I never had many friends, as I was mostly on my own, doing my own thing and people didn’t always understand me. I was never bullied, except when you can call being ignored a kind of bullying. It never bothered me, as back then, and sometimes even now, I live with my head in the clouds and some things just pas me by.
I cannot remember any of the friends I had before I went to high school. Back when I was 9 or 10, there was the one girl who stayed with us for a holiday, and I think it was because she was the only friend I had in primary school. However, they moved away, she visited me for one holiday and after that I have never seen her again. I can’t even remember her name, let alone what she looked like.
Once I went to high school, it took a while for me to make friends, but once I did, there were two girls I called friends. I met both of them in high school, but it just so happened that at school I was mostly with the one, and after school frequently with the other. Why it was like this, I can’t remember. It might be that the two of them didn’t like each other. The ‘afternoon-girl’ and I used to walk barefoot in the rain, singing and dancing in the streets of the Windhoek (Namibia) suburb where we lived.
The other girl was my bestie. She was soft-spoken and beautiful, and full of mischief, but not the kind of mischief I was up to. We were very close, so much so that when she was in a relationship, and they had a fight, I was the one mending it between the two of them. One day my parents decided to move, and not just to the next town, but 1500 kilometers south to Bloemfontein, South Africa. The year after we moved, we went back to Namibia, and I stayed with her for a couple of nights. We kept in contact as much as the technology allowed us back then, as there was only landlines and letters.
In February 1983 we got a call from the mother of my bestie. It was a Sunday morning, and I was still in bed. My room was closest to the hall where the telephone was, and I overheard my father say: “yes, I will tell her.” Then he and my mother came into my room, and told me my best friend had died in a motorcycle accident the day before. She was 16, and I was yet to turn 16 later that month. I was inconsolable. It was a terrible year in school, in my sports, and then my friend died too. I think all of this played along for me to decide to become pregnant.
When I learned that I was pregnant, I told my mom that my daughter (I just knew it would be a girl) would be given the same name as my best friend. I was two weeks over time when my daughter was born, nine months to the day after my best friend died in that horrible accident.
Since I was in another school, I made new friends. Only two, and the three of us were always together during breaks in school, but after school I only had contact with one of the girls, who lived quite close to me. Her sister had a teenage pregnancy too, a couple of years before me, and this best friend of mine always told me not to have my baby adopted, as it broke her sister, and she saw her little boy in every boy she saw. It took me years to find this friend of mine again, and when I did a couple of years ago, I was so grateful to be in contact with her again. However, we have never really spoken to each other. We are connected on Facebook and that’s it. Back when we connected with each other I sent her a message to tell her about my life, and I never received a reply. I guess that’s just life.
In my adult years I did have a couple of friends, but never for long. Back in the army there was one woman who I hung out with. We both had children, visited each other and sometimes had babysitters for the kids so we could go out. She fell in love with an American soldier, moved to America and I never heard from her again. There was another woman who more or less became a friend and some years ago she visited the Netherlands and we spent time together, but it was not the same as it was back in South Africa. To be honest, the handful of women I once called my friends back in South Africa, are not friends anymore, simply because of distance. The only thing that binds us is being connected on Facebook.
My best friend
For my first ten years in the Netherlands, I didn’t have someone I could call my friend, except for my mom. She was the one listening to all my stories, telling me about her day, and we were very close. She was my best friend for the better part of my life.
Then, at the end of 2005 I met my best friend. We came in contact through a website where we both recorded the weight we were losing, and we happened to go to the same club to be weighed, but in different towns. We decided to meet, and then we decide to go to the spa for a day, and out for lunch, and to the spa again, and I visited her and she visited me and here were are, best friends for the past 14 years. It just so happens that I am spending today with her too — at the spa!
She knows everything about me.I have written about that many times on the blog before, that she and Master T are the only two people who know everything about me. I can’t imagine my life not having her as a friend!
Circle of friends
But, she’s not my only friend anymore. Over the years, by being on Twitter and traveling to London frequently, I now consider some people to be my friends. Some of them I meet for coffee or lunch dates, and others I only talk to online. They know who they are, I don’t have to mention their names.
I feel like nowadays I have a circle of friends, and each of them add color to my life, each in their own unique way.
© Rebel’s Notes