Sadness, Woman, Lady, Tears, Rain, Women

We all go through hardships in life; If not we at least know someone who did. This is not my story .this is a story of Imelda.

We can never escape friends, ‘no man is an island’ John Donne couldn’t have said it better. The best thing about friendship s that even years after pass you still have memories to treasure, sometimes those memories are not so good but these are things that happened, things that made us who we are today.

Few years ago, I had a friend (hey dear crush, this lady was just a friend).  During secondary schools holiday, we both attended the same tuition center trying to sharpen our minds during holiday add up some knowledge and sharpen our minds, tough old times!

It was one of those days, I was super tired and couldn’t wait to get at home and rest; couldn’t my feet move any faster?  I saw her then, that motion moving like she had no rush, I could tell from how she moved that she was sad, or maybe almost as if she dreaded where she was heading to. I sped up to catch up with her; was she talking to herself? I moved closer to her, this had to be the best humming anyone has ever had! What song was that? I bet she had an amazing voice. She must have sensed someone behind her because she turned; alert she murmured words i could barely hear, “hi”, “oh hey, how are you?”  Did i sound as weird as felt? “I’m ok” she responded shortly, not very chatty huh!  that’s too bad because neither was I. We then moved in silence, she had stopped humming ; we seemed to be moving  in the same pace , or maybe it was just me shortening my steps. I was the smartest boy in my class, still am but right there at that moment i couldn’t come up with any words. My head kept replaying newton laws every time i wanted to say something to her. Yep, that was social suicide i couldn’t tell her that.

Overthinking had distracted me from noticing we were moving to the same neighborhood, “do you live around here?” my big head finally made a full sentence. “Yep, just there”, she pointed at the house   just across the road few houses near ours. “That’s crazy, i live just close by!” I couldn’t hide my excitement.” Why’s that crazy?’ “She genuinely asked and before I could respond she had crossed the road and just left me there standing there like an idiot i was. Who was she?

Dammit! I woke up late again. I will be late for my classes. I comprehended whether i should eat my breakfast as brushed my teeth.  I dressed up and rushed only to find my mom at the door with an already packed breakfast, how did my father get so lucky with this amazing woman?   I was on the verge of running when i saw her coming out of her house, same move, and no rush. Did i comb my hair?  I had to talk to her today. “Hello good morning’” i smiled brightly when caught up to her. She turned looking a bit surprised ‘Good morning ‘She smiled, it didn’t reach her eyes.” I’m Noel by the way, you are?” “I’m Imelda” “any relation with the saint from Bologna?” she looked amused, “I was actually named after her! That made me earn a smile, a real one this time. I silently thanked my Sunday school teacher for being very thorough. It began from there, our beautiful friendship; she now talked more around me. It turns out no one is really quiet; we talked and talked about everything and nothing. Imelda was actually very charming very different from what I had perceived.

We became closer each day; we went together everywhere, to the market, church, we even became study buddies. She was one of those people that you ask yourself “where has she been all my life?”. My dearest moment is how we used to walk on the rails every evening trying to balance not to fall; sharing our dreams, wishes and fantasies. She wanted to become a doctor and that very fact that we shared the same dream made us inseparable. Who knows? Solving COVID 19 could’ve been a piece of cake for her.

‘’I’ve noticed your last name is not Jumbe, are Mr. and Mrs. Jumbe your parents? I asked one evening as we sat reading. The Jumbes were our neighbors where she stayed ‘’ Focus on your books Noh, that’s a story for another time “, yes, that’s what she called me, Noh Amazing right!, I never got to her that story though, or maybe in another world at another time i will ask her again. Maybe this time I will get to hear it. Days turned into weeks and before we knew it. It was time to get back to school. We went and since we can’t keep phones at school we couldn’t keep in touch. I had missed her, studying with her  was never boring, she always had simpler ways ,always understood the principles of physics better  and how she explained the theories her eyes going all wide as she did, i loved it. i had to put on my big boy pants and studied hard for my upcoming national exams We did the papers then the best part came. The holidays i had missed my friend i couldn’t wait to see her.

