I remember sitting on a bench at the Bournemouth Pier about 7 years ago. I remember the cold crisp air and the sound of the waves hitting the pier. I was so cold and I was waiting for someone to answer my call. It rang a couple of times and then there was the cheery sound of my best friend. I told her I was about to be kicked out of my then-boyfriend’s mum’s house and I didn’t have anywhere to go. She was going to go on a trip to Egypt and there was no way she would allow me to stay at her house alone while she was gone. I had just finished my grad studies and was waiting for jobs to get back to me. My UK visa was expiring and I know that sooner or later I would have to return back to Burma or Thailand because that was the best shot of me getting hired. Getting back to the phone call, my friend didn’t even let me finish my sentence. “Go to Oxford, you know where our house key is, there’s no one there but we’ll be back soon. The fridge is fully stocked and just go and stay there.” I cried because I had known her maybe 10 months top, she was my classmate first and then friend and then housemate and then the best friend a person can ever hope for.
Jump to three years, I was living in a beautiful house with an amazing garden full of flowers and eucalyptus trees. It was 3.a.m and I had just came back from the police station. I have just been robbed at gunpoint in my beautiful home. I had no money because the guy took my wallet. I had my phone and I went straight to my best friend’s apartment one road away and there she was – standing there in front of her building in her pyjamas with a look of concern. The minute I was within her arms reach, she hugged me and I spent the night at her place. In the morning, she had breakfast ready and money for me to get around for sorting out bank stuff.
Fast forward two years. I was packing in a frenzy. My ex-boyfriend had just left with shitty note after I confronted him about his one-year long relationship with another woman which I discovered from his Facebook. I wanted to go somewhere to escape and with very little warning, I messaged my another best friend who owns a hotel in Bagan. “Fly right over, I’ll pick you up at the airport.” I landed and there she was, just like she promised she would be. I haven’t seen her for ages, she had changed. She had changed from a shy, softly-spoken school girl to a passionate woman who gives her heart and soul to her community and her family but loyalty to her best friend still remained – thank goodness for that because I was a wreck and I just wanted to be somewhere quiet for reflection. It is also where I applied for this job in Japan and got it.
These are only some snippets of my life of course and I’ m not as tragic as I might appear from these (LoL). But the thing is that whenever something small or major happens – breakups, bouts of depression, nearly on the brink of becoming homeless, moon cups stuck up the lady parts or sharing successes and failures- it is with my best friends that I get through them.
Life can be difficult and sometimes unexpectedly tragic and my best friends are the ones who get me through my difficult times. Of course I have the love of my family but there are some things only best friends can listen and tell you. I am forever grateful for all the times my best friends have listened to me, supported me and called me out. I have best friends I do not talk on a regular basis but when we meet, we hug and we look at one another and just continue from where we left off like we never stopped talking. Especially during these corona quarantine times, it is more important than ever to keep one’s loves close regardless of the distance. Also I might appear to have like 10 best friends although that would be swell, I have 7 people I turn to for help, support and general gabbing. I draw some of their faces and included them in this post. I am sure most of them won’t see it, but this post really is just a reminder to myself that friendship is not just important but crucial in our lives. Treasure your friends. After all, Marcel Proust did say once that let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. So to all my 12 followers/readers, go call your friends and remind them about the silliest things you’ve done together.