“WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR?” (Short Story)
Tanya and Celeste were out celebrating. Celeste was paying and she was in a generous mood. They were having shrimp cocktails with white wine in one of Manhattan’s classy restaurants. Celeste also offered to help fix Tanya’s old Buick, which had been giving her trouble for a week. Tanya refused but Celeste hoped she would relent before their lunch was over. She was so grateful. As they got a waiter to take some pictures of them, Tanya noted that they were as different in colouring as they were in character.
Celeste and Tanya met through the former’s husband, Roger. Roger was a venture capitalist and Tanya, a self-employed accountant, helped to do research for his investments. But their relationship went way back to their college days at NYU when they were classmates and rivals. Roger eventually graduated top of the class but Tanya was right behind him.
After working in the accounts department of a law firm for a few years, Roger, who in Tanya’s words, “was too handsome for his own good,” went into investment banking. He subsequently established his own firm, RONN Capital. Tanya, on the other hand, chose to be self-employed to give her time to care for her sick mum. She worked in her own time and on her own terms and married her high school sweetheart, Doug, who worked as a handyman. They were doing as well as could be expected since her mum’s medical bills made money perennially tight for them. But Tanya was not going to take a handout and she didn’t think Celeste should be paying for what she did for Roger.
You see, Tanya and Roger, besides being rivals, were best friends. They had been so since college. Roger was smart but ego-driven. Of all the people he knew, Tanya was the one who boldly challenged and rebuked him. They would argue about a matter for weeks until Tanya wore him down and stopped him from making a bad move. So she helped him choose most of his classes in college, approved and disapproved of his dates, not that that stopped Roger from going ahead when she disapproved and having some nasty experiences as a result.
Then came Celeste, a soft-spoken English girl, who had just transferred from a university in North Yorkshire. She was an Education major and Roger was drawn to her because of her petite form, her bright smile and, of course, her English accent. Besides, she was a natural blonde, Roger’s favourite. When Roger introduced them, Tanya was very excited and pulled him aside to say, “She’s the one!”
“Get away from me, you crackpot,” Roger joked. “You’ve just met her.”
But Tanya knew that the slender English lass would make her best friend very happy indeed and they did get married a year after college. Celeste taught in a grade school and she and Roger had two rambunctious boys, one ten and the other, eight. Tanya, on the other hand, a lovely brunette, had her forever love, Doug. Doug had a boyish charm and the unruly curls to go with it. But more than that, he was kind, laidback and always available: just what Tanya needed. They had no child by choice because of the extent of attention Tanya’s mum needed.
Celeste loathed arguing and her agreeable disposition soothed Roger’s ego. Besides, she did not understand the world of business and finance. That was Roger and Tanya’s forte. Tanya was an extremely good researcher and financial advisor and over and over, she saved Roger from sinking millions into terrible investments. It wasn’t just her professional competence that made the difference (after all, Roger had staff in his company that did excellent research too), but Tanya was intuitive and she went the extra mile to prove her hunches.
On the latest occasion, Roger had been approached by a Chinese-born businessman, Mr. Wang, to help rescue a fishing company whose boats operated in the South Pacific. The man, who had been a friend of Roger’s uncle while he was alive, claimed his family owned the company and that it would turn a profit if funds were injected to buy several new boats and hire more crews after they suffered a series of mishaps the previous year, particularly during a tropical cyclone in November. To sweeten the deal, Mr. Wang slyly asked his pretty niece, Shu, to work out the details of the transaction with Roger. That meant enough cozy meetings between Roger and Shu to give Celeste cause for concern.
The paperwork seemed legitimate enough and Roger wasn’t anxious about committing several million dollars to the fishing company, especially with the motivation Shu seemed to promise. But Tanya had a bad feeling about the investment and badgered Roger to hold up the deal. Roger had no particular reason to be buying a fishing company, except to impress Mr. Wang who had seen Roger’s uncle as a no-good drunk and slipped him some dollars now and then. Roger wanted to show Mr. Wang that he could be his lifeline and do so much better for him than he ever did for his uncle.
Tanya thought it was the most stupid reason anyone could have for making an investment and she told him so. Having something on the side with Shu didn’t seem a bad idea to Roger either, but Tanya warned him not to fool around with the Sino-beauty as she sensed something sinister about her.
Pretty soon, in doing her due diligence, Tanya discovered that a secondary firm attached to the one Roger was to invest in had had a series of indictments for money laundering and human trafficking in several Asian countries. The legal fees from those indictments were bleeding the finances of the primary company, causing more damage than the cyclone the blame was put on. Roger killed the deal and not only saved his company the eight million dollars he would have staked but spared himself and his company the damage their reputation would have suffered and the criminal investigations that could have arisen if they were even remotely connected to money launderers and human traffickers.
