Wheelchair of Redemption: A Rediscovered Friendship

Saturday was almost upon us, and Sandra had refused to share any details about her upcoming wedding. I couldn’t help but feel a bit hurt by her silence, but I decided not to press the matter. Instead, a thought crossed my mind – maybe I should surprise her in a way she’d never forget.

Sandra and I had been inseparable, like siblings, for as long as I could remember. We shared everything, and it felt like there were no secrets between us. People often mistook us for twins, but the truth was, that we were born into different families, although we did share the same birth month.

My heart sank when I first heard from outsiders that Sandra was about to tie the knot. As her best friend, I believed I had every right to know about this significant event in her life.

Strangely, I decided not to confront her about it. I pretended to be oblivious to the rumours, waiting for her to initiate the conversation. The wedding date was set for the last Saturday of September, and to my shock, that day came and went without a word from my closest friend.

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I contemplated ending our friendship, feeling that she had ignored our bond since she kept me in the dark about her impending marriage. At the very least, I thought I deserved to be her maid of honour.

She went ahead and married without informing me, and bitterness grew within me. Three weeks after the rumoured wedding, while leaving Market Square, I spotted a familiar face in a wheelchair from a distance. “Could it be?” I wondered to myself.

Drawing nearer, my heart sank as I realized it was Sandra.

“Sandra!” I exclaimed. She turned, surprised to see me. “Chidera,” she responded.

Seeing my dear friend in a wheelchair left me speechless. We needed to find a quieter place to talk, so we decided to go to Kilimanjaro, a restaurant just across from Market Square.

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It was there that Sandra shared her side of the story. She explained that she had rushed to inform me about her wedding in person after accepting her fiancé’s engagement ring, as it didn’t feel right to share such news over the phone.

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However, tragedy struck on their way from Rivers State to Imo State, at the boundary between the two states, as their car collided with a commercial bus.

Everyone in the car perished except for her, but she was left with severe injuries, which led to her current state in a wheelchair. Her smartphone was lost in the accident, making it impossible to reach out to me or her family.

Sandra did not know the rumours surrounding her wedding plans. She had desperately tried to let me know that she survived the accident but couldn’t. Tears welled up in my eyes as she recounted her harrowing experience.

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Here I was, harbouring anger and resentment towards my best friend, only to discover that she had meant well. I had rushed to judgment without giving her a chance to explain.

I apologized to Sandra for my hasty judgment and for failing to inquire about her before passing any judgment. It turned out that her planned wedding didn’t happen due to the accident, but her fiancé never abandoned her, and a few weeks after our meeting at Market Square, they got married. I was honoured to be her maid of honour.

This story is a lesson in forgiveness, understanding, and the enduring strength of friendship.

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