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The heat seared through my eyes and a second later, everything was dark. Where did everyone go? It was only 3pm and I could not see anybody; all I could hear were screams…and the screams were mine.

Before I continue, I should say I am not a fan of practical jokes. I understand some people need to feel relevant and remembered; heck I can even laugh when someone pulls out a chair from under me before I sit – I guess that’s okay. But on this day, it had gone too far.

It was a lovely day at the office a few years ago – well it was as any other office day. I was on my industrial training in a telecoms company and I was eager to go for my lunch (yes I like food – come and beat me). I couldn’t go at the usual time I should have because of other office duties had to take care of. Around 3pm however, I was free enough to go enjoy my meal and when I got to the office cafeteria, I got around to ordering my yam and Goat meat pepper soup but I wasn’t alone.

A few of my other colleagues were also there at that time but there was this one lady. Before that day, I thought she was my friend. We attended the same school and it was nice to have a familiar face around. We got down to our food and along the line, it happened.

What I am about to tell you is only what I was told because honestly, my mind went blank. I remember reaching for a glass of water, I remember seeing a finger and I think there was a smell of something hot, like a balm. Then came the pain; a pain more intense than anything I had ever felt. It was awful and I screamed – oh boy I screamed.

From what I was told, this ‘friend’ of mind, thinking she was funny, took a hand finger-full of Aboniki and while she says she only meant to put some on my eyelid, dumped all of it in my eye while piercing her nail into my eyeball. So there was heat, and there was pain. There was water in my eyes and I couldn’t tell where tears stopped and where anything else began.

It took me three weeks to recover fully, my brother (who was interested in this my ‘friend’ at the time} told her he didn’t want to ever hear from her again; she was asked to take an indefinite leave from work and I haven’t seen her since. She invited me for her wedding some months back but I told her I wouldn’t be able to attend. Honestly I was scared that I wouldn’t come back with my eyes. Yes she apologized but damn – that was ABONIKI. What kind of practical joke was that? Even when I sit today, I still wonder. Was she really joking? Or is she one of those ‘friends’ who secretly want to hurt you?

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