FOR AJ (Part 2)

FOR AJ (Part 2)

Previously on FOR AJ


There is this rule almost everyone follows that says when you call someone twice and they don’t answer, you should either leave them a message or stop calling them.

I didn’t follow this rule. I called AJ severally like he owed me money. I kept on hitting the Call Again option till I was tired. Then I decided to leave a message that read: ‘Hey papi, wassup, you not replying my messages, you good?

My day went by fast, and all through, I kept on thinking about AJ. I would look at my phone and say to myself that he wasn’t calling me back or replying my message because he was probably busy or something happened to his phone.

The next day, I commenced with my daily routine, which included going to the gym before starting my day properly. I called AJ again and as much as my calls went through, they rang out with my answer still. I sent messages. I could see that they were delivering but were neither opened nor read. Different thoughts began to crowd my mind.

What is going on?

Abi his eyes have cleared and all the chats and calls were just cruise for him?

Is there a girlfriend somewhere who wasn’t around before but is now back and not giving him chance to talk to me?

No! I rejected those scenarios. No, no, no!

His phone definitely is lost or spoilt or stolen, because this can’t even be ghosting or any of those possibilities. Father Lord, no, abeg!

On the third day, I was now texting: ‘Are you getting cold feet about the party? Did I offend you? I hope you are safe and good because this is scary.’ Thereafter, lots of voice notes followed.

Still, no response.

Days passed and soon, the day of the party that we were supposed to attend together was here. I almost changed my mind about going, so despaired was I that I still hadn’t heard from AJ. After all the plans we’d made regarding that day, it felt different that he wasn’t going to be there with me.

But I’d made a commitment to my friend, so I put on my face and went to the party. I even managed to hook up with a guy there (story for another day). But I kept on thinking about AJ, very frequently staring at my phone, at our chat window and all the messages that I’d sent to him, which were starting to look like the confessions of a crazed person in his WhatsApp.

I would wake up every morning for the next several days to first thing drop a message, hoping to get a response from him before the day runs out. But the day would always end the same – with no reply from AJ.

Then one sleepy afternoon, after a short nap, I opened my phone and while going through my messages, trying to compose yet another plaintive message to send, I suddenly realized that all my former messages had been read and the voice notes played.

I felt something shatter inside me when I noticed this. All this while, I’d cushioned the devastation I was going through with the thought that at least, AJ hadn’t seen my messages. I’d been able to believe that he wasn’t ghosting me because my calls and messages hadn’t gotten to his attention. To see that they’d all now been read and remained unanswered filled me with desperate despair. I immediately typed another message to him, all the while trying to dial back the surge of emotions that were pounding inside me. I sent: ‘So you’ve read all my messages and listened to the voice notes. Does this mean you are ignoring me? Did I do something wrong?

After I sent that, I suddenly began to wonder if perhaps something truly bad had happened to him. Was I being selfish by thinking this was about me? Had something awful happened to him and there was just no way for him to communicate with me this whole time?

I sent another message: ‘If you are going through anything personal or if it is a hard time for you, I am sending you all the strength, love and light you need at this time.’

After this, I proceeded to Instagram to try some sleuthing I should have done all this time. I wanted to get in contact with anyone I could perceive to be AJ’s personal friend, someone I could talk to, to get an idea of what was going on with him.

After searching through his friends on Instagram and doing some investigative work, I found out this particular person whose posts I noticed AJ liked and commented on frequently. I decided to message him, not caring who he was, but also choosing my words carefully. I wrote that I’d noticed he was friends with AJ and that I am also his friend. I told him that I’d been worried about him because he hadn’t been replying my messages or calls and that it was unlike him, and that I was hoping nothing had happened to him.

A few minutes later, the guy replied. He said that although it’d been awhile since he heard from AJ, he was sure that nothing bad had happened to him. He assured me that he would reach out to AJ or check on him at his place and then get back to me.

Around noon the next day, after two weeks of silence, I received a message from AJ.

It read: ‘Hello, Lanrey, I’m really sorry. I wanted to apologize to you because I must have come across like an asshole and you were really worried about me. It’s a long story, but the summary of it is awhile ago, like 4 maybe 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with depression. It comes and goes, so I never really dealt with it. On my worst days, I have suicidal thoughts, and sometimes, I have the worst mood swings. Sometimes, I just want to be alone for months and not talk to anyone. I honestly was trying to spare you having to deal with that kind of negativity because I’m not very good at expressing myself, so I wouldn’t even be able to tell you what’s going on with me.

