Posted by Chandalalaland.com
If you haven’t already noticed through reading my blog, I have a thing for sayings, Bemba ones mostly, grew up with a lot of them and as years have gone by, most have turned out to be true.
I’ve had one on my mind the past few weeks, I’ll translate it: “the things that don’t meet are ghosts” (in Bemba, ifishikumana fi wa). Even my Jamaican best friend knows this one pretty well. What it basically means is that at some point, your path and someone from your past, will cross because the only things whose paths don’t cross (or meet) are ghosts.
Think about it. An old flame, a broken friendship, a crush, a first love, a childhood friend, a classmate, a teacher, a person that was somewhat significant in your life.
I’ve been thinking about the people in my past, like the people I wrote about in my post ‘Time’. I know the chances of seeing A again are pretty slim to none since we do not reside in the same country, but I’m always looking out for B. Cautiously, I might add.
Childhood friends are the ghosts you think you’ll never get in touch with, let alone see in your lifetime. I’ve had a number of them whose paths have crossed mine over the years. When I was in first grade, I went to an all girls Catholic School called St. Mary’s. There were two other girls in my class with my name. We were known as the three Chandas. It was pretty cool. We lost touch when my family and I moved to Kitwe. I found Chanda Chi on a mailing list a few years ago and we caught up, and though a face-to-face meeting never materialized when I visited home a few years ago, it was still good to see how the other had turned out.
Another childhood friend was a neighbour who called herself Lom Toms. She and I would spend afternoons sitting in my guava tree yelling out to a boy in our class that lived across the street. I’d yell: “Phillip we love you”. She’d respond with: “we hate you”. And childish giggles would ensue. Neither of us have any idea if Phillip or his family ever heard us. She moved to another town and we went to different high schools so the idea of ever seeing or hearing from her again was nonexistent. But somehow we found each other and when we got in touch a few years ago that memory was the best icebreaker old friends could have. And since then, we’ve kept in touch. She owes me dinner.
Phillip was another ghost I thought I’d never see. After he threatened a teacher in fourth grade and was expelled, he disappeared into thin air. However, a couple of years after, (I think after Grade 7) he showed up at my house with a Hi-Five tape he’d dubbed for me on cassette. Oh, those simple days, sigh. Six years later I ran into him at a club and we engaged in teenage flirtation that never went further than that night.
Teachers are usually the ghosts you either would really love to run into or, dread the memory of. One of my favourite teachers was in seventh grade, Mr. Nyirongo. He was intelligent, funny and wanted the best out of his students. He was also not a parent pleaser, so my mum liked him a lot. He had taught my brother a few years earlier, but I think he liked me better, *wink. Even though he lived in my neighbourhood I didn’t see much of him especially after I went to high school. I learned a few years ago that he became a principal at a school my cousin now attends and was so happy for him. Since learning my cousin ran into him quite often I reminded her to say hello for me. When I visited home this summer, I just happened to answer my mum’s phone one day and it was Mr. Nyirongo! He’d heard I was in town and wanted to see how I was doing. To say I was chuffed, would be an understatement. He totally made my day!
Then there are the ghosts you really dread, the ones that broke your heart. One of them got in touch with me a few years ago to apologize and it was a welcome surprise. We’re Facebook friends now. The other is still at large.
But my thought is this: what happens to those supposedly significant people we never see again? Are they still around? Will we ever run into them? Or are they simply ghosts? Are we?