When I meet new people I wonder, what attracts me to them? Them to me? Why does a friendship develop…why does it end?
One such friend we will call ‘Em’. I was a teenager when I first met Em. We were young girls in a strange country, America, both living in Queens New York.
Em and I were cousins a few times removed. I had spent one year in the Caribbean island of Antigua living with my aunt. My mother thought it was a great thing, a change of environment and a chance to ‘see something of the world’.
I was engaged to be married at the young age and since my mother had been married young and subsequently divorced, she wanted me to avoid the same pitfalls.
So off to Antigua I went, to go stay with my aunt and to get me away from the ‘young love’. Sadly, it worked, but that’s another story for another day.
Back to Em and I.
In Antigua, Em’s mother was a friend of said aunt and through that relationship I came to learn we were cousins.
So when I emigrated to the good ole USA one cold February day, I was armed with a telephone number of Em who was a few years older than I. I was given strict instructions to get in contact with her and for us be friends!
So dutifully several months later I called Em. She, I would learn later had also been given similar instructions, so we planned a meeting.
We decided to meet on the train going to Manhattan, since my stop was at the end of the service line I would get on the train first. Once the conductor announced that next stop “Roosvelt Avenue / Jackson Heights”, I knew that was where Em would get on the train.
I tried to imagine what she would look like since I had no photographs to go by. We had predetermined that I would wait at the first car, no cell phones back then, lol. Can you imagine, no cell phones, however did we live! Anyways we recognized each other and instantly a friendship began.
Em and I remained great friends and the years passed. We have supported and loved each other through all types of life changes. Em never got married nor had children, not because she did not want to because she desperately did, more so than I, but somehow it never worked out for her. Very sad.
This friendship lasted throughout the years, she became a ‘sister’ to me and a member of my close family. She is godmother to my first child now twenty two years old, babysat for me, we’ve laughed, cried, fought, made up and through it all we were always there.
So why the friendship ended, I’m sure dear Em is as perplexed as I.
I moved from New York in 2010 due to some life circumstances, Em was there with me the day before I left and yet I moved here and I never called Em again and she never called me.
No discernible unease, absolutely no bad feelings on my end and I don’t believe any on her end either. But why did we part? I do not know.
Intermittently I get asked by family what happened with you and Em? I have no answers.
Why do friendships start? Why do they end? Is their purpose sometimes just a temporary respite for one, for both? Is this respite just for a season? Why not a lifetime?