By Kaitlin Balavender
When I was young, my best friend was everything. We ran around the yard until our legs ached, popped that annoying Trouble Bubble enough times to drive our parents crazy, and talked on the phone into the wee hours of the night until our voices nearly gave out.
Like natural magnetism, we were drawn to each other, always lingering outside one another’s classroom doors and riding the bus to each other’s houses because there just weren’t enough hours in a school day to discuss the horrible substitute we had to endure during 5th period. I remember the dog days of summer spent at her house on the hill. It always smelled like fresh cut grass. It always seemed sunny, and her bed was the most comfortable in the world, even on those balmy nights when we fidgeted because the heat prevented us from sleeping. Our brains were so filled with the thoughts of what tomorrow held that they nearly burst, and not being this way forever wasn’t even something to wonder about.
Somewhere along the way the desire to be glued to her side dissipated. We dated different guys, had friends come between us, and let petty things change the course of our friendship. But even as I sit here, a woman eager to embrace life’s challenges and all that it means to become an adult; even though the years have somewhat dulled the memories of what it was like to be so overtaken by the throws of friendship, I can’t help but smile thinking of her.
And so, to my former best friend, I want to say this:
I still love you. Even though the years have passed, boys have come and gone, seasons have changed too many times to count, and time has healed our wounds, you are still a part of me. I look at you and am proud of the woman you’ve become. You may not think your life is all that glamorous but seeing you thrive is glamour in itself. Even though I love my guy, he’ll never understand that voice we used to use all the time that sent us into hysterics. Remember how people used to think we were crazy when we laughed so hard we couldn’t breathe? We were never the most popular, but we knew none of those “cool” girls had what we had. Most importantly though, by being my friend, you taught me things at 14 that are invaluable life lessons. From you I learned to try to see myself as beautiful even when the mirror seemed to be my enemy. You taught me to stick up for myself, and others who could not stick up for themselves. You taught me valuable lessons about family, and how it’s a common misconception that blood has anything to do with it.
A true friendship is not fleeting. It’s not vain or unkind, or selfish. Like love, it asks for nothing in return but receives the most valuable things anyways. Although time can fade it, the ticking clock can never erase it completely. Friendship is a living, breathing thing with the ability to hurt and be hurt, but at the end of the day, you never forget your best friend.
Are you still close to your very first best friend? If so, what has changed about your friendship over time? If not, what would you say to your former best friend? Leave your response in a comment below!
Looking for more articles on friendship?
4 Truths About Friendship
To My Dear Friends: A Special Message for Each of You
Kaitlin is passionate about writing and is pursuing a degree in journalism. She loves reading and still subscribes to magazines and goes to the library regularly. When she’s not daydreaming about her future career, she enjoys traveling, being with her family, and finding fun ways to stay active.