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Today's topic is My First... Bestie
Childhood memories are a funny thing. They come in fragments. They weave in and out of your mind like dreams. You catch a corner of them and then, just as you're trying to hold them in your hand, they disappear. You remember a glimpse, but then you're not sure you've actually got it right.
They glint in the light. They shimmer. You look too closely and they disappear.
This is not me. But THIS is what I remember.
- Sue was an only child. This solitude was compensated for by a menagerie of animals. In my mind, there were three dogs, a cat, two birds, some fish and some mice. I have no idea if I've made up the mice, but I'm pretty sure the rest were there. Their house always had a faint smell of dog. I loved it. It smelled like home.
- Sue's parents were heaven. They drank Coffee Mate with their coffee every morning and I thought it was the ultimate in sophistication and I drank it with them. Thus began a serious addiction which lasted well into my twenties. I am craving that creamy sweetness right now.
- One holiday Sue's family took me along on a caravan trip with them. It was one of the best weeks of my life. I remember nothing of the caravan, I just remember the closeness I felt with Sue and her parents. (Literally, no doubt. We were in a caravan.)
- Sue and I spent hours in her bedroom, reading the books we both liked to read (think 'Flowers In The Attic' and boarding school tales). On one of these nights Sue noticed me surreptitiously using a page in her book to floss my teeth. I was hideously embarrassed. I still wish I'd asked for a toothpick.
- Sue grew up a little before me, both physically and emotionally. We both started liking boys at the same time, but she felt confident actually doing something about that, whilst the boys themselves still utterly terrified me. That was when things began to fall apart.
- There was the time at the beach, when Sue told that cute boy that I liked him. "Which one is she?" he asked her. "The flat one?" "She's just starting," Sue replied. I wanted to die.
- After she hit puberty, Sue grew tired of me. She found a new friend, and just stopped speaking to me. It was terrible. I cried endless tears. I tried ringing her up at home and talking to her. She spoke with me on the phone, and I felt that everything was alright again. The next day at school, she ignored me again.
- Eventually, we patched up our relationship enough to be friendly throughout the end of high school. But it was never the same, and when school finished we pretty much parted ways. It was okay, though. It was time to say goodbye.
Friendships don't always last a lifetime. But friendships don't have to last a lifetime to be meaningful and precious. And this one, this best friendship, meant an awful lot.
Next week's topic: My First... Fulfilled Wish