I am sharing this story because I want young people out there who are in one relationship or the other to understand when and where to draw the line in their relationship.
My relationship with Mark taught me diverse lessons, majority of which are that our relationships have the ability to influence us in many ways. The influence can be good or bad, depending on whom we are dating.
Mark was a great guy, but he was not a great guy for me because of his ‘clique’ of friends. Here is my story:
I met Mark at a beach party. It was a birthday party of a friend but Mark was there for totally unrelated matters. I had lost my beach slip-ons in the process of jumping and tossing at the edge of the waters. I bumped into Mark while looking around and after what was an awkward first conversation, he joined me in the search.
A few minutes later, he found it and that created an opportunity for us to get talking. Mark was cute, soft spoken and kind, so I didn’t mind being friends with him. We exchanged numbers and extended the talk beyond the beach party.
After some weeks, we started dating and things were fine until he introduced me to his friends, four of them. They were equally as cute and soft spoken as Mark, I didn’t have any reason to think they would be dangerous. But I noticed that Mark was loyal to them and always looked forward to hanging out with them. It wasn’t much of a problem for me because he was giving me the right amount of attention and care.Problems began when I visited Mark one day without hitherto telling him I would be visiting. I met his friends in his living room. The music was loud, very loud. The room had been displaced to an extent. They were all seated in different positions of the room, looking crazy, and sniffing a white substance. Mark was the only person among them who was not looking awkward and fully aware of his environment, although he also had the white substance with him.
He came to me as soon as he saw me and challenged me for not calling earlier. I was too shocked to answer him properly and I just wanted to know what was happening. I asked him to tell me what the white substance was, and why his friends were acting crazy. He would not bulge until I explained why I visited unannounced. We were both stubborn and eventually, I left angrily.
Mark called me the following day and promised to explain everything if I come out to see him. I was really eager to know what was happening, so I agreed. We met at the mall and he told me how he and his friends are into cocaine. I was quite sure it was cocaine I saw the first time, but confirming it still shocked me. I became apprehensive but Mark calmed me down and went deep into explaining why they took it and why it is good for them. He used himself as an example, saying it doesn’t make him misbehave because he takes the right dosage. He said coke helps him focus, it helps his creativity and helps him develop new ideas.
I was confused, but because I liked Mark, I continued with the relationship and got used to the fact that my boyfriend takes cocaine with his friends from time to time. They invited me once to join in and because I was curious of what it feels like, I took a sniff. It didn’t really sit well with me, so I stopped and let them do their thing. After their sessions, it would always be me and Mark taking care of his friends who are in the habit of going crazy after sniffing.
Later on, I began to discover that they had other vices like smoking, drinking partying, most of which I had starred to do with them except gang-banging – this last one was the deal breaker for me when I found out via Mark’s phone.
I had broken the screen of my phone and gave it out to be repaired, so I borrowed Mark’s phone to take a selfie. It was in the process of taking selfies in different positions of the house that a text from his friend came in. What caught my attention was the mention of two girls and a particular lounge. I was curious and I asked Mark what was happening. He took offence that I read his message but still went on to explain that they are his friends’ girls.I wanted to believe all was well, but my spirit didn’t just buy the story, so I kept it to myself and that episode go.
Few days later, after my phone had arrived, I needed to send my selfies from Mark’s phone to mine so I took his phone and went to the gallery. A video caught my attention and I opened to watch. It was Mark’s friends gang banging two girls who were clearly under heavy influence of drugs or alcohol. Mark was the one behind the camera, he didn’t join in through the duration of the video, but I was heartbroken.
It was bad enough that they sniffed coke, smoke weed, drink heavily and party a lot, but subjecting other girls to such ridicule was not sitting well with me. I feared they might soon drive me under the influence one day and do the same shit to me.
I had to confront Mark and explain my worries to him, but he was only trying to calm me down and make me realize that he doesn’t join them in gang banging and that it would be over his dead body that they do it to me. Not totally convinced or ready to just let it go, I told Mark to cut off from his clique. I tried to make him realize that he has a bright future ahead of him, and all of that shit with his friends will only make him not realize his potentials.
Mark told me point blank that he would not be able to leave his friends. I asked him to then choose between me and his friends. He didn’t expressly say he was choosing his friends over me, but it was obvious that they had strong ties that would not easily break. I had to make my decision and leave Mark.
In the few months that we dated, I had picked some habits I was not proud of, just because of Mark and his clique of friends. They influenced my lifestyle in a way that made me lose good friends. I had the scales fall off my eyes after I made the decision to breakup with Mark and I promised never to return to that relationship.
Thankfully, I was able to break out of the habits after a strenuous number of months. I am better for it now, and moved on to better things with my life.This is to everyone in a relationship. Check your partner and the influence they have over you. Check your partner’s clique of friends and the influence they have over him/her. These things cause a ripple effect sometimes. If the signs are negative, correct it early enough before it comes right at you. Relationship is a game of influence, if you can’t beat them in doing bad stuff, don’t join them.
– Etiene. E