Allow me to take you on a trip down memory lane. Flash back to about five years ago, if you would. The setting? A university classroom; hot, humid and filled with strangers. It was a hot day and I was feeling particularly terrified; this was my first ever psychology tutorial.

The lectures were not so scary. They were so huge and full with the lights dimmed down that it was easy enough to fade into the crowd; especially when you were a moderately shy chook that didn't know a single person in the room. The tutorials though, were another matter altogether. They actually involved (gasp!) talking. And more talking. And talking in groups. With people. All talking.

I was lost that day in a sea of buildings and classes, but I eventually made it to the right room. Psychology 1A. There was not a single seat left in the room, meaning I had to walk in, stutter something about getting lost, and walk out again to find a seat. It also meant I had to walk BACK in with chair in hand, and find a hole to dig myself into space to park myself.

I ended up in a row next to a beautiful girl with the most gorgeous curly hair I've ever seen. She seemed nice enough and we ended up having a chat; from then on, I would always be on the lookout for her in lectures. She never did tell me to bugger off, and we became friends. We talked about what we wanted to do at the end of our courses - she wanted to do primary school teaching and so did I. We took similar classes, bitched about the uni and tried to get into the same tutorials.

Her name was Elissa.

I was her friend when she first met her boyfriend(now husband); I was her friend when there were the cute phone calls, nights out and the rest of it. I was her friend when the panic set in, when he was almost asked to leave the country (he's Tanzanian-born). I was her friend when the two of them got married, in a beautifully simple and elegant garden a couple of years ago.

Likewise, she was my friend through my first year of university - when I was single for the first time in years after a difficult break-up. She was my friend when I first met Jason; she was right there with me the very first time I inititated our first movie date, in the middle of a boring as batshit philosophy tutorial. She was my friend through countless insecure spots and boring classes.

We're sort of like chalk and cheese. She's married, I'm not. She's moved out, I haven't. She's skinny, I'm er, not. She's vegetarian, I love my meat. But also? We are pretty similar, as well. We are both cynical, we both love animals, we have the same sense of humour, we're addicted to movies and Grey's Anatomy, and we are both quiet people by nature. Oh, and we're both completely slack about getting together and organising things. Hee.

Halfway through our Psychology degree, Elissa had a change of heart and decided to leave that degree. I was heartbroken, since she was such a big part of my life at university. She had always had a job in caring for people, home care, nursing care, it was just a part of who she was. After taking part of the year off, she enrolled for a Nursing degree not long after.

For a long time, I rarely saw her. We don't live close (about an hour apart) and we were both so busy in our hectic university schedules. We would squeeze each other in when we could, double dates with Jase and Cuz, chats on the phone. It would never matter how much time apart we would spend, or how long it would be between phone calls, when we saw each other things were always the same.

After a bloody long time, I finally caught up with my lovely Elissa today. And as always, it was as though we had never missed each other - chatting away for hours, vegging out eating Thai food (tofu for her, chicken & cashews for me), watching (and picking to pieces) a couple of DVDs. We both bought each other our favourite chocolates for Christmas, which was sort of amusing.

No matter how slack we are, or what life throws at us, she's always going to be one of those people who will always be around. And vice versa for me, of course. Have you got a person that you know like that? I think it's fantastic. I would take one or two REAL friends, over a whole room full of people who don't really know me anyday. Perhaps that's why I'm usually quite a loner?

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