Friends in Dark Places

It was a season of heartbreak and new beginnings, patched up with new everlasting friendships among the tears and laughter. I had arrived with my little car, stuffed full of everything I own, ready to embark on a new life with a man who I envisaged spending the rest of my life with. It was meant to be the start of something new for us. A tiny basement, one bedroom flat marked our first home together and the first step on a journey to building our lives together. Most devastatingly for me, it wasn’t to be and just 2 weeks later I found myself wandering the streets of the quiet Austrian village which I later called home, knocking on doors, looking for a place to live – alone. The immense pain which I felt at losing my best friend, who at the time I would have described as my soul mate, consumed me every day and I wondered how I was ever going to carry on and build my dream life in Austria without him.

By a sheer stroke of luck, I met 3 incredible girls who to this day, still continue to have a special place in my heart – despite the fact that the season ended and we have parted ways. They each had 3 amazingly different personalities and I take pride in knowing that I have kept a bit of each within myself, to give me strength and hope for the challenges which I will face in the future. We became the best of friends, devouring our way through the male population of the town, desperate to find happiness and belonging. From all different parts of the world, we came together as one united force to show everybody just what we were made of.

The half English, half Portuguese was the oldest in our group and she taught me that you are never too old to start over and find your calling in life. She became not only a friend, but a big sister to me. I knew I could rely on her for advice – brutally honest advice – whenever I needed, and not surprisingly there were several instances this season where I made some questionable choices. I take comfort in knowing that I was able to at least partly return the favour in her hour of need.

The blonde haired, blue eyed Kiwi was the deceptively intelligent one, beneath her stereotypical shell. She echoed my late Grandmother’s words of wisdom and taught me that it is always important to act “ladylike”. She’s a thinker and a dreamer and makes decisions based on logic, and has totally inspired me to put more effort into my studies at university. She is probably one of the most humble and grateful people I have met in my life so far. It is such qualities that I really appreciate most in a person.

The local girl with a frisky attitude flew onto the scene and filled our heads with glitter and fairies and got us dreaming about prince charming. Together we coined our famous phrase, or rather drunk pub chant of “we’re getting married in the morning”. She told me never to settle for anything less than the best and it’s apparent that she lives by her own philosophy in all aspects of life. Despite my love and respect for this Austrian diva, I still wouldn’t like to get on the wrong side of her. Her tough exterior however is in huge contrast to the soft and affectionate girl inside who simply lives to love.

We were characters in our own movie of heartbreak, loss and late night unmentionable antics. If there’s one piece of myself that I can give back to these girls, it’s that we don’t ever need to worry because there’s always going to be a happy ending. Chill out, go with the flow and when the sad bit comes as with any good movie, just take out the tissues and the vodka and wait for better days.




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