By Rebecca Uduk
Do friends become strangers? I asked myself this question repeatedly as my eyes throbbed at the middle-aged woman sitting across me in the patient's waiting area.
We'd been friends, best of friends. That was until we parted ways after university. Initially, when we parted, we kept in touch and talked every day about the littlest and silliest thing possible. But slowly, the fire burned out and fizzled away like it never existed. When did this happen? I couldn't tell.
We should have been happy to see each other again, flinging myself into her arms and jumping in excitement just like the old times.
But should I say Anita was a changed person? Perhaps that was what I thought. Her once radiant countenance had grown dim, eyes dull, and so did the concave smile that usually cut across her lips. Was that a scarf I saw? I giggled to myself. Anita never fancied them; seeing her in one was an unexplainable situation.
I had changed too. I had put on so much weight it'd probably be too difficult to recognize me at first sight. My composure had grown as I had thrown away my carefree spirit. I could mentally picture Anita telling me I had become such a bore. But, to be honest, I was. I was completely sold out to my career and barely had time for anything else.
"Could you please pass me your pen?" Anita asked. I was surprised
"Oh, sure," I replied as I fumbled through my bag to get it to her. She recognized me then. I smiled and handed the pen to her.
"Bessie," She replied dryly.
I didn't know what to say next; besides this, Anita was way different. She had already started scribbling whatever it was in her notepad. So I kept calm, picked up my phone, and buried myself in whatever social media had to offer that day. Maybe there was no need to beat myself about it; seeing her today was enough for me. Besides, I was already tired of hanging around the hospital, waiting for my Boss' endless meetings to end.
It wasn't long. Anita was called in for her appointment. I consciously followed her with my eyes till she got to the door. She paused and came back to me, then handed me the pen and a note and headed back.
With all amount of curiosity, I opened the note. Why did she want me to have it? On the page where the pen lay, she had written,
It's been years. I never thought I'd see you soon. I'm sorry I've lost my charm. I've found myself in a thunderstorm battling cancer. I'd like us to sit and chat,
Not like best friends,
But at least new, through this phase.
Like acquaintances. I hope when I walk out that door,
You'll be there to walk with me
My eyes were teary. I lifted my eyes and realized I had been wandering close to the Oncologist's office. And when she came out, I flew into her arms, into that homely, warm embrace. We'd have to be best of friends even for one more day.
Ojoye oluwaseun kikelomo
4/3/2023 11:25:10 am
Often we allow life and its adventure to happen to us it becomes so overwhelming that we forget those who have made our childhood experiences memorable, but then after seeing them for a long period we realize how we have become total strangers and we have to be more polite just as this novel "Dear strangers" just like anita and bessie
5/3/2023 01:19:34 am
One of the realities of adulthood is that friends can grow apart. This could be due to distance, crazy schedules etc. But as in this story, I hope that when I meet friends I haven't seen in a long time, we can at least talk, share and not assume that one person has changed etc. I like that Anita shared with her friend. Not every friend would have been that vulnerable. They may have just stopped at sizing the other up, trying to determine if one person has made some achievements. Hence, communication is key if we will keep the fire of any friendship going. And nothing beats having a sincere heart.
6/3/2023 12:52:26 pm
Reality is often disappointing. Friendship is a fragile concept that can have a bond so strong that it withstands anything but is also so fragile that a little change can bring down the very foundation is was built on.
Ahmad Imam Aishah
6/3/2023 04:55:42 pm
I enjoy the read, it is beautiful. It's a scenario I'm able to relate to as I've had friends drift away this way. Reality hits, things crumble, and pain never ceases to exist. But here, you might not have drifted apart, & just that time consumed the vividness of what you two have as memories. At the end of the day, she was able to confide in you. The first time you meet after a while, she tells her pain to you. It means she still is your friend, you are still hers, & she most likely misses you.
8/3/2023 04:03:55 pm
This is a masterpiece! Anita seem to be struggling through a storm, yet she wishes herself a great time with her old friend, even if she turned a stranger. This piece tells a lot about the thirsts of time, but memories always leaves a trace on us.
8/3/2023 04:26:13 pm
With time, comes change!
Abubakar Maimuna Esther
11/3/2023 08:30:22 am
Season comes and go but true friends remain!
11/3/2023 09:08:40 am
Amobi Chisom Dorin
11/3/2023 10:23:17 am
With time comes change
11/3/2023 12:32:11 pm
11/3/2023 02:20:23 pm
Wow. This is so beautifully written. What caught my eyes in the first place? The starting question!
11/3/2023 06:35:53 pm
Friends can become strangers, but sometimes, we do not know why they drift away.
14/3/2023 10:36:54 am
16/3/2023 03:02:01 am
Dear Strangers is a moving and touching story about two friends who over the years and the test of time had grown apart. They met years later under compromising condition and their friendship was re kindled once more.
16/3/2023 11:53:51 am
I really love this; I never saw it ending like this. Its quite easy for us to judge why someone we know may not want to talk to us but we never know what they are going through. This is one reason I check on my friends from time to time instead of getting angry they didn't check up on me.
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