They were best of friends since grade school. If Mara’s Mom would buy her a new printed, ruffled dress, Clara would insist her mom to buy an identical one. They dressed themselves like twins and were always inseparable. They wore a similar multi-colored band on their right wrists. They’d wear the same color and style of shoes and wore ponytails on their hair. On Clara’s birthday celebrations, Mara would make the occasion a great fun and gaiety and Clara, too did not lag behind on Mara’s birthday. They went to the same pre-school, grade school, high school and even college.
They shared not only their packed lunches and snacks but also their secrets. If someone will bully Mara, you can be sure Clara would be around to protect her. They were each other’s refuge. When they were teeners, they were allowed to sleep in each other’s home often. It was a very sweet, loving and extraordinary friendship. They will spend nights together talking about their crushes in school and their escapades with boys of their liking.
“Mara and I will not be coming to school tomorrow….” uttered Clara to one of their classmates. “Why? But tomorrow is still a Friday, we will have a long exams in Trigonometry?” asked the classmate. “Oh, I will accompany Mara on an important mission,” answered Clara with a naughty smile on her lips. She did not confide it was a secret rendezvous of Mara with her boy friend and Mara had invited Clara to accompany her.
The following day the boy friend with Mara and Clara on a motorcycle sped his way to a resort. The boy was in high spirit about the trip and wished to be at the resort as early as possible. Clara goaded him to drive faster and faster. He was a good driver with control and so drove at high speed with speedometer hovering beyond 100mph. As ill luck would have it, a stray dog ran across the highway and the boy to avoid hitting the animal diverted and lost control. The vehicle collided head-on against a mixer that was coming in the opposite direction. The impact was so heavy that all the three passengers of the motorcycle were thrown out. They had no helmets. Mara died on the spot, the boy was critically injured on his head and one arm and leg wrenched asunder. He was bleeding profusely. Clara who was at the rear was seriously hurt and injured too.
The passers-by came to immediate help and the two were rushed to different hospitals. None of them knew what happened to the other. Clara was in the emergency room attended to by doctors. She had multiple fractures on both legs and hands and bruises all over. Several stitches were needed. She was however declared out of danger. Clara requested her mom who was beside her to text a message to Mara. Her mom readily agreed and texted the message she desired not knowing Mara‘s condition. "Dear Mara, I am seriously injured. If you are in a condition to come, please visit me at the hospital. I am eager to see you. I missed you. Love, Clara.”
When Clara’s mom went home, she heard from the radio that Mara was killed on the spot. She decided not to divulge till Clara became alright. The next morning when she went to the hospital, she saw Clara in a happy frame of mind.
“Mom, would you believe that Mara visited me last night itself though a bit late for visiting hours. She spoke to me for more than 15 minutes and comforted me with her good wishes,” said Clara in a feverish pitch.
“What crap are you talking? Mara is not in a position to visit you. I personally know that. Are you hallucinating or what?” said her mom in anxious tone.
“I am not under any hallucination. You never trust me on occasions. If you want proof of her visit, see the rubber band she took from her hand and put it on my wrist,” said Clara.
Her mom saw two rubber bands on Clara’s wrist and fainted immediately.
True friendship is forever- even beyond life.
Written for Thursday Tales (Tale No. 18)