Thursday, 7 February 2008

Meeting Elizabeth

Our time to stay in Villahermosa was about to finish so I decided to meet Elizabeth and of course I was very nervous.

I met Elizabeth in High School. She moved from Coatzacoalcos because of her father's job in the middle of a semester and I didn't notice her much, I mean, I already had a BFF (best friend forever). As months passed by, she became friends with my same friends and we started to hang out more so I got to know her better. She was frail and in a way insecure. She became the girlfriend of a guy I disliked a lot for being sarcastic and obnoxious. Everytime they fought, I fell really bad for her and once I even got gastritis out of anger and impotence. Now that I think of it, maybe he was not such a monster but he was clearly not for her.

We finished High School and had to decide where to study the University degree. I studied in a private school so it was common for people to go to Uni in another state else since the academic offer in Tabasco was so poor but for many different reasons my BFF Lila, Chris (the vet), Elizabeth, her boyfriend and I stayed and enrolled in the State University UJAT.
Note: My reason was economic with the December error.

Elizabeth and I took Chemical Engineering. Having to go to classes to another municipality, take the bus and endure a different environment with absent teachers and fossil students, made us even closer friends.

One day the guy cheated on her and they broke up. It was very difficult for her and I was there for her, celebrating her decision though.

Among all this, I met a guy. He was in my same class and was as brilliant as I, probably a wee more. He was sweet, very religious, smart, kind of cute, essentially a good guy and hey, he fancied me. He was my first boyfriend. With him I felt secure, very loved, taken care of and confident in a way I wouldn't experience again until with Suresh many years later. With him I experienced my first kiss, first walk holding hands, well, let's just say first of everything.

Of course I loved him, but as I already mentioned, he was very religious (Presbyterian) and since his family was having a rough time, they disapproved me. We were very young (19) so the pressure was too much for him and after sneaking around for a while, he broke up with me.

I was devastated but one day I noticed a guy in my class. He was a chilango (from Mexico City), more worldly that Rodrigo, more flirty and seemed more interesting. I fell for him believing we could have a relationship as fun and stable as with Rodrigo, but soon I realised he was hiding something. In short, he was manipulative and liar and had had a steady girlfriend for 5 years or so.

I know that being with the chilango hurt Rodrigo a lot. I just didn't realise it then. We never really stopped being friends if you can say that, and I should have known better. Anyway, when I broke up with the guy, Rodrigo was there for me, and although I was still hung up on the chilango and I wasn't really ready for a relationship, we could be friends.

By then Elizabeth had had her fair share of "chocolate boyfriends", as she called them after the "chocolate cars" that were not really legal. She was healed from the ex-boyfriend but hadn't found anyone really worth it. The 3 of us used to hang out a lot and foolishly I thought it was implied that Rodrigo and I were meant to be together.

One day Chris, Lila, Elizabeth and I got drunk for the first time in my house and Elizabeth told me he liked Rodrigo. That he was so nice and loved me so much that she would like to find someone like him. That should have warned me, but I dismissed it as drunken talk.

A student election was going to be celebrated the following year and rodrigo was invited to represent a planilla, while I was invited as a chem Eng representant too. We talked and agreed to forget the past and be boyfriend and girlfriend again right after the election day.

We worked really hard but something was wrong. He was distant and gave me excuses for everything. I thought he was just too busy, too stressed and kept in my mind the promise to get back together after the election.

That day came and well, we won. By then I had heard the rumours that elizabeth and rodrigo were together but I just couldn't believe it. She told me first. She came to my house and after some small talk she just said it. It was true, they were together and had been an item for a few months already but decided for my own good not to tell me. She apologised many times, she never gave details and in the end she said she would always feel threatened by me for being his first love.

I appreciated her courage. I was waiting for his. We met the next day. He took me to Plaza Crystal and in the most insensitive, thoughtless and rude way he said: "You know I am with your friend and you know how I am as a boyfriend so please don't try to do anything to separate us and stay away".

Those were his last words. It's been almost 10 years and it still hurts to have been put aside like that. So I lost Rodrigo as a friend, I lost my dear friend and complice Elizabeth. Our group of girlfriends tore apart when Chris took her side and Lila mine. People in the classroom took sides too as well as almost everyone we knew.

It was the most difficult time in my life and it was like my world fell apart. I tried to stay friends with her but although polite, she always seemed to put a world between us so I gave up. I got closer with my classmates and fell for the chilango again. That was my craziest partying time drinking, staying out late, trying not to bother anymore and just waited till school was over so I could escape that environment.

