“That was the thing about best friends. Like sisters and mothers, they could piss you off and make you cry and break your heart, but in the end, when the chips were down, they were there, making you laugh even in your darkest hours.” -Kristin Hannah
The longest relationship I’ve ever had with anyone was/is with L. We met when we were nine years old. I can’t remember exactly where, how, or what situation threw us together but I can say that we’ve been together ever since. I don’t say it or even show it very often but I love her. God, I really do. She is my soulmate, my better half, with her, I’m the best me that I can be. She’s been the gentle voice in my head when things were noisy making it difficult to decide who to listen to, and the loudest voice I hear when life was so quiet, it’s easy to lose myself.
Like any relationship, it’s been turbulent. There have been laughter, encouragement, hugs. I remember the time we went to Disneyland; we put our purses on the conveyer belt to get scanned. I completely forgot that I didn’t zip up my purse and I prayed that nothing would spill out but as I waited on the other side for my bag, when I finally saw it, to my horror, my panty liners and pad were peeking out. I remember looking at L and we burst out laughing. With lack of sleep and food going for us, anything could have made us laugh. Another pantyliner story. I remember we were at a club once and we were dancing and I dropped my pantyliner and as I was about to pick it up, she held me upright, laughed, and then told me, “What are you doing?! Just walk it off!” Her face was priceless and we then spent the next 10 minutes laughing our heads off. I miss her laugh. God, I miss her.
It seems nowadays, though, more often, there have been fights, misunderstandings, and frustrations. For a really really long time, it was me and L against the world. Just the two of us. Me and her. But as we got older and reconnected with our other two childhood friends, it hasn’t been just the two of us in a while. Even when it is just the two of us, we’ve been apart for so long that we don’t even know how to be just the two of us anymore. I feel it. She feels it. But no one says anything. And the tension grows, grows, and grows until someone says something that sets it off and we yell. We argue, we misunderstand, we justify, we defend, we take it personally, we get mad. We don’t get closure. We don’t know what the problem is. It sort of creeped up on us and now we’re in a situation where we don’t know what to do, where to begin, how to fix it. As I’m typing this, I can’t help but cry because I really really miss those days when we laughed soooo hard until our bellies hurt. Nowadays, we never laugh with each other anymore. We don’t know how. We just get annoyed and we see it on each other’s faces. Sometimes when I look at her, I see her looking at me with annoyance and I don’t know how we got here. I don’t even know how to make her laugh anymore and I use to do it so well.
How do I fix something that I hold most dear? If I could go back and change whatever I did wrong, I would in a fucking heartbeat. I just want us back. Back to where we were. Back to how it use to be. But now, I don’t know. I don’t know how and it kills me.
L, I miss you. God, I love you. And let’s work it out. We have to.