My best friend got married in January this year and she was supposed to move to England. Her visa came in May and she left. It’s been 4 months since I last saw her or properly talked to her.
When she left, she left me with a void, a hollow space that I knew will take a long, long time to fill. It prolly won’t even ever fill. When she left, I cried. I cried so much that I couldn’t breath. I had to put a piece of cloth in my mouth to stop myself from screaming from the agony. Because knowing that her life was changing was going to be hard for her, but even harder would’ve been the fact for me getting used to a life where I don’t get to see her everyday. I’m still not used to it. But I try not to think about it. Or whenever I start thinking about it, I distract myself. I try to keep myself busy.
The day she left, I could feel my heart ache so much. That day, I just needed a familiar face to cry with. A face that knew me as well as she did. But there was no one. Since that day, I’ve constantly been left with a void. As I write this, I cry because I can never get over the physical distance that exists between Naba and me. I miss her so much. I’ve stopped thinking at all. I believe that one day, I will party with Naba in England. If life has a way.
When Naba was here, she had always been my next door neighbor. In F11. We went to university together. We played in the same teams. We did everything after university together. We had a lot of mutual friends. Being with her was like being with water. Friendship with her is flowy. You don’t have to make an effort to feel at home with her. She is home. If you have an argument with her, she’ll argue back until you settle the issue. You fight, she’d fight back to make things right. And she knew every single facial expression of mine so well, she could tell what was up in a jiffy. I know she tried to make my relationships right with people she knew mattered a lot to me. I never knew her leaving would be THIS hard for me. I never knew it would leave me broken into a million little pieces. There are times when I genuinely need a friend to lie down with and spill my heart out. I don’t have that friend anymore. I have none.
There are times when I don’t know what is more painful. The fact that you’re gone or the fact that I don’t know when I’ll get to see you with my own 2 eyes next. When I drive on the roads in this city, I can’t help but recall the last time I was on those roads with you and you would make me laugh like crazy with your insane humor, randomly shouting at passer-bys on the road. The one time when we got lost in Saddar when we were trying to find Mei-Kong. Or the one time you asked the price of a qurbaani ka bakra and I stopped the car and it gave my laughter fits. Or the time when you used to enter my car and I used to play “long drive pe chal” and you hated it sooooo much. Or the fact that whenever I told you to come out because I was here to pick you, you took your sweet time and I was okay with it.
The days when I had fights with my parents and I would come over to your place whenever I wanted to and you would forcefully make me drink coffee that you had kept in the fridge. Or when you and me used to help Aanu with his homework. Remember Harry Potter? Remember when we used to play table tennis on your dining table and aunty would tell us that we were ruining the table? The fact that you always lost to me, Ahmed and Aanu and would never admit that you were a pathetic player? The times when we used to go for evening walks in the F-11 park next to Suleman Market. And always wish to play tennis and football there and judge that hot-ass aunty who was fitter than us, even at age 50? Or judging the girl who was always on call with the boy next to her and we kept wondering who she was talking to?
The random hangouts that we had with Hashim and Maha, when she was here? That trip to Monal where you treated us and it was so cold and the food so spicy that we couldn’t even eat. Heart to heart sessions with Bijli. Or Nimra coming to F-11 and we hanging out at Optp. I miss all of this so much now, Naba. Making random plans with Zain, Dodi, Faryal or Naqshe and using my little white Alto as a taxi. I swear I could be a driver for Careem right now, with all the experience I’ve got.
Fast forward to today, where I get to talk to you only once properly in 2 months. But that one talk makes me feel so much better about myself. About everything. I know that you understand the things I don’t say out loud. And you have no idea how much I appreciate you making the efforts that you make on my behalf for my relationships. Some of the things you’ve said have been etched onto my heart like a scar. A good scar, and it will stay there forever. They say, how you treat someone says a lot about you. The way you’ve always handled me at my worst says volumes about how amazing you truly are as a person. The fact that every time I’m in some doubt, you assure me that this friendship will never be one sided. When I complain that you ignore me or you don’t take out time for me, you tell me why. I’ve seen people who refuse to admit they’re on the wrong but you’re not one of them. You’ve never humiliated me or belittled me. For that, I’m grateful. Friendships are also about keeping intact your friend’s self-esteem and self-worth and you’ve always managed to do that so perfectly well. I’ve never felt degraded once when I talk to you. But I’ve always felt at my best. Conversation have always been easy with you and whenever I call you or text you, you’ve never made me feel that I bother you. It means a lot to me.
You’ve left and you’re gone and I’m so glad you’ve asked people here to be on the lookout for me. People I know through you. And they’re doing a wonderful job.
So, here’s just a little shout out to a hope that is very strong in me right now; that I’ll meet you soon 🙂