Wed | Nov 14, 2018


Published:Saturday | January 30, 2016 | 12:00 AM

What is the true meaning of friendship? Oftentimes, the term is used lightly, and people we are merely acquainted with are passed off as 'friends'.

And then there are the instances where those we've shared all our days and secrets with are the ones who stab us in the back, as was the situation with Jesus and Judas.

Sasha* has one of those betrayal stories too, and though hers didn't end her life, it almost destroyed her family.

Living with her mother, stepfather and siblings, Sasha had a proper life.

According to her: "I have always lived in a nuclear family setting and I strongly value that. Family means a lot to me."

But then she introduced one of her friends to the family and things began going haywire.

"About two years down the line, rumours began surfacing that my stepfather and friend were intimately involved. I never believed it at first, but then one day when we (her friend and herself) were spending some time together, she got a phone call.

"I couldn't hear what the person on the line was saying, but judging from her responses, it seemed it was someone she was involved with.

"When she hung up, I asked who it was and she gave an answer dismissing the conversation," she said.

Sasha told Family and Religion that later that day, she checked her friend's phone to see that the person who had called was her stepfather.

"Ever since that day, I had been mindful of her, but still a bit in doubt. I had told her about the allegations and she laughed as if I had said something ridiculously impossible. I laughed too, because it was ridiculous and impossible," she admitted.

According to her, the topic had died down and things went back to normal. Nothing was happening to justify the rumours, so she quickly dismissed it and carried on as usual.

"I live on campus, so I've been away from home for quite some time now. One day, I was nearby the hall I resided on and saw my stepfather's car driving towards the gate.

"I thought to myself, that's funny. He didn't call to say he was coming," Sasha said.




The 21-year-old told Family and Religion that she walked up to the car and opened the door as she wanted to surprise him.

It so happened that she was the one left gasping in disbelief.

"When I opened the front door, my friend was comfortably seated there and one of her friends in the back seat with bags of groceries surrounding her.

The look on their faces matched mine as we all stood in silence for a few seconds. At first, I didn't know what to say, but then I asked, "What is she doing in here?"

My friend didn't say anything, but my stepfather began talking some foolishness about her asking him for help to carry groceries, but I didn't want to hear it. I knew exactly what it was.

"I felt the urge to throw stones at the windshield and leave him with the task of explaining to my mother what had happened to the vehicle. Instead, I walked away, and cried till I fell asleep," Sasha said, adding that she woke up to missed calls from her stepfather, but none from her friend.

Sasha told Family and Religion that she and her so-called friend have not spoken since then, which, she believes, is an indicator to justify her thoughts.

"I never mentioned anything to my mother because that would have ruined our entire family. Weeks passed before I could even look her in the eye and not feel the urge to cry.

"I hardly speak with my stepfather. If I don't have to, then I don't.

"It's really hard for me keeping this secret, but I figure that it's best I suffer alone than live with the knowledge that I ended what seems like a good marriage and a proper nuclear home," Sasha said.