And Then My Best Friend Moved Away
The story of me and one of my best friends is a pretty odd one, but one of my favorites. It's probably one of the best stories I can tell, only people probably won't understand...
Have you ever had a best friend that you just clicked with? Like when you were together, the real world kind of faded away and you two were just stuck in your own world that only you both could see? Your imaginations take over and all of a sudden everything is hilarious and you're both wheeze-laughing, and trying not to pee your pants. That friend that you have pretty much everything in common with and the things you don't have in common, you could care less about when they are around. The friend that somehow knows exactly what it's like to be you. I have a couple of those...
Back story: I never really had that many friends growing up. Just acquaintances, really. I was invited to things occasionally, I liked spending time with the ok friends i had but they always seemed to value their other friendships over mine. Which was ok, I never hated them, I just couldn't rely on them. It was accepted. I had excepted that and moved on for the most part. Growing up when you don't have a place to belong to does kind of weigh on you a bit. Lets all just agree that growing up fucking sucks. Moving on...
It was my second year in high school. Sophomore year and the morning of the first day of the year. I was already feeling the misplacement eminating from the school as I made sure my bag was packed. I was not excited, not one bit.
First hour seating chart was up on the board. Of course i would be placed by the new kid who's name was apparently too long or weird to fit in the square that labeled their seat next to mine. Who the FUCK was this person and why does every teacher always make me sit next to the weirdies? Because I'm one fucking shy, mute, pushover. That's why.
The new kid, was a complete weirdo... but she turned out to be a best friend kind of weirdo that made me feel at home with my weirdo self. And even better, we had all but one class together that year. This was one of the only two friends I had that made high school a lot less lonely and more bearable.
Constant laughs every day. I wish I could remember everything from every day. It all seemed like the most epicly funny shit. But the best part was that no one else mattered in school. We cared about our funny shit and that was it. And there was never a doubt that we didn't have each other's back.
Then came the summer after we graduated and over some stupid petty things, we quit talking. It stung a lot and I pretended not to care but I always hoped she was doing ok. A couple years later, we reconnected and hung out and talked a couple of times but it always fizzled out after a while. Not like we didn't like each other or thought it was weird, we just had other things tugging at us for our time. Jobs, relationships, kids.
But then one summer a couple of years ago, we ended up running into each other at a beer festival of all places in a town that was almost a half hour from where I lived. We ended up having one of the longest conversations that night with our friends over some drinks. We laughed and reminisced about old times, it almost felt like nothing had even changed. I remember feeling so accepted after that. I can compare it to like college orientation. You're just kind of fumbling around a place, so out of your element, then someone starts blasting Wannabe by the spice girls then suddenly you've never felt more apart of something in your life. Ok, that was a bad analogy but you get the idea right?
Fast forward a couple years of hanging out here and there and I get the text that shes moving 3 thousand miles away. Then it really hit me.
It's such an odd feeling when a friend is moving away. You can't express to them enough how happy you are for them and the new life they will be living but at the same time, you are so sad that they are going. I thought about all the good times we had in high school, all the ways she really helped me become who I am. Then I thought of all the time we had lost those years of not talking. I know it does no good to dwell on what you can't change but it was alarming knowing that we now wouldn't be making any new memories as best friends again either.
So while lugging my kid, a cake, a box of lame but meaningful gifts, and a VCR into my car, I made my way to my best friend's house. My lame attempt at trying to make up for lost time, not being there during milestones...
We talked about where her and her husband would be living, all the excitement, all the concerns, trying to eat up a lot of food in the house so they wouldn't have to move it.
We talked about everything. from all the fun times we used to have, to the uncertain future. I felt so bad staying as long as I did, ignoring my son's bed time, not heading home til about 11:30 at night on a week night with still a half hour drive back home. It was worth it. It was worth it to let my friend know how much she would be missed here in Michigan. I did cry a bit on my way home.
We do still talk now and try to keep in touch. I actually feel like we both make more of an effort to stay connected now we live in different states than we did before. It's hard having friends that live out of state but as long as you make the time and effort, your friends never go away.