Hera looked at the woman, dark circles around her eyes and an untidy hair. Sitting next to her, it was impossible to say that this woman is her best friend way back in high school. She was a star during those days: cheerleader, captain of the softball team, school’s president, prom queen and even became the valedictorian. She was every girl’s dream during high school, the awards and the fame that she had in those days were unprecedented by anyone–even her, the best friend.
Their families were of close ties, their mothers were best friends and their dads would go on fishing every Saturday night. As a result, they grew up together and became best friends. They would share toys, stories and secrets. Sandra was the achiever of the two. She was consistent on the top lists: from school achievement up to the cheerleader board. She was a popular kid and an awesome exemplification of balancing studies and extra activities. Hera on the other side is the best friend. Always on the average. She loves to read and write some stuffs. Not that creative to be on the school paper and she doesn’t even know all the names on the list of her batch. She’s independent and she loves spending her time at home– sewing the latest skirt she saw on the internet or reading the books she bought out of her allowance.
They were inseparable during high school, though, as anyone would guess they were always compared and as everyone would put it, Hera can never beat Sandra. Sandra is too awesome, too good and the best at anything while Hera just lives at home on the weekends without the world knowing if she is still breathing or not. It was a lot to take in, at first but it didn’t stopped them from sharing everything and somewhat along the way, they had built a different dreams from each other.
Sandra went out to the big cities and towards a prestigious university. Hera stayed and took journalism in the local college and graduated and went to work at the local paper and started a life with Tom. Hera married Tom after 2 years of dating and had 6 children. They lived happy life, sometimes you need to face reality and stop the happily ever after death stories. Yay! There was no news or no graduation picture for Sandra; not even a wedding bouquet or something to remember something up. There were old pictures at their old house but definitely, they were old– nothing was added through the years.
After years of living their lives away form each other, the big day of reconnecting old strings and the like came and they met at this coffee shop.
“How are you?” Sandra was the first to ask.
“I’m fine. I’m a wife now, gave up my career for the folks at home,” Hera tried to be gentle. “How about you? Haven’t heard about you for so long now.”
“I’m still fine. Living with my daughter. She’s working as a journalist. I got her in college,” Sandra smiled bitterly.
“I wish to meet her soon.”
“I know you will.”
And that was it. Sandra left the coffee shop after an hour or so. Walking with her heads down faking a look that she’s looking something from her purse, avoiding common faces and common acquaintances. It is so much easier to look down and avoid them than to give the casual excuse of a better life ended bitterly. It’s not yet the end. They have said, always, a better tomorrow but sometimes, it doesn’t matter. You need to live and accept what you have now and the things that you will never have.
Hera watched her go. It’s been a long time and reconnecting with older friends doesn’t really mean knowing what happened in the past, it’s more like seeing that person and knowing that for sure they will be okay and today’s not the end of it. They still need to prepare for her son’s wedding– with Sandra’s daughter. Small world. A new ending and a new beginning perhaps.