This month I’ve been thinking about friendship.
My best friend, Zanna, went away at the beginning of February for 7 weeks, and despite the wonders of Whatsapp and Skype, what with the time difference and her working long hours it’s been hard for us to connect and I have to admit I’ve felt pretty lost without her.
I’m also, somewhat coincidentally, currently writing the first draft of a story about a girl who is lonely. A girl who finds she has no one, no friends at all in a particular place and at a particular time. And wow, that’s hard!
Characters in drama are often isolated at the beginning. They usually need to be in order to set out on the journey of their story, to truly evolve into the heroine or hero they become, and they usually find friends and allies on the way. Friendship is always in some way part of their story too. So in a sense writing about this isolation at the beginning of my new story is not unusual, and I’ve certainly written about characters who are isolated before.
Ana in My Second Life was isolated by the knowledge that she had lived a life before this one, and Tessie in What I Couldn’t Tell You was isolated by her selective mutism. But both Ana and Tessie both had good friends in Jamie and Max – friends that stood by them and came through for them despite their sometimes seemingly wonky decision making or seemingly unusual behaviour.
In writing about Cassie, in my new story, I’d reminded of just how important friendship is, and Zanna going away, even for this relatively short time, has made me reflect on our friendship and all the other friendships in my life. I’ve thought about the friends I’ve lost touch with, the friends I’ve had absences from but always somehow picked up with again, the friends that I’ve lost, the friends that I never want to lose.
This month we’ve been bombarded with talk of romantic love, amorous love, heart-stopping crazy love but there is no greater love than a friend who always comes through, who can still be there for you even in the absences, and I think this month is a good month to celebrate that too.
What books have you read with friendships in you’ve loved?
If you could pick a character in a book to be your friend, who would it be?