“Faults” by Akosua Brenu.

It was all my fault. It has always been my fault. It was my fault since the first chuckle at your cheesy one-liners and it has remained my fault since then. And now, especially now, it is my fault. At times, we like to go with the flow. You know, treat life like a pot of watery Tom Brown; swirling and swirling to the rhythm of the wooden ladle. And then we go with the flow for so long, we forget to boil and sputter for the ladle to be withdrawn and a lid to be placed firmly above us. We were supposed to be best friends; To be platonic enough to rise above the stereotypes erected in our society. We wanted to remain the example; To teach people that a man and a woman could simply enjoy each other’s company without straying from the narrow path of companionship.

I am tempted to call her. But there is really no need. I do not have the courage to tell a tale that should be kept secret. And even if I tried, I wouldn’t have the right words for an explanation that should follow. The facts are not so simple. Yes, you disarmed me with your tears and your declarations of “I can’t take it anymore.” I had never seen you like that. So distraught that you couldn’t bother to pull out your handkerchief, but rather wiped your soggy face on the sleeves of your Joromi shirt. Again, really, you did disarm me. Coming to me in that shirt I bought for you on your birthday. An innocent present, but a constant reminder of how much you matter to me. Its sea-blue and dirty black patterns on the cuffs depicting our respective favourite colours and suddenly shoveling fantasies into my subconscious.

I should have asked you what she did and at least tried to play Devil’s advocate. But I ignored all the unwritten rules of sisterhood and in unthoughtful haste, sided with you without hearing her crimes. And now, you lie behind me. With your chest bare and heaving harmoniously with your snores as your lower body remains hidden under my sheets. I want to turn around and fall back into your arms. I want us to lie in bed all night and wake up to the sounds of Wofa Kofi’s cockerels competing for the crown of Town Crier. But each time I turn around, the future frowns forebodingly at me. I worry about her. I worry about what you and I have now done to our friendship. I am able to convince myself that you disarmed me, but the truth floats to the surface easily. It is all my fault.

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