“So, do you want an electric toothbrush?” Sarah proffered the pink and white device before me.
My ever efficient flatmate Sarah is moving out. Not only is she moving out but she’s getting married and leaving the country to live with her new husband in India. Yes, that’s right: India. Since she’s leaving New Zealand she’s been diligently getting rid of her things, selling them, giving them to me, or just throwing them away.
And now it came down to her pink electric toothbrush. Her parents got her that toothbrush for her birthday a very long time ago. She hasn’t used it in years but in all the time I’ve known her that tooth brush has sat resolutely on the bathroom sink. Four different flats, if memory serves.
I drew her into a hug and started sobbing uncontrollably on her shoulder. I guess it hit home hard this time: I was blindsided.
You see, Sarah is my best friend. She has been so since I first met her back in post grad where I introduced myself by asking her what she thought of determinism. In the intervening 11 or so years we spent a lot of time together. All of my adult life in fact. A very long time. Too much time some might say, and some did say.
A number of people told me that as long as Sarah & I lived together in our Will & Grace stasis, neither of us would find a partner, neither of us reach our potential, neither of us would be fulfilled. We had to break out of our comfortable status quo in order to find happiness. So two years ago I told her I wanted her to move out and for us to no longer live together. I know that hurt her at the time.
A year later, after deciding not to buy a house, Sarah gave her job notice (6 months required by the University) and took up contracting. Not too long after that she found a very nice fiance, and in what seems like no time at all she is about to leave for good.
I continued to blub on her shoulder. “I know I asked you to leave but I didn’t mean for you to go to the other side of the world. I’m sorry I haven’t been a very good flatmate or a very good friend. I know it seems like I don’t care sometimes, or even most of the time, but I do, I really do.” She patted me consolingly on the shoulder as I wept.
Sarah & I have been through so much together. She has been by my side through the most exciting and terrifying decade of my life and despite the fact that I am selfish, ungrateful, untidy, thoughtless, rude and sometimes not very nice she has been my greatest advocate and my most trusted advisor.
I would like to think that asking her to move out is what helped set her on the path to finding her awesome husband. I would like to think that I will always be a positive, happy memory for her. I would like to think that we have many more happy memories to create together as friends, though we will be living on different continents.
You can tell I’m crying, can’t you? I guess I tend to hyperbole when I’m crying. Still, you understand what I mean. I am so looking forward to meeting Sarah’s husband and furthermore to crazy trips to India to visit my friend.
Have a wonderful life, Sarah. You above all people deserve all the happiness life has to offer.