Tell us the origin story of your best friend. How did you become friends? What is it that keeps your friendship rockin’ after all these years?
I don’t remember when I first met Molly but it must have been during primary school, or at the latest, freshman year in high school. We must have hit it off right away because I mostly remember having her come over our house during the weekends and after school she and I would walk home together. She lived at least another jeepney ride to her home, but she’d walk me all the way to my street where I’d see her off and walk on home.
She was my “chaperone” when I went on my first date with a Japanese trapeze performer during a school day (approved by my mom to skip school with a note that said Molly and I were both sick and had to stay home from school – or whatever reason it was my mom came up with), and when I started dating for real, she was there through the excitement of the first “real” kiss and the heartbreak that followed (he only dated me because he was trying to get a gig as a model and my brother was the photographer).
When she got into her first real catfight with one of our mutual friends, I stayed by her side through the gory details and beyond, never caring if I’d be ostracized too. Once, we decided to bake brownies in my mother’s never-used oven (it was really just for show, since we had the “dirty” kitchen where everything was cooked and prepared), she opened the oven half-way and said, “oh, the little fire in the oven went out,” and proceeded to light it with a match.
I remember the bright flash of light and the huge bang that followed and we’re both grateful that other than singed eyebrows and all the hair on her arms gone, she was fine, though we laughed so hard that we both cried and peed our pants. Looking back now, I think we were both in shock though.
When she met a new group of friends to hang out with (after the catfight), she took me along with her to a beach party only to realize that evening that I had eaten “brownies” someone had brought and I was high as a kite. She had to face my mother at 3 am with some lame story that the car broke down, all the time trying her best to hold me up. From then on, she partied while I remained grounded for what seemed like the rest of my teen-age years.
As we grew older, we drifted apart – me, with my own dramas and Molly with her can-do-nothing-can-stop-me attitude. It would take us almost five to eight years to see each other again, and when we did, I realized how much she had remained the same inside (wild, level-headed survivor Molly) though on the outside, she loved to shock people with her fuck-you attitude. I had changed, however, grown up from the spoiled little rich girl that I was to someone who had to learn on my own that there were more important things than sitting and writing out my characters’ fictional lives, and that life can be so tough that if it weren’t for the fact that I was too much of a coward to do it myself, I’d have been dead a long time ago. During that stay, she told me something that I had forgotten – and that reminded me so much about why she is as successful as she is today.
“Whenever I was hungry, I always knew where to go. You always had food at your house.”
And she was always at our house.
When I told her that I had to have a church wedding (per my in-laws) even though she had already been my maid of honor during my Vegas wedding – and she knew how much I loathed anything big and ritualistic as a church wedding – she cheerily announced that she would love to be my “matron of horror” any day. She, along with my brothers, were what kept me sane through it all.
I don’t see much of Molly these days though I wish I did. We both live in different states, and we both have such different lives. When she comes down, I end up too busy with kiddie stuff. I could try harder to get together with her, although I think most of all, I’m afraid of her honesty. Honesty that happens only among friends.
My husband once called her Hurricane Molly, because sheltered as he was, he’d never met a woman like Molly before. But one day, when he got too drunk to know what he was saying, he let it slip that he was jealous of my friends, most of all, Molly, though there was anger there, too.
“That woman said she’d kill me if I hurt you,” he said.
And I found myself smiling. That’s the Molly I know. That’s the Molly I love. That’s the Molly I call my best friend.