Once upon a time there lived two young girls.
If they were bad at school, they were worse outside.
They giggled and connived together at Mrs Kavaghner in class and called out the window to the boys that met them from school in their cars. They had pyjama parties at each others houses and snacked on sweets as they watched old movies. They journeyed they're first bus ride together, then their first drive together after passing their tests. They holidayed in the sun together and shared stories of their first boyfriends. They laughed and cried, they fought and hugged. Their friendship spanned decades.
One day, one of the two girls decided to go travelling for a year. This was not an end to a friendship, but the beginning of a penpal correspondence.
Week after week, I would open letter after letter, laugh at clippings cut from the newspapers, pin photographs she sent on my walls, listen to her tape recordings. Week after week I would receive the sports pages to keep up to date with the football scores. Week after week I would send letters and share my experiences of life abroad with her. I wrote about the foreign army soldiers, the boyfriends and breakups, the tours and trips. I wrote about my calamity of a week in the army, the terrifying and memorable mountain climbs, the backbreaking work in the factory and the labour of picking mango's.
Oy vey, if I was sweating, she was sweating with me.
I shared her news of being a first time auntie and enjoyed the photos she sent. Her news of her engagement, the time in between and the break up. College, University and making new friends. Tennis coaches, holidaying on boats and a million parties I felt like I was at.
Those were the days when there was no Internet, no email, no mobile phones. I just had a pad of airmail paper, a good pen and an AT&T calling card. Being the sentimental type, I kept every single one of those letter, cards, tapes and newspaper cuttings. And, I'm delighted they have just resurfaced.
Memories. I've had a ball tonight. Thank you.