‘It was too easy, i finished every paper an hour before time, and I’ve never been bored in my life’” she said whilst smiling. Classic Imelda cocky as usual. She looked like she has lost some weight though, it must’ve been the books, i had lost a bit days went on she looked worse not only health wise but she kept smiling and speaking less.” Imelda are sure you are ok?”, i asked once after so much thought. We sat on the rail one evening and she seemed to be in deep thoughts. She looked up to me half smiled before responding “I’m fine Noh, just a little headache, do you mind escorting me to the hospital?” “Don’t be silly, of course i don’t mind, and that was the last conversation we even had. A sensible one at least. We reached at the hospital, did the tests but nothing, no malaria, no typhoid no UTI i nothing. We went back home she moved very slowly that day almost as if she didn’t want to reach at her home. It was almost dark when we got at her home. And then it began

It became worse, Imelda changed completely to someone i hardly recognized. One minute she cried, the next she laughed, talking to her became the new normal. It was painful to watch. By now the results were out, she had passed as expected with straight A’S, she got selected with a school and combination of her choice, PCB. i rushed to tell her as i was sure she hadn’t seen the results. Mrs. Jumbe was at the door, “Imelda is not around come by next time “she said immediately.  “Will you please tell her she passed very well?” ”i know her results, now go”. I never went to school sad as i did that year. ‘i kept worrying what will happen to Imelda. She couldn’t go to school though how could she?, no matter how hard it was to admit, i finally did. Imelda had become insane.

Six months, it has been six months since I last saw her. I had hardly dropped my bags when i ran by her house to say hi to her. Wishing, no hoping, no, praying she had gotten better. They say if wishes were horses’ beggars could ride, unfortunately Imelda had gotten worse, turned mad and went to the streets. Not to an asylum but to the streets, anything can happen to a teenage girl on the street crazy or not. I was directed she might be on the street dumpster. i ran as fast as my feet could carry me, on reaching I saw her, at the very end she was seated eating some old bread she must’ve picked from the dump. “Imelda “i whispered when i had reached to her.
  She raised her kind eyes looked up to me like she had never seen me before and went back to eating. Did she gain weight, the irony! No she hadn’t gained weight, oh my God she was pregnant? How did she? I mean how, why…what on earth happened to her? There was only one explanation to this, someone raped her! I couldn’t look at her any longer; tears were now flowing down my cheeks. I couldn’t help but feel guilty. Imelda was a soul that needed saving, perhaps that teenage boy in me didn’t know much and because of that. Look what happened. I came back the next day carrying some food and drinks. She even hugged me. It felt like old times, she ate hungrily and just as i was about to leave i heard her murmur “thank you Noh”, i looked back  at her  and our eyes met. For a moment I thought she had regained her senses then she started laughing slowly at first then harder with time. I had to run to stop myself from sobbing that was a worst holiday ever.

 Days passed and finally she gave birth, a baby girl very beautiful. Mothers love is strange it didn’t matter the state of mind it just there and still strong. Imelda breast fed that child like any other mother, she didn’t know better than though for sometimes she fed her bread and food she picked up from that dirty place. Some people from charity organizations came to take the baby from her but she fought them with all her strength, she won. I wish they fought harder they knew better. It wasn’t two months the baby got sick. It wasn’t a surprising the child ate dirty food, got in the cold, stricken by the strong sun and all the time. Imelda cried when her baby did and laughed when she did. This was typical her, i remember a day that she was in sour mood the whole week simply because i was. It didn’t take   a week Imelda’s child had died. She didn’t know though till about two weeks when other people noticed and had to remove the rotting baby from her back.
 She cried and I standing on the road side felt it. I’m sure the whole town felt it to , the pain in that wild cry. She moved from that dumpster and started staying at the cemetery just beside her child’s grave. I keep saying that I was Imelda’s friend but i just wasn’t there as i should’ve been. Friends don’t just go away because one lost their mind. They stick around, and i I didn’t. Later i was told Imelda got knocked by a car and died on the spot. Another  young beautiful soul gone. I always feel it she saw her dooms day before time, but i guess life just screwed her too much and though young it was time.


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  1. Poor Imelda, she must’ve experienced some harsh treatment from her foster parents but she just couldn’t tell it😩😩😩