Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Anna and the French Kiss Read-Along Challenge #2

The Anna and the French Kiss Read-a-long is hosted by Molli from Once Upon a Prologue and Suz from A Soul Unsung. The second challenge is to share a story from a time in your life when you identified with Anna.

Anna reminds me so much of myself, and I can relate to her in many ways. One specific way is her realization that ‘home’ isn’t necessarily a place, it can be a person.

First I just want to say that I was lucky enough to come from a very loving home, and I don’t want to downplay that. Now...I didn’t realize this at the time - it wasn’t a concept that had occurred to me - but for many years, ‘home’ was my best friend Suleena. We met in Kindergarten and were casual friends until the sixth grade when we became best friends. My dad died at the end of grade five, so by the beginning of grade six, I was really in need of a good friend, and there she was. I don’t know how it happened, but we suddenly became inseparable and we did everything together. She was the first person who I felt really accepted me for me, even when I was an emotional wreck, even when I was a jerk, and even when I sometimes made it really difficult to even want to be friends with me (I didn’t realize that at the time but I look back and think 'man, I was lucky I had any friends'). 

Suleena and me, around age 16
In high school, we traveled a lot together - we went on a number of bus trips, overnight trips, and we even went to France together when we were seventeen. I don’t think I would have gone if it weren’t for her, and I know I wouldn’t have had as amazing a time as I did without her. All my best memories of France involve her. Every single one of them. 
Suleena and me at the Louvre in Paris, age 17
We had our issues…god knows we had our issues. We fought, we stopped speaking, there were times when we hated each other, but we always came back together. We were like sisters. In the summer between high school and college, we were together almost all the time. She practically lived at my house. We went to college together - same program and everything - and it was eventually a boy that was our undoing. A boy we both liked, who liked us both…but I wouldn’t date him because I didn’t want to hurt her. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop her. That's when the first of the irreparable cracks formed in our friendship. When they broke up, she dropped out of college, and a few months later, ended up pregnant. Everything changed for us then. The last ten years have been rocky for us, but we’re still friends. We've gone through births and deaths and everything in between in the last 24 years. And whenever we’re together - even though it’s not often these days - I still feel like a seventeen-year-old. For a little while, I can pretend that nothing has changed and that we still have our whole lives ahead of us, and that we’ll be best friends forever. 
On a road trip, in a photo booth, around age 18
Since then I’ve had a few other friends who have shown me that ‘home’ can be a person. But Suleena was the first, and no matter what happens, or how much we drift apart, there will always be a part of me that considers her home. She’ll always have a piece of my heart - and isn’t that really what home is?


2 comments:

  1. Oh, well, way to make me WIBBLE. This is such a wonderful glimpse into who you are. I was really curious about your post when you mentioned it the other day, and was wondering what sort of story yours would be. I think you are so lucky to have a friend like her, despite the ups and downs. :) *big hugs*

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  2. I *love* this post. It reminds me of friends I've had through the years, although I haven't spoken to them FOR years. There were bigger issues at play there. But I totally understand the whole liking the same boy thing and how it tears you apart from your best friend. I think it's amazing that the two of you have managed to stay in touch despite all the bad things. Not many people are willing to go through those things and make amends and forgive after.

    Also, this reminds me of the Billy Joel song "You're My Home", completely applicable here! ;)

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~Marie

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