Three jolly friends that’s what we've been to one another right from our senior secondary years. We were the kind of friends that were intelligent, smart and good looking. Our intelligence made us stand out from the rest of our mates and of course, we got the attention of the girls - even our seniors. Tunde, Emeka and I spent hours studying together; we were renowned for our pranks too. My teenage years was really fun, quite memorable.
We were the three best graduating students in our class; our WASSCE results were quite outstanding. I remember my dad had taken the three of us to a bar to celebrate our graduation since we also just aged 18. He celebrated our success and introduced us to 33 export lager beer, as the beer for real men. He taught us to drink responsibly and recognize our limits.
In retrospect, I think that was the happiest period of my life. We bonded over drinks and we made pacts to keep our friendship strong. Three months later, Emeka's parents got admission for him in South Africa and he moved there. I remember Tunde and I went with his family to the airport to say our goodbyes.
Strangely, Emeka's parting words to me were ‘Patrick do not let the bond of our friendship break. We are stronger together and not apart'.
It seems life has a way of testing bonds of relationships. If truly we trust ourselves enough; if we can forgive ourselves truly. Right now, I’m sipping my 33 export lager beer brooding and missing my lost friendship. I haven’t had a true friend ever since Tunde and I parted ways too.
Quite unfortunate was the cause of our rift, all because of a lady that caught our interest. Tunde and I got admitted to the same school but different faculties. We had met Cynthia with her friend at a club during our second year while chilling with our 33 export lager beer. We took interest in Cynthia but strangely we didn’t share how serious our individual interests were; so we secretly pursued and dated her till it blew up in our faces. Cynthia had been playing us and made us turn against each other to the extent we sabotaged one another’s trust.
Its been 4 years now and I have lost contact with him, our egos brought us to this point. On my part, I just wasn’t ready to accept that I was also at fault by allowing Cynthia to drive us apart. Emeka tried to help us reconcile but maybe due to his absence and the difficulty that comes with long distance phone calls we couldn’t compromise.
I got a call from Emeka yesterday night telling me he is back finally in Nigeria and he had been In contact with Tunde. He has scheduled a hangout for the three of us next week at the bar we had our first taste of beer - 33 export lager beer. He is quite convincing and persistent so I’m glad he has not given up on our friendship.
I look forward to our reunion, it's high time the past is buried. I can easily visualize it. Sipping the purely blended 33 export lager beer, catching up on times we’ve missed out on, building back our natural vibe and, making solid plans for our future. We have learned from our mistakes and I am excited by the possibilities of our future.
Truly! “We are stronger Together and not apart”.

                                                 - OLANREWAJU OLUWATOSIN

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