Sunken Ships is a Zikoko series that explores the how and why of the end of all relationships — familial, romantic or just good old friendships.

*Amina and *Fatima had been friends for thirteen years. But one fight was enough to reveal the many times Fatima had tried to sabotage Amina, and now, the friendship is no more. 

Fatima and I had known each other since we were in secondary school. She was a couple of years my junior, so we never had a reason to strike up a conversation. Almost a decade later, I started dating her cousin, and we started talking. I eventually married her cousin, so we moved from being friends to family. 

Fatima always came across as someone who was lost. She’s the only child of parents who never married, so the family never really took her in as one of their own. They treated her like an outcast. I thought she was a lovely person who was judged based on other people’s prejudice. I took our relationship as family very seriously. 

Since I was older, our friendship started off as me guiding her through life. I was answering her questions and helping with decisions she had to make. I shared intimate parts of my life with her. Even when her cousin and I separated, she was still in my life as a friend. She’d call multiple times a day, and we’d make out time to hang out.

What changed? 

Our first fight. One day in April (2022), she texted me to ask for my ex-boyfriend’s number. The ex was a guy I had dated after her cousin. I told her that I wondered why she was asking when she spoke to him regularly, and that’s when she started cursing me out. She said there was nothing special about my relationship with him, and if she wanted to sleep with him or take him away from me, she could. 

I was completely shocked because my accusation that she was still talking to my ex was unfounded. I had no proof but just threw it out there because I noticed my ex had a lot more information about my life than I gave him. He knew about the new jobs I was working on, the people I was working with and other things I didn’t share with him. 

There are three people I knew could have been responsible; a mutual friend of the ex and I who frankly doesn’t have our time, another friend of mine who doesn’t even respond to his messages, and Fatima. I thought if I brought it up, she’d deny it, but instead, it made her snap. That’s when a lot of things started to make sense; why she was always asking me extremely personal questions, and why my spirit was no longer in tune with hers. She was obsessed with my ex and our relationship.

Did she ever show signs of this obsession? 

I remember when she went out with my ex and I. Immediately she got home, she called her own boyfriend and broke up with him. She told me she saw the way my ex treated me, and it occurred to her that she could do better than what she currently had. It was weird because she didn’t acknowledge how much work I put into the relationship to get that kind of treatment. If you want more then you invest more time, energy, money and emotion. She based a life-changing situation on a one-day interaction. Who does that? I tried to not look too deeply into that situation because nobody wants to settle for less. I loved her too much to deep it like that. 

So, she’d never done anything to hurt you before? 

In 2018, we went to a club and met a guy and his friend. The friend happened to be a celebrity, but I was more interested in doing business with the guy. We all exchanged numbers, and she told me the guy was asking her out but she’d rather date the celebrity.

The guy and I got really serious about work. He kept mentioning I shouldn’t bring up details of the contract with anybody. Secrecy is a big deal in the industry I work, so I didn’t think too much about it. Unfortunately, he just sent me a message telling me he had to terminate the contract. Money is not my biggest problem, so I took the loss and kept pushing. 

February of 2022, we met at a work conference. After exchanging pleasantries, I brought up the fact that he terminated our contract. That’s when he told me he only did it because my “sister”, Fatima, had told him that if he was serious about her, he’d have to stop working so closely with me. 

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That’s a lot. Did you confront her about it when he told you? 

I didn’t. I just thought he was saying it to get into my good graces after terminating the contract. I wouldn’t just believe what a stranger has to say about her. Especially since I didn’t even know they were dating. 

It was during the fight that she brought it up. She told me a friend of ours said I was sleeping with him. But when she confronted him, he showed chats as evidence that it was only work we discussed. Then, she told him to block off the contract if it truly was only work. 

It’s funny how there were so many things she did to me, and I just kept disbelieving them because I didn’t believe my friend of 13 years would try things like that. 

What else did she do? 

She also insisted that I sent a spy to her house to keep tabs on her. The spy in question was my former assistant who I told Fatima I wanted to rehire in March. By January, Fatima had hired her. She told me that since I didn’t need the assistant during that period, she wanted to hire the babe. I agreed. Then, she asked the girl to move in with her to lessen her commute. I didn’t orchestrate the hiring or the meeting, so how was she my spy? 

When Fatima fired the assistant based on the spy allegations, she told the babe it was because I convinced her to fire her. That I said she was a prostitute. The whole concept is bizarre to me because why will I randomly call my former assistant a prostitute? I never had that conversation with Fatima. Now, the babe thinks I was gossiping about her. 

Our former friend also stopped talking to me for the same reason. There are a bunch of people who feel comfortable slandering me because of Fatima’s actions. 

Why do you think she did all of this? 

Obsession? Jealousy? Both? She’s actively trying to ruin my life, and I don’t understand why. I’ve never done anything to her or anyone she holds dear, so I don’t know why she’s doing all of these things. 

Do you think you’d ever forgive her? 

I’ve already forgiven her. I try not to hold negative things in my heart against anyone, but one thing I’ve learnt is to not allow just anyone in my personal space. I let this person have enough access to me and she felt comfortable disrespecting me like this. You can call someone your friend, but they end up being a wicked person who’s simply planning your downfall.

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