10 years ago I was stood in the school library clutching a tatty non-fiction book with bright primary colours on the cover, a giant photo boasting cheesy grins and fluffy animals, and a bubble writing title claiming to teach you all you need to know about Veterinarians.
It’s a year 7 English class, still in the first few weeks of secondary school and at the time I’d barely made any friends. I was the only person who transferred from my further afield primary school, and my shy smile and quiet demeanor didn’t aid me to make friends easily.
But there was a girl with blonde hair pulled tightly back into a low ponytail who would grin at me whenever I catch her eye across the classroom and it was her re-assuring smile that I still come to associate with her even now. When we crossed paths in the corner of the library on that day, she was also searching for the same book I was holding and all I remember was that same grin.
I often think of the fact that all of my friends were once strangers to me and I can never quite recall how we made that leap into our current friendships. Which is why, through all the wracks of my brain, I don’t remember the next few times I saw my best friend and how we went from smiling across the classroom to giggling at breaktimes together. But somehow our small bud of a friendship bloomed into a story so colourful and so beautiful, that it can be hard to remember a time when we weren’t in each others lives the way we are in now.
Over 10 years our lives and stories have intertwined with each other so much that I find it difficult to separate my own memories from the stories she tells me. 10 years of inside jokes, making up nicknames, swapping secrets, a few tears and oh, so much laughter. Ours is a friendship that never assumes that we always know each other inside out, for we realise that we are forever evolving into something new to learn. And that’s something special, when a pair don’t say to each other “you’ve changed” but instead “tell me your opinions, even if it’s not the same as you said last year.”
We often laugh about the fact that 95% of our favourite stories involves the other person. We both went through a stage of choosing not to name the other one when telling the stories, in case it looks like we don’t have any other friends but each other. And even though we have other main people in our lives now, who consume much more of our time, the fact still remains that we still have each other. So through all the changes that will happen over the next few years, that fact will not.
She’s bright, funny, caring, opinionated and stubborn. Those are the reasons why I stuck with her for the last 10 years. And there are many other reasons why I’ll stick with my bestie for the next 10 years, and beyond (if she’ll have me!).