I like to stay in touch with people. If I form any kind of significant bond with someone, I’ll never stop reaching out to them to meet up and have fun together. The two very best friends I had in primary school (Davey and George, their names are) remain in my life to this day and although our meeting are significantly less frequent, I continue to count them among my very best friends.
But sometimes it’s interesting to think about how things could have been different. I remember around age four or five, I had another best friend as well who was called Tammy. My mother insists that she was my girlfriend (whatever that is to a five year old), but I don’t remember the friendship being anything like that – but who knows? I was a five year old, after all, so my memory won’t be great.
I can remember going to school together, visiting her house, her visiting mine, playing Donkey Kong Country together, drawing pictures together and other fragmented memories. Then eventually I found out she was moving away and before long she was gone and I never saw her again. Prior to it happening, I don’t remember being sad at the news, but I don’t think I yet had the emotional capacity. I do remember feeling a bit sad a few weeks later though, when I realised just what it’s like when somebody goes away.
And I recently stopped to wonder; what if she hadn’t moved away? I’d most likely have another lifelong friend. I’d have had another person influencing me and my development throughout the last twenty years. I’d have had another person to share two decades of experiences with. I’d probably be a slightly different person because of this addition to my life.
It makes me realise how lucky I am to have the friends who I have known since those early days. If they’d had moved away, I’d have lost something really quite significant and I’m not entirely sure that my childhood self would have been able to comprehend what exactly they had lost, but my life would surely be set onto a different path…