30 Day Challenge, Day 4


“Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow; don’t walk behind me, I may not lead; Just walk beside me, and be my friend.”

I’ve never really had a best friend growing up. Or, well, not for long. I made a point not to get close to people around Junior year of High School, because I felt my friends always disappointed me. They never really stuck around long, and I was usually just a rebound friend or whatever until they found something better.

I met my first best friend in third grade. Let’s call her D. I can’t remember much about her, but we were pretty close while it lasted, and were always together. But then my parents divorced because my father started turning his abusive behavior from her to me and my siblings. We moved away to get away from him, and somehow, third graders weren’t good at keeping a friendship alive via letters and phone calls. The letters and calls became less frequent, and eventually stopped. It’s hard enough maintaining a friendship, but when you’re very young, everything practically becomes, “out of sight, out of mind.”

It was a few years until I made a new best friend, L. It was 7th grade, and she was ridiculously popular and I was just the mousy awkward kid who read for fun, which was blasphemous. Then by the end of 7th grade, popularity called, and we drifted apart because popular girls do not befriend losers. Social suicide. And this was only middle school.

Come ninth grade, I met K. By that time, I had known her a few years, but we never really talked. Then we had P.E. together and bonded over being the only girls in class, where we would sit on the bleachers talking about music since neither of us were daring enough to participate in tag team football. The one time we had, I threw the ball to her and she ran away from it. We weren’t BFFL instantly, though. K was never alone. She had a series of boyfriends, and she was the type of girl that abandons her friends in favor of hanging out with her boyfriend. It was the summer before senior year when she broke up with her boyfriend of 3.5 years once she realized how manipulative he was.

That same day, she met a kid on MySpace who went to our school and started dating him. The. Same. Day. He was a sophomore without a car or a licence, so we would all hang out. Three was a crowd, though, but I never said anything about it, because I was lonely and I just wanted to have a good year, preferably not friendless. Then she had moved in a few doors down from me when her parents split, and we spent the rest of the summer hanging out and bonding over music again and going on random car rides at two am to places in town that were rumored haunted. When her Sopho boyfriend was grounded or wasn’t allowed out, we’d get to hang out without him there. I’ve never been good in crowds and usually never speak, so one-on-one friendship was basically the best thing ever to me. One person, I could be more of myself. When I was in a room with two people, I felt like only a third of myself.

But alas, all good things come to an end. Once she and the sophomore broke up, a week passed and she ran back to her ex and that was the end of that. Back to being virtually friendless.

I decided then I was better off keeping my friends at arms length. If I didn’t get attached, I couldn’t get hurt. I’m not a complete loner, though. I, like everyone else whose honest with themselves, need human companionship to survive. It’s way too lonely otherwise. I have a few friends here and there since K, but they don’t get me. They’re more into partys and having fun, and I’m still the same awkward bookish person I’ve always been. I’m a writer and a reader, and I don’t belong in the club partying and getting wasted and going home with strangers. I’ll go out with them sometimes for the sake of something to do, but I never really enjoy myself. When I’m in a room with two people, I feel like a third of myself. But a crowd, I feel like nobody.

I’ve grown to realize over the past few years that I wasn’t very compatible with the friendships I’ve had in the past. They say opposites attract, and maybe they do in theory, but most teenage girls just want to talk about boys and clothes. That was what they thought friendship was. And that’s alright. Everyone is different. But I’ve always been completely different than whom I’d consider my best friend. I wanted something real, you know? Like how friendship works in books and movies. I love the idea of a best friend being the one you can sit on a porch and swing with, not say a word and walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you’ve ever had. I wanted a friendship like Brooke and Peyton, Dawson and Joey, Corey and Shawn.

Alright, enough of my mindless complaints.

Let’s get to the point.

It wasn’t until a year and a half ago I made an online friend, Emma. She’s a reader, a writer, and she gets it. We are completely opposite but exactly the same, all at the same time. She’s probably one of the best friends I’ve had in my lifetime who I’ve actually had plenty in common with. We both love to gush over books and read and tell each other about the books we’ve read, or just watch movies online and write stories together and read and edit one another’s own stories. She is beautiful and empathetic and reacts strongly when she feels an injustice has been committed. I can be myself. It sucks that we live on opposite sides of the country and the two of us have often mused about being roomies and having a book cave in our apartment. She’s a great person and even though her jokes are extremely lame (sorry!), its funny because it’s her. I just wish we didn’t live so far apart so we could actually hang out in person and have shenanigans! Roam Vegas for me, and the small town countryside for you hah. I’d post her picture, but she would verbally beat me with a spork. So you’ll have to make due with a picture of Belle and Ariel, our Disney likenesses.

And Em, if you read this, I sincerely hope that we remain life-long friends. I am ever grateful for having such a good friend.

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