In my adult years, I have learnt that making friends isn’t easy.
I’ve had two ‘best friends’ throughout my life. One I’ve know since time began, our Moms were friends before we were. For arguments sake we’ll call her Mel.
The other I’ve known since year 9 of secondary school, since we were 14 years old. Let’s call her Micky.
Let me begin with Mel.
Together we embarked upon our first day of nursery and our primary school life. From the word go we played together. We went through infants school bobbing along, innocently. We weren’t always I’m the same classes, but always seemed to play together or in the same group. I’m sure there are many friendships that began like this.
Out of school, I would walk to her house with my dolls and pushchair in the days when it was safe to do so. It was a short walk to the next road over the railway bridge.
We went to into junior school together and belted out the songs in assembly together, legs crossed on the varnished Parke floor staring at the OHP.
We weren’t in the same class until year 5 but our friendship remained. Now, our friendship was not always plain sailing and I vividly remember our Moms on the phone to each other trying to get us to apologise to each other and be friends once more after falling out over one thing or another.
We had sleepovers and spent many summers in the sunshine playing on our bikes and having water fights. There was always a place for me at her family dinner table. We would walk to the corner shop and get an actual penny mix of sweets and endless tiptops and choc ices.
Days and days of childhood laughter were spent with her. She heavily influenced me into Disney and Matilda and the BFG. We went camping and holidayed with each others families. The kind if friendship that you only read about. It gave me a safe, warm and welcome feeling to have her as my friend. She was always there. Rain or shine, we were together. She was my second family.
We finished junior school by singing our hearts out with the rest of our year in the leavers assembly.
We each went to different secondary schools. I went to one that the two brothers had been to before me and she went to the school her two sisters went to before her. The year that I started secondary school, my parents divorced and she was there for me. Her family were there for me and for that I cannot thank them enough. I would and could turn up at their house at any time and it would be a safe haven for a confused, upset 12 year old.
Time went on and home life began to become a new type of normal for me.
Then, we didn’t see each other so much, sadly. Unbeknown to us, we were growing apart. We both had different lives now, different cliques and very different interests.
I finished secondary school and wanted to go into acting after about 5 years of amateur dramatics. I went to Stratford college and studied performing arts.
By this time, I knew I could have contacted Mel if I had wanted to or needed to, but we had grown up and apart.
Low and behold, one day who did I see at college one day, but Mel!
This time when I saw her, we were different people, two ears of corn grown in the same field, but bound for different cereal boxes. But that familiar warm, childhood memory glow was still there somewhere.
We intermittently stayed in touch. It was her who suggested I joined Facebook. Boyfriends on both our parts came and went and new friends were in and out of our lives but she always remained a constant to me. Despite not being the immediate best friends we once were, I knew hen that if I needed to I could call her and she would be there.
We were in and out of each other lives, like Jenny and Forest Gump.
In our late teens and early twenties, we were growing back together again. We were almost back to being the besties we once were.
Mel now had a serious boyfriend (the relationship was serious I mean, him not so much). Initially, he didn’t like me, but still when Mel and I were together, it was like we had never been apart.
Some time later, just as I started my nurse training, she was good enough to house me for a while with her and her then boyfriend (now her husband).
That time was fun living with them. it was short, but I was grateful to them for it. I did repay them by cooking for them most days.This was a pivotal period in my life. it was just before I embarked upon my nursing career which opened many more doors for me.
Mel got Married and I was her bridesmaid along with her sisters.
She made the most beautiful bride.
We have been there for each other for a long time, Always ready with an open mind, listening ear, vast amounts of tea and of course, cake.
Mel now lives in Scotland and has her own business and three hilarious children. She is so talented and so funny.
When we see each other, its like its 1995 and we are 8 years old again. Its like real life melts away and we are in our own little land. This girl has genuinely made my childhood days some of the best and is a true asset to me. She has supported me through some of the toughest times in my life and makes me see things from a different point of view. She is my counsellor and has guided me with her funny wisdom.
one of the best pieces of advice she has given me is:
If you can’t eat a whole chocolate cake, you’re not sad enough.
I’ll take that through life!
She is one of a kind and I miss her so very much.
I’m sure many people have a friendship like this, but this is mine and its 30 years old!
She is coming home for Christmas this year and I cant wait!
Part two coming soon!