Tanya also found out that Shu was married to one undesirable in the Chinese underworld in New York and specialised in getting her talons into wealthy Americans for her husband and his band of ruffians to fleece. Celeste was so relieved when Roger stopped the deal and gave Shu the cold shoulder. And he hadn’t slept with her or she would have had material for her husband to blackmail and intimidate him with.
This latest near-fiasco reminded Tanya of another time when she couldn’t stop Roger from throwing his money away and indulging his ungoverned fantasies. He had dated a girl from a rich family in Texas back in college. Her name was Providence and she was the hottest blonde on campus in those days. Roger had wanted to marry her but her family didn’t think he was good enough because he didn’t have a trust fund in his name. They said he was after their daughter’s money and found her a family friend with a sizable inheritance to marry. It turned out Providence’s inheritance wasn’t nearly as large as her family depicted and they were the ones doing the gold digging.
So when Roger discovered a struggling ranch in Kleberg County, Texas, and leant it was owned by his former flame’s husband, he moved to invest so she could be beholden to him. Tanya fought to stop him but he avoided speaking to her for a few weeks. She had learnt that the owner of the ranch was an obsessive gambler and although he was the sole heir and had been a billionaire in his early twenties, he had run his family’s businesses into the ground one after the other.
A year after Roger sealed the deal, the guy was shot in a mob-related hit (probably for gambling debts he owed) and Roger was embroiled in litigation for months with a front company for the gangsters that the deceased had signed the ranch over to. Meanwhile, Providence had taken up with another guy whose family owned half the oil and gas business in North Texas. She worked him enough to leave his wife and marry her in five short months. When that happened, Roger decided to cut his losses and run but he blamed Tanya for the entire fiasco.
“How so?” a bewildered Tanya asked.
“What do I pay you for? You were supposed to turn up any stuff that would have made this a bad investment.”
“But I did. And when I called you, you shouted at me and stopped picking my calls for weeks.”
“We’re in the 21st century and there are so many ways to reach someone.” He was referring to Tanya’s persistence on previous occasions, flodding his phone and laptop with texts and emails, showing up at his office and stuff like that. He loved sparring with her and exasperating her. But she refused to play his game that one time and it cost him a bundle.
“Besides, you’re my best friend. What are friends for?” he continued.
“You’re right,” she conceded. “I shouldn’t have left you to the wolves. But you can be so insufferable.”
“Funny that you should use that word,” he teased. “Talk about a pot calling a kettle black!”
“Seriously, Roger, for someone so smart, you can be so blind. And dumb!”
As he smarted from her last remark, she talked him into coming over to cheer her mother up.
“What are friends for?” she threw back at him when he hesitated, because seeing Tanya’s mum was a decided downer. She had almost lost her mind to Alzheimer’s, which she developed after battling diabetes for years. Roger wondered how Tanya and Doug still managed to care for her at home.
All through the eighteen months or thereabouts that the ranch investment disaster lasted, Celeste, the doting wife, never confronted Roger, even when it was clear he was seeing Providence. At first, she would call Tanya and discreetly ask where Roger was. But later, she openly appealed to her to talk some sense into her husband, something Tanya didn’t do because she was angry with Roger for being so rude and pig-headed. Thankfully, Providence found another prey and that brought Roger to his senses.
In this last case again, Celeste steered clear of the controversy but she let Tanya keep her posted. So Tanya needled Roger, Roger bristled and Celeste kept her smile and poise. It was a winning combination: Roger had his millions safe and there was peace at home. He also paid Tanya well enough to reduce she and Doug’s financial troubles.
Presently, Tanya recounted to Celeste how she sounded off to Roger when she went to his office.
“I told you so,” she’d gloated. “But that’s what friends are for!”
“Exactly! That’s what fiends are for,” Celeste affirmed, as she pressed a cheque into Tanya’s palm.
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2021
I love the fact that Roger appreciated Tanya enough to pay her afterwards. Some friends are totally unrecognizable when it comes to business and very untrustworthy.
A friend in need is a friend indeed! We need people like Tanya in our life.
Wow. What a friend Tanya is. Roger should count himself lucky for having her as a friend
Thanks for this ma
Wow. The dynamic of this friendship circle is one filled with so much trust, genuine love and concern.
A friend should always be a blessing not the other way round.
Tanya got Roger on this one and should be applauded.
You’re right. She’s like a rock to him. God bless you!
In a world full of frenemies, having that one true friend is a whole lot of blessing. An Igbo adage says, one true friend is better than a relation. Ezi ọyi ka nwanne.
Correct. Since true friends are hard to find, we should cherish and jealously guard ours.
Tanya is a good friend.
Yes, she is!
We all need a friend like Tanya!
