When her friend told her, I love your body,
You’re so slender and you can eat anything!”
She smiled. How was her friend to know
She used to be fat and decided to go on a special diet,
Now everything she eats she puked into the toilet.
When the MP told them, “I want to go to parliament
To represent you, to look after your interests.”
The people voted. How were they to know
The politician would organize killings
And work only to safeguard his salary.
When he told her, “you’re so beautiful
I like your African figure,
Your big hips, your big breasts
Let me take you home tonight!”
How was he to know she had HIV?
When they told her, “pole for your loss,
He was such a good man, a gentleman
Always taking care of the family and protecting them!”
How were they to know she was happy
He was dead, as he had beaten and abused her all their married life.
When her friends found out she was pregnant
And asked her who the father was,
Teasing her whose child it could be,
She ran off in tears, how were they to know
Her father sexually abused her and made her pregnant.
When I walk past you and smile, you say hello and I say hi back.
We laugh and talk about superficial things,
Yet we don’t say what’s really on our minds
I don’t know what you’re hiding under your smiling mask
And you don’t know what am hiding under mine.
Be Careful What Secrets You Tell Your Friends – A Short Story