a long post

i met her on a February morning of 1998
she was wearing blundstone boots with her school dress.
and her hair was a messily cut bob that fell at the bottom of her lobes.
I’m not sure if anyone dictated our interaction,
I just remember that I was pretty stubborn and refused to let go of my parents,
while she calmly played games in the corner.
eventually I joined her, and a friendship was established.
I don’t think either of us planned for the years we had thereafter.
but it went something like this:

in kindie I was already a feminist.
I drew with pink pencils to make a statement against those that would shriek ‘pink stinks’
and when the boys were pissing us off, I’d protect her by lifting my skirt (an offence which resulted at the time, with the boys running away in fear)
whenever it was my turn to have a tiger bike (a fucking sick as bike that had a saddle, and a bucket at the back for another person to sit in), I’d always choose her as my partner,
because I had absolute faith that I could trust her to choose me when it was her turn.
she witnessed my first crush. a little boy with a bowl cut… I clearly had high standards.
in prep we shared classes with the children in year one.
we were both good at reading and writing.
we started ‘learn to swim,’
you always had amazing bathers.
she witnessed my second crush. a little boy who was in the year above… unrequited love might I say.
in year one we were the big kids,
although, she and another friend developed a game called ‘run away from catelyn,’
whenever I was being annoying.
still trying to forgive her for that one.
year two we started school on my birthday,
you comforted me when I cried.
and we learnt to curl our tongues together.
we also learnt how to touch our nose when we stretched our legs over our heads into a triangle.
I won a drawing competition.
you won all the cross country running events.
year three we had big kids in our class again,
and that was shit.
year four we both had our first boyfriends.
and we would sit in the ‘box’ (essentially a cement room at the back of the kindergarten)
and we would hold their hands and dare the other couple to do things
e.g. swap hats, or tell each other that you love them
you even got married that year.
year five we had the most incredible teacher.
we also got good at playing ‘kings’… we would always team up when we were picked on.
I won the cross country that year. You were on holiday.
year six you cried when we, for the first time, weren’t put in the same class.
you changed into my class shortly after.
by now we both had longer slicked back hair.
you were the coolest girl at bridport primary, and I was proud being your best friend.
I wanted to be just like you.
high school we started becoming who we are now.
you were good at maths and science.
you wanted to study nursing.
I was good at english and humanities.
I wanted to study law.
we developed our first ‘group’ of friends.
we spent our days at the beach.
we made our money by delivering papers together,
being chased by dogs.
we never fought.
not even once.
and time skipped forward until we split.
I moved to Hobart,
you eventually moved to Launceston.
but every time we came home,
nothing had changed.

And now here we are.
yesterday we sat down and sipped champagne,
and ate a fuckload of food.
i’ve seen you grow old friend.
from a tiny five year old, into the woman that you are now.
it feels surreal to say I’ve had a best friend for over thirteen years.
someone who has watched me change and become.
yesterday as the boat headed out, I looked to the shores of the place we both call home.
the sun set over the water, and even though we were both freezing and exhausted from sea biscuiting,
I had enough energy to be so damn thankful that I’ve always had you,
that no matter how much I changed and became different,
or how much you changed and became different,
you and I were always inseparable.
to this day, I’m not sure if someone dictated our interaction that February morning in 1998,
but if they did, whoever they are,
I owe them thirteen of the most incredible and beautiful years.
I owe them a girl who has become one of the biggest parts of my life,
and will forever remain that way.
happy birthday mikaela.
you truly are incredible.

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