"Though the heart be heavy and hurt you may be feeling,
If there is time for praying there is time for healing.
So if through your window there is a new day breaking,
Thank God for the promise, though mind and soul be aching.
If with harvest over there is grain enough for gleaning,
There is a new tomorrow and life still has meaning..."
She kept staring at Rita's photo on Facebook. Who was she? Funny, how life turns. She couldn't believe this is her best friend from school; rather was her best friend... She remembered that rainy June morning like yesterday. It was her first day at the new school; and at nine years of age, that's quite a scary prospect. Her tensed eyes scanned the classroom for a friendly soul and rested on Rita's. There was a certain sense of warmth and security that emanated from her angelic face. She'd hurried to the empty seat next to her, afraid someone else might rob her of it. Rita smiled again. And she'd felt that all was fine with the world. Their friendship grew over days, months and years. Their names were always taken in the same breath; it was never just 'Rita' or 'Tina'....they were a pair. Partners in crime. Always. They bunked their first day at school together. They discussed their crushes with each other. They took up music and dance classes at the same place. Their tuition centres were the same.... and so were their study groups. Rather, they were the only two in their study group. They had nurtured their little seed of friendship and it had flourished to become a tall and majestic tree. A tree, which gave them shade and kept them safe. A shade they would rush too, in times of trouble. There was no doubt... this friendship was to last a lifetime. They hardly had the need to say they are 'best friends'. It was understood. Tina was still going through the album on Facebook. Rita at a party with friends, her trekking adventures, at her college... She still remembered how terribly upset she was, on the day Rita was leaving town to pursue higher studies. They had been mourning for days; what would they do without each other? As the time for Rita to leave approached, they reassured each other with promises to keep in touch and update each other on their lives. Hugs and tears, wishes for a bright future... and so much more unsaid. Rita's car went around the kerb, and she kept watching it, till it disappeared. Life had moved at jet speed since then. Rita was busy with her fashion designing course, and Tina was busy with her engineering course. They didn't even realise how their boats took separate paths in the stream of life. The calls, messages and mails trickled down to nothing. Suddenly, it was as if they were in different, mutually exclusive worlds. And they did not realise that they had not only grown up, but also grown apart. Who was she? As she looked at Rita's photo again, she couldn't answer this nagging question. Hidden somewhere in this face, was the Rita she'd known years earlier; someone who was her confidante, her best friend. She searched and searched, only to realise that the Rita she knew was long gone. Or had she herself changed? Or maybe both? She then stumbled upon her wedding album. Rita's married! She felt a sudden jab of pain at not having known it. She browsed the album, saw Rita beaming and happy, with her man in tow.
Should she comment on the pics? Tina smiled. She wished her best friend the very best, in her heart. And then she signed out of Facebook.