She chuckled before speaking. Her eyes dancing with smiles.
‘Is that the only thing’?, Chinemerem asked
‘Yes’, I replied wondering why she would not stop smiling.
‘Don’t worry about it, ‘it’s nothing,’
‘But the girl wasn’t even… ‘
‘Forget about it Nonye’, She cut in ‘Never allow material things cause trouble between you and another, it’s not worth it’
Her words stuck like glue in my heart.
That friend of mine…I had lost her book. It was not entirely my fault.
We were in secondary school then. I met Chinemerem at a summer lesson and we started exchanging novels. Reading is my hubby. My sister had many novels which I had finished reading. I was looking for who to exchange novels with and read more books. I was glad I found someone.
One who loved reading as much as I do. Soon enough the lessons were over. The problem was, how do we exchange Novels to read like before? While I was attending school in a different location, she attended another school in another location. Our dismissal time was not the same. There was no way we could meet.
A solution came, one of my classmates, Chioma was living in the same area as her. I was so happy. She became our middleman as we sent novels back and forth through her.
At one time, she gave me a novel which I gave to ‘our middleman’ after reading. A few days later, I coincidentally saw her one day while I was coming back from school. She was sent on an errand. We hugged and smiled happily. After exchanging pleasantries, she asked if I have not finished reading the novel.
‘Which novel? ‘ I asked
‘The one I gave you the last time’
I was surprised that she had not gotten the novel yet. I sent it back over a week before. I told her I had given it to Chioma to pass to her. She promised to ask Chioma when she got home.
The next day, I saw Chioma in school. She confirmed that she had not given Nemerem the book. According to her, she had kept it to read and could not find it.
She non-challantly said she will look for it. Being someone who hates to lose other people’s property, I was angry. What made me more angry was her behavior towards the whole thing. The girl was unapologetic. Weeks after, she was yet to find the book. To make matters worse, she told me not to disturb her about the book.
I was pissed off. It got to the point where we did not even talk anymore. I had to go to Chinemerem’s house to plead with her over the book. She was not angry.
I told her that I was still quarreling with Chioma over the book. According to her, book is not something anyone should quarrel over. She taught me one of the greatest lessons I have learned in life. Never allow material things to cause trouble between you and another.
Often times in life, we let trivial issues cause problems between us and friends. It could be money, clothes, shoes, books, amongst others. Hold on, I’m not saying that those things are not important. They are actually very important. People owe others and refuse to pay.
You go to their shops, offices or workplaces, call them on the phone even visit them at their houses but they refuse to pay. Some borrow your clothes, shoes and other things from others but refuse to give it back. You pester them day in, day out, yet, no show.
All of this happens. But, the question is, are they worth the energy you will put in quarreling? Is it worth the fight? Do you really want to stress your mind that much?
The truth is that all these are not worth it. One day we all we die and definitely leave all these things behind. Hold on, I’m not trying to encourage people who are owing others not to pay.
Neither am I encouraging you not to return every material or object you borrow from others. It’s even very essential that you do so. It’s etiquette. It’s a courtesy. Under no circumstances should you borrow things and do not return them. It’s wrong and totally unacceptable. Moreover, when you borrow something from someone and refuse to give back, you have literally closed that door.
You cannot in good conscience ask the person for any other favour. Even if you do, it will be difficult for the person to oblige you. This could also cause a rift between you and person. Remember what I said earlier, Never allow material things cause trouble between you and another.