(In) Dependence

I have a collection of brothers….boys (they would prefer to be called men…..) who have had a significant impact on my life and who continue to affect my life.

One of them has a long history with me. Meeting him was a result of his relationship with a girl who was then a close friend. I find it hard to make friends out of girls………….not least because I do not really understand them. But more of that later.

And at college, I met him again. Since last year, he has gone out with a girl who I have little love for. This has at times been a source of conflict between the two of us; I want to spend time with him but not her……..he wishes to spend all his free time with her………and yet does not want to be denied the pleasure of my company, hearing him speak.

This is headed somewhere: I have recently been moving towards independence in my relationships. While my mother is away, I do not call, text, or e-mail her. I run the household seamlessly, efficiently, singly. And with him, I want to move away from what we have had (movies, talks, ‘benching’) to being a completely separate person.

I saw him on Monday. We sat together, but not at our bench (yes, that’s how often we did it, even had a favourite bench…………..it says something about the nature of our friendship) and he spoke. And spoke. While I sat there and nodded, grunted, assented at regular intervals.

An old strategy of mine, it never works with those that love me: My best friend, parents 🙂 That if I ignore you long enough, you will turn away from me and not love me anymore. Being my bidding, it will not sting, and I shall have won.

He apologized profusely….. about not talking to me as often as he should, not being part of my life as much as a brother should. I gazed at something in the distance, clutched my book. He had to stop caring. Had to.

My friend (almost a twin) walked past. Why didn’t I say hi? We are growing apart. But my ‘I want to break my dependence’ came out soon enough. If I love someone, I said, I grew to depend on them…..and it came back to haunt me; that dependence. Not again, I said. Not again.

He held me and said I could count on him. He loves me. He will be there for me because I am his sister. And all I said was ‘Thank you’. How English. How much less than what I wanted to say. Which was, “You will hurt me so much more now if you turn your back on me.” He said that he had sensed coldness (he had asked severally if I was OK………..of course I had said yes…………Again, so English…) and even before he said this had spoken to the fact that he would insist on me (insist: A Kenyan(?) way of saying ‘Impose myself’) whatever I did. After a certain age, insisting is all love. He was saying something; I love you so much I will not forsake you.

And yet, again I ask, what does he know about me? Only what I have told him. So he might have threatened to gatecrash my wedding (part of insisting) but to see who get married? A girl he barely knows? He pulled me towards him, hugged me, you can count on me he said.

I wonder if I am wrong to want to spare us both heartache; to spare me pain…………………..if maybe what I have been told in the past is true; that I feel more than sisterly love for him. But even he said; the foundation of our relationship is friendship. But friendship is work. I have done more than my fair share so far………………I don’t want to go back to that..but I also don’t want to continue with what Monday was (followed by a message in my Facebook inbox about how I could count on him despite being trying to block him out…….)

I am conflicted…………….I shall (hopefully) figure it out. I urge the universe to give me an answer 🙂


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