People of Character: Her story

DSC_1834I’m not sure exactly where these three characters came from. All I can tell you is this: they have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

The details of how we’ve been brought together are a bit muddled; it’s simply been too long.

I think the first time I saw her I must have been, what, sixteen, seventeen? Of course, we were both living in Brazil at the time. We weren’t really friends; that much I remember. We didn’t go to the same school, didn’t attend the same parties, weren’t even the same age – if you live in a city like Sao Paulo under these circumstances, becoming close friends is as likely as it would be if you lived in different planets. But somehow, we kept running into each other; at restaurants, while I waited for friends or my boyfriend at the time, on the bus on my way home from my internship across town, even when I was stuck in traffic, in the back of a cab, I would often spot her in another car nearby.

Soon enough, this practically self-imposed distance started to look ridiculous, and one day we just started talking. About five minutes later, she had somehow become my best friend.

When I moved to Switzerland to go to university, she followed me, before moving to the US to go to university there (Ivy, obviously), but after a few years, she moved to Switzerland for a job. Or so she says. I don’t often flatter myself, but I like to believe she came for me.

As soon as she was back, we were thick as thieves, as if we hadn’t been apart for years. We were always together, oblivious of how odd it must have looked to other people.

As long as she was around, I never felt lonely. She reminded me of home, even if she embodied the sophisticated international woman I wanted to become one day. She made my small victories feel like triumphs and rewrote my mistakes so they didn’t seem as bad.

Throughout the years, her story moved on. New stories and new drafts kept on coming, and the more I lived, the more she lived. She got married. She had a baby. She was faced with tough choices, beautiful moments, and friendship, love, loss. As I grew up, so did she, always one step ahead of me: a blessing and a warning folded up into one.

Writing means you’re faced with endings all the time. Even if your ending is an open one, it still means that whatever you were working on, it’s finished.

The best advice I ever heard when it comes to writing was “write what you know” and “if you’re afraid of writing something, challenge yourself and write it anyway”. While she’s still a part of my life (if you read my previous posts, you’ll know she visits all the time), ending her story is still one of the hardest writing exercises I ever put myself through.

But before I tell you about the ending, I should probably tell you what happened at the beginning of The Story.

It all started with a chance encounter with another character: This Chaming Man. I’ll tell you some more about it tomorrow.

For now, thank you for reading.

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