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Nightingale









Friday, April 07, 2006

When I was in college, I had to stay in a boarding house because I lived thousands of miles away from my school. Most of the time I was left all alone in our room on weekends. I would spend my weekend going out with friends from other schools but there was this one weekend that I decided to just relax. Having nothing to do, I tried rearranging the furniture and while doing so I stumbled upon one of my roommate’s scrapbook. It had beautiful colors and designs on the cover which made it very tempting to read. What was I to do? I had always been jealous of my roommate who happened to be also my classmate. I had been used to getting the attention of my family and friends back home for my talents so when I joined her in this room, I started feeling uncomfortable to have as a roommate someone whose endearing personality and many talents made her my board mates’ favorite. I competed with her tacitly and grew to resent her natural abilities. I felt it necessary to shatter her shadow with achievements of my own. It reached a point when we stopped talking to each other except when we were with the group. Her scrapbook lay there within my reach, and I was deciding whether to open it or not.

Since, all she did was tell beautiful stories of her past, I picked up the book from her writing desk and opened it, fanning through the pages, hoping to see the other side of her. She had lots of pictures of her high school days with detailed descriptions of the people and the memories she shared with them. After going through many pages, I came across pictures of my board mates and me. As I read the captions written under my picture, the blood ran from my face. I felt faint and slouched to the floor. She portrayed me as the person who has inspired her most. I started to cry.

I was her hero. She admired me for my personality, my achievements and, ironically, my integrity. She wanted to be like me. She had been watching me all the three years we have been together, quietly marveling over my choices and actions. I ceased reading, struck with the crime I had committed. I had expended so much energy into pushing her away that I had missed out on her. I had wasted years resenting someone capable of magic - and now I had violated her trust. It was I who had lost something beautiful, and it was I who would never allow myself to do such a thing again.

Reading the earnest words she had written seemed to melt an icy barrier around my heart, and I longed to know her again. I was finally able to put aside the petty insecurity that kept me from her. The day she arrived from her weekend break, I decided to go to her - this time to experience instead of to judge, to embrace instead of to fight. After all, she was my friend.

It's been 36 years and we have become the best of friends. Despite the distance (she is now residing in the US), we managed to communicate online more than just once a day. Now that she's back home for a 6 months visit, we have lined up a list of activities we will be doing to make up for all those years of being apart.

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9:45 PM | Permalink |


7 Comments:


  • At 4/07/2006 10:49 PM, Blogger Trinity13

    I take it she forgave you for reading her scrapbook, right?!
    :-)

     
  • At 4/08/2006 5:41 AM, Anonymous chelle

    What a beautiful post. It is amazing how others see us...I am glad you are still friends!

     
  • At 4/08/2006 11:02 AM, Blogger Lazy Daisy

    Isn't it amazing how wrong our perpection can be in requard to other people. I'm so glad you were able to break down the wall and that your friendship has endured.

     
  • At 4/09/2006 12:10 AM, Blogger mommyof4

    What A great story and how wonderfull that you are still friends:)

     
  • At 4/09/2006 2:27 AM, Blogger The Mistress of the Dark

    Your story reminds me of the book Beaches and the song The Wind Beneath My Wings.

    Have a lovely weekend.

     
  • At 4/10/2006 12:55 AM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills

    How wonderful to have discovered and re-discovered your good friend. And what a wonderful way to find out how she really felt about you...though sad you did no know...
    It is lovely to have long long friendships....Old friends are the Best Friends!

     
  • At 4/10/2006 5:07 PM, Blogger Chrixean

    That was a nice story. I think we all had some similar experience in the past at one point or another... and how strange beginnings ended up in long lasting friendships :-)