Miss P and I  (NONFICTION)

This story is based on my personal experience of true friendship and Christian unity. It is an addition to other contributions on the latter theme on this blog, namely, the poem, “We are one”; the guest posts, “The gospel according to my church and I” and “Myself the judge”. The story is funny and relatable. Enjoy and share your impressions at the end.

Miss P and I
When I was a graduate student living in Nkrumah Hall, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), I had a classmate called Patience but I preferred to call her Miss P. She was so soft and gentle like a lamb. After watching how delicately she walked and talked, my maternal instincts were stirred. I wanted to protect and care for her. So I befriended her and told her I’ll be her mum. She was probably slightly older than me but she played along and began to call me “Mummy.”

She lived on the opposite wing of the first floor from mine, that floor being reserved for female students. I often went to her room to fetch her so we could go to lectures together. And everytime I went there, she would run a comb through her hair, put on some white powder and announce that she was ready. But I was not satisfied with her looks and often told her so.

Even back then, I had a high sense of duty (even if I say so myself). So, in furtherance of the discharge of my maternal responsibilities and because I considered myself some sort of artist, I decided that I was going to give her a make-over. Not just one make-over but several, so that she would see what she was missing by not using make-up.

You see, Miss P and I were both born-again but while I was among the Christian sisters who felt free to wear slacks and use make-up, the only artificial thing she did was perm her hair. I suppose she didn’t need any convincing that struggling with her natural hair will cost her precious time as a student. It seemed her mind was made up on this contentious matter, though. But, perhaps, to humour me, she let me tinker with her looks a few times. ?????



I told her that her face had so much potential, we just needed to brighten it up a bit with a touch of colour here and there. I also styled her hair in different ways. It was fun but she would wash off the stuff right after. After all my hard work! ???

Miss P explained that she didn’t feel comfortable wearing make-up, that it felt like she was someone else when she did.

“Yes,” I agreed. “It’s a finer version of you!”

But that didn’t change her mind. So we moved about: the mother with carved brows, black-lined eyes, rosy cheeks and flaming red lips and the daughter in just her lovely brown skin, no extra colours added. We ended up complementing each other quite well. We disagreed about how to dress up but we agreed on the fundamentals of the faith like everyone needs to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus to be saved and should live a God-honouring life thereafter with the help of the Holy Spirit.

I didn’t have my way but I gained new respect for my “daughter”. It seemed that she didn’t need me as her protector after all. Beneath the tender exterior was a steely core, a dtetermination to be herself and live by her convictions irrespective of how others viewed her. I felt alright wearing makeup and so did many other girls, but she wouldn’t do it just to please others. I could relate with that because I too was independent-minded and didn’t live for people’s approval.

When I saw how strongly she felt about it, I stopped bothering her. She, on her part, did not condemn or try to change me. That was the secret of our friendship and we had many happy days at UNN, Miss P and I. ??
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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

117 thoughts on “Miss P and I (NONFICTION)

  1. WOW! What a friendly-mother and daughter relationship,with mutual understanding.That is interesting.

  2. I believe friendship is all about mutual understanding.Thank God you understood that and that’s because you valued your friendship. Nice write up!

  3. Of course, I, too, remember Ms. P. She was so soft-spoken and gentle:-) Love the way you presented this experience:-)

  4. it is good to see friends that accept each other wholly despite their individual differences and better to see people that stand for what the uphold despite what others think

  5. wow, what a nice post. reading this just made reflect on my relationship with my friend here on campus

  6. Indeed a mutual friendship: Just like that of David and Jonathan. No matter our differences, true love covers our weaknesses and tolerates our differences. It is a virtue to be one’s self and to stick to one’s good beliefs. It is said that one who cannot be himself/herself is a counterfeit. What a post, Nice one!

  7. Hahahaha! funny just like my friend and I… is not all about doing what others are doing, is about being yourself and happy with whatever you do…nice one

  8. what a wonderful and extr-ordinary friendship void of any negative mind-set. it’s so lovely. God bless you, my lecturer for sharing this post to us. it is full of moral lessons. we love you.

  9. wish i have a frnd like miss p who will luv me the way i am without imposing or wanting me to be like her…

  10. People have there different views on different things in life in the story make up was sighted ,as human you would want them to blend into your ways some times it works,some other time not so well at the end you have to learn to respect one another’s opinion.And that is full grown maturity wonderful piece.

  11. After reading this story let no fellow in 019 disturb me to cut my 1979 Afro ooo!!! I stand for it

  12. Nice and funny piece. Really interesting. True friendship truly involves understanding and respect of the other’s decision. Nice one, Ma!

