Friend zone. /ˈfrend ˌzəʊn/
“That special place where a guy who is romantically eyeing a babe or vice versa is relegated, like a poorly performing football club…. Persons in this zone are referred to by the party they like, as, “brother, sister, my best friend, “she’s like one of my guys….he’s like a male girlfriend….etc.”
This word has the ability to break hearts, make grown men to cry in agony, while clutching their pillows at night. At the mention of it, some women pine in the privacy of their bedrooms, kissing pictures and drawing hearts and cupid arrows all over their jotters. Some may even play FLAMES, one cross-off childhood matchmaking game like that (if you don’t know it, ask someone).
On the other hand, being in that place has been known to turn some people to juju-consulting and application experts; others, to serial killers who take out the competition until they’re the last man or woman standing. Then their crush would have no choice but to notice them.
If you’ve ever been there, let’s gist. I tell you mine, you tell me yours. *grinning*
A long time ago, I had the unfortunate experience of being in the Friendzone. I was on my own, jeje jeje mi, when this young man popped out of somewhere and we became friends, then best friends. We shall call him That Fine Boy. We talked about everything. I had no secrets from him; I told him things I didn’t even tell my mother, who was my best friend before he dethroned her. He too, had no secrets from me. At least that what I thought, until the day She came along.
Now, before that time, I realised how mushy I’d begun to feel towards That Fine Boy. So, during a conversation one day, I said, “Bros, I like you.” He replied that he liked me too. I knew he wasn’t coding my moves.
“You don’t understand. I like you like that.” Mhmmm.
His looked up very fast and his eyes met mine. He gave me a stare so rich in ewwww, I wished I’d kept my mouth shut.
“Eketi,” he said, looking at me with a mixture of pity and affection, “we’re just friends o. Shebi you know?”
I understood, sharperly. And because I didn’t wish to ruin a good thing, I was happy with being best friends. Until her.
The girl, whom we shall call That Friend Spoiler, wasn’t beautiful. She wasn’t pretty either. She was just there- you know what I mean. I didn’t think she was smart either…of course, my mind was heavily cloaked by the green fog of jealousy at the time; so that assertion may be inaccurate.
I hated her. She said she liked me- that she wanted us to be friends. Frie-gini? Tufiakwa!
I tried to be happy for him, I really did. But whenever I saw them together, which was often, my face was like moi-moi that hadn’t been warmed for forty days and forty nights. When the three of us hung out, I would try to please him by being the perfect best friend. I would smile until the sun bleached my teeth.
Soon, his sister noticed the change in me and asked me if I was romantically interested in him. See this girl, trying to rob me of my pride, which was all I had left.
“Me? Like him?” I asked, staring at her like you-don-dey-craze. “God forbid! He’s like my brother.”
“Then why don’t you like her? She’s a nice girl.” I rolled my eyes to Jupiter and back.
Being in the friendzone can pain eeeehh.
You know they’re not that into you, but you still find yourself doing mumu mumu things like trolling their Facebook page to see if they’ve changed their status to ‘in a relationship with’; liking, sharing and retweeting everything they put on social media; going through the girl’s Facebook page and wishing Zuckerberg would hurry up and add a dislike button; making a voodoo doll out of dry, brown plantain leaves and chuking it with needul; borrowing her stuff and then “misplacing” them…..watching them on their wedding day and wishing you could just “mistakenly” pour that flute of champagne over her head, while making the toast
(I didn’t say I did any of the above).
Eventually, I got out of the zone to a safe place where I was genuinely happy for the two of them.
I learned to say how I feel instead of dying in silence; I fought for what I wanted. I learned to let go with dignity. I cut down on pretence. But above all, I became skilled in the art of friendzoning other people. (Please, don’t judge me).
So, to those of you out there who’re still in this situation, sorry, you hear? To love is a beautiful thing, yes. But don’t keep pining for unrequited love, wey be like ajayi work; e no dey pay.
If that person you feel something for is still single and free, please talk your mind, ho-ha. Else….you go old o!
If however the person already has someone in their life, sing with me- “let it gooooo……let it goooooo…”
Love is a choice; choose to move on and love someone else. Life is short; live it with someone who loves you back. The Friendzone is not a place; avoid it as much as you can.
And if you’re still in doubt, listen to the song, Next Door To Alice by Smokie and weep for yourself.
Eketi Aimé Ette ©2015. Reposted with author’s permission.