From up-stairs in her parent’s apartment, Tonia slowly watched Ayo enter the compound thinking that he came directly to her. Unlikely as one may say, he went to visit his closest friend Lanre in the same yard.
Tonia was a sixteen year old Liberian girl who at the time lived in Nigeria with her parents, who had travelled to Nigeria. Her father was pursuing his second Masters Degree in Theology and Biblical Studies. Life in exile for the family was at times difficult because the family had no other relative to relate to in terms of financial assistance and other family related issues.
However, her father managed to send Tonia and her elder brother Jerry to two well-established secondary schools in the City where they lived because, his children’s education mattered a lot to him, and all he ever wanted was to have his kids educated.
The family soon adjusted to the reality that it was alone and had to make things happen as the members wanted it.
Although Lanre was much older than Tonia, they became the best of friends and moved along accordingly. Their friendship was something Tonia wouldn’t leave for anything in the world. This was because Lanre had come to understand that Tonia was an alien or a stranger and needed friends.
To this process, he was a great friend she could rely on. She soon became fond of him and was free to tell him anything she felt she needed to confide in a person she could trust.
Tonia’s brother knew that someone outside the family had stolen the trust and friendship of his sister because they two didn’t get along quite well. They were the direct opposite of each other.
After many years, Tonia kept her friendship with Lanre. They would call each other, “My Partner in Crime,” because they did almost everything together and went places together.
Of all the places they went, Lanre allowed Tonia meet his best friend Ayo, which she thought was the best thing he ever did for her. On a fateful evening at home, as their usual routine, Lanre suggested they took a walk to past the time. They decided to visit Ayo.
Tonia accepted and their visit marked the beginning of new chapter in their lives. From that meeting, Tonia liked Ayo from that moment.
Ayo, a Yoruba by tribe was a very persuasive guy. Nothing went hidden from him, and Tonia thought he was cute.
In no time, they became good friends and things were normal with them just as friends.
Tonia finally fell in love with Ayo. Tonia admired his persuasive method that made her to tell him whatever that was in her heart which did not bother her.
Tonia could no longer hide her feelings from Ayo and so she had to let the cat out of the bag and confess to her friend Lanre. They talked about it almost all the time they were together. Lanre wanted to know if Tonia meant what she actually said to him about Ayo.
Ayo and Tonia became fond of each other, and were always together. They shared a lot in common, too. They were only secondary school kids and didn’t have longer hours together like the bigger ones would do.
From all accounts, Tonia realized that all Ayo ever wanted was to see her happy. He was much careful about the things he said and how he said them. Together, a whole day was like few hours.
Lanre would not allow his friend to go away from him. He was always willing and ready to give her advice on how to handle some important issues.
Just as the friendship got better by the day, it was time Tonia left Nigeria because her father had completed his studies and obtained his second Masters Degree.
Her last day in the city was quite and nice but sad. This was because Tonia would leave her best friend Lanre and her sweet heart Ayo.
But she had to go. She was still too young to stay behind and could hardly make a decision on her own. A day to her departure, her friends spent the entire evening with her. She couldn’t leave from their sight, with a thought that she would be leaving them for almost the rest of her live.
She and Ayo shared comforting words in common; how to meet again; how well they would continue their communication to make them happy.
That night was bad for her because she couldn’t get her mind off her friends and all she was about to leave behind.
They had to leave which they did. She arrived home in Liberia and she was glad to be home, she soon got used to the fact that she would be away for a very long, long time.
It had been several years since Tonia returned home but she had not been able to forget about her friend Ayo, and she knew she would continue to long for the day they would meet again.