Every week I look forward to having lunch with my bestie, Maria. Sometimes a few weeks pass where we don't see each other and those weeks are long and miserable. Luckily those are rare, and for that I am thankful.
I met her on the phone at work almost a decade ago. She worked in a different division to me, and one of her jobs was to call my department to check if we had IDs for particular clients on file – oh we lived the glamorous lives back then. Our small chit-chats turned into long conversations, which turned into a fun meeting in the kitchen, and finally turning into a life-long friendship. Since then we have both grown and somehow managed to become adults. We've shared the good times, the bad times and everything in between…oh and a wedding anniversary!
I remember the day my brother was born. I had just turned 6, and I was utterly devastated because all I ever wanted was a sister. I felt like I was cheated. I was wrong of course; I had just been blessed with the most precious gift which didn't take me long to realise. Since Maria came into my life, I have always considered her to be my sista from another mista. We have a lot in common, but we have a lot of differences too. I get fired up and rant while she stays calm and rationalises. She is basically my therapist.
I want to say we meet at a cute little French-style cafe in the back streets of old Sydney town but alas, I cannot. It is a large modern monochrome industrial-style cafe which has been set up in one of the busiest streets of Sydney CBD. It gets packed; often there's a line out the door. We have an earlier/later lunch so that we can get a seat. Either way, we almost always manage to miss out on the soup, which is our favourite thing to order. She always grabs a green tea, and I change it up from time to time to keep her on her toes.
It's the end of July, there's still a chill in the air, but the sun is shining. We decide to grab our usual (I order Chai this time). We sit side by side at the lowered breakfast bar by the ginormous floor-to-ceiling windows. We sit there in silence for a moment watching the frantic city-folks rushing about to quickly grab their lunch so they can hurry back to their desks to eat as they work. It had been a tough week, but as we sipped on our exotic teas, the stress of it all slowly melted away.
The conversation begins to flow like it always does. We talk about our quirky and loving husbands; changing perspectives with age; and what it might be like to follow your dreams, live the life you envisioned when you were younger and oblivious to the real world and what makes it go round. And just like that, my hour with her was over. Hi-ho, hi-ho…
It still amazes me how people come into your life, sometimes for a short stay and other times for a lifetime.
My darling Maria here's to the rest of our lives…but first, tea!