By Udoh Blessing
Frankie and Lisa became best friends while in school. Somehow, what attracted Frankie to Lisa was Frankie’s impulsive and daring nature. Lisa at the time was 17, and Frankie, 19. They didn’t mind their ages. They just loved each other.
A few years later, Lisa got a call from school that she was needed at the hospital. Her father had just slumped resulting in a stroke. Her mom at the time was away on business, so it was just her taking care of her father while he was hospitalized. Since he couldn’t move to do anything himself, Lisa had to stay with him. Her mom couldn’t bear being away so she came back leaving everything behind to help Lisa take care of her father. Lisa had already missed so much at school with everything that was going on, she needed to go back to make up for how much time she had lost, but somehow, she struggled. Seeing that her best friend was already going through so much, Frankie decided to help the best way she could. She was always there to put Lisa through her studies, but it could only go on for so long as Lisa began to have a mental breakdown. A few months afterwards, she got another call from the hospital saying that her father had died.
“There was nothing more we could do,” they said.
It was a very sad moment for them. Frankie had only just come to hear of the news a few days later when she didn’t see Lisa in school for a while. Frankie wanted to be there for her friend.
It was also during that period that the mortgage on the house they lived in expired. They could no longer afford to pay the bills. They needed to find somewhere cheaper. After that, Lisa could no longer afford to pay for school as her fees were long overdue. She wanted to be in school. It seemed like a good distraction for her at the time, but how was she going to pay her fees? She spoke to Frankie about it but there was only so much she could do. She needed to think of something.
On a normal day, Lisa and Frankie would always go home together, but on this day Lisa went alone. On her way she passed by an alley where she heard a group of boys her age talking, they weren’t being subtle so it was hard to ignore. She approached them and told them of her need to join only because she needed to pay her fees and at the same time use what was left to take care of her mother.
She never told anyone of her plans. Not even her best friend. Everything was all planned out to the last detail, even to the codes needed to get in. They knew how to turn off all CCTV cameras so as not to get caught, but there was one thing they didn’t know—the house was bugged. The heist was a bust. It was when they needed to make their getaways that the police apprehended them. Their sentences were reduced based on the fact that no one was hurt. Lisa spent three years of her life in detention. Frankie got to hear the news from Lisa’s mother.
All the while when Lisa was in prison, Frankie never came visiting but managed to send her letters saying how much she regretted not coming. It was during that period that Frankie met Andrew. Frankie made it a habit to write to Lisa every week she was there mostly bragging about her relationship with Andrew. After some time, the letters seemed to be the only thing Lisa looked forward to, in a way she consoled herself with the idea of Andrew. Lisa created a picture in her mind of who Andrew could be and their relationship together.
To be continued . . .