To my best friend:
When I was 6:
I remember meeting you. I’d just started school, I’m pretty sure I had 0 friends, and I’d decided to myself in the assembly that I was not going to make friends with anyone with spots. I was 6, I’m not entirely sure I knew what spots were, but they were a deal breaker when it came to friendships apparently. Then that same assembly, you turned around (you almost lost out because you had a mole on your neck… Phew, I was a judgy child) and just like that, we were inseparable. By which I mean, I was inseparable from you.
I emptied my chest of drawers onto my floor and jumped in my clothes and got in trouble because of you. I cut my own fringe and got in trouble because of you. I called the police as a prank and got in a LOT of trouble, because of you. And yet I followed you everywhere. You always made up the games and decided what we were doing. Like deciding we didn’t like water. Or who we didn’t lie. Or using the word teabag as an insult. Or playing ‘Road of Bones’ which I would beg you to play but never win because you changed the rules every time. Or putting our hair in front ponytails and called them ‘Bubbles’ and ‘Foam’. Or cutting all our hair off so we could be boys. You were also the one I copied off in maths, and ran miles behind in the Fun Run. I could never really keep up with you in anything. I have piles of postcards from you, and 17 years of friendship that has dipped in and out, but always been a path. An overgrown and abandoned path at times, but it just always needed some attention, even when we were living completely different worlds.
I’d say it’s pretty overgrown now, our lives are moving in different directions, and I sometimes feel frustrated at who you are, which isn’t fair. We’ve always had a volatile friendship (I think we fell out every day or so in Primary School) and that’s never going to change, but as soon as I’m with you I feel like a clumpy, second best child again, always tagging in your shadow. I love spending time with you, but I’m not sure whether you still see me as your sidekick, rather than an equal. I’ve never really been equal to you in anything after all. Sometimes I know you’re the only one who will understand, but sometimes it’s hard to make you listen.
When I was 16:
Our friendship is the one that Facebook likes to remind me of the most, with our crazy jokes and weird phrases being written on each other’s walls, inundated with Glee references and exclamation marks. I think it was a best friendship made for school and I am forever grateful for it. I still enjoy seeing you and talking about where our lives have taken us, but I feel like we don’t have that much in common anymore, we’ve grown up too much for TV references and childish crushes.
I think we first started to drift apart when I got my first boyfriend, as I was probably way too invested in the relationship and I think your reticence towards the whole thing was sensible, and I should probably have looked to your example, but I got too carried away. I’m sorry for that. I think have a lot less confidence than you, as I remember a mutual friend saying that you both had accepted yourselves, and knew that you were awesome. I have never had that. I know you have your issues, like we all do, but I really admire you for that. I feel like you’ve always known who you are, and as is obvious in my reaction to my first relationship, I’ve never been strong in that respect. We were so inseparable for a time that I think we were both jealous of other people that even came close, which I don’t think is exactly healthy, but it’s nice to have had a friendship like that. I still think of you as a close friend and I sometimes miss the time of our lives where we were so close.
When I was 22:
Thank you. It feels like there was never a time when we were not best friends, even though I know we were not there for most of growing up. I feel like we grow up similarly now, our brains are so almost the same, and yet at some points so different. Sometimes I know exactly what you’re thinking, and sometimes I can’t figure you out.
I feel like you are much more intriguing than I am, and much more popular. I worry you’ll ‘move on’ one day, as it were, as you can make friends at the drop of the hat, and lately I can’t even hang on to old ones. You are vibrant and interesting and beautiful and I am so lucky to be your best friend. Even when you’re making bad decisions that I can make no impact on, I’m still your best friend, because you were there as I cried myself to sleep and ruined your time on a mesmerising Thailand beach all over a boy. You are the friend I always wanted, with bonuses of naps, sleepovers and never running out of things to say. I can honestly say no one else would have got me out of bed at 8am, as a student, and got me to run 10k. You are someone I hate letting down the most.
I wanna travel the world with you, and I want to be making strawberry cake and drinking some futuristic flavoured tea with you when we’re like 90. (Are you ready?) I want weird guys to be hitting on us forever and to help you buy jumpers for the rest of your life. 3 years down and still no proper argument (the ones where I was emotionally impaired by silly boy syndrome don’t count) so here’s counting! You’d better be Maid of Honour at my wedding and God Mother to my kid otherwise I really won’t know where my life’s gone wrong. Thanks for the love bubs. And the Made in Chelsea chat.
(This is to be continued. If you think you have been missed off, there will be one coming for you. I promise. I’m just trying to separate everyone from the same labels.)
Who should my next one be to? Read the first in my letter series here.