We were young when we first met. She was the new girl that recently moved into the flat next to mine. That time so long ago, I heard a knock on the door and rushed to open it, standing in front of me was the new girl.
“Hi, my name is Angel. We just moved in. What’s your name?” She asked, smiling at me.
She had a gap-tooth in front just like mine, that was the only reason I cracked and smiled,
“My name is Rose.”
And we became Rose and Angel, best friends forever. She was the sister I never had, my confidant, my partner in crime. We did everything together, even sew dresses with the same material.
She brought out the boldness in me and I put our friendship at the top of my priorities. I never took her for granted, with her I could do anything because I knew she’ld always have my back. Even when we fought, she still had a thing or two to say to me. She was never afraid to disagree with me. She could tell the world lies but she was always straight with me.
We grew together, in that compound and when it was time for college education, we went for the same university- she was also my study partner, the asker of questions. We studied hard so the other would not be left behind, so everything would work out and it did.
Though we were like twins we didn’t give up our dreams for the other. She encouraged me to become the lawyer I’ve always wanted to be and I encouraged her to become the accountant she has always wanted to be.
In school, we had other friends but we always remained close, we always had each other’s back. When we graduated or rather she graduated before me, we still contacted one another, there was no envy, no covetousness. She was living her dream and soon I’ld be living mine.
She had a boyfriend or rather, a suitor or maybe I should just call him the Fiance. I didn’t have any. She told me the Fiance wanted them to get married but she’d told him there was one more person involved in their relationship and until she- I, was complete there wouldn’t be any marriage.
The horror of her words seemed to strike only me and I told her she was testing the extent of his love for her. She only laughed and told me, “Rose over boys”.
Obviously the Fiance agreed and would constantly try to hook me up with his friends while urging me to convince Angel that at a later time in life we would both do a renewal of our vows.
Yes, that was Angel. She had everyone wrapped around her finger and we all loved her. She was the sun when the atmosphere was dark and gloomy.
Fortunately for him, I found my other half and we got married on the same day.
We didn’t get pregnant at the same time and I’m sure if Angel had a say in it, we would have. She never did.
I gave birth and we waited as one, researched together for what could be causing the delay. We found out she would never give birth, that was the last doctor’s medical conclusion.
Oh we cried! But because she was Angel, she told us no more, no more tears.
It’s been 35 years. 35 years since that day. 35 years of more friendship, love, heartache but I assure you that our laughter surpasses our tears.
Our kids have grown- Yes, our kids. We decided that God gave me the womb to bring our children to the world because I was stronger and could endure the pain of childbirth while she would have coated them with all the sweets in the world- she argued fiercely that opposite was true and what was wrong with having a candy crush? But I’m a lawyer so I bagged that argument.
Our kids have experienced the best of both worlds. While I tend to be firmer, she’s like Mother Theresa. But they love us.
Our husbands are more like brothers than acquaintances. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
We are having a family day where we all gather in one house and let our hair down. Our children are with their spouses and our grand kids are running around, chasing one another with their toys.
“Grandma, can you tell us a story?”
Our little one, Kevin, is at it again. He’s the youngest of all our grand kids and he’s just five years old. Angel is the storyteller, the one who sneaks them candy and I’m the one who make sure they eat every green thing on their plates.
“Sure. Who wants to hear my story?” She calls out to the kids and immediately they gather around her amidst the shouts of ‘Me, me’, settling on the rug, their eager faces looking up to her.
Her husband drew her close- I still call him The Fiance sometimes and that renewal of vows? We did it.
She winked at me then looked around the room occupied by our spouses, our children and their family- our family, and she began.
“Once upon a time, there lived a girl who was lonely. One night she prayed to God to give her a friend. He answered her prayer.”
This was followed by another wink in my direction.
“He gave her a friend the very next day. He didn’t just give her any friend, he gave her one who would look out for her, her name was Rose.
And they formed a friendship so strong, a friendship that would last a lifetime….”