When I tell people about my flatmate, the word flatmate really doesn’t do her justice. She also happens to be my best friend.
I have known her since my very first day in the UK, nearly eight years ago, when I was a mere 17 year old full of passion and invincibility. The latter crumbled to ashes day two, week one in our uni halls, when she found me (her room was the only door open…that was a mistake!) sobbing on her bed. Over the years we have been living in close proximity to each other, if not in the same house, next door.
Being friends and being able to live with someone is not the same thing, as anyone who has been through the same thing will confirm. On paper, we should not be compatible: she likes lists (admit it – you do!), is quiet and has a habit of battling stress with cleaning. (one day, shortly before a significant birthday we found her polishing the front door…). My life pretty much resembles my room: it is a mess and I am emotional and temperamental. Recently when she went through a teeny crisis and connected to her extrovert emotional side she never knew she had, she quipped she now knew what it was be like to be me and it was tiring! (IT IS! IT IS!) Her quiet inward worrying can drive me insane, as does I’m sure my hair that I seem to lose everywhere around the flat drive her mad (I don’t know why that happens!) or my inability to keep things tidy.
To live with someone gives you a different friendship, you kind of get the full picture when you have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. In the eight years that we’ve known each other loads of things have happened (most of them we will use as ammunition on each other’s future children, others we will have to take to the grave) and to share the same memories with someone is amazing. Same goes for being able to live with your best friend thanks to her generosity, for knowing there is always someone to call, for knowing there is at least one person who will take notice when you don’t make it home at night .
Why we get along I don’t know. Maybe because when you strip away the differences, we are pretty much the same; or at least understand each other; or maybe at least we understand where the other comes from. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we are not actually married: usually when we start consulting the other on the decision we really ought to make by ourselves, or when we’re apologising for being away so much and having our own life.
Last night when I came home tired from the coachtrip from the homeland, she was away; I realised we hadn’t seen each other for about 12 days. Is it a little mad that we then had an hour long phone conversation to catch up (even though her room is next to mine, and she was only down the road)? Once again maybe… but I’m very excited to finally see her again tonight as we are going watch the film so wrong-it’s good.