I’ve been thinking lately about old friends.
I used to have a best friend by the name of Julie.
Our first meeting was a bit less than spectacular. I was 21 and moving into a house with 2 other women. My first impression of her was not favorable. I was trying desperately to make my house key fit in the lock, when the front door was opened violently. Standing there with a frustrated look was a lovely young woman. The mirror image of a young Katherine Ross. I tried to introduce myself but she flounced away. My thought “what a bitch”.
We didn’t come into contact with each other again for a few days.
Our next encounter was somewhat more pleasant.
She arrived home from work early one evening and came into the kitchen. She smiled at me, apologized for her rudeness and sat down to talk. From that moment on we were inseparable.
She was my age, worked as a server at an extremely upscale restaurant in Santa Clara and had a very handsome Pakistani boyfriend.
We had an interesting friendship.
The kind that is immediately easy. Where you simply ‘know’ each other instantly.
We spent years together, she and I.
Eventually she married and had children (I was her birth coach for both little girls). And, in turn, I moved on with my career and dating life.
Her husband was Islamic and she converted before marrying him.
As the years progressed, she became more involved in her religion and role in the community.
Her husband wanted her to learn more and thought that it wasn’t such a good idea for us to stay close. However, we prevailed.
When her father became ill and she had to leave town I took all three of her girls (one was her husbands niece). I mothered the babies as if they were my own and did everything I could for her husband.
The night her father died, I was the first person she called. And, she was there when my father passed.
However, soon after, she began to become a bit distant.
I found out sometime later that they were thinking about moving to London for her husbands work. I thought it might be a wonderful experience for her and the girls. About a week after learning about the ‘possibility’ of a move, they were gone.
There was no contact or warning. She simply left without a word. I never did kiss the two sweet girls (whom I loved and loved me in return) goodbye.
My heart broke.
We were like sisters.
A few months later I managed to find a phone number for her. She told me that she was sorry but that they had thought it was the best way. She sounded sad, but I couldn’t tell for sure.
Two years later I phoned her husbands main office in California and found out that he was visiting from the UK. I called once and left a message on his voice mail. A day later he rang to tell me that I was harassing him and to not call again. I was flabbergasted. He was not the man who I thought I had known. He told me that Julie was learning and growing and that there was no place for me. Then he hung up. That was the last time I ever made contact.
Recently she’s been on my mind. I’ve often wondered if she’s thought of me as well. Such things come to the fore front of our minds as we get older (at least for me).
I realized that her daughters would be 17 and 15 and wondered what her life was like.
So I set out to search for her.
I only share the above information as a background because I think it’s relevant in terms of a decision I’m trying to make.
Do I contact her after all of these years?
Should I contact her mother or brother and get a temperature reading of the water first?
Or, should I simply let it lie?
I was lucky enough years later to make a new best friend. She and I are family. I know that she’ll never abandon me. I thank the universe that we collided so many years ago. I will always love and be there for her. As a true friend should.
Life has moved on. I’ve grown older and hopefully wiser as well. However, I still wonder. You know?