I still remember the first time I saw you...a small, shabby looking kid, hair all messed up, your uniform awkwardly hanging on your thin body. But you had an infectious smile, so when you grinned at me, I couldnt help but smile back. You were the first friend I had, because I was too shy to talk to any of the other kids. You befriended me when the others ignored me. That was back in KG; since then, we became inseparable.
We discovered we lived pretty close, so we were in the same school bus. It was fun sitting in the last seat- coz it was the biggest in the bus- talking and laughing, sharing secrets and sometimes quarreling over little things! You always gave in, in the end.
We were together until class IV, when there was reshuffling and you had to go to another section. But you were so lonely there, that your parents had to request the principal to change your section. We were together again. But I had new friends and couldn't be with you all the time. You used to beg me to play with you...I wish I had listened.
We soon moved to senior school and this time you couldn't be with me, in my class. But you always came to meet me in the lunch break. I forced to you to be friends with my other pals. But I was still your 'bestest' friend! I wish I could've understood how lucky I was.
As we grew up, distances between us grew too. My friends used to make fun of you...and I supported them. I can't believe I was so vain and selfish. You used to call but I didnt take your calls. You invited me to every birthday party you threw, but I always turned you down. I was happy in my own world, didnt think I needed you. I was so wrong.
In class eleven a classmate gave me 2 of your envelopes addressed to me. You had sent them through some teacher. I opened them, thinking it would be yet another invite to some stupid party. But they were letters that you had written in your broken handwriting. They said that you were very sick and wanted to see me. You missed my friendship. I knew this time something was really wrong. I called at your house, and they told me you were in the hospital...but they wouldn't tell me what happened. I had a sick feeling inside on my way to the hospital. I met your parents, your mom looked so sad. They said you were in the ICU. I couldnt talk to you because you were in a coma, but I could see you. My heart was sinking. I couldn't believe what they just said. Only a few weeks ago I saw you in school, you looked fine. How can you be in coma?? Its just not possible. They took me to the room where I could see you. I looked through a glass pane, and saw you surrounded by tubes, and needles stuck in your skinny arms. You looked so vulnerable. All the times we shared, all our memories washed over me as I gazed at you. I wanted to talk to you, to tell you how sorry I am, to ask for your forgiveness. But it was too late. You couldn't hear me.
On January 9, 2001, I got a call saying you passed away. It hit me like a bolt of lightening. You couldn't die. Not without talking to me one last time. I had so much to tell you, so much to ask you. But you just went away. You died without forgiving me. You died too soon.
You lived your short life with zest, Ayesha. You considered me your best friend but I was unfortunate to understand how precious and special you were. You've taught me so many things about friendship and love. Never again will I betray a friend. Never again will I choose a friend over the other. And I won't wait till the end to apologise to a friend. I'll never forget you... Ayesha, you with your sunshine smile. Happy friendships' day.