Ex With Benefits

The word "Ex" in the context of this piece is not limited to "a former lover or an old-time romantic acquaintance". An ex in this sense could be an old colleague, classmate, or friend, with whom close ties have been severed.

"Really, Tosin, would you do this for me?" Toke asked for the 4th time in 10mins.

"Toke, relax. Just come over this weekend, and we'll talk more about this. I promise it'll all end in praise." She paused as Toke sniffed at the other end; she was obviously crying. "It's okay, dear. I have to go now. Talk to you later". She dropped the call.

Toke reclined in her seat. She had been in that chair for over two hours, pondering on her past life and seeking a way forward. She had earlier seen an ad on Facebook, a fashion house was recruiting, and limited slots were available. She desperately needed that job. She sent an application with all the needed requirements to the email provided in the ad.

A few minutes after sending the mail, her phone rang. It was Tosin, her long-time friend, whom she ghosted due to a small offense that should have just been swept under the rug. She was shocked to see the caller ID. She still had Tosin's number. Hesitating and wondering why, suddenly, out of the blues, Tosin would be calling her. They had not spoken in over 3years. She simply stopped talking to her because Tosin decided to learn a different skill, contrary to their initial agreement to go into fashion design together. To her, it was betrayal, and she didn't see the need to keep up with a, in her own word, "JUDAS."

Four years down, she was done with her training and could boast of herself as a top-notch designer. But calamity struck when her mother, the only surviving parent she had, came down with a terminal illness a few months back. She had to sell her industrial and manual sewing machines to foot hospital bills. She and her younger brother, an undergraduate in the university, are neck-deep in debt, and life seems to be against her. 

And here's Tosin, offering to help her secure a place in the fashion house. Tosin said the fashion house is owned by an aunt of hers, who recently relocated to the country from the Netherlands. She had put Tosin in charge of the recruitment, and on seeing Toke's application, she knew she had to do something to help her ex-best friend.

Long story short, Toke secured a fine position as a supervisor in the fashion house and is currently doing well. She has settled most of her debts; her brother is a graduate and serving the country. With the help of Tosin, her mum has flown abroad for proper medical care, and her health is stable.

As much as we want to "move on" and not go back to our vomit, we must be careful not to cut off potential destiny helpers. Change, they say, is constant. Someone who treats you badly today could be a changed person tomorrow and even come to your rescue when you're in a dire strait. Someone who you treated badly, as in Toke's case, could also be your savior tomorrow. Imagine if Tosin decided to take it out on her; after all, it wasn't her fault the friendship ended.

Also, adequate care must be taken to avoid having toxic people come back into our lives to further complicate them. In all, balancing our relationships and knowing where and when to draw certain lines is key.

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