Every time we meet a new person, we get asked this question, “Did you two girls know each other before coming to Toronto?”. Every time we exchange tender glances, smile and tell our story.
Yes, we knew each other before coming to Toronto. Yes, we came together. We always come together. As a pack. For almost ten years now. Wow, isn’t it the right time to tell the story?
Lina and I met in Grade 8. We became classmates and friends – close ones, but not “best”. She had her best friend, I had mine, the four of us were good friends. Then in Grade 10 my best friend went to another class (which equaled “abandoned me” at that time – teenage stuff, you know), her best friend started skipping classes and we ended up spending a lot of time together. In Grade 11 we forgot about everything that was before the time we were bffs.
After school, we entered the same university, the same faculty and basically, the same lifestyle. They called us twins. I can see why – we could not see each other for a week and it felt like a whole year of my life was missing. This happened rarely by the way.
We almost never fight with each other. There was only moment of our friendship that now seems ridiculous but that nearly ruined everything. I don’t even remember all the details now, though it was not so long ago, but I remember the worst part – we weren’t on speaking terms for about two weeks. Unbearable for us, impossible.
There was another moment when I was afraid our bondage was drifting apart. Not because of us, because of circumstances. When we were offered to study at Canada, we laughed at the opportunity. We planned to go abroad – but Canada? No way, so far, are you kidding me? Then Lina’s family agreed. My parents were shocked – now they had to make a decision. After lots of hard thinking, we agreed as well. Only Lina’s parents were not so sure any more. There were issues and at some point my mum filled my life with a heavy burden of choice:
– Iryna, do you want to go to Canada?
– Yes, ma, I think I do. I think it’s a good chance for me.
– You know that there is a high possibility Lina’s not coming with you, right?
– So I’ve heard.
– Do you think you can handle it? Being so far away on your own? Being so far away both from us AND from her?
– Well, I’m not sure. I’d like to think so…
– I’d leave this to you. Give it a proper thought, okay? Just remember to be honest with yourself.
I said I was ready to go to Canada without her. That we were adults and no matter how hard that was, we had to work our own ways through life.
We went together eventually. And sitting now in front of my laptop, writing this first short piece of our long story and sipping hot tea that she made me, I understand how dishonest I was with myself, mum.
To be continued…
See ya, my curious friends 👋🏽