the next day.

Do you remember?

That night. When the fire took you? No, you possibly can’t. That’s the burden for those left behind. They are forced to remember. To live with the memories or the betrayal of forgetting those memories.

RELATED: How To Make Friends: A Zikoko Guide

I watched from the street as the fire grew. It was late in the night and everyone tried to get you out. There was nothing I could do. I kept praying for a miracle that somehow, you’d survive. I watched my prayer disintegrate as many toiled and failed to rescue you from the fire. I watched them carry you away.

The other day, I passed by your house and tried to conjure up a memory of us together, but it’s been a decade since that day. but your face was missing. I could see us playing in the compound, I could feel the euphoria of the moment, but I couldn’t see your face.

I told someone about it, and they said that sometimes the brain pushes back traumatic images and memories to protect us. Dissociative amnesia, they called it, but it still felt like a betrayal; to you and to our friendship. 

These days, I don’t remember us every day, but on the days I do, the weight of your absence is almost crushing. But I — with glee — bear its remembrance.

I’m sad I have to move on without you. I want to go back to playing pretend with you. Maybe we would have been brave enough to make a real family together; you’d be mummy and I’d be mummy too. I know I can’t have that now, but at least we have this letter.

I’m glad I get to share your memory with the world.

Love,

Kachi

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

Nigerian women celebrating Ileya.
July 20, 2021

Ileya, also called Eid-el Kabir or ram Sallah is a great time to connect with family and friends over juicy pieces of fried ram. As with other things, women have a specific experience of Ileya that is often missing from the conversation. In this article, eight Nigerian women talk about celebrating Ileya.  Farida, 26  I’ve […]

5 African Female Digital Artists Talk About Their Work
March 18, 2021

Digital art is fast becoming one of the most lucrative art types as social media advances as well as the tools used to create the art. In this article, we spoke to 5 female African digital artists about their work.  Ohimor Oghenerume, 22, Nigerian  I started digital art in September 2017 because I was very […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

October 10, 2019

2019 is certainly Burna Boy’s year, but, if we are being honest, so was 2018. Since his transcendent mixtape, Outside, the afro-fusion star has refused to get his foot of our necks — dropping a string of fantastic singles and then capping it all off with his career-best album, African Giant.  So, in a bid […]

What are you like in a relationship?
February 7, 2020

Your taste in music can say a lot about you, and this time, it’s going to reveal what you are like in a relationship. So, pick a few of your favourite Nigerian love songs, and we’ll let you know if you’re typically a distant, passionate or unbothered partner. Here you go:

December 11, 2019

In the past month, we’ve made quizzes that guessed the last time you had sex, how many people you’ve slept with, and just how good you are in bed. For our latest attempt, we will use your taste in Nigerian music from the 2010s to ascertain what you’re like in bed. Take to find out:

More from Her

What She Said: I Hate the Word “Disabled”
December 7, 2022

This week’s #ZikokoWhatSheSaid subject is a 49-year-old Nigerian woman who lost a leg after an okada accident. She talks about waking up to find a stump where her leg used to be, what it’s like to lose a limb and what she thinks about how people treat amputees.

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X