As you read this blog, I must warn that you will find, honest thoughts, ambitions, and hopes from my mind.
5 and a half years ago, on the 3rd of September, 2007, I was a very different person. I had a short brown bob haircut that sat on top of my ears. I wore clothes that… Should not be worn. I acted like a selfish little brat. I was already a stroppy teenager when I was 11 and arrived at boarding school for the first time.
I am a very different person from that demanding child who arrived at this school all those years ago. I’ve changed my hair, my clothes, my personality – in fact, there is only one thing that I have kept with me since Year 7. My best friend, Harriet.
My earliest memory of my friendship with Harriet was our first ever fire alarm. I leaped from my bed at the horrendous, high-pitched sound that errupted through the dorm. In my sleepy, disorientated state, I ran down out the dorm, and was pushed back into the dorm by Year 8s in the direction of the fire door.
While I was running in circles, Harriet had been searching under her desk for her slippers – our fire point where we would stand for a good 15 minutes in the cold, dark wintery night happened to be on the grass, so shoes were a neccessity. Realising her slippers were elsewhere, Harriet decided that, rather than searching for other shoes, she would fall asleep on the floor, her legs sticking out into the corridor.
This is where I re-enter the dorm. I stumble through, blearily rubbing my sleepy eyes, not really looking where I was going. I spotted the fire exit, where the entire dorm was struggling to push it open. I ran to help, and promptly tripped over sleeping Harriet’s legs. I flew through the air. I like to imagine I looked like a graceful gazelle, floating on the air, but deep down I know that really I resembled a baby bird who doesn’t yet know how to fly, falling to the Earth, flapping it’s wings in a desperate attempt to not hit the floor.
It appears that my arm flailing did actually help, as I didn’t hit the carpet as expected. Instead, I became a human battering ram. My head smashed against the fire door, and I crumbled in a heap on the floor by the wardrobe. The door flew open, and my dorm, not noticing my agony, ran out the door, away from the painful sound of the fire alarm. I gave up any hope I had of reaching safety, and allowed myself to fall asleep against the wardrobe door, clutching my head.
In a dorm discussion the morning after, Harriet and I discovered how she had tried to kill me. We laughed at how we had given up and slept on the floor, causing everyone else to have to wait outside much longer than usual, and a friendship was born. We spent every day with each other, laughing our way through Year 7 and even sharing a cubicle in Year 8. We were split up in Year 9 – her in one boarding house, and I in another. I cried for hours on learning of our seperation, fearing our friendship would disengrate. But distance makes the heart grow fonder, and our friendship grew stronger, spending every Tuesday and Thursday night together, and often the weekend too.
Harriet left the school at the end of our Year 11, in July 2012. Today, 31st January, is her 17th birthday. This is the first birthday in 6 years that Harriet has not spent at boarding school, and with me. Of course, I rang her at midnight, but it’s not the same as jumping on her bed to wake her up and open presents like we did in Year 7. It’s hard to think I’ve missed her birthday this year, and I will not pretend that I haven’t cried a little today (I’m such a baby), but I made a vow to Harriet on Skype, and now I shall put it on my blog so that the world knows of this vow. I, Charlotte Penketh-King, best friend of Harriet, do solemnly vow to be with Harriet on every single birthday of Harriet’s from her 19th until her last. Now if that vow doesn’t prove the commitment of my friendship to Harriet, then I don’t know what does!
Harriet and I have often reminisced to the days of Year 7, and, in particular, that first fire alarm. Something that has always tickled us is the thought of our old housemistress entering the dorm and witnessing the scene before her. Two girls asleep on the floor – one half hidden under a desk, and the other sprawled out near an open fire door, with the fire alarm blaring out. I don’t remember much of Year 7, and I blame that on the injury I sustained that fateful night. But that injury kickstarted the most beautiful friendship, and so I think that a slight memory loss is totally worth it.
Well, my dear readers, we are on 1,200 views – how exciting! Much love to you all. Good night.
This blog is dedicated to my lobster, who is 17 today. Happy Birthday dude, I love you. Do the claws.