I left Uni with good marks and all and took the job as English Teacher at HH. Then the engineering job and all else, but that is another story.

I saw her once or twice, sometimes we said hi, sometimes we tried not to face each other. I only knew they were still together and got married in 2004 and that was it.

But last year my mom called saying she read in the newspaper about elizabeth and rodrigo. something terrible had happened and I felt it was the chance to try to talk to her again. I felt happy and stable now and in my heart I had forgiven her. Besides, as lila said, the distance gave me the courage.I emailed her and she replied thankfully, not distant anymore and willing to rebuild our friendship. We exchanged many emails and little by little got to a trusting point again.

We met on Xmas holiday 2006. she picked me up and could catch up. We apologised for our silly behaviour then, we talked like in the old times and I could notice how our lives have really grown apart but something in us is just like our fisrt years in the Uni. I still care for her a lot and I wanted to see her again since now she is pregnant with a girl.

Suresh told me if it was really necessary for him to meet her. My siblings kept making fun saying: "don't introduce them or she will go after him too". Part of me wanted to show her I was really happy and she shouldn't have to worry about me. Part of me wanted to secretely thank her for whatever happened that made me know the world and Suresh and have the life I have now and be really happy.

So we met. We talked half in english half in spanish. It wasn't as emotional as the previous year but it was very nice to see her again. I am not very often in Villahermosa so I have to take advantage of every time I have. We said good-bye and wishing the best to each other.

On the way back home I confirmed Suresh always knows what to say. He just whispered: "You are much prettier than her. More independent and smarter and I got the best deal".

And although he always tries to correct my English he said that compared to all my friends in Mexico, my English is far superior in fluency, vocabulary and pronunciation and he is really proud of me.

Note: I couldn't help crying while typing. come to think about it, it was the best for all. She needed someone just like him to rebuild her confidence and make her stronger. I still needed to experience more and literally see the world before settling. Luckily I found the best man in the world, now that I am wise enough to recognise and value it.


Fned said...

I know how you must have felt.

On my first day of highschool I met my best friend "A" and we became inseperable. We went to our first parties together, learned to drink, date and have fun together and basically became like sisters(btw, this is not the same person I speak about in my "Bris" post on Fned's Blog).

After our Freshman year she was kicked out of school for failing ALL her classes (even Educación Física!) and went back to her home town in Chiapas.

We had been best friends since day 1 and her leaving really affected me (mild depression, dressing in black for a year, etc, etc)...

Then I went to visit her in Palenque and stayed with her for 3 weeks. It was like the old days and we had a great time catching up....

... on my last day there I was taking a shower and heard someone tip toe into the room and leave just as quickly. I came out and nobody was there but I had a strange feeling...that kept nagging me for the remainder of the day.

At the bus station "A" was acting pretty weird and seemed in a hurry to get me on the bus. I don't know why but at the last minute I started to open my purse to check the money I had left (about 300 bucks) and out of sudden she asked me "What are you doing?" I said I wanted to make sure I didn't forget anything and she replied that she'd checked my room on the way out and assured me nothing was left behind. That's when I decided I would not check my purse then and there. I knew my money was gone. (I wont go into detail about how it couldn't have been anybody else -- too long and boring)....

As I got on the bus I was already crying. "A" was standing outside waving at me and I guess she thought I was crying because I was sad to leave. In reality I was crying because my best friend had stollen the little money I had left (which she knew I was saving for college). I knew in my heart the money was gone even before I checked my purse (and sure enough it was gone).

I never got over this and even though we spoke on the phone a couple of times after I got back to Puebla it was never the same; I knew and SHE KNEW I KNEW....

We lost touch after that. Years later I went back to Chiapas with Hubby I tried to look her up since after all she had been an important part of my life and it seemed only logical to try and meet up... she didn't live there anymore and deep down I was secretly relived.

Being stabbed in the back by your BFF is something that one never gets over somehow... be it a boyfriend or money or whatever, the lies and the profond sadness that this brings about is not easily forgotten.


Finally Woken said...

It's a touching story. Being betrayed by your best friend and and your boyfriend must have left a deep scar in your heart. I'm glad that you've healed and even forgiven for what she had done. It takes tremendous courage to do so, I admire you to start making contacts first. Suresh sounds lovely so you get the best deal at the end *wink.

Fned said...

Hey girl, long time no hear....
How's life up there in the ol' UK???