Objects Of Jealousy

Photo by Lum3n:

On my twelfth birthday, I got to learn a powerful lesson about how an object, a material stuff can generate jealousy and corrode even the strongest bonds like friendship.

Emenike and I were inseparable friends as kids. We attended different primary schools but we were excited to start our journey in the same secondary school together. We always shared our hopes and dreams with each other, as usual that's what only the best of friends do. But it was not long enough before, it became clear that not all friendships were built on sincere joy for the other's successes. Sometimes, when you own nice things and they don't. Objects you both crave for.

On this particular school holiday, the sun had set beautifully. Our school bags and early morning worries of rushing to school to avoid being late and punished were temporarily forgotten. Emenike's company was a comforting presence for me as my parents were all away. His laughter and companionship was like a soothing balm to the monotony of that holiday.

Ofcourse together, we tried all sort of adventures our hands could get hold of. That day, it was the adventure of trying out new recipes to make noodles, which happened to be my breakfast. The aroma of our culinary creations filled the air as we whipped up the delicious dish. Laughter and scents of spices in hot oil filled the air.

Almost done with cooking, I looked out of the window and noticed an unusual sight. My father's car was just pulling into the compound much earlier than usual. Scared that he'll meet the house untidy, we quickly put away stuff our hands could get hold off as I rushed out to stall him more so that Emenike could finish tidying.

Rushing out to welcome my dad, his face lit up with a smile, then he handed me two unassuming bags, with contents of which would forever be seared into my memory.

"Happy birthday, Son," he said, his voice laden with love and tenderness.

Out of joy I opened the bags and inside were clothes, each one whispering promises of style and elegance. But amongst them all was a belt, its head was adorned with a dazzling array of shining stones that sparkled in the sun. The design of that belt was bewitching. It exuded a sense of fake glamour and charm. It was simply irresistible for a teenager of my age. I knew I had seen such designs on celebrities in my country. Although theirs was the original.

My joy overflowed, and I'm sure it reflected in my eyes. Then I saw my father give an approving smile.

"I can see you like them," he remarked, a nod of approval accompanying his words. "Go on, go inside and try them on and enjoy your special day. I have to go back to work now." He said and re-entered his car.

I watched as my father's car disappeared from sight, I quickly hurried back inside, eager to show my newfound possessions to Emenike. As I presented the bags
and its contents on the floor of our sitting room. Emenike quickly reached for the belt and immediately I watched as his hearty smile turned to a frown. But I was too innocent to see it as anything.

"It's beautiful abi?," I asked, in an attempt to get him talking. But it felt like his silence was an impenetrable wall, his eyes steady transfixed on the belt.

"It's not original," he scoffed instead, his fingers tracing the belt's buckle with mocking condescension.

I was perplexed, it wasn't the reply I expected. Besides, he already knew our parents weren't rich enough to afford original stuff. But yet I was angry at how he could dismiss a gift that meant so much to me?

I watched as Emenike continued to describe reasons why the belt was a fake sprinkled with shiny stones. I tried to hold back my disappointment by refuting his claims, but he remained adamant.

Then he said, " To prove to you that it's a fake I can break it in half with my bare hands".

"Guy stop," I said, quickly dragging the belt off his hands. " Stay here, let me try these clothes in the mirror inside." I escaped to the privacy of my room.

Few seconds later, I heard Emenike's mocking laughter from the sitting room. I quickly ran out, and what I saw left my mouth agape with reality hitting hard at me.

"I told you it wasn't original," he said with a mischievous smirk on his face.

My eyes widened in disbelief as I took in the sight before me. The belt and its gems I'd treasured, given to me by my Dad with love just a few minutes ago lay in broken pieces on the floor, now damaged beyond repair. There it dawned on me the true definition of jealousy.

"Guy, go home. Leave my house" I whispered, my voice barely audible. Rage and sadness were quickly building inside me. He tried explaining but I didn't have the patience for that.

Our friendship shattered that day, like the gems from the belt that were scattered on the floor.

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