Roger is so lucky to have a friend like Tanya
Good and genuine friendship is rare. Roger is so lucky to have someone like Tanya
Wow.. what a friendship circle to always pray for.
This story clearly depicts true friendships to the core.
The world needs more Tanyas who would always watch their friends’ backs and boldly challenge their wrong decision.
A really nice story it is.
A friendship like that of Tanya and Rodger is one to be applauded.
I love the dynamics of their friendship and how it doesn’t affect either of their marriages, i also like how Tanya gets paid and isn’t just being used in the name of friendship.
Tanya is an an example of a good friend
We all need a friend like Tanya
Tanya is a good friend, she’s always there for Roger making sure he isn’t messing up or falling into traps. We all need a friend that can steer us in the right direction
I love the fact that Tanya is always watching Roger’s back and
I also love the fact that Roger pays Tanya for her good work and not hiding under the cover of friendship.
I consider that very important too. We often don’t appreciate our friends. We tend to take them for granted.
This is great ma. Your skills are amazing.
It is always good to have a real friend beside us, and it will be also good if we show appreciation at all times to that real friend we have and never taking them for granted.
Another lesson from this story is that sometimes, we should let our friends go through some situation to learn from them especially when they pay deaf ears to our advice. That is exactly what Tanya did to Roger and Roger learnt from it.
Also we should try to be interested in what our partners do no matter the kind of personality we might have. This will help them to be more open to us and trust us. When we show interest in their works or activities, it helps to build a healthy relationship devoid of lies, deceit and cheat.
Wow, everybody needs a friend like Tanya to watch their back. I love the fact that Roger paid Tanya very well for her hard work, and that after they were through with school, they still kept their friendship.
Friends are rare.
Good friends are even rarer.
If only people we call our friends are like Tanya, the world would have been a better place. I like their friendship circle and the trust the two friends had. Some women wouldn’t be comfortable when another woman is this close to their husband, they get jealous and cause unnecessary rivary.
Friends like this are scarce these days. If you have someone like Tanya, keep them.
The truth is its difficult to believe that this kind of friendship exists without one betraying the trust of the other as in the Case of Tanya and Celeste. But then, I like how you portrayed that this type of friendship is possible so we can have more of it in contemporary times.
Keep the good work going ma.
When you have the right friends then you are more than lucky
Friendship is sweet , genuine friendship is cherished, friendship is about been there in time of need and Tanya was there and Roger was very appreciative.
Wow! A friend indeed is a friend in need. Tanya is a great friend.
That expression should be the other way round.
When you say expression, ma. Do you mean “a friend indeed is a friend in need?”
Didn’t even know I have been saying it the wrong way. I have always known the expression to be like that.
I’m glad I commented on this post. That way I have learnt the right way to say it. Thank you, ma for pointing that out.
What a friend is Tanya…
So amazing and surprising
Roger is so lucky because without her the business would have been a mess!
This story teaches us what friendship should be about. I really enjoyed the story.
This short story talks a lot about trust, some persons are not trustworthy no matter how close the person could be.
It’s very good for one to pay attention to details and also listen to advise.
I need a Tanya in my life 🥺
good friends are hard to come by these days.
Tanya is a really good friend, she deserves to be respected and held close.
A very funny triangle, I’m glad everyone’s happy at the end tho.
A good friend is difficult to come by these days. Kudos to tanya for sticking to her friend.
Tanya is an immeasurable friend, because despite everything, she stood for Roger, helped and advised him.
Good friends are rare. I wish I had a friend like Tanya
In my words, Friendship is God relating to us through human bodies, from guidance, to help, support and Care. Roger and Tanya’s Friendship is a very good example. I’ve taken clues on how to be a good friend to my friends and in also knowing what to expect when it comes to friendships.
A friend being a person always there in your ups and downs, defines Tanya.
Having that one friend who always has our back is a big flex. And we should hold on to them.
We should also be good to our friends and take good advice from them
This is great friendship!
Truly,Tanya is a good and patient friend.
That’s exactly what friends are supposed to do for each other. But to find such friends is hard.
I like the way Tanya helped Roger maintain his financial stability and marriage at the same time. And how they both tolerated their excesses.
Roger helps financially while Tanya helps intuitively. That’s what friends are for.
Nice one ma , what a friend is Tanya, I love the way Tanya maintain a stable friendship.
Tanya is one true friend, one who wouldn’t hesitate to rebuke him from making a wrong decision and one who got his back, in all she did she had his best interest at heart, though Roger tend to be stubborn, he still appreciated what she did for him
The text is so captivating, it teaches to look out for our friends, even when they refuse to listen, we shouldn’t relent or ignore them.
Friends like Tanya are rare,and should not be taken for granted when we finally get one.
