It’s Valentine’s day, and a flowery surprise and dinner date were my (coincidentally romantic) farewell gifts for the delightful Tess Barber. I was fortunate enough to spend time with her on her last night in Sydney. We were later joined by Ariella, who gave Tess the perfect writerly present from herself and Emma. It was a pen engraved with a quote from The Book Thief: “I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
When Tess and I walked into Teru Cafe on Glebe Point Road, one of her old work friends was sipping coffee by the window, staring at his laptop screen with a defeated half-smile. He turned to look at us and said dryly, “I’ve just invested thousands of dollars in a bar that was never really a bar; turns out it’s been operating illegally for 20 years. But…you have to do what you can to move with the decisions you’ve made.”
My dear friend, sometimes it’s difficult to comprehend whether the choices you have made were the right ones. As I sat across from you last night, your face coloured by the magenta glow of the lamplight, I thought about your beauty and the strength of your spirit. How fantastic, how freeing it will be, for you to unfold your fairy wings and fly across the seas for the first time. Never doubt the power you possess to realise your dreams. The relationships you have formed here will not cease to sparkle; they will become energised by the magical adventures that await you, and exist anew.