How did you two meet?
Rane: We met in SS1 in secondary school.
Coltan: That was 2013, almost exactly ten years ago.
How did you become friends?
Rane: I remember sharing books with her, and that’s just how we started talking.
Coltan: We were in the same class in JSS1, but before I could get a chance to talk to her, I was moved to another arm of JSS1. Then in SS1, we were in the same arm again. We had a few girls in our class, so we naturally became a group, and inside the group, there were smaller cliques of 3 and 4. Rane and I were part of a trio, and that’s how we got close.
So what happened to the 3rd member of the trio?
Rane: She’s still our friend.
Coltan: Yeah, she’s just a very chill person. I guess Rane and I gravitated more toward each other because our personalities made more sense together. Also, let me add that I don’t know what she’s saying about sharing books being how we became friends. Please, I remember her being very aggressive. She was always sitting behind or beside me, and she always got angry about every single thing.
Rane: Well, can you blame me? They used to call me blackberry charger.
Coltan: Because blackberry charger gets very hot quickly. I think I’m even the one who came up with that name.
LOL. I beg all available pardons?
Coltan: It's genius, right?
Rane: I don’t even blame you.
Lol. With such a chaotic start to your friendship, what was the moment you knew you had become best friends?
Coltan: Hmm, if I start becoming poetic here, everybody should bear with me. It’s been a decade, and I’m not sure there was a defining moment per se. At some point, I just realised that this person had become a major part of my life. However, I knew she had become an important person in my life the first time I went to her house. I hated going to people’s houses, and I was a very anti-social child.
Rane: Was? Are you still not anti-social?
Coltan: Excuse me, please. It’s my story. Anyway, I made the effort to go to her house, and I just kept going to her house, and then she came to mine; it just continued like that. I know her entire family; she knows mine. We’re now a package deal and an extension of each other.
Rane: She was just always there all the time. She would just come and not go back to her house, so I just said, let me manage her like that.
What’s a moment in your friendship that has really touched you?
Rane: Probably all the times when I fall sick a little; next thing you know, she’s at my house, and she’s staying and taking over from my mother as my caregiver. Also, I call her more than anybody I know. I can call her ten times a day.
Coltan: I can’t pick a moment. I appreciate her in every moment. I generally just appreciate her existence.
Coltan, please, you sound like those people who say, “every day is Valentine’s Day”.
Coltan: Lol. Oh my God. Okay, let me share a moment. When my father died in 2019, I remember Rane being there for me more than anyone else. She even sent me a condolence envelope, like a proper Nigerian.
I’m sorry about your loss.
Coltan, you’re anti-social, but I’d like to know if you think the friendships you’ve formed in adulthood are more valuable than those from your childhood.
Coltan: I think value is very subjective. I would say adult friendships are more personal. In fact, let me leave plenty English; they are more valuable. We tend to look at childhood friendships through a nostalgic lens.
Childhood friendships have been hard to maintain because of time, distance and the simple fact that we’re very different people now. I’m not friends with anyone from my childhood anymore. Rane is one of the few childhood friends I still have.
Friendships you make in adulthood are more deliberate, and as you said, being an antisocial person means if I put in the effort, I actually like that person enough. It’s one thing to have a conversation, but maintaining that and turning it into an actual friendship is something else.
Rane, how about you? What do you think of childhood friendships vs adult friendships?
Rane: I feel like the friendships I’ve made now are definitely more valuable. I’m not so close to anyone from my childhood anymore.
With adult friendships, there’s better understanding that life can be heavy sometimes- you’re going through a lot more as an adult than a child- and we can catch up occasionally rather than talk daily, except for Coltan and I, of course.
Basically, as an adult, you have to be intentional with the energy you put in because you know the type of people you want in your circle.
On the topic of putting energy into making things work, how do you manage your adult friendships?
Coltan: I mostly just disappear.
Ah, just like that?
Coltan: Lol. I usually return sha. But seriously, I try to have a ranking system of very deep friendships, not-so-deep friendships and acquaintances. I tend to give more energy to the ones higher on the list.
Generally, I’m very intentional about everything. I don’t believe in all these “we’ll link up” fake promises. If I want to see you, I’ll reach out no matter how busy I think your schedule is.
People will see Rane and me going out on a picnic and think it just happened, not knowing it took us four months to plan and execute it. So no matter how busy a person Is. I just keep putting in the effort, and as long as they’re reciprocating, maintaining the friendship should be easy. If you’re the only one doing all the work, at some point, it will all collapse.
Rane, how about you? how do you handle your adult friendships?
Rane: I try my best to check on everybody and ensure they’re all fine or holding up somehow. Even if sometimes it gets tiring because it seems like I’m doing the bulk of the checking-in or friendship work, I just keep doing it because I understand life gets in the way sometimes. Knowing how each of your friendship dynamics works helps as well. They’re like different genres, so you have to know what works for each.
Coltan: They’re like different genres making up your life, but with your best friend, there’s no genre at all, or better still, they’re all the genres.
I love that analogy. What’s something you really love about your best friend?
Coltan: This is my time to shine! As someone who quickly notices flaws in people or what I consider flaws,
Rane: Ah, God abeg oh.
Coltan: Lol, why are you exclaiming? Don’t worry; I think you’re perfect. What was the question again? Oh, I remember now. What do I really love about her? She’s hilarious. I think I’m very funny, but Rane is funnier than me. She’s beautiful, obviously. I’m not one of those “looks don’t matter to me” people. Please be aesthetically pleasing.
Lol, for goodness' sake?!!
Coltan: Oh well, it's not like I went out looking for a beautiful best friend, but I got her. What else? I think we also have very conflicting personalities. She has what I would have considered in my teenage years to be a weakness. Back then, I was doing too much over independence, and I felt like people who didn't approach life in the same aggressive manner were weak. Being friends with her for so long has made me realise it's actually a strength. It has made me relax and realise it's not everything you must carry on your head.
Rane: There’s really no need to be stressing yourself every day.
Rane, you’re the embodiment of “I can’t come and kill myself.”
Rane: Life will continue to life no matter what. I don’t even have strength.
Coltan: She really doesn’t put more effort than necessary into anything at all. She’s a very kind person, but she can choose violence when you least expect it. She’s also very smart. She’s so silly that I forget that she’s actually a serious-minded person. We have a very similar morbid sense of humour.
Rane: I really appreciate that no matter how terrible my jokes are, she’s the one person who gets them. Also, If I say there’s something I want to do, no matter how unrealistic it seems, she’s always down to support me. Like if I wanted to bake something, she would be available to help out.
Coltan: Please, I get to eat free cake. It’s not that deep, my dear. Why wouldn’t I show up to eat free cake?
Rane: Hush. Hmm, what else do I like about her? She’s just always there.
Coltan: See, I’ve hacked this friendship thing. You just have to be there all the time, and they won’t even know if there’s anything they actually like about you.
Please, when are you hosting your friendship masterclass?
Coltan: Soon, don’t worry.
Fingers crossed. Rate your friendship on a scale of 1 to 10.
Coltan: What do you mean why? After ten years, rate the friendship, please. Don’t embarrass me.
Rane: I’ll give it an 8 or 9. I cannot say ten abeg.
Why can’t you say 10?
Rane: The remaining one mark is for me. Maybe after another ten years, I’ll give her that 1.
Lol. Fair enough. Coltan, what’s your rating of the friendship?
Coltan: I’ll give us a 9.5. The only reason for not giving the full ten is that we just have one last hurdle to cross - our communication skills. I think we are great, but I want us to keep developing along with each other and developing our friendships. I think we’d be able to do that in less than ten years.