“Do not save your loving speeches
For your friends till they are dead;
Do not write them on their tombstones
Speak them rather now instead.” – Anna Cumins
I met her in junior high. We had been those bubbly little girls, always fangirling over some Hollywood character. The memories are hazy. I don’t remember how we looked like, back then. I remember she used to chatter all day long about Brett Lee, often mentioning facts as ridiculous as how many teeth he had lost!
We became quick friends. We used to talk to each other for hours over phone. We used to call dibs on hot anime guys! I was going to be her bridesmaid, she was going to be mine.
Indeed, I have too many happy memories with her.
When and where things went wrong, I don’t remember. I guess, she doesn’t too. Perhaps, it was when I had to leave school due to my Dad’s transfer.
Moving away didn’t seem like a big deal. We had telephones and e-mails and Facebook to remain in contact and I presumed blindly that things wouldn’t change.
Somehow, they did.
Conversations started getting shorter and most of the time, it seemed like we were calling each other just for the sake of old times. Our priorities changed. So did our friends’ circle. We thought that we were still going to remain friends forever, but deep inside our hearts, we knew that the thread was slowly withering away.
Five years of friendship was lost to a year of separation.
Slowly, other people started taking her place and a part of me still holds a profound amount of guilt that I had given up on our friendship so easily.
I used to browse through her pictures on Facebook and see her with her new friends, happier that I’d ever seen her. Though both of us used to be online at the same time, none of us took an effort of dropping a message. Strangely, it didn’t hurt.
At that moment, I knew, I had lost her.
When I returned back, two years later, our friendship remained as messed up as ever. We did talk, but it was no longer the same.
The good, old times remained carved in some forgettable corners of our classrooms.
Perhaps, we grew up. And life moved crazily fast.
Or may be, we never had been friends in the first place.
I went through the darkest phases of my life, alone. There were times when I believed there was no hope. And what hurt me the most was, I had no shoulder to cry on. So I cried, alone.
That period of darkness I went through, convinced me that nothing was permanent in life and that I was going to lose people. It made me numb. And it made me forget about her.
Until a couple of months ago, we started talking again.
Of course, conversations were pretty short and awkward. I used to think a lot before saying her something. I hid certain things from her. She did too.
Nevertheless, we talked.
I waited for her messages. I desperately wished for things to go back to being the same again, just like the olden, golden times. I wanted to meet her and talk and talk and talk about nothing in particular. Yet, I kept all that to myself.
I’m talking to her as I write this. I tell her I’m going to write about her in the next post. She wants to read it. I want her to. But I don’t know where to start.
The happy childhood memories are fading away with each passing second. So are the not-so-good memories. Now, I remember the little arguments we had. I think about the time she threw a water pouch right at my face and burst out laughing, while I stood in the middle of the staircase, absolutely clueless about how I was supposed to react.
I remember the one time something happened between us and I refused to talk to her. She had cried over the phone. Yes, she did. I was the stronger person. But I’m crying as I write this.
The memories are withering away and no matter how frantically I’m trying to hold them close, they are slipping away. The castles I had built are slowly crumbling to pieces and she’s not there to lend a hand.
However, along with the happy memories, the bitter ones are gone too. They are replaced by a set of new memories – of this friendship blooming again. May be we can never go back to being the best friends we had once been, but I’ll try. I don’t know about her.
Looking back, I still can’t figure out where things went downhill. A part of me doesn’t want to.
I had never figured out that writing about her would be so tough. We have our fair share of memories and sorrow. And we’ve been through all that together.
And I owe it to her – she taught me the importance of having friends. She made me realize that some friendships will fall and some will last and some friends will leave and some will keep coming back. They are people who are going to raise a toast at your wedding day and even raise a mop if you want them to. They are people who one writes about. They are people who have the most impact on one’s life.
They are called, friends.
She is mine. She is my friend.
And I believe there will be brighter days.
No, I know there will be even brighter ones.
We’ll see them together.