The Visitors: Piece 10

Sewing Machine
Flickr Creative Commons/tsuacctnt

I loved visiting Nicki’s house.

She lived in a tiny flat with her mum.

They had a bunk bed, her mum’s was double at the base, and Nicki had the top bunk which was a single bed.
It was the first time I had ever seen a bunk bed like that.

The flat was always full of sewing projects her Mum was working on. I remember being struck by the colour, vibrance and clutter of it all.

Nicki, myself, and another friend used to walk everywhere because we couldn’t drive, but we were restless teenagers who didn’t want to stay cooped up at home. I remember one Tasmanian summer we spent most days together, walking, talking, and generally wandering from friend to friend.

We invariably went to see our ‘interesting’ friends, like Justin, an artist, and sometimes just anyone when we knew it wouldn’t take forever to arrive at their house, otherwise there would be no time to visit. We became extremely fit though as we pushed our walk to friend treks to the limit, especially as some of them lived in very steep areas of Trevallyn.

Nicki was very tall even back then. She had dark hair and almost ebony skin. Her mother by contrast was tall and blonde, but they looked very similar in their eyes. Even though Nick’s Mum sewed Nicki occasionally liked to borrow clothes off me though, just for something different. She lent me tapes of music she liked in exchange.

Her mother always told our trio that we were beautiful and could be models if we wished.

Nicki had more height for it than me, as I stopped growing. Also I wasn’t the slightest bit interested in being a model. I thought Nicki had much better looks for it than me, especially as I had a big scar under one of my eyes which I was very self -conscious about. Our other friend was the shortest of all of us, but I think she was more glamorous than me too. Still it was an encouraging thing for her mother to say.

One day we moved house so now I was beyond walking distance. I wasn’t able to friend trekking with Nicki and our other pal. I didn’t always feel like I could ask my Dad for lifts everywhere.

I am not sure if that’s why we grew apart, or whether she also moved back to Germany at some point. Teenagers too can be fickle in their friendships and I think maybe may be one of us or both of us did some friend hopping at times, just to make life interesting. I really can’t remember.

We lost touch for many years, until recently I found her Mum via a mutual friend, and Nicki turned up, as people do, in my facebook world.

We haven’t met up in person yet, but she takes amazing photographs and works in film.

Her mum is a passionate Christian. I can’t remember this from my youth, but perhaps she always was. Sometimes parents are just backdrops to our friends, and we are not always paying attention to the finer details of who they are.

Nicki seems like she is a very passionate and caring person from the photographs she posts and her status updates.

She is still tall and beautiful. Now we are both mothers.

We click like on each other’s pictures – and I look on with interest at her sharing of her talent with the world. I hope one day we will meet again in real space.

This time I am sure I would be a more constant friend, although sadly our friend Justin the artist drowned when he was only nineteen.

As for the other of our trio, we too are in touch via facebook and even have the occasional online chat.

Friends like Nicki, have shaped me more than I realised. I remember the times with them fondly, and I especially love that her Mum always told us we were beautiful.

From my friend:

Dear June,

What a lovely letter to wake up to today. The things we remember from all those years ago are so different and sometimes I think my memory fails me. So I was very happy to read your memories today as they are so different to mine. Thank you also for all your compliments.

You yourself seem to have walked down a path not so different than mine. You have a house full of beautiful children and you seem to have moved to a warmer climate, which I had also done. You love photography and you write if i am right.

I had forgotten the hours we spend walking around, but I was always excited to be wondering around , nothing much has actually changed. Beautiful Justin, what a shame that was. I still have a beautiful photo of him and Cella.

It was funny having come from Germany the size of our flat was just normal, it still amazes me how small peoples apartment are here, now that i am back. We have so much space in Australia and we don’t even realize it. I really do not remember to why our lives drifted apart

I remember your brother who was in my year, as a wild child, a beautiful soul.

I remember you June as being an excellent student and a prefect. If it’s right I don’t know. The other person you are referring to was S.. Yes! I guess you left after year ten and I don’t really know where you went and that was still before mobile phones.

Do you remember?

Toby lived downstairs from our flat in the same building. Anyway I did year ten and then went to Allanvale college for 1 year and then to Uni. I did have quite a
lot of contact till recently with S. but I think she is doing fine in Thailand.

Again a big thank you June!

What a sweet thing to do and thank you for remembering me and my Ma.

I am really not sure where the future will take us, but for now we are in Berlin for 2 more years and then we will see.

Let’s stay in touch and all the best to your family too.

Inspired by the Who Shaped Me project for ABC Open, this month’s  Pearlz Dreaming blog theme will be about the people who inspire me and there are lots of them! Goal 19 pieces on Who Shaped Me.

Published by June

Writer, photographer, lover of unity in diversity in thought and humanity - poet by nature, world citizen

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