Valley of Decisions
“I don’t know why you keep investing your time and energy into that
waste of space, Laila. You deserve so much better.”
“Kiki, I won’t take that from you. I know you don’t approve of this
relationship, but please don’t talk about Ben that way.”
My best friend, Kiki and I were spending some time together at her
rearranging her closet, as I gave her an update on my journey back
from the seminar with Ben. She didn’t like Ben, and she never could
hide it, even when he was around her.
She rolled her eyes. “Whatever! I hope that for your sake, this
relationship is worth it in the end. You both are in completely different
worlds. You are a Christian, he claims to be one. You are doing well as
a lawyer; he is still playing games, claiming to be a media mogul. Both
of you are just not on the same level.” She flung some clothes into her
laundry basket. “You keep acting as though he is the last man on earth.
You need to make the decision to kick him to the curb before he does it
I chuckled. “I hear ya, Pastor Kiki,” I said. “I see no ring on your finger
and you don’t have a man but you know how to dish out relationship
advice like an expert.”
Kiki dramatically held her stomach and bent over like she had just
been punched. “Ouch. That was a low blow sis, but I’ll let it slide,” she
I playfully blew her a kiss and laughed. “I didn’t mean it,” I said.
“Anyway, what do you think I should do?”
She rolled her eyes again. “You know what you should do Laila, I
don’t need to tell you. At this point, you need to do what you need to
do and make room for your heavenly baked hubby.”
Kiki smiled sheepishly, which made me look at her strangely.
“What’s with that smile, Kiki?” I asked.
She giggled. “Can’t a girl smile sheepishly for the fun of it?” she
asked, as she playfully shoved me.
“Uhm, no you can’t,” I said. “And did I just hear you say heavenly
baked hubby? Really, Kiki?”
We stared at each other for a few seconds and burst into laughter.
“You are something else,” I said as I sat down on her bed. “Anyway, I
want to say you’re right but at the same time, I’ve put way too much
into this relationship. Breaking it off is easier said than done.”
Kiki walked into the bathroom, shaking her head like she had some
kind of revelation. She popped her head out of the door and said, “It’s
fear that’s stopping you, my friend.”
I smirked. “Really Kiki, Fear? I am not afraid of anything.”
She walked out of the bathroom, shaking a nail clipper in her hand.
“You are afraid of being alone, Laila,” she said. “You have been with
him since you were 23. You don’t want to be above 30 and single.
You have also invested so much into him, and you want your
I walked to her bedroom window and stared blankly. “Kiki, I have
been with him for so long; I’ve given him so much, I’ve even
graciously saved myself for him. Do you know how hard that has
been? He has been good to wait for me.”
Kiki walked over to her bed and sat down. “He has been good to
wait? Laila, do you hear yourself?” She smirked. “Okay friend, if you
Right from the day Kiki met Ben, she told me, “Sis, he’s not yours.” Of
course, I didn’t appreciate that because I thought she was being
judgmental. While we were in law school, all I heard from her was
‘let him go. He’ll only do you more harm than good’. And he really
has, if I am being honest with myself. In the past 7 years, Ben has
been no stranger to getting into some kind of trouble. Each time, he
apologized and seemed remorseful but within weeks or months,
something came up again. According to Kiki, being with him has
made me age faster than I should; she says I look 10 years older than
“Hello! Earth to Laila Ocheng. Are you listening to me at all? You look
lost in space,” Kiki called.
I chuckled. “Oh, I’m sorry, Kiki. What did you say?”
“I said enough about Ben,” Kiki said. “So, I met this guy a few days
ago who asked me to go to lunch with him on Sunday. I agreed but I
friend suddenly jumped up began to dance in front of her mirror,
grinning from ear to ear. I couldn’t believe it!
“A ha!” I said. That’s why that silly smile was on your face earlier.”
She stopped dancing and chuckled. “Maybe,” she said.
“Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever seen you blush like this, Kiki,” I said
excitedly. “This must be something serious. How come you’re just
telling me about him?”
She looked at me in disbelief. “Uhm let’s see Laila, maybe because
you’re always going on and on about that loser… sorry, Ben. There
was no way I could tell you about… drumroll, please… Timothy.”
“Oh la la, Timothy,” I teased. “So, tell me all about him. I want to
know what he looks like and what he does. Oh wait, how did you
Kiki laughed. “Okay, Miss Lawyer. Slow down. I didn’t hear you ask
if he is born again. Shouldn’t that be one of your first concerns?” she
I took a sip of my drink on her dresser and rolled my eyes. “Yeah,
yeah, yeah. Men will always bring some kind of drama with them.”
Her smile faded as she stared at herself in the mirror. “No. Not this
one Laila,” she said. “I’ve been praying about him and watching him
and this looking good. Very promising.”
I walked over to her. “Praying about it? What for? That’s over the
top. Start the relationship first, girl.”
She kept her gaze in the mirror and said, “Oh no, missy. I would
rather be sure before stepping into a relationship that could lead to
I put my hands on my best friend’s shoulders. It was time to tell her
the truth. “Look Kiki,” I said. “I’ve invested 7 years of my life into my
relationship, hoping it’ll get somewhere. What makes you think that
yours will be so straightforward?
Kiki shoved me and walked back into the bathroom. “Where are all
these low blows coming from, Laila?” she asked raising her voice.
“I know you’re hurting but please give me a break. I made the
decision not to jump into any relationship until I am fully ready and I
shouldn’t be made to feel bad about that. Besides, I don’t need to be in
a relationship for 7 long years just to be sure.” She sighed. “I didn’t
say I was getting married to him tomorrow. It’s still the early stages
and I want to be sure before every step. Please don’t take your pain
out on me.”
“You’re right, Kiki. I’m sorry,” I said as I sat down on the bed. “So…
when do I get to meet him?”
“I’d rather you wait,” she answered. “I want to spend a bit of time
getting to know him better before I start introducing him to
everyone.” Kiki walked out of the bathroom with some nail polish
remover and cotton wool as she sat beside me.
I was staring at her in confusion. “Everyone?” I asked. “I didn’t know
I was in the category of ‘everyone’. That’s not right, Kiki. At least I
should meet him and tell you what I think.”
She took my right hand and began to clip my nails. “Laila, just relax.
You will meet him when the time is right. Don’t pressure me, okay?”
She looked at me. “Anyway, so where are we going for dinner? Can I
choose the restaurant?”
I stared at my hands. “Okay that’s fine; but what’s all this for? I didn’t
ask for a manicure,” I said while wriggling my free fingers.
Kiki released a hearty laugh. “First of all, because I’m a good friend,
secondly, your nails look like claws and this nail polish is chipping
off.” She grinned. “Thirdly, it’s time to change the subject, and
fourthly, I recommend we go to that brand new expensive Italian
I furrowed my brows. “Okay, that still doesn’t make sense. Why
exactly have you decided to give me a manicure, Kiki?”
Kiki began to recoat my nails with the same beautiful bright pink
colour already on them. “Well, because I also recommend that you
foot the bill tonight and I’m hoping that my act of love and service to
you will make it happen.”
I laughed out loudly.
Kiki picked up her cell phone and began to make a call. “I’ll take that
as an ‘okay’. It’s a good thing I have their number on speed dial.”
I shoved her lightly. “You, my friend are so sneaky,” I said as she
made a reservation for two.