This blog post was inspired by Flying Through Water’s Creative Prompt ‘Friendship.’
It’s about the kind of friendships that I cherish.
“Mum, you are so strange. Why do you and Aunt Phoebe have to be so embarrassing?” Her fingers were tapping away on her phone a second later, her eyes flicking to the sides to make sure none of her school friends were within earshot.
It was doubtful they would be here. We were a couple of hours from home, sitting on the balcony of Phoebe’s house, I had a glass of chardonnay in one hand, and a hunk of brie and quince paste on its way to my mouth in the other.
Phoebe came out with another jar of olives, the big green Sicilian ones that I loved, the kind that felt like you were eating meat instead of an olive. “Oh Sasha, you are such a teenager,” she said dumping the olives into a clay bowl and blew a kiss at my daughter.
“Oh yes, Pheebs, sixteen was such a terrible age, do you remember?” I laughed at the scheming look in her eye. My best friend since forever, we had gone through growing up together, the highs, the lows, and the embarrassment. Nothing was hidden from either of us. That kind of experience formed a special bond.
Sasha rolled her eyes and pulled a bowl of grapes closer to her and took a photo of them, probably for snapchat or Instagram.
“I try not to remember anything that happened before I was at least twenty-five,” Phoebe said pouring more wine into my glass.
I sighed and inhaled the sweet ocean air, the warm glow of the setting sun painted the balcony in lazy orange and pink stripes. I needed this, time with my friend. Every few months we would get together and stay over at each other’s places if we could, but lately too many things just got in the way. No one’s fault, of course, just how life is sometimes.
“When I am your age,” Sasha said with all the vast experience of her sixteen years on this Earth. “I’m going to behave like it and not like twelve-year olds giggling behind the sports shed.”
Phoebe lent forward and tucked a golden curl behind Sasha’s ear. “How many of your friends have texted you since you got here?”
Sasha lifted one shoulder and replied, “Like four or five, they want to know what I’m doing tomorrow, so we can hang out.”
Phoebe sat back and cradled her wine to her cheek, letting the cool glass sooth her sun pinked cheeks. “Do you feel left out being here? Like your missing out on stuff without them?”
“Yeah, like they are going to the movies tonight and I’m here.”
“Like they might find someone better than you to hang out with if you aren’t there?”
“No.” Sasha shot back, then she leaned back in her chair. “Yes,” her voice quiet in the twilight air.
“I haven’t seen your Mum in over eight months,” Phoebe tilted her glass to me, “and every time we see each other, it’s like we only saw each other yesterday. That’s a real friendship, Sasha. Do you have a friend like that?”
Sasha nodded and cleared her throat. “I have two like that.”
“Then they are the only ones that matter.”
Sasha picked up her phone and scrolled down. “They were the only ones who told me to have a good time, and that we would catch up when I got back home.”
I smiled at the two friends she was describing and I could only hope that when she was forty that she would be sitting with her kids, embarrassing them with how their Mother acts like a twelve-year-old with her best friend.