I remember what it’s like to have a best friend. Music videos and gas stations, camping trips with her family and laying out in the grass. We were young and we already felt so old, like there was nothing ahead of us. But fortunately, the horizons stretched further beyond than we ever imagined, back when it was just us.
We thought we would be best friends for the rest of our lives.
When I remember that, I wonder what the foundation of that thought was. Like time together and common interests were enough to hold together a lifelong bond. But we were just kids then, and that was enough.
At one point you were my other half. You were in every one of my stories, at every event, sharing my every meal. We would talk on the phone for hours, sometimes just in silence doing nothing. How did we go from that to where we are now, where everything you say almost bores me? The way you haven’t grown or changed since sixth grade is almost concerning. Every boyfriend you’ve ever had is the star of your life, and everyone else falls into supporting roles.
But I guess morality changes things. When I didn’t want to drink and talk to nasty boys, you did. When I still wanted to walk to the store for ice cream, you had moved on without me. By then, I didn’t want to follow you where you went.
Now I wonder if all my time at your house was some kind of pity. Cause when you’re older, hearing the words “You can stay with us anytime you like,” sounds less like an invitation and more like a declaration of safe haven. The public opinion of my house was one of danger and suspicion. As a member of the household, my opinion was one of empty dining rooms and cheap shampoo. Neither better than the other.
But some of my best laughs are with you. Pictures and videos of girls with heavy mascara and shiny braces. Dancing in a room with orange walls at one in the morning. Creating recipes that always included Eggo waffles and sherbet ice cream. Going to the grocery store with your mom, wondering if she would take us to a drive thru afterwards.
It’s not like we aren’t friends now. I just went home for the summer and didn’t see you once. I don’t know what you study in school and I don’t know who your friends are. I’m not sure if your boyfriend is nice. But I know when you get a yeast infection or your cat dies, and we talk when there’s hometown drama to discuss. We send pictures with no words, just in case we forget what each other look like.
I remember what it’s like to have a best friend. My favorite memory is us in a tent, and it’s barely five in the morning. Sunlight wakes us up from the skylight, so we share a pair of headphones, turning to face each other.
“You’re the only friend I need (you’re the only friend I need)
Sharing beds like little kids (sharing beds like little kids)
And laughing ’til our ribs get tough (laughing ’til our ribs get tough)
But that will never be enough (but that will never be enough)”
back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. We meant it then. Now, I am not so sure.