“Shall we start mother?” Helena heard her son ask her. She nodded lightly and got up from her favourite easy chair that was put near the window.
At age 94 she was pretty healthy and running. Richard started the engine after locking the door for her. She smiled at his gentlemanly action. ‘No wonder he is a heart throb!’ she thought as they got out of the driveway.
No one would have guessed that this lady dressed in black is actually 94 years old and had a grandson. She looked at her gloved hand. Those lacy gloves were a gift from ‘him’
She was supposed to meet him this weekend for tea. But she was going to see him for one last time today. He was the one person who had completed her. No!
The ‘he’ I am talking about here is not her husband. Helena’s husband died almost a decade ago. She did love her husband. But there was always something that kept her around him all the time.
She called it fate, he called it as life.
Tears threatened to spill. She had never imagined getting a call from Joanne the previous night.
Helena heard her mobile awakening her from her evening nap. Grumbling about the timing sense of the caller she attended the call without seeing who had called her.
“Helena speaking!” she said.
“It’s me Joanne…” she heard his wife speaking.
‘That’s odd. Joanne never calls me…’ and that is when she decided to check the caller ID. Joanne was calling her from Steve’s mobile.
“It’s Stevie…” she heard the other woman pause and a lot of sniffling. She felt her spine go chill as she dreaded to meet her worst nightmare. “Stevie is dead Helen!”
“How?” was the only word she was able to utter.
“The doctors said he died of stroke. One minute he was fine and the next he just fell down and… and…” she heard her cry.
“I will come there right away!” Helena got up. But sat down again as she heard Joanne’s quick no.
“It’s already late in the evening Helen. It is better if you come tomorrow for the funeral.”
After a few words of comfort, the conversation got a little awkward for both of them.
It was one of Steve’s predictions. ‘One day you both will have nothing to talk about and your conversation will be awkwardly silent’
She never expected for his prediction to come true this way.
Helena just sat there on her easy chair letting the news sink in.
Her best friend had died.
As they drove past a particular area, she was hit by a wave of memories. Wave is an understatement.
The neighbourhood that she grew up in. That was where she first met Steve – Steve Harron.
He was the bubbly little guy who lived a few blocks away. She did not remember how they became acquaintances but she did remember walking to and from school with him. He was a year elder than her and that gave them lesser time to spend during school hours. They both had their own group of friends at school and had a totally different personality.
But while walking back home, they both were totally different towards each other.
He was always there to protect her no matter what. He was in fact her knight in shining armour.
Naturally they were identified as a couple. But both of them had the habit of denying it. Others just shrugged and told them, no challenged them that these two are going to announce that they were a couple one day or the other.
The Harrons had to move to another city when they were in high school.
Steve had gifted the same pair of gloves to her on Prom Night. She was amazed at how it still fit her hands. It was his farewell gift. They both promised to keep in touch.
Promises are made to be broken. And at one point they broke their promise and lost touch. There were no more phone calls, no more mails exchanged. Though she had a nagging feeling about missing her best friend, she still went on with her life.
Finishing school, she joined college and that was where she met her husband Peter.
She met him again on her first anniversary date. Her best friend, her knight…
He was with another girl (not Joanne) and Helena combined it to be a double date.
Peter saw that she behaved so differently with Steve.
She learnt that Steve had started his own business and it was going pretty well. When she was offered a job at Steve’s firm she readily accepted it.
Peter finally understood that she was not behaving different with him, but she was being herself.
His love for her made him understand that and that was when he had abruptly proposed.
Of course Steve was the best man and Steve’s steady girl friend, Joanne was the maid of honour.
She had always felt safe when she was with Steve. Fights with Peter always ended at Steve’s place because that was the only place she would run to. No one could ever understand the relationship these two had.
It was not just friendship that kept them bonded. They had a deeper bond that was running between the two.
“Soul mates!” one evening Joanne exclaimed as she was brewing coffee for the other three.
“Uh?” was the reaction all three had given her.
“You two are soul mates!” she pointed out at Helena and Steve.
“Soul mates are just two intertwined souls that are destined to meet each other. They complete each other…” she explained.
That did not make sense to any of them.
“Soul mates need not necessarily fall in love or anything… They are just two souls who cannot be separated from each other no matter what. They will meet each other in their other births also!” she further explained.
Helena did not know why she was remembering that particular conversation now.
She was pulled out of the tsunami of memories when her son parked the car in the parking lot of the cemetery.
Straightening her dress as she got out, she carried a small bouquet of yellow roses. It was strange selection of flowers particularly for a funeral. But yellow roses had a meaning.
It symbolized the promise of a new beginning.
A promise to meet him again! If they were soul mates that is!
“I hope to meet you again Steve!” she said her last words to him as they closed his coffin and lowered it into the ground.
She did not speak to anyone for the next two days.
The following night, her grandson had asked her for a story and she recited the story about herself and Stevie grandpa.
The entire family had gathered that night around her to listen to the story of a beautiful friendship.
That night she went to bed very late. Her relationship was just not a simple story for her to finish early. The next day, she did not wake up no matter how much her grandson tried.
She found herself outside her old home where Steve would wait for her.
“Took you long enough.” he huffed.
Hitting him playfully Helena started walking with him. “I thought you had left me behind!”
“I just came here early to check if everything was good enough for my princess!”
“Thank you my knight!”
This is small story that was inspired by two different fan-fictions. I have always wondered how friendship between a girl and a boy would change. It should not change. It never will change. That is friendship!
I want to dedicate this to two different guys who have been a great support for me all these days!