‘I’m honestly not a bad person. Just that, well, I guess I have a fucked-up mental state. That’s why I don’t have friends because it’d be difficult to explain why my mood suddenly shifts. So, I’m really, really sorry and I honestly appreciate that you were concerned, because I don’t get that a lot apart from my family. I’m really sorry if I offended you and I hope you are doing well.’

I sat there, after reading this, wondering what on earth I was supposed to do.


Written by Lanrey

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  1. Mandy
    October 19, 09:47 Reply

    I don’t understand this. I mean, I get depression. I get how crushing it can be. I even get him not reading your messages because he was wrapped up in his own world of darkness.

    But once he saw your messages and voice notes, all the plenty plenty messages you sent to show your concern and worry, couldn’t he at the very least type a short message to you to let you know he’s okay, that he can’t talk but that he’ll get back to you when he can? He knows you know nothing about his depression, so he should have spared you the anxiety by just sending a message, something.

    With a behaviour like this, is it any wonder he doesn’t have friends who worry about him this much? Instead of totally ignoring the attempts of people in your life to reach out and make sure you’re okay, you could give their efforts a brief acknowledgement and then go on dealing with your demons.

    Anyway, I hope he’s able to get better. I wish him well. It really must be a lonely road to be this crushingly depressed, knowing full well that you can’t share your life with someone else like this.

  2. Someone's Someone
    October 19, 13:27 Reply

    I can relate very well with AJ. I also have this really terrible depression episodes. When I’m in that state, I don’t reply or answer calls however long it takes to get me better. Good thing is my read receipts are always turned off to prevent issues like this.

    Many people don’t understand debilitating depression and see it as though you can just snap out of it. In my case, even my best songs don’t help me at all. I just wait for it to wane.

    I’d suggest trying to understand him and probably speak with him about it and how you can help. Be genuine and non-judgmental in your approach. Hesitate in pushing him towards taking anti-depressants, many people, myself included, don’t want it. He may not want it. I wish you both best of lucks.

  3. Jen
    October 19, 19:09 Reply

    How can a grown up afford to just cut everyone and everything off for days? My point is, on the days he was ghosting you he might have been depressed but he was living therefore functioning. People who live with mental health illness often have a coping mechanism. Unless you were a trigger, nothing was stopping him from picking your calls or dropping a quick text, especially since he knew you weren’t preinformed of his condition.

    Instead, he was okay with charging his phone and watching you run down the battery. For me, his behavior is a major red flag.

    • Phoenix
      October 19, 21:02 Reply

      Couldn’t agree more to Jen’s comment

  4. Zoar
    October 20, 07:00 Reply

    Serious red flag for me though.

    No explanation for this behavior.

    We’ll be friends though but I know exactly how to go about being Friends with him.

    We all have our demons but good humans don’t go hurting other people because of their demons.

  5. ken
    October 23, 17:19 Reply

    what u are supposed to do is to give him some space.

    i really dont get how people become obssessed with sustaining a connection with someone. Sometimes people just need a breather, some space to themselves. How can u can someone straight for more than 5 times??? its enough to set off any lingering depression or simply drive the person insane.

    Obviously AJ is a nice person with a conscious. Some other people would have just blocked u off after the first day.

    Relax and give people the chance to flow with you. dont be the alpha and omega of relationships.

    • Demi
      November 01, 09:24 Reply

      I agree with Ken… I really don’t like the sense of entitlement to someone attention when you haven’t even met physically… he reached out to Lanre eventually and apologised, have a talk against that next time and get to know that side of him better, and probably know each others house so u can check on him incase of other time and suggest therapy to him biko

  6. Mike
    November 13, 12:34 Reply

    Seconded! I’m like him; duo not clinically diagnosed or something, I can ghost a person after months or days of good vibes.

    Funny how I am an overtly sexually active person but it comes, I have zero sexual interest in people.

    I just want space in my head, and honestly those conversations and notifications causes panick attack sometimes.

    Give him space, let him know that he can come and go as he pleases— this is a big help.

    If you can reach him, let him know chocolate helps with depression, generally anything made out of Soya.

    Tell him to try out a new hobby, something he has always wanted to try— for me I look back into my childhood todos.

    This is what I do to get through, my own personal hack.

    Lastly, if he’s open minded suggest that he trys out meditation, confront the mind; won’t cure it but would drastically reduce the swing.

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