I think everyone has that friend that they’ve been friends with for so long that at one point or another they think, “Wow we’ll really be best friends forever.” Sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes you don’t. I didn’t.
We had been friends for going on 16 years. I’m 21 now, so I had basically spent my entire life with her. When I say that we were close, that couldn’t be anymore of an understatement. We had done everything you can imagine together: softball, soccer, movies, sleepovers, you name it. She was the sister I never had. We had seen each other at our absolute worst. Through deaths, money issues, bad eyeliner (blue eye shadow), cancer, and more than I can count.
Who would’ve guessed that honesty would be what ended our friendship.
I wish I could say that things were always rosy and perfect and that if we fought it was only for a few days, a week tops, and then got back together like nothing happened. This is not the case. In those 16 years I can name times where she would just disappear and drop me faster than you can blink. When I say disappear, I mean we wouldn’t speak for months on end. I used to blame myself. I would think that she was right to say that I was arrogant, loud, rude, or whatever other excuse I was given whenever we spoke again. I still loved her no matter what. After everything we went through, how could I not? So why didn’t my love and loyalty to her make up for the fact I had (have) an ego the size of Texas sometimes? Isn’t that what love is supposed to be like?
The first time it happened I was crushed. There was my best friend, standing with the girl who bullied me in middle school, and laughing at me (more than once). I honestly hope you never have to go through this. I remember going home and crying for hours. My best friend had become my bully. We eventually made up, kept up our back and forth, until it came time to go to college.
We didn’t speak for a year. There was no explanation. One day she just stopped answering.
I asked her why once, and she told me that we had to figure out how to live apart from each other. I thought that was kind of strange because why would you give up someone who was always on your side? But hey, to each their own, right? Turns out, I just wasn’t the flavor of the month anymore. College friends are SO much cooler than high school ones. Duh…
I am now a grown woman, and I have been with the same guy since I was 16. We got engaged this Christmas. If you’ve read my articles before, you know how close we are. The night we got engaged, we were driving home and I just started to sob because for the first time it occurred to me that the girl I had spent my entire life with dreaming up my wedding would not be standing next to me. She wouldn’t even be there.
I just cried and cried, and finally James, my finacé, stopped me. He asked why I was so upset since she hadn’t really been there anyway. He wasn’t wrong, even though I still feel like I have been kicked in the chest. When someone totally stops speaking to you on your birthday…the message is pretty clear.
The older I get, the more I see the people that love me for me don’t want to make me small. I’m not too much for them. My desire to be the boss has gotten me pretty far in life, actually.
So to the best friend that wasn’t: thank you. Thank you for showing me what loyalty isn’t, that making myself smaller so I didn’t step on you hurt me and hurt you. I wish I could keep this romantic idea of our friendship in my head, but I can’t do it anymore. We grew apart ten years ago. Which is fine. The hardest part of losing a friend that turned into family is you have to reimagine everything. The idea that we wouldn’t celebrate our 21st together, have that sleepover the night before my wedding, watch each others’ kids, or be each others maid of honor. We won’t grow old and tell the wild stories of our youth.
Maybe we should’ve cut it off the first time so it wouldn’t have gotten so messy. But it’s the most cliché story you can come up with: a boy ends a lifelong friendship.
So to the best friend that actually never was: you were never the friend I deserved, and if you feel the same way, that’s your call to make. Just remember, I always have done anything I could for you. You told me once that not everything was about me. You were right. If that’s the nail in our coffin, so be it. I wish you the best in everything.
So thank you, the best friend that wasn’t. I know what I’m worth now, and it’s not this.