The universe has a funny way of working. You can be living your life, everything routine, and then one day everything changes and there’s no way to stop it.
My older brother was always Mr. Popular growing up. In school, he had friends everywhere he went. Every single soul knew who he was. Even this one particular boy, who had this one particular little sister.
My brother and this friend of his, used to ride to school together every day.
Eventually, my brother’s friend and his family, moved into some apartment complexes just down the road from our house. It was quite literally around a ten to fifteen minute walk, give or take.
His little sister, at the time, was the exact same age as me. We were both about to start our first year of middle school. Because his family moved, she had to go to the middle school that I went to.
I remember this specific day like it was yesterday.
I was at my house, not really doing anything in particular. It was the end of summer time, and I was dreading going back to school. As I sat down to eat some lunch, there was a knock at the door.
A blonde woman I’ve never met before smiled down on me.
She told me that she was the mother of my brother’s friend, and that she wanted to chat with my mother.
I shouted for my mom, and then went back to eating my lunch in the living room.
Once her and my mom started talking, I couldn’t help but eavesdrop.
It was decided that my mother would drive her daughter and me to school every morning, since we live so close together and the school was only about ten minutes down the road from our neighborhood.
She offered to pay my mom gas money every week, if her daughter could carpool with us. As always, my mom said yes and that was that.
Not a minute later, my mom asked the woman to come inside.
“Let me go grab my daughter from the car, hang on.” Was her response.
I was so not in the mood for a meet and greet at the time. In fact, I thought it was going to be annoying that we would have to pick this girl up every day. It just meant we had to leave the house earlier, and it meant that I had to wake up earlier.
Needless to say, I was not a happy camper from the start.
A few minutes later, in walks a girl around my height, with bleach blonde hair almost down to her butt. She wore contact lenses and a pink skirt. Her big blue eyes topped the look off for sure. To me, a brown eyed, brunette tomboy, the girl before me was nothing more than a Barbie.
I immediately decided that I didn’t like her, and from the glare she sent my way, she felt the same.
Our mother’s told us both how our mornings would go, and that every day we’re both to be ready on time so we’re never late to school.
“Tiffany, this is Katherine.” The girl’s mother said to me.
I simply nodded my head, and then turned back to my TV.
I couldn’t have been any less interested.
Katherine didn’t even say hi back, she just looked at her mom and gave her the, “Can we please leave now?” look.
They both eventually left, and that was the last I heard of them until the first day of sixth grade.
When we left to pick her up, my mom told me to be nice to her and include her in with my friends. I already knew some kids that lived in the area, and so I expected to see them on my first day.
When Katherine got into the car, she was dressed in blue jean pants and a pink top. Her hair was down and straight and she had light make up on her face.
She said hello, and I said it back, after getting a heavy glance from my mother.
We didn’t really speak the entire way to school, and once we got there, I was kind of a bitch and just left her to fend for herself while I went and met up with some friends.
After school, we met up outside because she wasn’t sure how we were getting home. My mom told me we might have to walk home, which wasn’t a bad thing since we lived so close and lived in a decent enough neighborhood.
I told Katherine I’d walk her home and the first ten minutes of our journey was completely silent.
I can’t exactly remember who spoke first, but eventually we began talking about random topics. Probably our favorite movies, or songs, or how her first day went at school. She said she met a couple cool people, but that was it.
Contrast to her pink and bubbly outside, her sarcastic and intelligent mind is what made me see her completely different. She actually made me laugh, and we actually agreed on things that most wouldn’t. Before we knew it, we reached her apartment complex, and she asked if I wanted to come inside for a bit.
I didn’t really have a time to be home, so I agreed.
We made snacks and watched TV, nothing too crazy. We even had similar taste in TV, which was hard to believe at first.
It appeared to me that this girl was far more outgoing and down to earth than I gave her credit for. Sure, I was a tomboy and had my small group of friends, but I was also an introvert and a quiet person. I didn’t say much, hardly ever, but when I did I was sure to make an impact.
She was different than me on a total opposing level. She spoke freely and openly about everything. In fact, she even taught herself to speak for me, when she knew that I couldn’t say anything.
After that first day, every single day after that we walked home together and I went to her house until my mom got home from work. Eventually, we started having sleepovers, and after that, we were pretty much inseparable.
We did everything together, and shared every secret we’ve ever had with one another.
I told her about my family, and she told me about hers.
She was my complete opposite, and yet, I had never felt more alike with someone in my entire life.
Eventually, in the mornings, I’d bring her around my small group of friends who quickly became her own. Mix that with the few friends she made herself, and we had a pretty cool bunch of kids behind us.
Still, nobody ever came close to the bond that we shared with each other.
She somehow became the sister that I never had, or even knew that I wanted. Growing up with only two brothers, I was sure that I wouldn’t get along with another female the way that I did with her.
I was someone who wore blue jean shorts and T-shirts that were way too big for me. My hair was always in a bun or ponytail, and I never wore much makeup. She was someone who took time on her makeup every day, she never leaves the house without it, and her blonde hair and blue eyes give her that bubbly look that at some point I envied.
Sure, we both had our flaws, but we always saw the best in each other. And we still do.
After 12 long years, we are still best friends to this very day. Sure, we live our separate adult lives now. Sure she’s married to a great guy, and I’m engaged to my own great guy. Sure we don’t talk every single day anymore, and I can’t remember the last time we had a sleepover... but that doesn’t change the fact that whenever she calls or texts me, I’m right there with open arms and an open mind, and vice versa.
We still make time for each other for birthdays and holidays.
That’s the thing with time. It can change who you are drastically, but those people that know you inside and out, will always know in a sense, who you are. Sure, we don’t see each other every single day anymore, but I know that if I ever needed her, she’d drop everything for me, and I’d do the same for her. People seem to think that just because you can’t see someone as often as you’d like, that you have to give up on them and forget them completely.
People tend to not value a real and honest friendship anymore. Everyone is so quick to try to find someone new to fill the void of whoever was in their place prior.
The thing is, you don’t have to throw away friendships or stop being someone’s person just because the situations are different and time is different. Time is always moving and so are our lives. If you find someone that you call a best friend, someone that knows you better than you know yourself sometimes, then you should do everything in your power to hold onto them.
There is nothing greater, than a best friend. Someone to talk to when you need to vent, someone to go on adventures with you at three in the morning because you’re bored. Someone to watch old TV shows and movies with you, just so the two of you can feel nostalgic. Someone to walk home with you from school one day, and watch your world fall apart at the news of your father leaving for the second time, and is still standing right there with a shoulder to cry on... even if she has no words to say to make anything feel any better.
Her existence in my world has been immaculate, and I am so grateful to have met someone I can call my best friend.
Sure, it wasn’t love at first sight, in fact I think I hated her. But now? I cherish her.
Because you know what? The best friendships are the ones that you never saw coming.