I was twelve years old when I met my best friend. I was a very quiet and shy person then. All my teachers told my mom that she is very quiet, she doesn’t talk at all.
Now I couldn’t share what was going on in my house, parents fighting, grandparents bugging between the fights, like a soap opera my house looked like a set where the characters took their sides and the worst was, for me to choose. Hello! I didn’t want to do that, so I guess it affected me as I didn’t socialize much and kept to myself or was quite most of the times.
I saw my best friend on the first day of our new class. Her smile made her face radiate like an angel. I just wanted to be friends with her, wanted to know her more than her name. I saw her talking to others and thought what if she doesn’t accept my friendship. That would have been humiliating.
But then one day I decided to talk to her. I walked to her and said, “Will you be my friend?” She smiled and quickly said, “Yes, why not.” I was so relieved. That was too simple.
She was a true friend. We were very fond of each other, so much so that others thought that we were sisters. But we were not, and I was happy to hear this. We shared our tiffins together, she helped me with my home work, I helped her with understanding the lessons, I could not fight so she fought for me with others.
I was no longer bothered of the “family drama” or “family politics”. There were times when it affected me, but I was no longer bothered. May be because I had found “a friend in need is a friend indeed” or may be teenage hormones had triggered the tolerance level or a changed behavior, I don’t know….
We both loved talking or it would be me, talking and she, patiently listening to me. We were friends for five long years but they were strong. Then she moved to a different city. We exchanged our communication address, back then mobile phones were new and expensive, in short either of us didn’t have it. We wrote letters for good three continuous years and then it slowed down and finally stopped.
I still remember those days and miss her a lot. She changed me from being a shy and quite person to- if nothing more, then at least talkative. I sometimes think had she been with me I would not have made friends with anyone else. But then, whatever happens happens for the best. Over a period of time I have met great people in my life. There are a couple of good friends on my list. I’m thankful to her for becoming my strong shelter during those turmoil years of my life. She holds the definition of true friendship to me in all the ways possible. I hope her good, healthy and abundant life as I write about her and remember her (now).
Although I don’t have any photos of hers or ours, I have managed to capture her face in my memory so clearly that I still get a good glimpse of her in my dreams (they are not hazy, they are as clear as is reality to me). I still meet her in my dreams, chat with her, express my happiness… and then suddenly wake up realizing that it was a dream. Perhaps a glimpse of life had we still been friends.