I Am Not Guilty

I’m struggling with a moral or ethical question. Yesterday I denied my friend in public and I don’t know how I could have done better. I never thought I’d be in the shoes of the biblical Peter who denied his Christ in his worst hour but here I am.

Yesterday Bolu burst into the exam hall one hour late, wearing his pyjamas bottom and a singlet. I could see him looking around wildly for me as he called out my name to vouch for his sanity as the invigilators and security tried to drag him away.

I told Bolu. I told Bolu to take it easy last night when he woke me up at 1 a.m. to ask me a projectile calculation question. I was so deep in sleep I even thought it was just 11 p.m. Only after the call ended did I see it was so late. And we were to be at the exam venue for accreditation by 7 a.m! I didn’t have credit to call him back so I went back to bed and fell asleep almost immediately.

When I’d sat down in my hall earlier that morning, I hadn’t even thought of Bolu until we were told to take our phones and bags to the front. I remembered he was the last person on my phone just 7 hours ago and it occurred to me to give him a call to check if he’d settled in his hall. I also realized I didn’t have any call credit or time to recharge online. I said a prayer for him and sat down on my assigned seat.

The test must have gone on for about an hour when suddenly there Bolu was at the door! Eyes bulging and rolling like an epileptic, veins twice the size of those on a footballer’s leg popping from his neck, his shrill intelligent voice shattering the peace of the exam environment like a crazed banshee. He was pleading and threatening alternately, fighting desperately to enter my hall. I could have spoken up for him but I found myself tongue-tied as he delivered a solid head butt to the main invigilator.

After the head butt was delivered, things went downhill quickly. The standby medical ambulance was called (apparently they were always on hand for mental breakdowns of students in exam hall situations). They were about to take Bolu away from the exam hall and away from his dreams. He pretended to calm down, explaining gently that he wasn’t mad, unable to keep his breathing or darting eyes under control.

Nobody listened to him. Other students in the hall were actually taking the opportunity of the distracted invigilators to exchange answer sheets and cross reference solutions. I couldn’t speak up for Bolu, I might have been punished for his violent head butt, or worse still, carted off to the psychiatric hospital along with him. After he was dragged away I struggled to focus on my remaining questions and finish the test.

Now I’m on my bed. I’m to leave town this morning back to our diploma school. Bolu and I were supposed to travel together to go complete our clearance but he’s locked away in the hospital. I don’t know how to bring myself to face him. What would I say to him? That I wrote the exam and it went well? That I saw him at my door and refused to stand up for his sanity? The alternative is to go complete my clearance quickly and start at my new school without ever seeing Bolu again. He would hate me yes but from outside the school, because he wasn’t able to get in. But how can I live with this on my conscience? What if he encounters one of my unborn children in the future and decides to initiate a generational vendetta?

I need your advice people. *sigh*


Friends come and friends go,
but a true friend sticks by you like family.
(Prov. 18 vs. 24, The Message)


I love to learn. I love to teach. For me the two are the same.


  • Abigail says:

    LOL @ generational vendetta. But this really is a big problem. Courage failing us at that moment when we should speak and then shame stoppng us from admitting to failed courage. And then we choose to forget. Peter denied Jesus. But then he wept bitterly, faced Jesus eventually and then over the years worked at being courageous. Choice is ours really

  • donwhizkid says:

    “He would hate me yes but from outside the school, because he wasn’t able to get in.” I saw what you did there o. Lol. But its a serious matter, how do you explain to a supposedly mad person thats gonna be mad at you for denying him? You dont want your conscience eating you up, neither do you want a negative reaction from him. I’m confused!

  • genieslamp says:

    Wow! Locked away at a hospital sounds serious. I understand how tongue-tied you felt. However, if you really want to straighten it out, you should speak to someone who’s equally close to Bolu, explaining how your courage fled. The person might speak to Bolu on your behalf. No matter what you’re led to do, make sure you speak to Bolu.

  • Ro33ah says:

    Before nko? Why won’t he exact all the vengeance he wants? You didn’t have airtime to call him and THEN you couldn’t stand up for him when he needed it? And you were right there? Come on! I really do not understand the hesitation, at all.
    As for way forward, I suggest you see him yourself – surely, leaving town should be the farthest from your mind – however long it takes(I’m guessing psych ward visitation hours would be limited). Go and apologize, there is no explaining this one. Do everything in your power to help him see how sorry you are. Nothing else to do really.

  • Aarinolaoluwa says:

    Hmmmm… *bites kolanut and chews slowly* funny how this series comes after the friendship post… U see now? There’s not a friend like a lowly Jesus! No! not one…. ‘Didn’t remember Bolu until it was time to drop bags and phone’? Such ‘salty’ friendship..
    Weldone! 😉

  • Timiebix says:

    Na sigh I fit sigh hence

  • I had a particular friend in school that was very loud, his loudness was of epic standards but he was an amazing human being.
    There was a pretty girl I was attracted to then & she was giving me the green light too. This fateful day, I went to her house, saw some friends with her & they were talking about MY FRIEND. They went on vehemently about how irritating he was & blah blah, through it all I didn’t say a word to defend him. When they asked if I knew the person they were on about, I flippantly said I’v noticed him in class too.

    On my way home, he called me ( Apparently, he was coming over to mine & thought of picking up food for me. He’s thoughtful like that). That night, I told him what happened & apologised for my cowardice, he just shrugged & told me to forget it.
    Needless to say, I made sure people knew he was my friend from then on, if you don’t want him around, you don’t want me around.

    Efe, I like this post.

  • Mine too, I called my friend right after reading this post. 🙂

  • Personally I would have done same. Doesn’t make it right but we all have ways to confront situations. I hate to be noticed for noise and notoriety in public. But that’s just me. you should apologize to her though. Thats what I’d do.

  • Jk_McDazzles says:

    Locked away because the one time you needed someone to stand for you against their own selfish self, your own stupid reasoning or the glaring eyes of the world for that matter..
    Locked away because showing up didn’t count when it counted the most..

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