She was young and completely clueless, just a child. And I’m not talking about a naive teenager, I’m talking about a proper little girl – maybe 3 or 4 years old. She knew nothing about the world. She never even understood the true meaning of family, or even friendship – she was a child! She didn’tunderstand them…but she had them. She looked to her left and she saw the other little girl sitting right next to her, completely unaware of the importance of that other little girl. She was both her family and her friend.
Carried out of the pool from their little yellow floats, they were seated side by side. The fake grass tickled against their tiny little butts, but at that moment – the iconic picture was taken. The picture that, to them, was timeless. I think it was called The Galleria. Funny how its nothing but a faded memory now, and yet back then it was where we’d meet. She didn’t understand, but it was familiar, and she understood familiarity.
Fast forward a little to school. Different schools, different surroundings, even different languages! What should have been a barrier was nothing to them. They didn’t even realise it was there. They continued as they were, nothing changed. They could talk now, they could walk now, they could even count to ten now. They were big girls – but nothing changed. Their foundation was getting stronger.
“5 more minutes” she pleads to mum, desperate to finish her game with the other little girl and their barbies. She was forced to return home to bed. It was a school night, and she normally wouldn’t leave home on school nights for anyone, except the other little girl. The next time, it was costumes. The other little girl had all the costumes – every single one you could think of! They played and laughed, every passing second fuelled by imagination. At the other little girls house, the saying “5 more minutes!” was infamous. Funny enough she could never spend the night. Not because she wasn’t allowed…anything goes when it comes to the other little girl; but because despite the fact she had a ‘sister’, she had a mummy, a daddy, and a brother waiting at home.
It used to be The Lodge, until it was HardRock Cafe. Karaoke, every Friday brunch. We had a long table, back then it was all of us. The whole ‘gang’. We took the stage, covered in face paint and after getting over the shy giggles, we sang along to My Heart Will Go On. Sometimes it wasnt The Lodge, it was the pool instead. What shouldve been a normal morning of swimming always ended in staying till the evening hours. You just knew that after swimming the other little girl had to stay. One time we made a tent out of desk chairs, and blankets. It took up the centre of the room, and we put a little lamp inside. Together we played inside, until it was time for the infamous ‘5 more minutes!’.
We started to grow up. Slowly we began to have more homework, and less time for each other. But we didn’t need time. With a bond as strong as ours, every moment would be picked up right where it left off, nothing changed. Halloweens were always spent with the other little girl, it was just where she had to be. Even when she was too old for costumes, she showed up in her Superman T-shirt and they watched a movie and gave candy to the kids.
She made other friends, and so did the other little girl. What used to be every weekend, slowly became monthly visits. They chatted on the phone every now and then, but when they did the call was at least an hour. They were growing up, but deep down they knew nothing could break them. She got a card when she was fifteen with a timeline of their friendship “From this…to this. The taller we get, the longer we’ll be friends for. To many more years of friendship. For as long as we live…if we live that long”.
Suddenly its poof. Its gone. She grew up and so did the other little girl. Things that shouldn’t have mattered, did. Things that shouldn’t have been said, were. Effort that should have been made, wasn’t. Empty words, misunderstandings, tears and anger. She wont accept that its gone, because it was real. And things that are real, don’t just disappear. She needs the other little girl, and she hopes the other little girl needs her too.
You dont understand what she’s saying, but the other little girl does.