Lessons we can all learn from a broken relationship 

What you need to know:

  • Things that would ruin your public image if they were ever disclosed need to be done alone.

Life offers us so many opportunities to better ourselves if we are paying attention, but nothing teaches us a more lasting lesson than personal relationships.

Stories about love turned sour have made authors wealthy and are the backbone of the Telenovela industry. However, many variations authors and screenwriters come up with the premise is still the same; relationships gone wrong are a nightmare. 

Recently, I was reminded of all that while at the beach where I was forced to become a witness to a friendship gone wrong.  As I sat there trying to appreciate the beauty of Lake Victoria, I kept being distracted by one of the girls sitting at the next table who was talking on the phone.

What really caught my attention was the way she kept saying the name Harriet after every two words.  I soon deduced that Harriet was the person on the other side of the call and she was causing this poor girl so much strife.

From the tone of her voice and the fury on her beautiful face, things would have been different if Harriet had dared to show up instead of taking the coward’s way out with a phone call. 

I did not need to be Sherlock Holmes to understand that Harriet and beach girl were once friends but have now fallen out and in the way of failed relationships, Harriet was now happily spilling the beans of their shenanigans, which was threatening beach girl’s reputation. 

Sensing intrigue, I abandon all attempts at contemplating the vastness of creation and concentrate on the story and ended up learning several profound lessons about friendships.

After so much back and forth, beach girl informs Harriet that she cannot return to her the things which she lent her because the basin got broken, the kitchen knife got lost and the mopping rag was discarded because it became too old.  

Lesson number one: Anything you get from a friend that is not classified as a gift should be wrapped in cellophane or cling film and deposited in the nearest vault in case the owner wants it back. 

Beach girl tells Harriet she is saddened that she is even talking about the visit to “mutula ku ngo” (witchdoctor) because she thought she understood the circumstances surrounding that decision.

Lesson number two: Things that would ruin your public image if they were ever disclosed need to be done alone.

Beach girl says she is also disappointed that Harriet who encouraged her to terminate a pregnancy is now giving it as an example of her loose behaviour. 

Lesson number three: Never let people make the big life decisions for you to avoid unnecessary regrets. 

Beach girl tells Harriet to stick to the facts concerning Mama Brian and what happened at a “lumbe” in Seguku.  The way she was squirming you could tell the Mama Brian in question was capable of ending beach girl’s life in one way or other.

Lesson number four: Never say things you are uncomfortable with about people who can ruin your life.  As American poet Khalil Gibran once said, if you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

By this time, I was beginning to understand that this stunningly beautiful woman likes to live life on the edge. I am, however, shocked by the nonchalance with which she is revealing all sordid secrets to everyone within hearing distance including her new friends who keep pinching each other and snickering. 

Deciding that I had learnt enough lessons for the day, I decide to distance myself from the drama. From my seat, I kept feeling sorry for this beautiful woman for whom life will forever remain a difficult exam to pass. 

Clearly, she did not learn anything from her broken relationship with Harriet and I could foresee her going through the same heartbreaking situation with each and every one of those girls at the table. 

Lesson five: Every girl needs to know that it is okay to invest in your outer beauty but your brain needs work too.