Manning up

My phone vibrates in my pocket  then stops immediately.. for a moment I think I might have imagined. I pull it out nonetheless.
My friend looks at me intently. I can feel her waiting for me to tell her whose message or call it is..
It has to be a message.

I do the pattern on the screen and a dark shadow crosses my face. I wish my friend wasn’t looking at me..
‘ what is wrong?’ She asks.
‘ Nothing.’ I reply. I try to look away. My moods dampen and I can feel myself wishing for the wind to blow the threatening tears…

‘ Mamaa, it is him.. right?’ She asks searching for my face…
‘Darn bastard!’ She curses under her  breath..
‘ I heard that..’

We walk past the shopping center and I pay no attention to the street food.
‘Do you want anything?’ 
My hands are out of my pockets and am hugging myself. It feels a bit chilly.

‘Look, you don’t deserve anything like this my dear. And for once, I want you to man up, unblock that guy and listen to him. He is going to lie to you. And if your brain works at all, you will let him know that you know he is a lying cheat who doesn’t deserve you.. ‘ She says to me and the look she gives me, I know I really look pathetic. My friend rarely shows her soft side.

She hugs me and offers to buy me something which I politely decline. She is dismayed.. she wants to stay with me, but she has CATs to study for.
‘Go.. I will be fine. I promise. I will even get ice cream’ I give her a fake smile which she doesn’t buy. Reluctantly she heads back to campus..

I walk on the extreme sides of the road.. I think it’s warm but I feel cold..
How did I get here?
I want so badly to know what he has to say.. but I feel so afraid that I will believe in his lies and be drawn back.. I feel so afraid that in wanting to be the only woman for him, I will fall back right there.. then she is going to come by.. and it will always be like that..
I sink my hands into my pockets. I am at a loss.
Being the most sensible amongst my friends isn’t enough this time.

I walk thinking of how many times I have had to stand lies, being hurt or lame excuses.. anger..
With a slight shake on my hands, I get my phone out. I undo the harassment filter settings.
I muster all my courage or what my friend calls manning up, dial his number..
It rings and in a second, his voice is there. I can’t tell whether he is pleased I called him or pleased he knew I would lose the silence battle.
‘Winnie, hi.. I couldn’t get through to you’
I feel angry..  but controlled..
‘Hi. Are you in a quiet place? We need to talk’

4 Replies to “Manning up”

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