B is for best friends.
I don’t have just obne best friend, I have three.
At the age of… I’m not sure… Laura and I became best friends. It started with play dates at her old house, and then she moved across the road from me which firmly cemented the best friend status. BFF didn’t exist then but Forever Friends friendship necklaces did – physical proof that you were IT. We played on the street together (those were the days of being able to aimlessly wander the streets without it being an anti-social offence. We roller-bladed down the hill that our houses sat on, knees and wrists clad in chunky padding. We rescued Cabbage the caterpillar, trapping him in a jar with grass and dasies, taking it in turns to take care of him until it was decreed that he would be released on my driveway, only for Laura to accidentally stand on him approximately 3 seconds into his freedom. We had (and still have…) a special sign, a special handshake, a special song, and endless amounts of in jokes.
It was around this time that Helen came on the scene. We first met properly on the green at the bottom of my road. Somehow we ended up creating a hippy shrine of broken twigs and stolen flowers in the grass. We realised that we were just a strange as each other. We were a bit older, just starting secondary school, and so our friendship saw us go through plenty of rebellious things (at least they were rebellious for us). We drank a lot of vodka. We hung out in parks. We fell for the same boys but that aways sorted itself out. We got our first proper boyfriends at the same time and of course they were best friends too. We dyed our hair. We experimented with fashion. We skived school occasionally but that was only to go and drink tea in a cafe in town. We developed an appreciation of drum and bass and snuck into clubs underage.
As I started university I became friends with Cath. We had partly been in the same social circle but ending up in the same class was probably the first time that we actually spoke properly. We went through college and uni together, shared the joyous 90 mile commute, the essays and dissertations. We went to China together, we climbed Ben Nevis together, we travelled around Thailand together, music festivals, parties (this time not underage)… Cath saw me through my lowest moments and was there to witness some of the worst. And she was there to party until the small hours with me, being total super babes at all times. She shares my love for the peace sign, for car boot sales and nice days out in the sunshine or the rain.
The thing about these friendsips is that no matter the distance, the time apart, the miles and the months without being in touch, it doesn’t matter. Laura moved to Brighton shortly after college. Helen went travelling, eventually settling in Ibiza. I left Cath to come here, and it’s likely she won’t be around when I eventually move back home. But none of that matters. Best friendships can stand the test of time, be it a week, a month or a year since you last saw each other you just know that things will be the same.
You might think it unecessary to have three best friends but for me each friend has their different place in my life and I couldn’t choose between them. We are all different and similar in many ways and that’s what makes each friendship unique.
As I’m writing this I’m thinking, there are more than three besties in my life! What about Stacey, floating around Australia as we speak? Jessica, one of my best friends from secondary school? Sasha, who also shared many a cup of tea with me when we should have been at school? And then the people I met only a few years ago at work? At times work seemed to be my life and those people soon became besties too. Can’t everyone be my best friend?
My god, this is super soppy for me but I guess I am getting sentimental as I am flying home today and so thoughts of family and friends are at the forefront of my mind.
p style=”text-align:center;”>I can’t wait to get home and see you all!