HAVANA TIMES – Daniela and I have been great friends ever since we were children.
She came to my school in fifth grade, in the middle of the academic year. I remember it as if it were yesterday: her extremely skinny body was like that of a starving child I would see on TV, but her blond, long hair and small, beautiful face reminded you of a fairytale princess. She was very nice and the boys took a liking to her immediately, but the girls were very jealous and they showed this by attacking her and insulting her in every possible way.
Our friendship began when I stood up in her defense in one day, and this friendship has survived high school, pre-university at technical college, and separate universities, as I went to study humanities in Santiago de Cuba and she went off to study Medicine right here in Guantanamo city.
We have been through a lot, mix-ups with other friends in common, the death of her beloved father, us both being attracted to the same boy and having to give up this love, unforgiveable pranks, us being separated for a whole year because of a stupid husband who finally came clean, and many other things…
But, because love is one of the most powerful forces that exists and friendship is one of the most sincere and strongest of them all. We continue to be the best friends we always were, like the two young girls who used to escape, make up excuses and lie to our parents so we could be together longer.
It has been nearly two years now since we have been able to see each other, hold each other, or even look at each other, as she went on a medical mission to Venezuela and spent two years out there without being able to come back and visit, although we did message each other nearly every day.
Yesterday, after so many days, centuries it seems like, we were once again close to each other. We caught up, we cried, we laughed, we complained about our husbands, our children but we also praised them, and more importantly yet, we were able to give each other that little squeeze that is so necessary, for both of us. An embrace that strips every layer away and touches your soul, giving you strength to carry on, to face what is coming…