I am getting used to sending people abroad, specifically to the US of ruddy A. E left last year and I really don't know when I will see her again. It feels odd in the horridest sort of way to think that I have a baby who is growing up as fast as he possibly can, and that she is missing his babyhood entirely. I know we all talked of possible moves, but somehow I never factored in her missing my children's infancy.
She's my best bud. I have some other good friends, but she is the one who demands the least and gives the most and understands the best.
There were three of us when we started out as a gang. The third got married this summer and didn't call me. I always knew she was ambivalent about me but it never struck me that such a situation might occur either. I thought she had been unforgivably insulting to my parents (I'm a hothead, I know) and she never bothered to mend bridges. Somehow, I don't think E would give me up without a fight. But then, E cashed in on favours and spent a lot of money just to get to my wedding for the few hours she managed to cadge. It was as unthinkable to her as it was to me that I should get married without her next to me. It used to be pretty unthinkable that she would be there without S (the party of the third part) but S thought differently and so we split ways.
I'm not saying she was entirely at fault. But you know something? If I had fought with her, and I kept up with her news (as she did/does with mine) and I knew she was having a hard time with the marriage, that she had had a baby, I would have got in touch with her. I would have done that because we have been friends for a very long time. Or so I thought. But I should have realised that when someone tries her hardest to hide you from her parents, the friendship doesn't have much of a chance.
Anyway, so S got married and went abroad. It was what she had always claimed she wanted, so I hope her husband is just the man she needs. No goodbyes there from me, but yeah, one more person gone. It was easier to ignore each other while we were in the same country somehow!
And my other best friend of a different kind is getting married this Saturday. L and I grew up together. I met her when I was 12 and she was younger, and we didn't take to each other at first (like E and I) but eventually we grew to be quite close. What I value most about her is the person she is. She has her faults and her quirks, but she's a sterling soul and that is more than I would say about almost anyone. Animals trust her, little kids come to her to be petted and all the uncles and aunties love her. Once I left home we rarely corresponded and my life went into paths I could never hope to describe to her. But every time I went home we still had these long chats and it was always very comfortable. Never any real sense of a break. Do you know what I mean? With everybody else I feel the need to fill in on what I've been up to in the interval, but not with her. With her I'm the Sue she's always known, abrasive and rebellious and a whole lot of fun, and because she makes me feel this way, I love her to bits.
Her fiance is one very lucky man and I hope he treats her as she deserves. She's off to Chicago.
And then there is my aunt who emigrated with her family last month. They are based in Atlanta now. The whole family wishes them all the very best, and they seem to be enjoying themselves, but I know it was a blow to the siblings she left behind.
People scatter and it's only natural and in the order of things. It's just that it takes me a while to get used to it. When I go to L's wedding in Hyd this weekend I know I will feel like crying, but that won't be because she's such a pretty bride or because it'll remind me of how much older we are now or any such sentimental reason. I'll feel like crying because my heart will feel the physical distance between continents once more. I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's such a long way to go!