Kindred Spirits

I had my first best friend when I was in preschool. We were as thick as thieves, so it made sense when we went to the same junior school. She left just before fourth grade when her family relocated to South Africa. I was sad, as one would be after four amazing years of friendship had been cut short. Fourth grade a new girl game to our school and she became my new best friend, until she decided to join the cool girl squad. That was the first heartbreak I experienced in my life. Fifth grade brought yet another new girl, and yet again she became my new best friend. I experienced my second heartbreak when she left me for the cool girls. That was when I decided I would never have a best friend again. It hurt too much when they left. High school I had a few friends but we drifted apart when we graduated. I became a bit of a loner, until college came along. I went to a foreign country, where I was somewhat of a celebrity. I was the only person there from my country, so everyone was fascinated with me. In spite of all the attention, I found myself with just acquaintances and no true friends. Even though I didn't want to admit it, I was yearning for true friendship and companionship. The last time I had really felt connected to another human being who wasn't a part of my family was when I was in junior school. Surrounded by people, I found myself alone and lonely. Second semester I was allocated a roommate who was from the same country as me. I didn't know how to feel about someone else from home, but my worries were soon put to rest. Tina and I got along splendidly. She was like an extension of myself. She understood me, and sometimes we would say the same thing at the same time. I'd finally found a friend and I was just ecstatic. When we started second year, Tina went to school before me. When I arrived, she had made friends with two guys who were a year below us. I was a bit sceptical about the guys. They were spending a lot of time with Tina and I didn't like it. I had finally found myself a real friend and these guys were threatening to ruin my happiness. I know I was being childish, but I told myself two is company but four is a mob. What I didn't expect was me warming up to the two guys, Gavin and Peter. They were always joking around and laughing, and I couldn't stop myself from laughing along. I found myself looking forward to their visits and actually enjoying their company. We were all alike yet so different. Gavin was the goofball, the one you could always rely on, while Peter was the lady's man who was surprisingly very sweet. Tina was the social bunny, easy to talk to at a party, and then there was me, the quiet but sarcastic one. In spite of the differences, it felt like I had known them in a previous life. We became a squad, a crew, a tribe, but above all, we became a family. I met Tina, Peter and Gavin a little over three years ago, and we are still friends to date. My sister always says they are my best friends, but I always say I don't do best friends. I won't admit it to her, but I found not one, but three best friends. The broken heart I didn't realise I was nursing for more than ten years was finally healed when I met my three friends. Thanks to our friendship, I have been able to open up to other people and actually let them in to my life. I can say with confidence my friendship with my three best friends has brought growth for me. I have learnt to trust again, and to just take a leap of faith when meeting new people. I now have a healthy number of friends, and even a guy I am seeing. Right now the world is resting, and we are all at home in different countries, but for the four of us it is as if we are in the same place. We do not talk daily, we don't even talk weekly, but whenever we do, it's as if we never stopped talking. Gavin messages me to discuss novels we've recently read, or to review stories we've written. Peter is less available on social media, but he always makes an effort to call at least once per week or fortnight. Whenever I receive a text from Tina, I know something saucy has happened, and a juicy story is coming my way. Three years ago I met three total strangers who brought light into my life. They showed me that I can cope on my own, but having companionship can make life's moments more fulfilling. We have become friends, kindred spirits that have a way of always finding each other.


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