Misreading a Beautiful Friendship

About being a sucker for signs

James Ssekamatte
24 min readFeb 18


Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

It's 2019, and my very first time leaving the state of Tamil Nadu in 5 years. I'm supposed to travel 320 miles away to Irinjalakuda to meet my friend, Nivi.

I accept that I can't figure out how to avoid the invitation with my cheap promises this time. This is because Nivi has been studying the illusory nature of my visitation promises.

For about two years, she has (with varying degrees of subtlety) invited me to meet her family and friends. Each time, I have come up with a promise with no deadline.

"Hey James, you should visit me in Kerala. You'll love it there… also, my family and friends are excited to meet you [insert excited emoji]."

To which I reply.

"Sure, we shall make it happen soon. Oh, btw, I heard Calvin sir was looking for you. Have you seen him?"

Classic weaseling my way out of meeting her family. I don't even know where Calvin sir is — nor have I seen or talked to him in weeks.

I don't do visits. Especially when I like someone. Maybe it's because I'm scared of exposing my faults or because I go to great lengths to avoid getting too close to anyone.

Tough luck if you want to make me do something spontaneous. I will unapologetically tell you that I've got urgent plans. Nivi knows this because every time she's invited me out spontaneously, I've extended my apologies and ignored her frustration.

But she's been studying… Studying is her strength. Regarding academics, she's always in the 99th percentile of her class — for her worst performance. She's smart, alright… But you cannot underestimate her dedication to studying.

She has a curious mind whose activity covers several miles a minute. So I cannot be surprised that she's been studying my personality patterns.

She knows which questions I will say "no" to. She also realizes that there is no way I can say yes to an invitation if she leaves it up to me.

She knows that when visiting people, I'm always looking for an opportunity to miss my bus. However, she has one trick I still need to consider.



James Ssekamatte

Concerning non-fiction. I'm available for client work: ssekamatte76@gmail.com