We all have our fair share of frenemies. Some exist naturally in due course of time while others take birth from a rather dramatic background involving betrayal, public humiliation, insecurity and that one person who couldn’t tolerate you. Mine happened to be that one friend whom I loved dearly but ended up exploiting me in return. So I wondered what chaos would ensue had we decided to meet after a very long time.
The last time I met my ex-best friend was by pure chance, at the local metro heading towards my office. To my advantage, I was barely twenty years old managing a non-profit organization. That was no joke, and she was clearly aware of that. But being picked up by my really pretty Lebanese co-worker in a Porsche? It all seemed like a Hollywood scene. Yes, I got very lucky that day, having to let my ex-bestie take a peek at my young glamorous life. However, that glamorous life did not last very long. And so here I was, unemployed, unpaid, broke, sharing meals with friends to save the little money I had.
Who knew two years after ending ties I would be this nervous about meeting a blue-collared-yet-employed ex-mate while I was burning holes in my wallet. I attempted to google the topic but nothing helped. How was I to face this situation? What should I wear so I look fashionable but not spoiled-rich-daddy’s-girl and definitely not desperate-to-create-an-impression! I realized how similar the situation would be as meeting an ex-lover. You’d try to look good so they would regret ever having left you, and talk of all that’s happening well in your life. You’re confident about your sex appeal when it comes to reunions with the opposite gender. Shake that booty and adjust your bust and you’re ready to turn some heads girl! What I didn’t know was just how hard it would be to strike a good impression on a fellow lady friend.
So I chose casual-cum-chic attire and stepped out with lots of perfume and headed towards the venue. I decided to arrive late at the destination just to create the thought that I was the ‘invited’ and not the ‘invitee’. Yet I ended up arriving right on time. So I waited. Five minutes. Fifteen minutes. And by twenty minutes past the decided time I instantly regretted consenting to meet someone who would stand me up. And just when I decided to exit the scene, there she was, trotting in her new heels looking feminine. The strange part was, a glimpse of her earnest smile, banished all the bad that had tread between us. We were back to being the two good friends we always were, meeting each other after a year.
Our conversations started with her dilemmas and a breakup, and that broke the ice for me. She trusted me with her bad news instantly while I had spent the previous night conjuring an untraceable too-good-to-be-false story to narrate. As our conversation slowed down, I knew my turn was looming closer; I’d have to share my series of unfortunate events. After I laid down the first mishap and feared the pretentious response, all I received was a calm encouragement to keep moving forward.
The epiphany struck. I was the small person in our on-off friendship. I held the grudge against her yet two years later and she had an influence over me, she meant something to me, of significance. Otherwise our conversation wouldn’t have exceeded an hour. What was expected to be a let’s-see-whose-life-is-better showdown turned into a walk home where I pondered upon how we laid our naked truth in confidence. The good, the bad and the ugly. I wasn’t any better than her and neither was she. We were both only human.