It still hurts sometimes, to this day. It’s been almost five years, but the ache has never left. I find her in old photographs, in my favorite songs, in certain smells and places. She’s Dr. Pepper and dirt roads and old skates. She’s the one I told The Thing I Have Never Told Anyone Before to. She was there with me for 16 years. I often told people that we had been best friends “since before we were born,” since our moms had undergone their pregnancies together.
I’m not sure what happened. We started trying to navigate this life sprinkled with boys and beer and marching band practice. There was a fight, a long letter, a make-up, a few more fights and a few more ‘I’m sorry’s.’ We would cry together – she was the only friend I have ever had to this day who has ever really seen me cry, I mean really cry. But with each fight, another brick was added to this absurd wall that was steadily growing between us.
Something was happening. We were changing. She was changing. I watched her spiral. I regret not pushing harder to figure out what the hell was going on with her. I regret not demanding to know why she was becoming someone I didn’t even recognize. What pain was she enduring that I didn’t even know about?
When the text messages became few and far between, phone calls went unanswered, and plans were made then broken repeatedly, I really did try to find out. There was confrontation, there were lies, there were things said that I still regret to this day. Suddenly, I was dubbed “annoying” and told that I was no longer wanted. A few weeks later, another text was sent and left unanswered. Months later, after giving her space, I tried again. I just wanted closure. I never got it.
Like any true break up, people took sides. I didn’t even know there was anything to take sides about. There were whispers amongst our other friends. There were allegations from her that left me dumbfounded and incredibly hurt.
I spent a year crying tears over my best friend. I sang Taylor Swift songs, tried to numb the pain with my old vice (a vice that likely only she will ever know about), and essentially made the decision to never be that close to anyone again. I was bitter, so, so bitter.
I graduated high school. I watched perfect girls pose with their perfect friends for Insta-worthy photos. I took a few with my own friends, but could not shake the feeling that something was missing.
That summer, I would often find myself teary-eyed and sighing longingly as I remembered our ridiculous plan of spending our time before college in Nashville, TN, writing songs and trying to get some super star to bite at them.
When I got married, I ached for the person who I had always thought would be my maid of honor.
She’s married now. I cried when I found out. I thought I would be beside her for those moments, too.
Now I put up unnecessary walls. I fall into friendship and everything is good at first, but then they get too close so I step back. They persist and I panic. The whole time I find myself wondering if they really like me, apologizing too much, antagonizing over everything I say and do and fretting over being too “annoying.”
To this day, I still feel ghosted. I feel cheated. I feel abandoned. I would give anything to have her back.
You get over boys, but I have yet to find an article in Cosmo telling me how to heal after losing a best friend. When you have someone who you have literally spent your entire life telling everything to – someone who you have filled up with secrets and dreams and fears, what do you do once they’re gone?