Home Life Interacting with Naima showed me how Fortunate I was

Interacting with Naima showed me how Fortunate I was

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via Daily Prompt: Fortune

My friend Naima decided to go to Uganda for her A levels. This time was immediately after high school. We had been such close friends over the time we were in high school. We shared our plans and ambitions about school and life after school. There was one challenge, though, She had faced a myriad of difficulties ever since she joined high school. A total rebel who despised her parents and always wanted to have her way.

She was naturally hardworking messed up girl, and at times I avoided her. I realized that she needed me because I was quite resourceful in class. Everyone knew that she was troubled and she was using hard drugs. So most students avoided her, and she always came to me. I could not send her away.

She was naturally hardworking messed up girl, and at times I avoided her. I realized that she needed me because I was quite resourceful in class. Everyone knew that she was troubled and she was using hard drugs. So most students avoided her, and she always came to me. I could not send her away.

In our junior year, I remember sliding my hand gently into her pocket just to poke her. I grabbed her handkerchief and ran our of the class. She aggressively pursued me with a grim face. I got scared and stopped to hand back her handkerchief. She was completely upset by my behavior.

I told her I was sorry and I stretched my hand towards her as if to give up the folded handkerchief then I unfolded it.Without any knowledge of the contents in the hankie, three rolls of what seemed to be homemade cigarettes dropped to the ground.

I froze there for a minute trying to figure out what was happening. She quickly collected her belongings and turned away from me. She could not fight me since it was against school rules. Drugs and its equivalents were strictly prohibited,

In the county, it was normal to see young people high on drugs, but I could not remember any single day I ever saw a female amongst them. This was my first time to see a girl with a cigarette-like rolls that I believed was weed. She had been a subject of murmurs in school, but I never thought it was true. I schooled with young boys who were outright drug abusers, but I had never met female one. Even pastors are caught up in this menace of drug abuse.

I immediately knew that she was going through a difficult a time. She needed someone to talk to, but there was none. Not even the teachers cared what happened to students behind the scenes. She came to me later to apologize that I saw whatever I saw.

I told her I should be the one apologizing for intruding into her privacy. She asked me if I could be her friend the remaining time we were in school and not tell anyone of her struggles. She later opened up to me. Men had abused her for three years.

She was consuming drugs, hard drugs. She told me she gets the drugs from the people she interacts hangs out with. Not at school but in the neighborhood. I was too young, too inexperienced to help. The best I did was to listen to her, laugh with her and just understand her.

She wondered why I had never tasted alcohol. I told her I come from a Christian background and alcohol was a no go zone. I asked her if she wanted to quit and she said she was trying. I tolf her to cut off ties with the boys who spoiled her.

She told me she was working on it. Honestly, I do not know if she ever quit or not because she always acted the same way. Sometimes she looked okay; sometimes she looked moody and dizzy in class. I could not understand her at times. I would just leave until she finds strength to share. She would find me in the library reading then we would start talking again.

Naima lived with her stepmother who never liked her and her dad who was never there. Sometimes she would fight with her mother, and the result would be spending the night out of the house with the boys.

Her father was not aware of what happened. She never bothered to tell her dad. It would worsen the situation. Moreover, her father would, in most cases, side with his wife. It was logical since Naima was rebellious.

I sometimes consider that as the reason why she resorted to being high on drugs perhaps to forget the tribulations of living in a place where she was not welcomed.

I think she would be much better if her mother were there to help her. However, again I look at myself, and I wonder how fortunate am I. My mom is alive; my dad is alive, and I have never lived with neither of them.

I used to live at my grandmoms, then at my uncles then another uncle and then my life goes on. When I joined elementary school, I did not even know my full names. I fixed my birthday, my second and third names. All because I met the right people who made sure I made the right choices.

Where is Naima now?

She is fine. She quit drugs and we kept contact. She did her advanced levels in Uganda and qualified to study law at Makerere. She never went to Makerere because she could not raise the fees.

I was fortunate to meet friends for life foundation who took me through undergraduate and graduate education.We occasionally chat on social media, but we are not as close as we used to be then.