In the next town, another little girl was waking up. This little girl had a family who made her laugh every day. She’d spent the summer in a country far away, running up fields, giggling with her brother and picking flowers the colour of the snow, called mayflowers. She was blessed with golden brown waves that bounced around her shoulders, and eyes the colour of a summer sky. We’ll call her the blue eyed girl.
As soon as the green eyed girl entered the classroom, she became very afraid. There were children running everywhere. They were much louder than her and much bigger than her. Spotting a lock of golden hair in the corner, she slowly crept over. The blue eyed girl was reading. The green eyed girl added to her statement. ‘They’re much louder than me and bigger than me. I can’t read either, they must be much more clever than me’. Class began and the green eyed girl sat cowering in the corner. She didn’t feel safe, and as the teacher began the day, she also felt decidedly stupid. The blue eyed girl answered every question perfectly, and in seconds. The blue eyed girl was confident, and a miracle child. The green eyed girl wasn’t that at all. She’d been so looking forward to school, but by the end of a noisy break time and some sniggers at her incorrect answers in numeracy, she was close to tears. Just as she was beginning to disappear under her invisibility blanket, the green eyed girl felt a small body sit down next to her. ‘Are you okay?’ came a whisper. The green eyed girl didn’t answer, but the voice persisted. ‘I know it’s big and scary here, but my cousin says it gets better and it’s really not that bad in the end.’ The green eyed girl still didn’t answer, but still the blue eyed girl did not give up. Each day for the next week she sat next to to the green eyed girl. The clever child helped the girl, and slowly but surely, the green eyed girl began to answer the blue eyed girl’s questions. ‘I was afraid,’ the green eyed girl replied, ‘but I’m feeling a little better now.’ The blue eyed girl was wise beyond her years, and whispered, ‘You don’t ever need to be afraid. It’s going to be okay, I promise.’ The small children linked little fingers, and that was the start of a very special friendship.
Throughout the years that followed, the two little girls became very close. Talking and expressing herself was always something that the green eyed girl struggled with, and no matter how hard the blue eyed girl tried, the green eyed girl never found that it got any easier. Even in their teens, they were still the most unlikely pair. If I’d have asked you to line up the class and pick out the friends, you would never have chosen the green and blue eyes. The green eyed girl was still a very shy and quiet creature, happy to sit at the back of the classroom and keep her head down. She worked herself much harder than she probably should, but she was born with the instinct that no matter how difficult something was, you should keep working until you crack it. The blue eyed girl too shared that instinct, but she was a confident, clever and sporty girl. Happy to voice her opinion and face up to the world.
Nobody ever saw the pair in times of struggle. The blue eyed girl of course, never struggled with anything. She never failed an exam, she never lost a sports match, and she never had any problems making friends, but any time that the green eyed girl needed a shoulder to cry on, the blue eyed girl was there. The green eyed girl had always been one to hide her pain. Growing up living with her nan and five cousins, she had to be strong. Throughout the years, the blue eyed girl knocked down the wall of the green eyed girl and did not allow her to rebuild it. She was always there for the green eyed girl. A friend was battling cancer, her mum was depressed, another friend ended up on an eating disorder ward, and finally her grandad died, and at the age of seventeen, she had to attend her first ever funeral. She found school progressively more difficult and got stressed easily. She didn’t know how to cope with emotions, but the blue eyed girl never left. Through the years she stayed by the green eyed girl’s side. She held her and she told her to be strong, and that it would all be okay in the end.
Little did the green eyed girl realise that the blue eyed girl’s life at home was becoming difficult. She had an even bigger wall than the green eyed girl did, and she was a heck of a lot better at keeping it in place. The blue eyed girls parents split up and she struggled. It wasn’t until a long time afterwards that the blue eyed girl felt that she could talk to the green eyed girl about her problems. Even when the green eyed girl told her her deepest secrets, the blue eyed girl still kept quiet. Slowly, the two young women began to let each other in. They each believed that the other could fight their problems and win their battle, and each day their friendship grew stronger. After their exams, and the evening before results day, the girls spent the evening together. Both were very worried and upset about what the next day would bring, but they had an evening filled with laughter and smiles, and for the first time in years, the pain of each girl disappeared for a little while.
The next morning the blue eyed girl leaped out of bed and woke the green eyed girl. She took one look into her deep sea eyes and she knew what was happening. ‘It’s okay,’ whispered the blue eyed girl. ‘You don’t need to be afraid, I’m here. Just breathe, and it’ll go soon. You can beat it, I believe in you.’ ‘Lets do this,’ said the green eyed girl. She jumped out of bed and pulled on her favourite navy blue jumper. Upon arrival at the school, the green eyed girl hid in the corner with her envelope. Opening it, she read the letters on the paper and she cried. They weren’t the letters that she needed to see. She could see the blue eyed girl jumping around and smiling at the other side of the room. The green eyed girl smiled: her best friend was going to be a doctor. It felt like everyone in the room was smiling. As she cowered in the corner, they all felt much louder than her, and much bigger than her. As the green eyed girl tried once more to disappear under her invisibility blanket, she felt a body next to her. No words were needed and the blue eyed girl pulled the green eyed girl into a hug and waited for her tears to subside. She carefully took the envelope from the hands of the green eyed girl and looked at the letters written on the paper. ‘Come on, you’ve got a phone call to make. It’s going to be okay, I promise.’ said the blue eyed girl. The pair excused themselves from the room, and after a ten minute phone conversation it was concluded that the letters on the paper didn’t matter. The university would accept her anyway. The blue and green eyed girls laughed and cheered.
A few weeks later the girls went away for the weekend to a country far away. As they were running up the fields, the blue eyed girl told a story that she had never told before. The story of her holidays as a child, giggling with her brother and picking flowers the colour of the snow, called mayflowers. ‘Here,’ she said, ‘Look, I found one!’ As the two girls travelled home again, they knew that they would be leaving each other for longer than ever before. The green eyed girl worried that she’d never see the blue eyed girl again. ‘It doesn’t matter where we go in the world, I’ll never be more than a day away,’ said the blue eyed girl. ‘You’ll do well at University because I believe in you. Look at how strong you are now, and I believe that you won’t ever get weak again,’ the green eyed girl replied. The green eyed girl and blue eyed girl trusted each other; they trusted one another with their lives.
Sixty years later on one summer evening, two old ladies could be seen wandering the fields of France, arm in arm. The first had shining hair, a smiling face and eyes of the most unusual colour. The second had hair in waves that bounced around her shoulders, and eyes the colour of a summer sky. They smiled and laughed, their problems had been faced together and both ladies had recovered from the ghosts of their pasts. It is said that they died like that, the blue and the green eyed girl. It is said that they died together in peace in the fields, and that in each of their hands was a flower, later identified as a mayflower.
Today, I wanted to tell you a story. It’s complete fiction, and it’s not something I normally put on my blog, but I wanted to share it because it’s a story about the importance of friendship, the importance of love, the importance of hope, and most of all, it’s a story about belief. If others out there believe in you, then you should believe in yourself. And if you believe in someone, you should be taking every step you can to allow them to believe in themselves. Belief and friendship allow us to succeed. They allow us to feel safe, and they allow us to take that first step on a journey to learning to smile again.
Living. Laughing. Loving.