Technically, you are no longer an ‘internet friend’, but I couldn’t find anyone better to receive this letter. Ours is a beautiful story that still leaves me convinced that there really are good people in this world. I can’t even remember when our first contact was, but it doesn’t matter much today. What has been born from it is what I cherish and wish to let you know.
Often, we hear people talk about the internet and how it has changed lives in both good and bad ways. I am wary of the negative consequences that could emanate from the ‘wrong’ use of this tenth planet, but am more fascinated by the great things I’ve been able to achieve on it. Even more beautiful are the relationships I’ve been able to forge with people from all walks of life. Some lasted for a short while and others are still alive, but each one was special and got to teach me at least one thing. My life in Morocco has been made easier by the fact that I can always reach out to these people with a single click and then the madness begins. You, my dear Jaal, are one of these people who’ve made my laptop my best mate over here.
One would think it weird for people who have never met before to connect on a level as deep as ours. My earliest memories go back to Blazer’s status where we assumed roles of two wujas and engaged in the silliest of conversations. We graduated from Facebook and moved to Twitter and girrllll, that was just on another level. The tweets, retweets and favorites got us closer and we would converse as though we had known each other from birth. I had great fun playing the devil between you and your internet sweetheart, ‘Mr Bajinka’ (who still hasn’t seen reason). We would cuss each other out like characters from a cliché black movie and people would wonder why neither of us ever got mad at the other. Then came the spell with GARM and Balafong and we would exchange notes and criticise each other’s writing in all honesty. You may never have realised it, but all these moments endeared you to me. Last year, you moved back to The Gambia and we were linked by one more person: LG! We spent time discussing how awesome he is(he’ll probably kick our butts now) and how very grateful we are that we were all brought together, especially at that time. While I endured the bitter cold and crazy school life, you had fun taunting me with pictures and stories of the joys of Jollof. This only got you more cusses and I couldn’t wait to get close to you and go all ninja! Then there was Starfish! You and Nyima increased my nerveseh levels with narrations of all you were doing and got me wishing I was there to be a ‘walking billboard’ too. I counted the days to summer 2012 and found it very difficult keeping quiet about my plans, lest I ruined the surprise.
June came and I was back home with my loved ones. Before even I could get your number, you were on the other end of my phone screaming your head off and demanding to know why I had kept shut about my trip. Lord, I was then convinced that I was dealing with a mad woman. Our meeting was extraordinary. I’ll never forget the deadly pinch you placed on my arm and how it felt to finally see you outside of cyber world. Just so you know, I shall continue denying that I cried just because I was meeting you for the first time. My holiday turned out pretty good for it was spent with people like you, who showed nothing but love, support and the most random of crazy attributes. Our hangouts were the bomb and got me wishing I lived closer so we’d do them more often at You Know Who’s place. I’ll cherish the memories of our aimless walks in Banjul, the laughter and knowing look we shared when something awkward happened, the happy rides with the rest of the L-Family, the build-up to RV, the inspiring moments at Starfish(even with the Cryolympics) and the list goes on. How do I forget the short run you made for your cab, just so you wouldn’t hug me goodbye on the last day?
Jaal, I may not say this often, but I appreciate you so much. I admire your strength and the aloof attitude with which you treat most things. You’re audacious, bold and very determined and it sure was reason enough to bond with you. I know you’ve got great plans and larger-than-life dreams for yourself and the people around you.I can only pray that God grants them all to you. You are beautiful both on the inside and the outside and I bless the day our paths crossed. My personal messenger, ex diet-partner, accomplice in no-sleep runs, you are just awesome and I love you! I hope to see you again soon, so we can click some more and show the world nakala. There are a lot of things I am grateful to the internet for, and you are one of them!
P.S I miss you on the diet, but hope you never come back . I also haven’t forgotten about my ebbeh. A promise is a promise 🙂