So my first of many “i love my friends” posts is for my number one. Number one in pretty much every sense of the word. I’ve known her for almost my entire life, and I would not be standing here today if it weren’t for her. After my parents, brother and close family, she has been a huge part of my upbringing, despite being only a month or so older me. So much so, that I’ve referred to her as my “Australian cousin”.
I met this free spirit when I was five years old. She was my first friend in the classroom. I’m currently struggling to remember our first moment together, but I’ll never forget how little five-year-old me felt. A dorky looking kid, with purple wire-rimmed glasses, thick, bushy, black hair that her mother attempted to pull back into a supposedly attractive half-ponytail, a gangly child who was almost up to the teacher’s shoulder, burned brown from a summer in India. How, of all people, did this bouncy, bubbly, happy and adorable human being take my hand and drag me across the blue playground to find hula hoops in the storage cupboard (okay I might remember a bit)?
And to this day I still don’t know. I still don’t know what she liked about me at first, and I don’t know why I deserved all the attention. There was a time in my life (it was a very long time) from when I was eight to fourteen where I had no other friends except her. Sure, I said hi to other people, but when I say friend, I mean someone who won’t ignore you at birthdays, who will defend you when other people question your friendship, who will teach you to dance the night before your dance exam, who will give you the real sex talk and who will stand up to everyone, including their own sister, when you’re bullied or struck down by someone else. If I hadn’t had her, I would’ve been alone.
I had never had a friend like this, apart from her. And once both our parents realised the extent to which she loved me, they encouraged us to hang out even more. She called my parents by their first names (which is HUGE for Indians). Imagine this little six-year-old calling my 6-foot-father by his first name. My slightly more liberal mother, who grew up around more white people than my dad ever did, had to console him and say that this was a cultural thing, and that obviously he was still young enough to be called by his first name (back when he had hair).
Every friend I have made, and will ever make, has come a very close second to this one. But she knows that she’ll always be my number one. From exchanging music by Australian artists in the second last row of the 28 minibus from the footy club, to making pancakes off the top of our heads; from introducing her to Bollywood, to drinking copious quantities of wine and pink champagne and eating five helpings of pavlova at her 18th birthday; we’ve reach pretty much every friendship milestone, having been friends for 15 years.
I was on first name terms with her mother too. Even if she had only one friend for the rest of her life, her mother would have been overjoyed. I was always at my friend’s place, and when I wasn’t, she was at mine. And when we weren’t at each others houses, we were obviously at school like good children. Another thing about her mother is that she’s a great human being. Despite everything that they’ve gone through, my dear friend’s mother has been a rock through it all and serves as an inspiration to the both of us. Her Mediterranean chicken casserole is also equally amazing.
We went to school together for 11 years, until she left to join a different school in order to study under a different system. We never lost touch though, because luckily I’d moved to her neighbourhood two years earlier. We met up a lot on the weekends, sometimes alone, sometimes with the rest of our school friends.
We’ve been through a lot together. I know what goes on with her and she knows what goes on with me. Despite not speaking everyday (which we’re trying to change), she’s the first person I go to if something happens to me, and vice versa. We’ve told each other everything from university troubles to boy drama, and we were very recently each other’s virtual shoulder to cry on, with her grandfather and my grandmother passing away in the span of two months.
I admire how great she is at drama, her unique handwriting, drawing style, and enigmatic way of telling stories. Each year, everyone’s birthday is lit up with her enthusiasm for Stevie Wonder’s rendition of “Happy birthday to ya”. and “Happy happy birthday” from the Emperor’s New Groove, as well as her battle cry of “Bitch, I’m faaaaabulous”. And if she can’t be physically around, she’ll sure as hell leave her trademarks all over your Facebook timeline.
She’s the Yzma to my Kronk (which perfectly describes us by the way), the Scrappy Doo to my Scooby Doo, the vanilla to my chocolate, the left hand to my right hand.
There is no one that I haven’t mentioned her to. Anyone who knows me will know that she’s my best friend. We have barely any recent photographs together, so it’s a miracle that I found one for this post.
So here she is. My beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous, loving, adorable, radiant, fantastic and obviously “FAAAAAAAAABULOUS” best friend: Jessica. I feel like there are times where I don’t tell you how much you mean to me, so this is just here to say that I love you. ❤