The other day I was thinking about how to make friends. And how to loose friends. When you are in primary school, it is easy. Usually class mates equal friends. Of course whether they will still be your friends when you are all grown up is of course a completely different matter. My best friend when I was 10 was Marieke. Same age, different class, even a different school. But she was my friend and we did a lot together. When I went to high school, she was still my friend, but the school I went to was completely different to the school she went to. And when I moved only a few months later, the friendship was doomed.
Then in high school I made a few friends. One who came over regularly and I would go over to hers as well. Even if it was about an hour to cycle! In good weather. But then again, I never went to her in bad weather. We stayed in touch after school as well, until at some point (she had children by then) it sort of fizzled out. Nothing bad was said on either side I think, it just fizzled. And then there was Simone.
Simone was in some of my classes during the fourth year. I don't know how we hooked up, but we did. I remember going (cycling again) over to her place on New Year's Eve, I remember her coming over for visits. I also remember her mum occasionally phoning us to ask me if I had seen her, since she was missing. Again. For several days. After her return I don't think I ever asked her about it. It was just... it. By the time I finished high school, she had dropped out. Started a course of some sort. Which she hated and dropped out of. Blaming something or other.
She then changed her objective again and went back to school. This time a tourism course. For which she had to spend some part of her summer doing some sort of practical work to gain enough points for the course. After about two weeks in Belgium, working on a campsite, she phoned me up. 'If I didn't come to Belgium, she would drop everything and come back to the Netherlands'. After talking it over with my parents (I had only just turned 18) and with the owners of the campsite, I made my way by train to Belgium.
Within a couple of days I had a nickname: Turbo Mara. Since I actually did something. Compared to her! And I didn't have a clue about what I was supposed to do. I stayed for three weeks. And at the end I got a small payment. Simone was furious: she had been there for six weeks, working her butt off (as if) and got nothing! She blamed everybody and their aunt.
That autumn we were due to go out and afterwards she would come over to my place to stay. I cycled (returning theme here) to town with her on the backseat and we went to one of the discos. She drank, I didn't. She flirted with all sorts of men that just set my alarm bells ringing. And when I was finally fed-up and ready to go home, it was a drag getting her out of there. I managed in the end though and I cycled home. One hand on the handlebars, one hand behind me, trying to keep her from falling off, since she was asleep! But we arrived home safely and went to bed.
The next morning, I was up quite early and was downstairs having my breakfast, when she came down. She didn't want breakfast, she was just going to go home. And for some reason I decided to go up and get dressed. When I came to my bedroom, I saw that the bed she had slept on, had a blanket on it. As I grabbed it to fold it away, I noticed something else: she had wet the bed!
After that we sort of lost touch. I certainly didn't instigate any contact. And then, after I had been back in the Netherlands for a few years, completely out of the blue, she rang. She was living some place or other, had a crappy job, a crappy apartment, was angry with everybody and anybody, blaming them all along the way for her misfortunes. She asked whether I wanted to come over to see her and go out some time. She knew some nice men. I declined. What about without the men. I declined again. How about her giving me her number so we could get in touch at some other point. I declined.
She was the only one I ever refused to have anything more to do with. And have not regretted it one moment!