She was walking on the dirt road, after twenty years. Marriage and its responsibilities did not give her any time to revisit her village. She recalled her wedding day, that was the last time she walked the road, leaving behind her childhood, leaving behind her friend.
As she was walking she saw her school. The Village school still had not changed and their banyan tree still standing tall at the back giving shade. She walked up to it and found there were tyres tied to the branches to double up as swings. She remembered swinging on those tyres, and his hands pushing her from behind, making her swing higher and higher.
She walked on along the path and saw the community well. He always helped her carry the water home. Sharing the load of his best friend, he called it. The river, on the banks of which they spent their afternoons studying and the evenings playing.
She was very happy the day he told her he was going abroad. The foreign land held a lot of promises and she was happy that her friend was getting that future. Also, her marriage had been fixed. He had said “I will be alone without my best friend.” She smiled at her memories.
As she was walking up to her parent’s house, she had to stop by his house. That is how she always went home, dropping by his house first. She saw the door open and wondered who could be home. Her Mother had passed on the news of his parent’s demise. She did regret not being able to come home then. As she walked in, the person inside asked, “Who is it?” while turning to face her.
As they looked at each other their eyes sparkled in recognition. Neither one of them could believe that they decided to visit the village at the same time. She was happy to have met her friend after so many years. They went to the river banks and sat reminiscing their friendship. It was as if nothing changed. The void in their life created by the distance was instantly filled. They realised that true friendship is never bound by distance or time, it just resumes where it was paused.