Normally, you receive these kinds of things from your boyfriend or your girlfriend, but sometimes, only ever so often, does a friend, a very close friend, feel obliged to do you a similar favour. When I look at this photograph, I can’t help but visualize the smile that is hidden behind the paper heart my friend is holding up.

I still remember the thoughts that I had when I received these pictures. First, I wanted to know what weird occasion had triggered this idea. For months I haven’t heard from her, for I was abroad for a while. Then, suddenly, she sends me this lovely series of pictures. The second thought was about how typical this way of communicating is for her. Everybody knows that she is arty and likes to step out of the normal boundaries as often as she can. Instead of saying she misses me, she holds up papers which express how she misses me. The odd thing about that is, it is much more effective, just because it’s so individual and embodies everything she is.

There is a little flower on the shelf next to her head on the picture. That is one of two of its kind that our friends gave us for our birthday party, which we celebrated together. It resembles so many things about our friendship. Both of us are twins, or rather Gemini as our zodiac sign, but actually the first is what it means. Being twins. In real life we both don’t have siblings, but since our friendship became such a thin piece of paper, I see her as my imaginary sister, my twin sister.

The flower also reminds me of the talisman that we bought each other. It’s actually a silly thing. One day I showed her this amazing website about magic products. They had spells, jewellery or Madame Endora’s fortune cards. We fancied a talisman with the name salomon’s shield. It was supposed to protect the wearer, and with the prospect of not seeing each other for quite some time we decided to buy two pieces, however, not just like that. We decided that we would give it to each other as a present, instead of buying it for ourselves. Doesn’t really make much difference, does it? Well, it did for us. I wore it for the next one and a half year every single day. There was not one day where I did not wear it.

Today, I regret that I stopped wearing it two summers later. I couldn’t be bothered to take it off for swimming at the campground and to put it back on again several times a day. In this summer, our friendship ended under silly circumstances. Once I was back from abroad, we agreed to share a flat together, against everybody’s comments that these things destroy friendships. Maybe we should have listened, but I can’t even recount all the times where somebody else was smarter than me and predicted an outcome that I held for impossible. That’s what young teenagers like us do, we despise everything that we are told. Susan is the best example.

She coloured her hair black and covered her walls with pictures and the windows with newspapers. At least, she did that when we lived together. The people walking by complained and were shocked, which was quite fun, I admit. The truth is, I knew that she is very sensitive inside and acted more like a typical teenager. In her old room in the photograph you see how she was before that time, although a slight touch of what came next already showed. For example, the bottle collection on the shelf, yes, drinking became one of her favourite sports.

I learned many things from her, but the most important one is probably that you should not rely on talismans to make you happy. With a lot of effort, we became friends all over again, a year after our break-up. It was our will that brought us back together, no magic. Or maybe it’s just the fact that you have to stick to your family, right, sister?


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