They started out as very good friends. They were always together in school, in activities, in events, in social gatherings. But something went wrong. Worse, they did not know what went wrong. They just stopped communicating. They just avoided each other. What went wrong? No one knew.

Indira was having her 18th birthday celebration. She sent the invitation to her best friend, Marianne. She was hoping that she would come home to celebrate the important event in her life with her best friend. But Marianne did not come. She did not bother to respond to the invitation. There was silence at the other end of the line. Indira was confused. She was sad that her best friend did not attend her birthday celebration. But what saddened her most was that Marianne was not answering her calls or her messages. “What could have I done to make her angry?” Indira thought.

Indira pursued her dream to become a doctor. She became one. When she was already working, Indira started to become curious again on what happened to Marianne. She started to ask around again. She was told that Marianne got married to a foreigner and she went abroad to join her husband. Indira became more confused.

“How could she be angry at me if she fell in love with a foreigner?” Indira kept on thinking and thinking. Indira had no answers.

One day, she was in her office when the phone rang. The receptionist told Indira that someone wanted to see her. “Is this a patient? If so, please go through the protocols before I see her or him. Would you do that for me?” Indira is always kind and even when she is irritated she does not rant on people. The receptionist at the other end of the line said, “Doctor Indira, this lady wants to see you personally. She is not a patient.” “Show her in, then,” replied Indira.

A soft knock on the door made Indira stand up. She opened the door and she was amazed at what she saw. The face seemed familiar but there were scars that were visible. The scars seemed to tell a story of some brutality or burns.

“Marianne? Is this you?” Indira almost whispered in her disbelief. The other woman did not answer, but she cried and hugged Indira. “Oh, Indira, it’s me. It’s me. I finally have the courage to show myself to you and to others. I have kept this secret for a long time. But I cannot stand the silence anymore.” Marianne was sobbing while explaining herself.

“Oh that’s okay, don’t cry anymore. We should be rejoicing because you are back. Where were you hiding all these years? I miss you so much my friend. I have been looking for you.” Indira was also crying while hugging Marianne.

The two friends rekindled their friendship. Marianne told her long and sad story to her best friend Indira. She was not angry at her. She was ashamed to face her because of her unfortunate life experience. She lost her beautiful face and she lost her dignity. She lost her confidence. And she thought she lost a friend.

Indira was the happiest on that day. Now she can take care of her friend. Her face can be remedied. Indira wants Marianne to live a happy life.

To find a friend who will sincerely accept you for who you are is a treasure worth keeping and nurturing for life.