When I was little, I had two close friends, both boys. I played guns and catch with them, and theirs were the doors I went knocking on across the street when I was bored. After we moved to Germany, I had no friends for a while because I didn't speak the language. Eventually I met a girl, Tina, through one of my mom's friends. We quickly became best friends. Except, she already had a best friend. I stoically took second place, because she was my only friend in this unaccepting elementary school world in a foreign country.
Then we moved to America and I had to start on my best friend search all over. Sure, I had friends this time around, but all of them were already taken. Already imprinted with half of a BFF bracelet or necklace, already having known each other "since first grade" or "since our mom's were pregnant together." I would never have that.
Then one sunny day, this girl and I were unwillingly thrown in a car together to make a three-plus hour trip. Her, to see her boyfriend, me to see this same boy who was my friend. We hated each other. She hated me because she was convinced I was trying to steal her boyfriend, and I hated her because she intruded on my friendship with this boy. He loved both of us, and wanted us to come visit him at college, and well, wouldn't it be pointless if we drove separate?
So for the first hour, we didn't talk.
Suddenly, she pulls out a tiny, but thick book out of her purse and says "what's your birthday?" I glare, "why?" Well, because I have this book of 365 (....yea let's not say what this particular book was about...) and I want to look up what it would be on your birthday.
I sigh. "January 7th." She glares back. "No, it isn't."
Turns out we had the same birthday. We awkwardly giggled and got to know each other throughout the rest of the trip, still being weary of the other nonetheless.
Years passed, the boy went out of our lives, but we stayed in each others'. Once you find a birthday twin, you don't just stop talking to them, right?
She wasn't "best friend taken," and neither was I so we defaulted into best friendship. But, our relationship was tumultous. We're both stubborn, proud, and always right.
I've always envisioned a best friend that would come to my rescue in the middle of the night with Ben&Jerry's and new flannel pajamas after a break-up and we'd watch Julia Roberts movies together and cry and laugh and make fun of the "loser" that broke my heart.
All I got instead was a "don't be so dramatic" text message.
Um, this is not how I envisioned my best friend.
Over the years, we grew apart, grew back together, had different groups of friends, hurt each other unintentionally, and sometimes intentionally.
Almost ten years later now, I realize how very important this girl is in my life. We have both changed so much and so little. We still argue over who's right (me).
We get in a fight and don't talk to each other for days, only to have one of us shoot the other a text about how annoying a particular level on a game we're both playing is. We don't apologize. Best of all, she genuinely loves my daughter.
Though it is not a relationship from the movies, it is one I'd never trade. It is uniquely ours.
She knows what to say and when to say it. She knows my thoughts, my deepest fears and secrets.
And I have blackmail on her as well.
She doesn't bullshit or pretend. She will tell me when I'm being ridiculous and knows that I won't talk to her for a week for saying it.
It took me years to realize she is the best friend I have always wanted, and I treasure her so very much.
Love you, Les.