An Unforgettable Bond

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
An unforgettable friendship about two girls that once referred to each other as "best friends".

Submitted: April 19, 2009

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Submitted: April 19, 2009

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Once upon a time there was a girl I knew, brown hair, blue eyes. When she smiled, I smiled. When she cried, I cried. Every single thing that happened to me that mattered, in some way had to do with her. She was my pillar when I was falling, strong and concrete; never leaving my side until I was sturdy and standing tall. Years ago we made a promise to each other – that no matter what, we’d always be together, best friends regardless of the distance or spaces between us. A promise to always be there for the other no matter what; a promise to never let growing up come between us, to never let another pull us apart; a vow to be best friends forever. It was a promise full of love and truth and wisdom. It was the kind of promise that could only come from the hearts of the very young.

One clear summer night in 2004, I remember starring up at the sparkling stars, slowly swaying on a playground swing. My best friend of 8 years sat quietly on the swing next to me. In a few months we were leaving for college. She was following her dreams of becoming a journalist to the University of Connecticut, while I was following mine to Fitchburg State College; and for the first time since we met, we would be separated. In reality the distance between our schools was not too far, but at the time it seemed like they were on opposite sides of the world. Just as I wiped a tear from my cheek, a beautiful, glistening light darted across the sky. In an instant it was out of sight, leaving only a white trail to mark its existence. I stared in awe; I couldn’t believe that I had finally witnessed one. I remember that I was still starring up at the sky in amazement when I faintly heard Ashley say, “best friends no matter what, promise?” – But my attention was still focused on the sky. I remember whispering “I pinky promise”, as I stared at the fading white strip, a straight line leading back to the spot it had fallen from. I couldn’t understand why we see something so entrancing only for a brief moment, I wanted more. Although happy, I felt slightly afraid that I wouldn’t ever experience it again. I can’t describe the exact feeling I had at that moment, but I know it’s a feeling that I haven’t experienced since. I don’t know for certain if it was the shooting star that made the moment so memorable or if it was the promise I made to Ashley.

Ashley had been the one person in my life that I could always count on; little did I know that was all going to change. Basically, you can plan all you want but a person has no control over the outside forces that come suddenly and change your life. All you can do is keep writing your plan. I had no idea that night on the playground that we wouldn’t be able to keep that promise to each other, nor did I know that our friendship would never be as loyal or innocent as it was that night ever again.

Just as quick as that star fell out of sight, so did Ashley. Our friendship lasted for only four years after that night on the playground. Although it seemed like it passed by a lot faster than that. We stayed best friends throughout most of college, but during our senior year I watched our friendship slowly fade away. When it was over, I was left with the same astonishment as I was four years earlier on that summer night. As if I was still looking up at that sky, starring at the fading white strip of what had been. The same questions arouse in my mind. Leaving me wondering; why we’re only allowed glimpses of those magical moments before they disappear? Again, I wanted more. I remember it was in this period of my life that I fully understood the concept of having a broken heart and pain that comes with losing your best friend. More importantly, I was afraid I’d never experience anything like it again.

Today, we barely exchange words; and with each day that passes, the hope of restoring our friendship dwindles. I had never taken into consideration the fact that Ashley might not always be there. I depended too much on her and when I lost her, I lost part of myself. It felt like this significant piece of my heart was missing and there was no way of getting it back. It’s impossible to forget a person who’s played such a vital role in your life for so many years. Over time, I slowly realized that moving on and letting go isn’t something that happens over night, or even over several months. It’s a long process, something I have to face everyday. But, through the dark clouds, memories of our friendship still shine through. I can still recall times when Ashley was my other half. I have a scrap book full of memories. One night, I decided to pull out that old scrap book that I had previously tucked away in a box along with other reminders of my best friend. I found endless notes, birthday and Christmas cards. One Christmas card caught my eye, there was a long note written inside, it read:

 

“We’ve been through hell and back together and no matter what nothing can tear us apart, no boys or ourselves. We go one of those friendships like in the movies and I know that no matter where either of us goes or what happens we’ll be best friends until the end. When we’re in our 80’s, in our rocking chairs, still trash talking everyone and you’ll still be telling me you hate me and that you don’t want to talk to me. You are an amazing person and don’t ever let anyone make you feel different. You deserve the world and I’d be lost without you. We’ve had way too many memories to name and they’ll only continue to grow. You mean the absolute world to me and nobody knows me like you. When everyone sucks and I just want to give up, you’re the one that keeps me going and knows that I’m going through and for that I’ll always be grateful – you are the only person I could ever call my best friend and it will remain that way until I die.”

