To the family I thought I’d never have,
There’s a lot I’ve been meaning to say to you, and for a while now. I would like to apologize for my inability to assign as major a portion of my daily schedule to you as I was able when we were younger. Do you remember playing running-and-catching together in the school grounds? Those blue carpets at the back of our old classrooms? The swing-sets that were and still are the foundation of countless friendships?
I could write a (really, really fat) book (or an entire school-life’s worth of class magazines) just reminding you of the past 12 years in detail. Make a mental repository of those memories. They’re all you’re going to have of school life a year from now, and you will cherish them like nothing else, I guarantee.
Today, I leave the job of recollecting the joyous moments we’ve shared together over the years to you. Today, I’m writing instead to tell you just how much you mean to me.
We met twelve years ago. I’ll admit I was rather apprehensive at first. You were a strange person, in a strange new place, doing your own strange things. Strange. Not a bit like everything I’d known my entire lifetime (all five years of it)! Perhaps it was the almost comforting unfamiliarity we shared that united us.
I’d like to call us sailors. At every point during our school careers, we’ve taken over different duties and steered this ship successfully together, and we’re nearly at the end of our voyage. Every time I’d waver, you’d be my anchor, help me tide over the rough patches each wave brought with it. I trusted you to never let me sink. To this day, we are each other’s safety boats, and are so willingly. We’ve taken turns being Captain, guiding each other, never letting the other lose sight of what’s ahead. You’ve given me the courage to look directly in the face of fear, until it backs down. We’ve hit icebergs head-on, our little navy with a bond stronger than the Titanic could ever have been.
Thank you for the petty fights, and the major ones, and the ones that weren’t really fights at all – just unnecessary drama before vacations because we were afraid of how much the absence of the other would hurt, but also too egoistic to admit it. God, we’re capable of immense immaturity, but some of our exchanges could’ve come straight out of a movie.
Thank you for lending me your sweatshirt when I forgot my name badge, keeping my horrible ID card photo a secret, even switching shoes when I had PT. Thank you for the badge fights, hand cricket, Sudoku and crossword races, basketball and dodge-ball games, PE exam practices, and yam cheese, yam burger, soft potato, chipchipchip. Soft potato, chip chip chip.
Thank you for the field trips, for declaring that we are family through the smallest things – dancing, singing, laughing, crying. Together.
Thank you for the inside jokes. And for laughing with me at jokes our teachers cracked, and maybe for being that one kid who had the audacity to ask out loud, “Why’d everyone suddenly go so quiet?” on the rare occasions we did all at once for no apparent reason during class. As if that wasn’t how we should’ve been for the entire duration of the lesson anyway.
Thank you for always having my back. And for literally standing behind me, beside me, in front of me, as I drew in the sand with my foot and cleaned my black shoes on my socks in/ out of “height order”. And for letting me use your bag as support for mine on half days.
I’m going to miss you so, so much (just in case I haven’t made that clear).
– Maithree with Maitreyi
(Editors, among other school-related things, this one last time.)