This I Believe

Lauren - Newtown, Connecticut
Entered on May 24, 2007

I believe that friendship comes in many forms. Since January, I have developed a close relationship with one of my online friends who lives on the south coast of England.

When I first met her, I only knew her username. We would reply to each other’s e-mail comments back and forth until our constant e-mails started to clog our inboxes and we moved to instant message. It wasn’t until then that she told me her real name, Emma.

Emma and I would chat for hours, the longest one lasting until Emma went to bed at one in the morning Greenwich Mean Time. We touched upon every topic imaginable from politics to celebrities and everywhere in between. She talked about her recent trip to Holland and how she was looking for a new nanny position in London. I wished her luck as she went on interview after interview, all of which were dead ends.

That was until a few weeks ago. Emma interviewed with a family in London for a position to take care of a two-year-old girl. She was told that she had the job subject to references. The day before she was supposed to go back to sign the contract, she got a call from the mother of the child to tell her they were no longer considering her. Despite having checked three of Emma’s excellent references, the Mother had turned her down on the basis of speaking to her previous employer, known to me as “bad reference lady.”

I spent Saturday talking to her, trying to get her to talk about whatever was on her mind but she didn’t seem to want to talk.

A couple days later, Emma wasn’t online. The idea that she might have been eating or taking a shower crossed my mind, but one hour grew to two, and two to three and I grew increasingly worried.

Finally, I got an e-mail from her and immediately become my mother saying, “Where have you been?” “What happened to you?” “I was worried.”

She told me two of her nannying agencies had dropped her with no explanation. She refused to go to bed, so I tried to distract her and lead her mind to other topics before she sent me to bed, telling me that she planned to stay up the entire night, citing, “It’s not like I have anywhere to be.”

I believe that this is the closest relationship I’ve had. When I told Emma I intended to write about her, she asked “Do you think you have enough to write about me.” I sent her a smiley face and told her “Of course I do.” While she might be having a rough time, she’s been a good friend and as I understand it, friends don’t desert each other and despite the several miles of ocean between us I still feel close her, even though we haven’t met.