A friend like Funto
Everyone has a friend like that- you know, a person who, given normal circumstances would never make your prize-pick of acquaintances but somehow manages to worm their way into your life with their constant shoving and inability to take a hint. In fact, you’d never actually call him/her your friend, not even if your life depended on it but they couldn’t be bothered one bit. They show up at your house uninvited and show no hurry to leave till you’re tempted to have them physically thrown out. You get the picture. That’s Funto.
Funto is NOT my friend but as I have earlier said- that doesn’t matter in the least. You see, I met her on my first day at a former job and my immediate (and lasting impression) was that this chic put the noxious in obnoxious. I mean, she was totally in my face, asking all sorts of questions, making irritating observations about everything from my outfit to my hair to my having only one child. “What are you waiting for? I had my 3 kids back to back in 3 years! Now, I’m done and I have my life back in control”, she said. I had to dig my nails into my palms to keep from asking her if she had never heard of family planning. I was sorely mistaken if I thought that silence was the best answer for this fool ‘cos 6 months later she had succeeded in invading further into my life. And it wasn’t just me. Everyone, and I mean, EVERYONE, at work couldn’t stand her whether she liked you or not. I guess our shared dislike of Funto actually made us all closer to each other but not to her.
Early Monday morning
Monday morning. I’m woken by my phone ringing by 4:30 a.m. You know it’s going to be a bad week if the first call you get on a Monday morning is someone whose voice elicits the same response in you as bottle caps being dragged on a gravel road. Aargh!!! Funto!!! She called to ask me to take permission at work for her cos she’s sick. Trying to hide my annoyance at being woken up at such an ungodly hour, I ask why she didn’t call someone else. “No one picked up” she replied. Lucky them, I muttered to myself. She started to apologise and I quickly cut her off. She’s barely audible through what sounds like a nasty cold and besides, my son’s started to stir awake. I hastily got her off the phone and rushed to pick up my son. Too late, he was already awake which put an end to any thoughts of going back to bed.
All day long, I was grouchy. 4 hours of sleep can do that to you. I silently cursed Funto for interrupting my much needed rest, hoping her cold evolved into a nasty case of pneumonia. As if to add insult to an already sore injury, I received a text message from her in the course of the day asking if I could help her pick up a 2 day sick-pass and would I mind dropping it off at her place on my way home? Oh, I did mind! I minded so much I decided to actually pick up the aforementioned pass and drop it off and in the process give a talking to that she’ll never forget.
She lived in a comfortable block of apartments not too far from work. Really expensive, she hadn’t forgotten to add the first time I went there, even though I didn’t ask and then proceeded to ask how much my husband and I paid to rent our place. Now I would never willingly decide to go to her house but she basically bullied a couple of us from work into attending a Christmas party she and her husband had thrown. Think about the worst form of Chinese torture imaginable. Then multiply it by a hundred. Now you’re getting a picture of how trying the experience was.
However, that day when I got there I got the feeling that something was off. The security guard stopped me right at the gate and said she’d asked him to take the pass from me. I found that totally odd. Surely, Funto wouldn’t miss an opportunity to show off her ‘expensive’ flat some more. I ignored the guard and made my way to the third floor apartment. Strangely enough, I had to knock for over 2 minutes before I got any response. There was a barely audible whisper. “Who is it?” I told her it was me and she replied that I should just leave the pass by the door as she wasn’t properly dressed to receive guests. Now at this point I was angry and I mean really really angry. Blame it on sleep deprivation. Blame it on over a year of constant annoyances from someone who I honestly didn’t like. And when I get angry, I’m like the Incredible Hulk. You won’t like me when I’m angry.
Show her who’s boss
“LOOK, FUNTO, I AM NOT YOUR ERRAND GIRL! Thanks to you I’ve been up since 4 and now I drive all the way here and you don’t even have the courtesy to let me in and say a proper thank you?!! If you don’t open this door right now, I’ll tear this stupid pass up and then you’ll have to get your SELFISH LAZY behind to work tomorrow and sort it out YOURSELF!!!”
Perhaps there was something in my voice that let her know I meant business. Perhaps it was the fact that I was screaming and several heads were starting to alight around the hallway to see what the ruckus was about. Maybe, just maybe, she could imagine me turning green, muscles rippling through my ruffled blouse as I morphed into a formidable comic-book hero. I don’t know what but the door was immediately opened. All the rage I was feeling, though, was immediately wrested away from me the second I walked in. The apartment looked like a tornado had been through it. Literally.
There was broken glass everywhere, chairs overturned, picture frames lying in pieces and strewn all around the place. If I thought the state of the apartment was terrible, Funto looked like the scene in the movie “Independence Day” after the aliens had invaded L.A. Her lips were cut in two places and she had a nasty swelling around her left eye that had almost sealed that eye shut. There was a deep gash on her forehead that she had clumsily tried to close up with a band-aid. Her cheeks looked like she had been in the ring with Rocky Balboa and Mohammed Ali at the same time.
**To be continued**