 

Reading this genuine message brought mixed emotions. I was sad, angry, confused; what happened to the girl I knew? How did I let us this happen? Why did I let some manipulative arrogant male come between us? I kept telling myself that I had no choice but to let go of our friendship, but in the back of mind, I couldn’t help but wonder if I should have tried harder and fought for our friendship. Yet, it would have made no difference. Ashley was in love and her boyfriend wanted me out of the picture, and he made sure that happened. Could’ve, should’ve. Would’ve… ultimately, it didn’t matter now. I needed to stop trying to change the unchangeable. Slowly flipping through the pages, I felt as if I had traveled back in time. It was senior year of high school again, back when I could smile proudly after Ashley scored a field hockey goal, or was accepted into the national honor society and say “yeah, that’s my best friend”. I came across a paper from my senior year English class. Mrs. Canavan gave us an assignment to write a description about someone or something utilizing the same style as a writer (who I can not remember now). I remember rereading the short story in our text book, a day after the assignment was due and deciding to write about Ashley. I figured she would be easy to write about since she was my best friend and had been since 5th grade. The final product looked something like this:

April 5, 2004

My Friend

Fruit, with a sweet smelling fragrance like watermelon and perfume mixed together. Little brown Costa Rico sandals to cover her feet. Long blue jeans, holes at the knees, faded at the thighs, with a ripped brown belt around the waist. Short light blue sheered T-shirt with multi colored flowers around the V-neck shaped collar. Long brown hair, sharp at the ends, with light caramel highlights streaming down from the part of her head. Big silver hoop earrings dangle down from her ears.

A sweet sounding voice and caring gestures; posture hunched over while sitting hands crouched between her legs. Chin always up and looking intelligent. Facing the world head on, not fearing a single thing. Eyes sensitive, big, and blue with a fleck of gray. Smiling with big white teeth, mouth reading as if nothing could ever hurt her. Although, if you looked deep down into those blue eyes you can see a scared girl, but only for a second, then it’s quickly covered back up so you only see exactly what she wants you to see. This is my best friend.

 

I received an A- on the paper, the teacher wrote next to the minus sign “only because it’s late.” I felt my eyes beginning to water as I remembered how things use to be. That night, I decided to tuck that paper into an envelop, along with an extensive letter addressed to my estranged best friend, 10 months ago. I guess I still haven’t built up the courage to stick a stamp on it and mail it yet, who knows if I ever will. It’s hard to summarize a 12 year friendship, especially a friendship like the one we shared. I’ve never had a friend like her since, and I probably never will. And yet, in a strange way, it’s alright with me. I don’t want to replace her, mainly because I know it’s impossible. Through our unpredictable, and sometimes foggy drive through adolescence, one that was filled with road blocks and detours, veering us off course; we were each other’s light, shinning bright, leading the other back to the road when the direction was too unclear to see on our own. Perhaps we were meant to be best friends only until this moment. Maybe, after 12 years we destine to go our separate ways and let go of one another. And for the first time since we met, stand on our own. Ashley taught me not to dwell on the unchangeable past but to learn from each experience and not hide behind it, but instead accept it, and keep on driving.

Some people go their entire lives without ever seeing a shooting star, just as some live their whole lives never having an unforgettable best friend. I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to experience both of these mysterious wonders of life. At the time, I didn’t see any relation between Ashley and the shooting star.  Looking back, I see the shooting star a bit differently. In certain aspects, it’s helped me understand life, and friendship a little better. I’ve learned that the most remarkable things occur when you aren’t looking and even brief encounters are memorable. Who knows if I’ll ever see another shooting star. Ashley in a way was like my shooting star, appearing unexpectedly, real, and unforgettable. Leaving me with a permanent imprint; marking a moment in time that will never be erased. Even though Ashley and that shooting star are no longer in sight, I’ll carry the memory of them always.


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