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Best Friends

Sarah wasn’t sure what she was getting herself into. Her friends Maddie had called and asked her to help her out this afternoon, and like a good friend she agreed blindly. Now she was regretting that!
She was sitting at a booth at her best friends children’s school trying to figure out why in God’s name Maddie thought she would be any good at face painting. Yes she is artistic and yes she could draw a basic picture well but not on a wiggling child! And she had no idea what half the children requested, thank god for her internet capable Iphone! Apparently a basic fairy wasn’t good enough these days, there were different colours that meant different fairies and it was very confusing, don’t get her started on My Little Pony symbols! After the first few children she just googled each request and copied it as best she could. After two hours she was sprung from the paint hell and immediately went in search of her friend.

Maddie was running the lucky dip and had a line so Sarah waited to the side, watching her friend interact with the children and other mothers. She envied her, the ease in which she was immersed in the mothers club. Maddie had had her children young but that didn’t seem to bother anyone, she proved with each day what an amazing mother she was and her children where blooming brilliantly.

Sarah snagged some cotton candy as she sat on the bench and waited. The atmosphere was alive with happiness, children squealing and yelling, zip zagging around with smiles and candy on their faces. Parents talking and laughing, even as small hands dipped into bags to find loose change or pulled on pant legs for attention.

Sarah was pulled from her musing as Maddie sat down next to her, throwing an arm around her shoulders.

“Hey Sare, how was face painting? It’s a lot busier than last year’s fete so we didn’t have enough people. Plus your designs were the best, a lot of kids were disappointed you didn’t do theirs. Thanks for helping me out.”
Sarah hooked her arm around her best friends back.

"I doubt that Mad but it was okay. You know I’ll always help you out if you need me… but please limit the kid stuff” Sarah joked, “you know it’s not my thing."

Maddie and Sarah smiled at each other. Best Friends Forever wasn’t just a saying to them. They’d been best friends since first grade and now at 27 their friendship was holding strong.

A dad walked past with a little girl on his shoulders and Maddie sighed loudly. Sarah pulled her tighter, giving her support. Maddie’s husband had past away almost five years ago and it still was hard for her sometimes. He had been two years older than her, and they’d fallen in love when she was 16 and he was 18. They’d married when she was 19 and welcomed their first at 20 and second at 22. Just 6 months after the birth of their second, and last, child he’d been killed, struck by a drunk driver. It had been hard, and Sarah had all but moved in with Maddie for the first three months, helping with the children when the grief was too much, but they had all come through and were stronger for it.

Together the two friends sat and watched the happy families, until Maddie’s two children came running over, looking for money for some ride or attraction. The four of them walked around, stopping at the petting zoo and riding the tea cups, til the children decided to venture off on their own again.

Maddie and Sarah had just sat down with coffees when an older man approached them. He was handsome and had the deepest blue eyes Sarah has seen. He was a teacher at the school and was talking to Maddie about something or other relating to the fete, but Sarah wasn’t listening, instead focusing on the way his lips formed words or the way his brow would wrinkle a little when he’d smile. He too seemed to notice Sarah, eyes flicker between the two friends.

Maddie smiled. This was the real reason she’s called her best friend to help. Mr Michael Watson was on the fete committee with her and she’d thought him the perfect man for her friend. From all their conversations she thought Sarah might be a perfect girl for him too. Maddie owed a lot to Sarah, she wasn’t sure how she would have coped with out her best friend these past years. For every tantrum, Sarah had been there; for every day when it was too much and she just couldn’t get out of bed, Sarah had been there; For the nights when the tears were too much and anger coursed through her, Sarah had been there.

The children called her Aunty Sare and they loved her dearly. It saddened Maddie to think they would not remember their father, his dark hair and dazzling smile reflected in their own feature. But she was glad they had Sarah, and should anything happen to her, they would be sent to live with Sarah.

Maddie sighed as Sarah and Michael spoke, looking deeply into each other’s eyes, both with little smiles. She missed her husband, and no man would ever match up to him in her eyes. She excused herself from the conversation and headed back to the lucky dip station. She would be happy if Sarah found someone to love as she’d loved her husband. Nothing would tear them apart, of that she was sure. Maybe in a few years she’d look for someone for herself, but her kids and Sarah were enough for now.

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