This is the byline my best friend uses every time she introduces me somebody new.
And I say, “Well now, I was four”.
I grew up with my best friend by my side. I moved to the country when I was 14 and the three hour driving distance was but nothing between us. She lives in London now. I typed ‘her home is in’ then, but I backspaced. I am not quite yet prepared to say that it is in fact, her ‘home’. You see, my best friend moved to London nearly two years ago and has been back in Australia for the first time since then a couple weeks ago.
I have missed her every day since she went back.
I’m almost certain I think about her at least once every day. And I know that this distance has made me cherish the friendship that we do have.
You see, I don’t ‘friend’ people easily, and certainly not in a way where we can be laughing uproariously one second and quietly chatting about life and all it brings the next. And when I say ‘brings’, clearly I mean shuffles toward you so nonchalantly you barely notice it and /or slams you repeatedly in the face. I watched her being pulled in many different directions while she was here. So many people wanted a little piece of her joy before she departed once more. Many have opinions on what she’s doing, and it has surprised me how readily others can denounce what she is doing and convince her to ‘come home’. For, it is important to note, my best friend is inordinately successful in her career overseas. That is not to say she wasn’t a success here, for she was. It’s just that over there, wow. She’s making it, is what she is.
She ‘friends’ much more easily than I do. Her warm nature draws people to her and makes them want to hang around for more. She’s good at being with others while I spend too much of my time in public wanting to go home.
And I wondered if I would get any bits of that joy just for me while she was here.
And then, all of a sudden, I did. One Friday, I took a half day of annual leave and went to drink champagne with my best friend. We sat in the sunshine and ran into friends, old for her and new to me.
And I am so glad that we did it. For at some time that is really too early for people to be flying around the globe like 5:56am, on Wednesday week before last, she left. Anxiety gripped at me and I could not sleep. I know I will miss her, and I know she is doing the right thing.
But I will miss her. And now that she is gone I can be selfish about how much I will miss her and I will treasure the time we have been able to share over the last couple of weeks.
Goodbye my friend. I wish London was closer because I could sure use a cup of tea and your face this week. But I will have to settle for Skype. And that is okay, becuase it is certainly better than not seeing your face at all!