  13. Friendship in a university environment is quite tough, its good to know you two understood each other. Nice write-up.


  15. when you choose the right friends, the moments spent together will always be remembered and cherished

  16. Wow! If people would copy that from you and live without trying to change others, life would be better.

  17. dats interesting nd lovely a friend in need is a friend indeed lets live an examplary life like her

  18. No two humans are the same, what works for you might not work out for another person,you both have different perception about a thing but the relationship was still cordial

  19. Enjoying ones relationship has so much to do with d level of understanding btwn or among the peoples. People should throw away any form of holier-than-thou attitude. We should learn to take people the way they are and respect their opinions as long as such opinions are generally acceptable to society and not evil or deadly. UUUNAA! The story dey ooo! It is interesting and educating.

  20. I love this. Don’t change for anyone. Be yourself, and be just the way God wants you to be. He loves you for who you are and not just for your physical appearance. Nice one, Ma.

    • That’s right, Perpetua! If we keep changing according to other people’s opinions, we’ll be making a caricature of ourselves. Bless you!

  21. Eeya! Jealous much! Such species of friends are very rare now. Even though you were different in terms of fashion, you were united by your beliefs. Can two work together except they agree? No. ?

  22. ? “flaming red lips” I couldn’t help but pass ????? by.
    Lesson:Be yourself! You’re the architect of your own decisions, people can advice but the final say lies on you. Always follow your spirit,as long as the spirit of God is within you

  23. Best friends for life, it’s good to understand your friends and vise versa. In doing that you both will not have any issues what so ever.

  24. The article is lovely ma.Unity in faith, adhering to the basic principles and keeping the faith that is what foremostly matters.It is another inspirational article that has left me pondering on somethings.God bless you ma

  25. This story is really interesting. It can be learnt from this story that in friendship, you and your friend may not be in agreement in everything – there’s always individual differences. The only thing that will keep any friendship is understanding one another very well, and the friendship will continue.

  26. This is a beautiful post, I can’t help myself Ma, I can’t stop staring at the younger version of you in the picture, indeed Ma, you’ve always been beautiful. This story however reminds me of my best friend and I, though I play the role of Miss P. but not because I want to please anyone but because I didn’t like make-up, however my best friend actually won, because I do wear makeup now though not always. There’s a great feeling to have someone who do not only likes you but also understands and respects you.

  27. Friendship is a goal we all must try to achieve and to achieve that goal we must understand our friends and be willing to tolerate them.

  28. Understanding is one of the fundamental keys to friendship. The fact that the both of you understood each other and respected your boundaries is so encouraging. Different people have different beliefs, because we all come from different places and were not brought up the same way. Some girls would like to put makeup and define their beauty and feel comfortable, while others feel more comfortable with their natural looks. It doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, but just different views and choice.

  29. There is this joy when u have a friend that u do things with, understand each other, share almost the same view with..
    Buh nevertheless understanding and honesty is the major thing to consider.. And miss p didn’t hesitate to be honest with her feelings.

  30. This story just enlightened me to be myself and not change myself for anybody, because I’m made in the image and likeness of God, so no one can make me feel inferior and inadequate because of my looks, because I’m beautiful inside-out.

  31. In a world where people derive so much joy in blending, and following the crowd, I commend those who still have a mind of their own. I like the fact that, you and miss P, stood by your principles. Nice write up, Ma.

  32. In the world today, where people derive so much joy in following the crowd, I commend those who still have ‘a mind of their own’. I like the fact that you and miss P, upheld your principles. Nice write-up ma.

  33. Miss P Miss P?.
    I could imagine her washing off her face after all the stress you put in trying to make her look finer. ? lol. Typical example of what my dear mum would have done. My mum wouldn’t have allowed you touch her face in the first place sef.

    It’s a thing to respect our differences and another thing to cherish the things we have in common.

  34. Mother and daughter!lolzzzzz. Becoming friends is about understanding.Miss P believed that no one can change her.Thank God you understood that and that’s because you valued your friendship. Some friends cannot tolerate that. They will just say to hell, with minding what their friend wants.”Nne Na nwa ya”.This is good.Thanks ma!

  35. Mother and daughter!lolzzzzz. Becoming friends is about understanding.Miss P believed that no one can change her.Thank God you understood that and that’s because you valued your friendship. Some friends cannot tolerate that. They will just say to hell, with minding what their friend wants.”Nne Na nwa ya ??”.This is good.Thanks ma!

  36. Lol! so you choose to mother your elder?
    Interesting story, I love people like Miss P. living for themselves on their own convictions I really love that.
    Did she also always tie her hair?

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