There are these two mums on the school run. Every day they park their cars on the same road, and wait for the other to arrive. They walk in together, they walk back to their cars together. They stand and talk on the corner or next to their cars and are usually the last to say goodbye and drive off, whilst the rest of the parents are long gone.
They will meet for coffee, go for walks, they talk on messenger....despite only just leaving each other and despite the fact that they will see each other in 5 minutes.
They park their cars, in the same place as in the morning, and walk to school to pick up their sons. As they walk in and as they stand together they are pretty much in their own world. They talk about anything and everything, they laugh until their faces are red and their cheeks hurt, and they do the best they can to embarrass and shock the other one.
They joke around, they banter, and they are almost unaware of those around them. Not in a selfish way, but in a way that they are themselves, and they won't play their friendship down just because others might judge them, or think they are silly.
They collect their boys and then they walk back to their cars together. They stand and talk on the corner
or next to their cars and are usually the last to say goodbye and drive
off, whilst the rest of the parents are long gone.
They will continue to chat in the evenings thanks to Facebook messenger and texts, and will occasionally go for a girly cinema date.
They have this mutual appreciation for each other, and will sometimes give a reminder to the other that they are thankful for their presence in their life. They're not afraid to hug if required, and are completely honest with each other.
Last week one of the mums realised how much she relied on the other. She turned up and parked her car and the other was nowhere to be seen. Pushing it for time she walked in, constantly looking around hoping the other had parked elsewhere and was already inside.
As she walked to the door she inquired as to whether or not her friend was inside. She was told no, she wasn't.
And a panic set in.
She had only messaged this friend 15 minutes previous and was told that the friends son was ready really early this morning. So where were they?
She didn't show her panic. But inside her heart raced and she wondered what could have happened. She tried to be rational but those anxious thoughts were overwhelming.
Someone joked that she couldn't cope without her friend. A comment she was getting used to and would usually shrug off.
She made a jokey comment back, but then felt anger.
All throughout her school life friendships were pretty awkward. She didn't have that one close friend like everyone else did. Apart from in middle school, when her close friend was a boy and she was picked on daily for it.
She was feeling so lucky to, as an adult, have found this solid friendship that the fact someone felt the need to make jokes about it couldn't help but to ignite this anger inside.
Jokes were made about her finding another friend and although she had a comeback to it, and didn't let the commenter win, she couldn't help but to take to heart.
She knows she is a good friend, she knows how important this friendship is to the two of them, and she knows that "finding another friend" isn't something either really want to do...in a replacement sense at least.
She felt as though she was being questioned as a friend. As if, despite the way she and her friend acted and how clear their bond was to them, others couldn't see that it isn't just this friendship that is set on the playground and is in fact a real thing.
The truth was that she relied on her friend on the school run, and she wasn't aware of it so much until now.
Due to her anxiety she selfishly relies on having someone to walk in with, to take her mind off the thoughts going through her head. She relies on this person to almost keep her safe, or at least to make her feel safe.
Without her friend there she panicked for her safety. She had lost that person she needed and it wasn't a case of missing morning gossip, it was missing an important element to her everyday routine.
But not just that. Her anxiety set in in other ways. Something that has generally only ever been apparent with herself or her family, but now she realised that this friend is part of that.
Different scenarios were going through her head. A car accident, the result of the car accident, and all sorts of other possibilities.
Of course no one was aware of this, and she tried to not react or to show that inside she was a mass of worry but something must have shown on her face for someone to comment, in a snide way, that she clearly can't cope without her friend.
But so what if she can't?
We are always so quick to make comments and to see things how we want to see it, without stopping to think that maybe, just maybe, there might be a reason why someone needs their friend everyday. There might be a reason why someone might panic at their friend not being there. And a friendship might emotionally, and mentally I suppose, be more to people than what others see.
Why should she need to defend her reasons for being worried about where her friend was? When a break in their routine is rare there is no other way to react than to panic a little...or a lot.
There is always so much more to peoples lives and it's frightening how others are unable to consider or accept that.
Those school run mums who met thanks to the school run, who rely on each other, and need each other. Who are alike in so many ways, yet also have their differences. Who can be honest and soppy, yet also mean and like to banter.
Those school run mums who are now best friends and are so proud of that. Who don't care if people are offended by their innocent laughter. Who have private jokes and know each others secrets.
Those school run mums, one of which is clinging on tightly, wanting this to be the unbreakable friendship...despite what other people may think or try to do.