Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I used to have a best friend at school and we always swore we would stay friends for the rest of our lives. She was very tall, I was a shortie, she had very long blonde hair, I had a mop of dark curls, she was the cleverest girl in the school, I was the one who messed around in class (but not during English because I loved it too much), she didn't have very much, I was over-indulged - thus we were a perfect contrast.
I was there the first time she slept with a man - well, not actually in the room; I'd left home and various friends who had stayed on at school used to come and spend the weekend and pretend to be adults. My best friend was there quite often and grew very close to my landlord - and I got used to the sight of one or the other of them wandering round the house starkers. I was pleased they had become a couple, although once I went back home they drifted apart. After that she and I were both involved with the accidental burning down of a kitchen that belonged to someone who is a very famous household name today - if only that hadn't happened no doubt we'd be on the board of a celebrated company - oh well, who needs money and power anyway?
My friend went up to Oxford and quite a few years down the line got her Phd. I went through various phases - none of which she approved of (but then I was in a state of mind that things like that just didn't bother me). We stayed in touch and then got quite friendly again when all of a sudden we had a stupid row and just stopped talking. In fact it wasn't so much a row - more the fact of a drifting apart and lots of bickering when we met. I thought I don't need this - and vowed to sever all connections, which was a shame because she was quite close to my parents, especially my mum, but then all my friends loved my mum.
Over the years I thought about my former best friend. I watched her academic career really take off, read the reviews of the clever books she wrote and now and then would think about getting in touch again. Once I got on a bus and her mum turned out to be the lady sitting alongside; she gave me my friend's number but I never rang her. It had been too long. Then one day I yearned to see her, I got in touch with her publisher, gave my details and a few weeks later we met up. It was like we were children again. There were no recriminations, just lots of catching up, hugs and tears. I met her teenage son,she met Mr FF. We vowed to never lose touch again.
So, do you have anyone who you were once close to and fell out with that you would really and truly love to see again?