I believe in unconscious friendship.
In an early life crisis I left my job and my Italian family in San Francisco (my mother crying as I left, wondering what I was going to eat everyday, and praying that I wouldn’t lose any weight). I moved across the country, to Nashville, TN to begin a new life, once again, as a student, an MBA student. For the first two weeks, I knew no one and cried every night, questioning my decision to start anew. My loneliness grew with my frustration with the strenuousness of school. I cried until I met Tina.
Tina was my classmate and a shapely Indian girl, a year older than I. In the past five years she had moved from India, lived in Florida, received one Masters degree (and was now beginning to work on her second) and married a man that she loved. Tina was sporty, smart, motivated, dark-haired, and feisty, all like me. She was eloquent, candid, and she loved to eat goat, all unlike me.
As her husband was away on business much of the week, we began to spend nights together lying on her bed, staring up at the ceiling of her new condo. We talked about all that we missed from our previous lives. Tears would fill my eyes while her protective arms comforted me. When she cried about how she missed her mother in India, I would lie next to her and listen. One night she told me that she was in love with a man before she met her husband, and she often still thinks about him. I told her that I believe love can be lost and found again in someplace new.
Coming in from her porch with red, puffy eyes from crying on the phone to my boyfriend, she would tell me her thoughts about him. I would tell her how lucky she was to never have dated at all. She would ask what is was like to go out with different men, and I would ask what it was like to have only one choice for a husband. I told her that I believe that there is more than one right person for us in this world. She agreed wondering how many there were.
One quiet evening during a thunderstorm she confessed how she was insanely afraid of going to the gynecologist. She had tried many times, and had to be sedated once, just so that the doctor could do a routine exam. “I will go with you next time”, I said. She said it wouldn’t work because the last time she went with her mom, and the doctor was her aunt. She said she was looking forward to getting pregnant though. I told her that I believe passions will overcome fears.
The next night we would watch an Italian film- her favorite, and eat spicy curry and chapatis- my favorite. Whoever thought that I, a skinny Italian girl from California would find the deepest friendship with an Indian girl in Nashville?
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