We all have those friends. The kind who would do anything for you if you really needed them to, and if they possibly could. They’re like siblings and you know they’ll probably be there for a lifetime. And if you’re lucky enough, when they marry, their husbands love you, and you them, just as much. I am very blessed to have a few of these.
But then there are the ones we’ve known for most of our lives. From so far back that there seem to only be a handful of memories from before them. They are indelibly woven into the fabric of our lives. Mine is Michelle. We have been close friends since we were eight. At times we’ve been deeply involved in each other’s day-to-day lives, and at others we go for months (and months) without speaking. But whenever we (re)connect we always pick up where we left off. There is no awkwardness or strange distance between us no matter how long it’s been; just a lovely warm sense of being somewhere wonderfully familiar. A bit like coming home after a long trip, dropping your heavy bags at the door and flopping into the well-loved soft embrace of your favourite couch with a sigh.
When we eventually went to different schools at 14 we wrote angst-ridden letters to each other about boys, drinking, smoking, being suspended, teachers, parents and friends. Together we bunked school, stayed in dodgy parts of town and went to clubs with with older boys (we were well underage). We have spent years giggling, laughing and crying together over everything that girlfriends giggle and laugh and cry over. We’ve held each other’s hands and told each other off. We have had only one fight in 33 years and have often been mistaken for sisters. Hers are the only babies who have ever made me feel broody and I love her husband Hallam like a brother (although sometimes a very annoying one).
She inspired me to pack my bags and come to London.
I introduced her to Bikram Yoga. She introduced Hallam.
This morning, as I was rushing to the bus, I saw that they had made a very generous donation to my Teacher Training fund. The Bikram Bug has bitten).
It caught me so off guard that my eyes filled with tears (my heart with gratitude) and I walked into a tree.
I love you both so much. Thank you xxx