How time moves these days is beyond my understanding. Its hard to believe that it is no longer last year and it is now this year. It is sunny one day and very cold the next day, to signify the coming and going of seasons. The passing of time is hard to understand especially in this age when everyone appears caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. We find ourselves forgetting the most essential things in our lives, things that have held us together and still hold us together. There is no longer time for anything. The time you have to work isn't enough, the time you have to go to school is not enough, the time you have to go to church is not enough... it is almost as if there is never enough time for anything.Even friendships have become enemies with time. Time is never enough to make a friend and even when you are able to, time does not give you the pleasure of nurturing the bond. The passing of time is actually another riddle at our hands and the possibility of it ever being solved, I am afraid is minimal...
One of my childhood and lifelong friends called me yesterday. Her name is Farida. I am exactly a month older than her and for the most of our childhood we lived in the same neighborhood. Farida and I did so many things together and we were at the same place most of the time. We did not go to the same school though but that did not stop us from waiting on the road until the other came. After the school van dropped me, it was only a three or four minute walk and I would be in the house but I still waited for Farida. We had a lot to catch up on and even when we got to the parting point, we stood there for a very long time talking about things I can't remember. My mother found me standing on that verandah severally but not even her stern warnings could change me. I wanted to spend all the time I could with Farida. It did not even bother me that she was two classes behind me, the fact that we were almost the same age made me happy. Now that I look back, I realize that I had built my whole world around Farida and I did not need another friend.
Then the worst struck. Farida's family relocated to Saudi Arabia. I was only in class three but I knew the wound was never going to heal.
After much effort, I managed to somehow forget Farida and look for another friend. I did not see anyone as good as Farida at home so I decided to take my search to school. I discovered Teresia. We became friends and after a short time, my whole world revolved around Terry and Terry alone. At break time, it was only Terry I could play with.When Terry was sick and she couldn't come to school, I would be quiet the whole day unless a teacher spoke to me. My brain made me believe that only Terry could hear what I was saying.
At the end of primary four, I moved to another school. It was also time to bid Terry goodbye because she was moving back to Kikuyu-land and I figured I was never going to meet her again.It was tearful but Terry had to go.
The new school provided a wide range of choices. But Josephine successfully went through my friendship meter. In class five, we were much older with a lot of experience in the friendship world and as such we made vows. Maybe you know those silly vows... I will never annoy you and things like that. Little did I know real heartache was on the way.
Just when we had become precandidates, I mean when we joined class seven, Jossy was transferred! I wanted to be transferred too but my parents are not the type to be directed by a 'remote control'. So I had to stay and face the girls who did not have a problem reminding me how bad I had been when Jossy was around. I totally didn't blame them. I almost only spoke to Jossy in that school. If I was put in a discussion group which Jossy wasn't a member, then I would shift or she would shift.
Another problem. Everyone in my primary seven class was paired, I mean everyone had a best friend and there was no one hanging. I swore never to make a best friend again and I remained unattached until I sat for my national examination for primary school.
I was in no hurry to make friends in high school because I feared losing them and apart from Rita who transferred at the end of form 1, the other close friends I had were 'borne' in form three.
All the friends I made back in the days still make up the list of my close friends now. Farida's family came back to the country and thanks to today's technology, locating her wasn't a problem. Terry too is back in the picture and we meet once in a while. Jossy has always been there and the friends I made in high school too.
We talk a lot, mostly about what we did. In my eyes, Farida has never changed. She is the same 7yr old who incited me to cry until my father bought me a BMX bicycle. If my memory is correct, we must have been the first ones to be bought for bicycles in that neighborhood and despite my going to church every Sunday, I never allowed anyone to do more that look at my bicycle. Those instructions were from Farida. I don't remember ever riding that bicycle joyfully after Farida's family migrated. Now we laugh at these memoirs; we wonder why we did not expand our cycle of friends because apart from Farida, I did not know anyone else in the neighborhood well enough to chat with. We laugh even more when we remember the day we stayed out too late and our friendship was 'banned' for sometime.
With Terry we laugh loudest when we remember the day our classmates decided that we had boyfriends. What was shocking was the reason they gave. We carried body oil to school, we were always clean in school and we did everything together. Terry never bothered about what they said and she seemed to have an even cleaner uniform and more oiled hair each day.
With Jossy, memories are still fresh because I kept meeting and talking to her on phone until I started living away from home. How I wish I could reverse the hands of the clock. The most notable event was the day we were asked out of an English class because the handwriting in our books wasn't ours. Truth is, Daisy and Jossy exchanged books with each other as a sign of friendship. The punishment wasn't bad and we made it through........
The memories are endless and I choose to stop here.
The future is frightening for anyone who hasn't been there. But I fear more because as each day dawns, I wake up to the fact that we are growing apart. The strong bond of friendship that once existed is slowly becoming weak and getting replaced by other things. In place of endless dates or phone conversations with pals, I have my future to build, my future to work on and I am forced to do what is more urgent, more relevant.
Sometimes I wonder if my friends feel the same way but I never get the courage to ask them. One of them recently sent me a message that summed up everything I wanted to know. I am quoting it.
"One fine day all of us will get busy with our lives... long working hours, no more classes, lectures, friends, smeses... some of us will get married and will not even have time for ourselves. On such a day, you will look outside your window, see the good old memories flash by... you will get a smile with a tear in your eyes and you will turn back to your work thinking...;"I wish I could go back"
I remained aloof after reading that message and for a long time, I wished Rita did not send it. But that was the truth. The future will put distance between us; the way we talk, eat, socialize, communicate, walk... will be affected by the unavoidable future. I wish I could run away. But even now, things are not the same. Our conversations are not as meaningful and as useful. I find that most of the time I can do without the phone calls or dates but I have to be there and contribute in the fruitless efforts to make things be as they were before. With Farida, we wish we could fit in our tiny bicycles once again and ride them fast without fearing to fall down. We wish we could stand endlessly on the road once more discussing nothing specifically. With Terry, we wish we could once more wear uniform and oil our hair, not because we had boyfriends but to make our classmates jealous. We wish we had the same classmates now like we did, but it is not possible because Terry is stuck to Engineering and I intend to make the best in the writers world. With Jossie, we refuse to think about the gone days because the memories are so sweet. There were no major hurdles in our life then and everything was humorous including the English teacher who once thrashed our bottoms...
We ask each other questions we already know the answers to perhaps to avoid asking those questions whose answers we have not like how long the bond of our friendship will survive.
But I am not afraid because I believe our friendship bonds were made in heaven and they will go beyond time and distance.
To a wonderful friendship, CHEEEEEERSSSS!