Portrait: Lola and Rita

Lola and Rita could make you think of Farha and Marha: always together, the one doesn’t go anywhere without the other. Don’t be fooled: unlike the proverbial pair, Lola and Rita are classic frenemies.

Frenemy: your worst enemy, decked out in her finest BFF attire.

Frenemies are not friends to each other: they only wear this label so they can tell you the worst things and possibly get away with it. Lola and Rita call each other lovely, syrupy nicknames like Hayete and Habibi while assessing the other with sideway glances which could rival with the ones given by some Victorian heroine to Heathcliff-like brooding men. As soon as they clasp eyes on each other, the competition game starts: what is she wearing today? Oh Jesus, she should NOT be wearing this! She’s gained weight? Oh No! the bitch looks like she’s lost some! Drowning in their internal bile and jealousy, snide comments will start fusing right, left and center: you really look pale and sick today, maybe you should start eating something, are you really going to eat that cupcake? Oh I was just asking, you know *meaningful stare at thighs*.    

As much as Lola and Rita claim that they are friends, the fact is that they simply don’t seem to be genetically able to act the friend part: each of them keeps talking about herself without as much as pretending to care about what the other one has to say, Lola gets a kick out of bringing Rita down while Rita smiled and nodded and cheered with the rest of their friends when Lola got promoted, except that at the end of the evening she could not take it anymore and simply dropped – oh so innocently- that Lola’s lovely cleavage came as handy in the whole recruitment process, all said with a fake sickly sweet smile stapled upon her face, as if she hadn’t said anything hurtful or undermining.

It seems Lola and Rita simply can’t hack the fact that the other one, and more generally, that people, can be happy and will insist on try and ruin the all round happiness because apparently, well, if they’re insecure and miserable, everyone else has to be, and preferably immediately if not sooner.

The thing is, Lola and Rita are becoming more and more isolated, as most of their friends see them for what they are: a proper nuisance. ‘They’re just so tiring, they say, I’m so tired of having to justify myself all the time that last time I saw them, I just couldn’t take it anymore, and I exploded” were conversations often heard in their group of friends. ‘I am HAPPY! Stop BADGERING me with “Oh, you’ll see, you’ll change your mind and realize that what makes you happy actually sucks’ JUST shut up!” were words that the pair had started to hear more than they cared to mention. ”

Nevermind them, they think, as long as they have each other to bitch about, knife in the back and hurt, someone will be in their competitive race, and that’s all that matters. Lola carries on badmouthing Rita every chance she gets while Rita is currently perfecting her patronizing tone and attitude whenever she speaks to her frenemy.

Sadly for Lola, Rita seems to have lost interest recently, all because of different friends she made, and discovered the delights of proper friendship: no snide comments, honest conversations, sincere celebrations of each others’ successes, rows handled like normal human beings and people moving on from them, growing closer. At first she was keen on replicating the same type of relationship than she had with Lola. Then, when no one was interested, she discovered it was actually easier to be open and honest and caring, Then she shed her previous skin.

Lola had no one to play with anymore, she was like a drowning woman gasping for air, going as far as telling Rita when she got engaged that “she was really happy for her as she’d always put relationships before careers”, making her sound as a dumb half wit flashing guys at uni in order to get a husband.

That jealousy of yours, replied Rita with dignity, you really should get that checked. And with that she was gone, leaving Lola, the center of a void circle, eaten by her own unhappiness, deflated, and more green with jealousy than ever.  

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