Once upon a time, there was a lonely young girl. Even though she came from a large family, her siblings were all olderand didn’t have time for silly games. She spent many hours alone in her room playing with her favorite toys. As she got older, she loved elementary school. She liked almost everyone in her classes, and the teachers were all very nice. However, it wasn’t until 5th grade that she trulysoared. She met an extraordinary young girl with short blond hair, and eyes that made the shape of rainbows when she smiled.
It didn’t take long for them to become inseparable. The lonely young girl was the happiest she had ever been. They made up games together, drew pictures, loved the same music and talked on the phone constantly. The little blond girl lived in her subdivision, and it didn’t take long to get to her house on her bike. They spent every weekend together. They just laughed and laughed.
Unfortunately, 5thgrade was the only school year they spent together. The little blond girl’s parents didn’t want to be together anymore, and she was moving away with her mom. Even though it was only about an hour away, it felt like thousands of miles. They sent letters every day and called each other until their parents yelled about the phone bill.
Her father had visitation with her on the weekends, so they still spent every weekend together, and she almost always spent at least one school vacation with the little blond girl. The young girl became lonely once again, but always took pride in her “Best Friend” with whom she shared everything. Even as she got older and made new, very close friends, the little blond girl was always her bestfriend.
Gradually, the lonely young girl began to notice that the little blond girl was changing. When they both entered high school, they started to grow apart. They still saw each other on the weekends, but not as often. Every other friend that the lonely young girl had knew about the little blond girl. They heard all of the stories and saw all of the pictures they used to take together, both of them having a love of photography.
When it was time to graduate high school, sadness came over the lonely young girl. She hadn’t ever really like academics, and didn’t win any scholarships, or even qualify for financial aid. While the little blond girl had a college picked out already and couldn’t wait to go.
The lonely young girl knew nothing would be the same again, but she tried to be hopeful.
She knew her best friend was having a great time with all of her new friends from the sporadic letters she received.
They would get together every so often, and after some initial awkward conversation, they seemed to get right back into the swing of things. At least, for a little while. They were changing, and the lonely young girl knew it. They were leading two different lives, and the little blond girl just didn’t have a place for her anymore.
As children, they had dreamt that they would grow up and live in houses next door to each other, and drive matching cars. The little blond girl wanted children, the lonely girl did not, but they figured it would work out. They swore they would be each other’s maid of honor in their weddings.
The lonely girl spent a great deal of time missing the little blond girl, and clutching on to her happy memories. Something was wrong with the lonely girl, and it was making her more and more sad. The little blond girl didn’t seem to notice. The lonely girl struggled in silence with a disease she couldn’t explain, let alone control.
One day the little blond girl told the lonely girl that she had met someone, and planned to get married. She was excited for her friend. All she ever wanted was for her to be happy. The little blond girl started planning her wedding, and the lonely girl wondered who would be in the wedding? Where would it be? What color would her dress be? She had yet to be asked to be in the wedding and was certainly not included in the wedding planning. When the lonely girl had met someone a few years prior and began to plan her wedding, the first person she thought of and called was the little blond girl.
One day, the lonely girl and the blond girl were spending some time together, and the little blond girl finally asked her to be in her wedding. As a bridesmaid…and an afterthought. The lonely girl, of course,agreed, as she still had just as much love in her heart for her friend as she ever had. Eventually, the little blond girl announced that after she was married, she would be moving far, far away to start a new life. The lonely girl was devastated.
When the lonely girl finally did get married, it had to be planned quickly with not much expense, and the little blond girl wasn’t even able to attend. However, they had grown so far apart that the lonely girl didn’t think her friend was upset in the least. She had a whole new life. The last time the lonely girl truly felt like she had a special place in the little blond girl’s heart was when she called her to tell her she was expecting her first child.
Nothing was ever the same after that. The lonely girl learned to cherish any little bit of attention she received from the little blond girl and tried desperately to remain in her life.
The lonely girl loved her friend’s family and attempted to keep in touch. As time went on, they grew further and further apart. Eventually, they would go months without speaking.
The lonely girl wasn’t as much fun or outgoing as the little blond girl. She wasn’t thin; she didn’t have a lot of money, children, or even like similar things much anymore. She felt like a burden to her active, busy friend. Still, if she got a card, a text message, or a phone call, she was ecstatic.
Now at age 42, the lonely girl has become the lonely woman. The little blond girl is now the little blond woman. With a husband and three children, and a beautiful home in Chicago. The lonely woman has never been able to afford to visit. Maybe once or twice a year they will see each other for a birthday or a holidaywhen the blond woman comes home. The lonely woman never feels good enough for her friend.
While the lonely woman struggled with her disease, the death of her mother, and even her brother, she had hopes that the blond woman would reach out to her. When the lonely woman attempted to take her own life in 2013, the blond woman did contact her husband to find out how she was. However, the concern didn’t last long, and things returned to the way they were.
Even though she isn’t on the same level financially, physically, or intellectually, the lonely woman would reach out to her friend almost every week. She sent her a text every time she was watching a movie. Her friend sent photos of her children, which the lonely woman framed and hung on her wall proudly. Such a beautiful family she had.
It became crystal clear to the lonely girl that the blond girl had long since stopped calling her “Best Friend.” While the lonely girl spent 30 years talking about her “Best Friend” or her “Best Friend in Chicago”. She felt left behind and not good enough. The blond girl had made a lot of friends in college that appeared to fill whatever gaps she might have in her life.
Although she still tried, the lonely girl was still frequently ignored, forgotten or just plain left out of the blond girl’s life.
Every single day, this lonely girl grieves the loss of the most amazing friendship she ever had. It was as if we were meant to meet in 5thgrade, and I never felt as if anything could keep us apart for long. However, I have had no choice but to step back. It has been far too painful to be left so far behind. It kills me to know that the last 30 years, I put all of my heart and soul into quite frankly loving this woman more than a sister, and I have barely been an afterthought. To the little blond girl, you know who you are. I miss what we once were to each other. I’ve always been proud to be able to say I’ve had you for a best friend since 5th grade. But, that’s not true anymore is it? I guess life got in the way. That may be true, but I firmly believe that if you love and care for someone, you are never too busy to connect with them on some level. It is true, I stopped texting, emailing, sending cards…all of it. Do you want to know why? Because it didn’t seem to matter to you anymore. I’ll always love you and cherish our memories. I truly wish we had gotten to fulfill that dream of moving next door to each other, driving matching cars. If you ever need me, I’ll be here…but I can’t face the pain of rejection any longer.
I love you, and I wish you nothing but happiness.