Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Congolese brother, Frank

After a couple phone calls and a text message from this guy who wanted to be my friend, I was talking to Frank. He recently came from Minneapolis where he was working in DUS office. I don’t know how long he was there, but it must have been more than a year. I told Frank the situation and he exclaimed, “That’s not how it works for you!”

“Exactly! And I’m not interested in the guy AT ALL! What should I do?” I explained that I had tried to tell him politely that I wasn’t interested. But he wasn’t getting it. I don’t want to be rude, but I can be. I don’t think I realized how hard this situation was in light of my other recent stresses.

My head in my hands in frustration, Frank replied, “Tell him to call me.”

I looked up in wonder. “What will you tell him?”

“I will tell him to leave you alone. And if he doesn’t he will have me to answer to,” Frank said firmly.

At that point I burst into tears. That was not something I expected to be, but it was telling of how challenged I had been feeling about this situation and about how alone it feels to be single in another culture. “You would be my brother?!” I asked somewhat in disbelief through my tears.

In this culture the family is traditionally very involved is such pursuits. So having a father or brother to act on your behalf is good and in this case important.

Frank quickly replied, “Of course I will be your brother. Please don’t cry! Don’t cry!” It was a huge load off my mind.

The next text got a reply from me to the effect of: I thought I was clear last time, but if you have questions, call my brother, Frank.

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