She is the kind of friend that will show up at your door unexpectedly. No prior call, text, email, fax, nothing. Out of the blues, she will be there and even if you do not want her anywhere near you, she will demand to be let in. You will try to fight her, but with time you will realize that it is of no use; she always manages to push through whatever barrier you put up. The moment she steps in, she makes herself at home, just like the old buddies that you are.
She is usually so immaculately dressed and at times, you envy her sense of fashion. With time, you have noticed that she is always in dark colours and black, it seems, is her favourite. She likes to travel heavy and will have not less than three suitcases with her. What exactly she carries in those bags remains a mystery even after five years of friendship.
The funny thing is that you can always tell when she is about to pop up. She never stays away for too long either. You will get this weird sort of feeling; it is almost as if you are telepathic. It is like she can send you a sign from miles away asking you to prepare for her arrival and no, I do not mean get the Guest Room ready. No, that is not where she will be staying. She is a friend, remember? Almost family now. She will happily share your bed with you.
When she comes knocking, you will be seated in your room. You will probably be finishing up on your third novel that week. Or maybe you will be adding a chapter to that lovely book that you have been writing for years. You will be so engrossed in the words that you will almost miss the sound of her slamming her car door shut. You know the sound by heart. It is really her of saying, “Hello, I,m home.”
You will want to stay in your room and not say hi at all, but Mama brought up a nice lady. You always welcome the visitors, even the unwanted ones. Slowly, you will close your eyes and imagine how the next few days will be. You will want a way out, a way to tell her to leave and never come back. But sadly, that is something you have not mastered, yet.
Against your will, you will walk downstairs. With every step, you will feel the restraints loosening up. You already know that she will be making some changes downstairs. The curtains will be drawn for she absolutely hates the light. The door will be locked, the windows will be shut. See, she is a selfish one, that lady. Her stay is all about her and no one else.
As soon as everything is set, she will call out for you. You won’t answer, she won’t come looking. You both know the drill by now. It has become your little game of ‘Hide and Seek’. Only, you do not hide and she does not seek. She knows you will go to her. You always do.
Silently and meekly, you will find your way into her arms. She will embrace you like a long lost friend. You will look into her never smiling face and the familiarity in it will make you feel at ease, but it will also terrify you. You know what is coming and you hate it but you have already embraced, there is no turning back.
She is the kind of friend that blurts things out and for the rest of her stay, you will remain quiet as she talks non-stop. She is the kind of friend that never has anything positive to say. She will remind you of all your mistakes and convince you that no one but she, actually cares for you. You have come to believe her words, you see. And each time it hurts less than the last time. You have long since stopped crying at her hurtful words. You simply sit in the silence and darkness and drink in all her words. During her stay, her hurtful words become your everyday music. They become your truth.
And then one day, you will wake up and realize that she is gone. Walking through the house you will try to assess the damage. You won’t even be in a position to tell how long she had been around. Was it weeks, months? Clothes will be strewn all over, dirty dishes will be stinking in the sink and yet, you will not remember the last time that you had something to eat. You will be a mess and you will slowly start picking after her. Hopefully, you will manage to get the place in order before she passes by again. Last time you weren’t so lucky.
You see, the thing with her is that she is not a picky person. She really can get along with anyone. As soon as she leaves your house, she will be on her way to someone else’s. At least that’s what I think.
Wait. I think I heard something. It sounded like a car door slamming. Footsteps… she must be in stilettoes today. Listen… There’s someone knocking at the door. I don’t want to let her in today. But I do not have the strength to fight her. I had better go and open up. The last time I refused to open, she almost burned down my house. With me inside.