Besties

It must have hurt like hell, but I can’t remember.

My best friend of my teen years. We were inseparable. A set. Always the two of us. Our names running together as if we were one whenever anyone talked about us, invited us anywhere, was looking for us.

“Where’s SharynEnMaria?”
“Are MariaEnSharyn coming?”

She was the funny one: social and likeable. I was the smart one: confident and caustic.

I loved her with an obsessive love that only teenage girls can really understand. Where all day every day still wasn’t enough to share all the things that we wanted to share.

When I think back on it, it seems like it was no big deal to let her go. That can’t be true of course, but the pain of it is nowhere in my memory.

She had a boyfriend in our senior year, a tight-fisted jerk who I hated, and who she invited along every time I wanted to spend time with her. I was exploring my sexuality with my first girlfriend, it made her uncomfortable. The cracks were appearing, slowly getting wider. I wanted to fix what was wrong, we arranged some time away together. Just us, we agreed.

He turned up on the first day.

I saw clearly then that she wasn’t interested enough to repair what was going wrong with us. I should have been heartbroken. I think I probably was. But I guess the cracks were big enough by then that the inevitability of it made it hurt less.

We spent that week together at the beach: her, me, him, some others. The feeling of loss and simmering resentment a vague memory now. When we left, I knew we were done, like you know it with partners and lovers. It was the end of school, a natural way to end it. I figured I’d outgrown her, or she me. I’m not sure which.

I never saw her again.

I watched this clip this morning, it made me smile: We were just like that. It still amazes me how fragile it was despite feeling as solid as a rock for so many years.

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4 Comments

    1. Agreed.

      There is something inherently sad about it because those young friendships are SO intense. You think you will be best friends forever. It seems impossible that they could just disappear so easily.

      Ferns

  1. I remember how betrayed I felt when I was just starting secondary school, and my bestie seemed to turn against me. Until then, we’d been close friends – not as close as you describe, Ms. Ferns, but still close. When we went to secondary, we joined kids from other primary schools too, so we made new friends. For some reason, my bestie and two of our new friends would periodically start some kind of strange teasing thing where they’d maybe claim to have “heard something about you”, or make up some ridiculous tale about me. At the time, I was shy and found it difficult to know how to react, and so didn’t manage to simply laugh it off or find suitable retorts – I suspect that is what encouraged them. After a while, they’d get tired of their fun and we’d all be friends like before, but each time, it hurt.

    The day came when I had apparently learned how to react, made some dismissive comment to the new opening gambit, and it petered out immediately – all part of the process of growing up, I guess.

    It’s irritating, looking back and realising how you could have handled things so much better than you did!

    1. Kids can be so mean.

      Oddly, this girl was a total bully in primary school. To me and to others. To this day I don’t know how we went from that to best friends, but I think (unlike your friend/s) that the transition to high school unsettled her, removed her power base. So she had to change.

      And yes, if we escape relatively unscathed, I chalk it up to ‘part of growing up’.

      Ferns

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