#Gratitude: A Letter to My Best Friend

Dear Abigail,

Do you remember when we first met? You had just moved schools, having come from a private school in town, so you didn't know anyone. I was the first person you met in our sixth grade homeroom. I was rather lonely too at the time, having lost a lot of my friends from Elementary school. They were all in different homerooms or joining different clubs, and someone I considered a close friend chose to spend her time with other people. Yet, how appropriate is it that two lost souls managed to find one another at their most vulnerable? Middle school was a rough three years regardless, but it was nice to find someone like you to help make it a little bit more bearable.

Over the years that we have known one another, we have found ourselves facing all sorts of obstacles that would likely have broken most friendships. In seventh and eighth grade, we never had a class together. In high school, we started making new friends apart from one another, spending time with them instead. You told me, at one point, that you felt that even when we were together, hanging out with our other friends, that it wasn't quite the same. I hated to hear you say that and knew deep down that I would do anything to make sure that our friendship made it through even the worst of times.

We had some classes together, like our horrible experience with P.E., which kept us in contact. We made some hilarious trailers together for our English class, where we usually had more blooper footage than anything. We spent countless nights at one another's houses, sometimes just talking about whatever until four or five in the morning. We'd wake up the next morning feeling absolutely exhausted, so we'd spend the afternoon watching movies. We'd always try to pick movies we could poke fun at, laughing at ridiculous cliches and cringey dialogue.

When we graduated from high school, we actually became closer, the following summer. I remember trips to the mall, going out together for lunch or even going to the park because we were, and still are, truly little kids at heart. I hated that we weren't going to the same college. I fought with myself a lot over whether or not I really wanted to go to UNC (my dream school!), since it meant we would no longer be together. You probably don't know this, but at the end of my Sophomore year, still not quite finding my niche here, I heavily considered transferring to UNCG, knowing I would be a lot happier in your company. However, I obviously decided to stay here, and I am glad I made that decision. But through it all, and despite a great deal of distance between us, we have stayed close friends. We still have our Skype appointments on the weekend and long conversations on the phone, and when we are home at the same time, we always make plans to do something fun together. Like this upcoming Thanksgiving! I'm extremely excited to go back home and hang out with you again! 

During our Sophomore year, you had your apartment in Greensboro and I remember making long, aggravating drives in the middle of Interstate 40 traffic just to spend a weekend with you. When you moved back home, I found myself also trying to find more reasons to go home on the weekends, despite a crazy two hour journey. It was all worth it because you are still the same wonderful person who makes me laugh until I cry, who actually enjoys my lame jokes and references, who has literally been there with me as we grew up together and who has helped me through some of the most stressful times in my life.

Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for the countless memories I hold dear to my heart. Thank you for the laughs because you know I'm a ridiculously optimistic person who can't stand being sad.

Here's to a lifetime friendship, and don't forget, I still want to be your maid of honor.

Sincerely,

Casey

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