Tanya is indeed a good friend, more reason why we should find that one friend that will always have our back even when his/her attitude is not giving, especially in the aspect of not picking his calls and avoiding her for weeks, A friend like Tanya is indeed what we need for a good friendship, someone that doesn’t give up on you no matter what, her patient and endurance is giving!!!!
Wow! What a nice and true friend Tanya is. We need people like Tanya in our society and lives, people that would always watch our back and never relent.
Everyone need a good friend, like Tanya.
Tanya is truly a friend one can rely on
Tanya is such a good friend, she always has Roger’s back, that’s what true friendship should entail but such friends are rare to find these days.
Friends. I think friends are gift from God. They are here to help us do what our families can’t.
Friendship with good people is an essential.
We should know the type of friends we keep, especially those that will help us in times of need
Tanya’s patience and qualities are worthy of reckoning with. She is indeed a ‘friend that sticks closer than a brother’ and I’m glad Roger realises alas. Celeste is lucky to have a good friend beside her husband. Such an amazing story about true friendship, Ma.
Tanya is a good friend. She helped him in his business and also his marriage.friends like this are rare!
I am impressed that roger was nice enough to show his appreciation to Tanya
In our world today, the people we call our friends something’s stab us at the back, but tanya is exceptional, she’s a true friend indeed.
Wow! True friendship.
This is a very interesting piece.
The world would be a better place if every friendship was as real as theirs.
I love how Tanya was always there for Celeste and Roger. It’s wholesome.
Is good to have a friend’s back no matter how their behave
Tanya is the embodiment of true friendship.
Friends like Tanya are few in the world. A nice story ma
There’s no greater encouragement in the world than having friends be there for you when you need them no matter what may come..
If friends would act like this, I believe the world would be a better place.
Tanya is really a friend indeed😊The both are truly, good friends(. Both Tanya and Roger)
This is great friendship! Tanya is a great friend.
Tanya has proved to Rodger to be a true and worthy friend indeed,inspite of his stubborn attitude.
A friend in need they say “is a friend indeed”.
We all need good friendships. A friend like Tanya and more…
What a nice piece.
I love the friendship of Tanya and Roger; friendship like such is rare these days.
I learnt that having a good friend that stands besides me is not enough but showing appreciation for him/ her to know that I’m not taking the kindness for granted will strengthen the bond and prompt them to do more.
This friendship is one that is filled with love, trust and care.
I love the persistent nature of Tanya but at the same time, even the most persistent can get drained at times.
There’s nothing like having a good friend in this life.
Friends like Tanya are hard to find these days
Tanya is a great friend indeed, she prevented Roger was making avoidable mistakes. What a good friend!
Some friends stick closer than brothers.
Tanya is like a rock to roger, friends like this are rare but once you find them keep them with both hands no matter what come may.
This illustrates how fruitful a good friendship can be , a friend is one who will be there for you despite the circumstances as can be see in the message .
A true friend like Tanya is what the world needs at this point. She deserves better and thank God for Roger who also appreciates her efforts. True friendship is beautiful. Thank you ma
We all need friends like Tanya in our lives.
Like the story said, what are friends for? It’s so amazing to have a friend like Tanya.
Nice one ..We all need a friend like Tanya.
Tanya is that friend everyone needs
Tanya is really a friend indeed for both Roger and Celeste. I like her persistent nature, it really helped in saving Roger alot of times. Thank you so much ma for this post, it is a very interesting story.
We all need a genuine friend like Tanya
The friendship of Tanya and Rodger is very admirable and adorable.
This is such a captivating story. A friend in need, is a friend indeed. Friendships like that of Tanya and Roger is a genuine one and shouldn’t be let go off.
This friendship is the type every one wants.
I love the bond Tanya, and Roger shared. Tanya is an amazing friend and having someone like that is a blessing ,that should not be joked with.
Nice story ma❤️
Good and loyal friend is hard to come by, if you are privileged to have one, do cherish and appreciate him.
a friend in need is a friend indeed
Roger was kind-hearted enough to pay Tanya and that is surely worthy of emulation. Some wouldn’t do the same.
Tanya epitomizes what a good friend should be. Thanks for sharing, Ma
This story emphasized the benefits of a good friendship.
This set of friendship is unique I love it
It’s good to have friends who’d always watch our backs. They’re rare but to have more of them, we should be one.
I need a Tanya in my life.
No man is an island, therefore we need friends to uplift us when we are down.
Tanya is the best person we should learn from. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
It is very important to make good friends because the kind of friends you make cam make or break you.
This kind of friendship is what we need .
Looking out for one another, it saves from unnecessary and bad decision.
Please let us all learn from this and appreciate one another.
True friendships are rare, this teaches us what friendship is about, and we should learn to guard friendships like this no matter the situation, we should learn to put things that will come between friendships like this away.