Ours is a story about friendship. But it’s also about love, family and all the strange ways life manages to throw people together.
I always find it amazing that when a person comes into your life, you never really know how important they are going to become to you.
I certainly didn’t realise when I came to your house with a bottle of gone-off Bucks Fizz (I think this was an attempt to get us through our English Lit revision?), that you would one day be like a sister to me. We laughed as we poured ourselves a disgustingly flat yet chunky tipple, and our friendship started.
I’d pick you up on my way to sixth form and we’d eat croissants in my car. I fed you cream cakes while you were working on the tills at Morrison’s. You know, all the usual shenanigans you’d expect from two seventeen-year-olds.
We ended up going to the same university, even though we both picked different ones as our first choice. We chose the same joint honours course (Journalism and Media Production), before both deciding at the end of first year to drop journalism. This wasn’t planned or talked about, it just happened.
It was at university that I met Dave, who very quickly stole my heart. Some time after that, Dave met Pete, who soon became his band-mate and one of his best friends.
After university Pete came to live with us in our flat down in Bournemouth. You’d moved back to Hastings (I missed you so much!) but came down regularly to stay with us. In fact, you were there the weekend Pete moved in. We ended up watching Hole in the Wall and learned that it’s one of the greatest TV shows ever made.
Friendship between you and Pete eventually turned to more. Dave and I got engaged the same weekend the two of you had your first date, and soon after, the four of us were living together.
You moved out (thankfully only down the road!), Dave and I got married, then you and Pete followed suit soon after. It wasn’t long before you bought your first home together (again, thankfully only down the road!) and from time to time we’ve helped with fun jobs like smashing up concrete in your back garden and taking trips to the tip.
When you told us you were having a baby I cried. I knew instantly that I would love your child so much; I was so excited to be Auntie Mel to a little person you created.
Over the many years our lives have been so intertwined. We’ve shared ups and downs, holidays in Cornwall, birthdays and early Christmases that have felt just as special as the actual day itself. We’ve racked up massive phone bills to each other, commiserated failings, stayed up until 4am giggling like fools and celebrated loads of amazing achievements (in my case, many a new job!).
Today Dave and I officially bought our first home together. Naturally we’ve remained in walking distance of you, because it’s become obvious that there’s no way we’re getting rid of each other.
This move has been a long time coming for me and Dave; a bright spot at the end of some difficult times. A fresh start.
And because we’ve always been in sync and our lives have this funny way of slotting neatly together, today is also the day you welcomed your son into the world.
You and Pete are like family to me, so of course your son is going to be like family to me too. We have made more amazing memories than I can count and I look forward to making many, many more.
And so, I’d like raise a glass (of something that isn’t Bucks Fizz!) to the birth of your beautiful baby boy.
To my best friends, my family, and to serendipity.
A little side note: I got the text announcing your little man’s arrival just as I was getting into my car to go and pick up the keys to our house. About five minutes later this song came on the radio. It always makes me think of you.