I felt terrible. Really terrible. My friend had discovered my secret and I realized how terrible my betrayal was. I wish as I washed my hands for 20 seconds my heart could be washed in 20 seconds and it would be over. But the guilt lingered on for more than 20 seconds and I was reminded of how human I was. Allow me to take some steps back to many months ago sometime in 2019.

I am a man of few friends. The people I call FRIENDS perhaps do not exceed the number that formed that word: 7. It’s still something I pray earnestly about, that my creator will make my melancholy path cross with people I can call FRIENDS. One of such close friends whose path crossed with mine years ago was Jide. I love the fact that Jide does not hesitate to confront me whenever he believes that I’ve erred in my stubborn ways. And so it happened that Jide called me last month to ask for a session wherein he’ll pour out his heart to me. And trust me, it was really an outpouring.

Sometime in 2019, Jide had met one of my other friends whom I frequently gisted with. Meet Sodeeq. Apparently, I didn’t know Jide was as close to Sodeeq as I was to Jide. I wished I had known else there may not have been a reason for this epistolic writeup. One thing led to the other and Sodeeq ended up sharing the private Telegram conversation that ensued between myself and Sodeeq.

Somewhere in the documented conversation, I had spoken ill of my friend Jide towards Sodeeq. Truth is, it wasn’t really that deliberate but how can you explain to the mob that caught you stealing a BMW 750i that it was your first time of stealing. No one would believe you. I had gossipped badly about my friend to another friend and had wiped my heart clean as if nothing happened.

That was about a year ago. Jide found out and kept it to heart. He once told me that there was an issue he needed to discuss with me but couldn’t talk about until he was healed. Interestingly our friendship blossomed even after he discovered that I, Seun Akisanmi, had betrayed him in a private conversation with Sodeeq. Infact his love for God had grown and blossomed in the last 1 year and I kept wondering secretly what it was he wanted to share with me.

After almost a year, I found myself in a meeting with Jide. It was time for him to share with me the things that was on his heart. 5 minutes into his outpouring, I was found wanting. I was guilty. My heart was heavy. He expressed how betrayed and sad he felt when he discovered that I had not stood up to defend him even in a private conversation where no one was seemingly present. Even though I’m known to be a man of poetic words, words failed me that morning. I was guilty.

What touched me the most was the fact that Jide’s behavior towards me did not change even after discovering that I gossipped about him months earlier. What surprised me was that interestingly he became a closer friend even after I behaved like a close enemy. It was almost like Jesus knowing he had a Judas but still being a friend to Judas. Yes, even I felt bad when I analyzed my behavior objectively. I had convinced myself that no harm was done since I was baring my mind (albeit in a negative way) to a fellow friend. But I was guilty. I was found guilty.

And it got me thinking of the many times I’ve backslided and disappointed ONE whom I considered to be my bestest of friend and my MAKER. Apparently Jide had developed a closer relationship with my MAKER in the last 1 year hence his ability to relate with me in an unconditionally-loving way. I was reminded about the words of a certain king when he wrote of our mutual maker: “What is man that you are mindful of him…”

Anyways, here’s a subtle memo to you myself to commit to living a life of true unconditional love and friendship even when I’m talking about people on social media, even when I’m talking about people when they’re not there, even when I’m talking about my enemies…. Here’s a subtle reminder to you me to live a life of agape LOVE depicted by a man who walked this earth almost 2000 years ago. For therein only will I be found INNOCENT.