I remember the day I met my best friend. She was the woman who would soon become as close to me as my own sister, sometimes closer. She hated me instantly! In fact, I was told to leave her house before things got out of hand. I was oblivious at the time as to why she hated me so much; I mean, she didn’t even know my last name!
Of course it was about a boy.
But a few days later we were both invited for a boat ride. I was so terrified of being trapped with her on a boat; see, I’m not the best swimmer there is. But I sucked it up, got on the boat, and immediately panicked at the thought of not being in control. Instead of sneering and dismissing my panic, she shared it. A friendship was born that day.
We shared everything after that. We became inseparable. If one of us was alone we would be asked where the other was. She saw me through breakups; I saw her through the birth of two children. I held her hand when the doctors told us her daughter wouldn’t live past infancy. She was there on my best days, celebrating a promotion or finally moving out. I was there on her worst days and held her after her daughter left this world. We saw each other’s darkness, and we were each other’s light.
Then everything changed. We drifted, as friends do with age. But we always came back to each other. We were soul mates, at least for a time. We lived different lives. She is a mother, a wife, a homemaker. I have a dog, a boyfriend, and I can’t boil water to save my life! So weekly visits turned into monthly visits. Those quickly turned into hours of phone conversation. We both had other friends that we spent time with. But in an effort to fix what was breaking, I introduced my best friend to another friend.
I didn’t realize why that was a mistake until it was too late.
They had so much in common. I would rather do my makeup in stilettos and they would rather be fishing on the river.
There was a fight. Lines were drawn and sides were picked. Only she, my best friend of ten years, wasn’t standing next to me. I looked across the line that I helped draw and she stood next to someone else. My heart shattered, my trust was broken.
There was phone call that tried to help mend our friendship. But I realized that some things aren’t worth mending. People grow, change, and when that happens, the things around them and the people around them change. We both changed.
It’s been months now with no words spoken between us. It’s been difficult to struggle alone when for so long she helped me stand. But now I stand on my own. There are no more late-night calls over what happened on Grey’s, no more cinnamon rolls after a night of drinking.
Yet with all the loss that comes with losing a friendship, I have never felt more whole. Sometimes, without even realizing it or meaning to, the ones we love hold us back the most. Now nothing is holding me back. Bittersweet is a fitting description.
All that’s left now is me. Moving on without my best friend…it is both the worst and best thing that has ever happened to me.