Dear Childhood Friend…

Once upon a time, you were as much a part of my day to day life as my parents. You looked after me – after I got lost the first time I tried to get the school bus, you made sure to find me everyday. I looked up to you – you were the one who stopped the boys from teasing me. Your paintings inspired me to do better – the one time I was in the same category as you in the Bazm-e-alig art competition, I tried harder just because I wanted to see if I could do better than you. You taught me about inner strength – things went wrong, but you simply dealt with them and moved on. You were older, you could’ve been more bossy – you were always nice, and you taught me to be nice to all the younger kids. You’re the reason I taught myself HTML – we created a Geocities page together (I still remember picking ‘garbage’ directory because we both thought it was hilarious). You were the most cheerful, fun-loving, in-the-moment person I’ve known.

And yet, it’s weird how we didn’t really keep in touch after I moved. It’s weird how life just happened. We always caught up if we were in the same place at the same time, but we also went years without really talking. Once in a while we’d chat online, just to catch up for all the missing years. The last time we spoke, I was telling you about V, and how I hoped things would work out. I remember how you kept telling me that I was doing the right thing, that you are glad I took my time to figure things out. While we haven’t spoken much since, I always just assumed you’d be there in December. Just a few days ago, I was thinking of emailing you, to say you have to come because it’s been so long since we’ve met. I wish I’d written that email. I wish I’d pinged you to chat.

If I’d ever considered the situation where I was faced with such tragic news, about the Doha circle, the FIRST person I’d say I would call, is you. Because you were the strongest, the one who’d be the voice of reason, the one who I could just talk to. Except, now I can’t. I really, really wish I’d written that email. I really, really wished I’d pinged you to chat.

Childhood friend, I cannot think of a single important moment in my childhood that did not have you in it. I cannot even begin to list the ways in which you made me a better me. I wish I could tell you just how much you mean to me.

We didn’t keep in touch very much, but, I will still really, really miss you.

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