I will always remember the last evening we spent in Dubai, before moving here to Kuala Lumpur. Up until then, I was in disbelief that we were actually leaving that place, a place that we had made home for 5 years.
In our empty apartment, some friends came for a last little chat and a last hug – for at least a while. Night had fallen already, I think we ordered pizza… My friends left one by one and holding the tears in my throat, I put my little girl (then 3 years old) onto a mattress for her to sleep (we had given her bed away). Clutching her rabbit called “Teya”, she started to cry. I don’t know where that came from, but I joined her and we cuddled until she fell asleep.
I have missed my Dubai friends ever since. The play dates at the beach, in the soft play areas, the zumba mornings, the brunches in our homes, the cheeky nights out. All of our kids were born within a year or so of each other, and I always feel a pinch of sadness when I see them gathered, without my one, at a birthday party, on a photo on Facebook. Mais, c’est la vie! C’est la “expact” vie. When I finished shooting Jackie’s session three weeks ago, I had to take a moment, sitting in my car, still parked in B4, before I could actually go. The flashbacks of my own friendships were powerfully stopping me to drive.
Jackie is one of the two lucky ladies who won the competition I launched last month and she came up with the most genius idea. One of her best friends (out of a group of 4) was leaving and for the past 4 years, they had been meeting up in the afternoons, taking it in turn to host. This was to be their last time, on this soil, all of them and their children together, so she asked me if I could come and photograph that. It also happened that it was Jackie’s birthday, so I did.
I don’t think it was a coincidence that the haze let a deep yellow ray of sun peeking through in the bedroom where all the children played for a while, door closed so the mums wouldn’t know what they were up to. I had the absolute privilege to be let in and granted to take 5 images. Of course I took more…
Jackie, thank you for letting me into one of your favourite “moment de vie”, it transported me right back to the precious ones I shared with my friends in Dubai, and cherished every single of my flashbacks that day.