Dear Best Friend
Dear Best Friend of Pigtails and Pretending,
I remember Us. On the playground, rolling in the grass. Creating stories of long ago and acting them out until the whistle blew. I remember sleepovers in blanket forts, secrets in the attic playroom, giggles into the night. I remember sitting on your bed, comparing school supplies, Christmas gifts. I remember phone calls, first the short and awkward ones of the young, then long, drawn-out endless ones of our preteen years. I remember boys, creeping into the picture, confusing things. I remember make-up and the movies and the mall. I remember junior high graduation. And promises of nothing changing. And then everything changing. Best Friend, those days wouldn’t have been the same without you. I am me because of Us.
Dear Best Friend of Friday Night Lights and First Cars,
I remember Us. Driving through the night, no place to be. Filling up the car with a $5 bill, hoping it would take us far. I remember talks of boyfriends and first kisses, talks of parental frustrations. I remember part-time jobs, stealing our time. I remember sleepovers turning into week-long stays. I remember how your fridge was mine and my family was yours. I remember mission trips, endless memories, endless laughter. I remember driving you everywhere, waiting for the day you’d get your license and then not being around when it finally happened. I remember talks of the future. I remember graduation and promises of college visits and that nothing would change. And then everything changed. Best Friend, those days wouldn’t have been the same without you. I am me because of Us.
Dear Best Friend of College Bars and Faux-Freedom,
I remember Us. The days that seem so close but are really so far away. I remember move-in day, your flared jeans and confidence. I remember parties, where I tentatively took my first sips of beer, regretting that I liked the taste. I remember long, long talks into the night, no one telling us it’s time for sleep. I remember our RA pounding on the door at 2am, telling us to please stop singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” I remember boy-crush after boy-crush. I remember jogging class, the insane idea we had to fulfill our PE credits together. How we both hated the running. How we’d go home after and make an impossible 11am breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast, famished from our twice-weekly exertion. I remember when you transferred to be closer to home and how we promised that nothing would change. And then everything changed. Best Friend, those days wouldn’t have been the same without you. I am me because of Us.
Dear Best Friend of First Jobs and Free Rein,
I remember Us. Living our young adult lives in complete and total freedom. Our worries were for ourselves. Hours studying for Master’s degrees, mowing the lawn and paying rent. Camping trips and beach trips and pool parties for no reason. Snow days spent ordering pizza, drinking too much wine, and walking to the convenience store in two feet of snow. I remember beer-drinking, guitar-playing, praise-singing Bible studies. I remember inside jokes and Halloween parties and set-ups and break-ups. We had dreams of the future. Of children and of husbands. We longed for those things, not knowing when they came everything would be different. And then, suddenly, everything was different. Best Friend, those days wouldn’t have been anything without you. I am me because of us.