You know, when you become someone’s best friend, you sign up to be there for some shit. All the shit, really. You have to be there when some mean bitches makes fun of her and she needs someone to tell her all the shit they said isn’t true.
You have to be there to help her sneak out because she’s too much of a goody-two-shoes to do it on her own. You have to help her live, otherwise, her parents would be too suffocating. You have to be there to catch all the tears she cries over those mean bitches, boys that break her heart, or from the weight of her parent’s expectations.
You agree to be there while she’s trying to find herself and maybe she isn’t making the best decisions, you’re there when she finally falls in love. You stand up next to her when she gets married and you’re there with whatever she might need when she pops baby after baby out of her cooch. You agree to be there for her in the happy times and the sad. You are her rock. The one person she can always, always count on.
It’s almost like the vows you make to your spouse, except these aren’t spoken aloud in front of a crowd and God. These vows are silent and are known in all the things you do together as you grow up. You vow to jump and scream with her in all her successes. You agree to laugh with her when you both desperately need it. You agree to be the shoulder for her to cry on and to cry with her. You agree to sit there silently when all she needs to do is vent and doesn’t really want your advice.
You agree to be there for your best friend for all these things, but another thing you agree to be there for, you never really expected to have to do. You have to be there when they lose the one person they love more than you.
That one thing makes you feel more inadequate than anything else, because suddenly you can’t soak up her tears anymore because nothing you do will stop them like in the past. You can’t hold her tight enough to close that hole in her heart that tears open again and again as she remembers he’s gone forever. All you can do is try your best to hold her together while the rest of her life falls apart around her. Be the constant you always promised you would be.
It won’t be enough. Nothing will be enough to make her whole again. But stick with it long enough, fake it till you make it, and eventually, she will learn to live again. Maybe for a little while, it will be a half-life, but it’s a life and you’re still there… I’m still here.
Allie, my best friend, my soul sister, my soulmate. I mean the other one besides my husband. She’s been there my whole life, the same as I’ve been there for her. She’s the calm to my crazy, the sensible to my impulsivity. I have shared every little milestone in my life with her. She gets me more than my other best friends, Evan and Noah, ever will.
We moved together, we’ve lived on the same property. We grew up in the same world. A world only the four of us could ever truly understand. We became family in all the ways that matter. Even when we lived in three different parts of the country, worlds away, Allie and I have been together, always.
I met my husband at the same time she met hers in a chance encounter at LAX when we were traveling to Boston to start our first year of residency at a hospital Allie’s dad owns. I was twenty-seven and not ready to meet my forever. Fate or whatever the fuck doesn’t give a single shit when you’re ready. She will throat punch you with all the feels and slam that person straight into your fucking face saying “Here you go, bitch!”.
She did that with me, and she definitely did that with Allie. She was ready to fall in love. I was not. But I fell hard for Jake. So fast it made me nearly lose the contents of my stomach on the free fall.
It worked out wonderfully that Jake and Allie’s love, Alex, were best friends. We created another family almost separate from the one Allie and I created with Evan and Noah. They were on their own journeys, after all. Evan, with his wife and daughter, and Noah with his wife and babies.
Alex, Allie, Jake, and I were in our own bubble long enough to change my life when it all hit me like a ton of fucking bricks. Life was good. We had our drama, as you do. Our life would not be right without some kind of fucking drama. But in the end, we all ended up with our happily ever afters, our forevers.
Life was good… until it wasn’t. Jake and Alex were in the Air Force. Eventually, they got deployed overseas. It was gonna happen. Ain’t no thang. A few months apart, but you know, distance makes the heart grow fonder and all that shit. I stayed with Allie while Jake was gone. We’d never spent much time apart before we got married, and she was expecting a baby. Alex didn’t want her to be alone. Win-win.
I heard the knock at the door too early in the morning. It should have been normal. I should have been cursing the fuck that woke me up when the sun was just barely coming up, but something in my stomach was telling me it wasn’t any normal thing.
These were not the kinds of visitors you ever wanted gracing your fucking doorstep. I wanted to ignore the damn door, but that stupid niggling in my stomach wouldn’t let me. Then the scream echoed in the large house. It was a scream so full of pain and heartbreak; it broke my heart just to hear it.
I didn’t understand what was happening until I saw those uniformed men give me a sympathetic look, then walk away like they didn’t destroy a fucking life. I mean it wasn’t really them that did it, but the bearers of bad news always get the shit end of the stick.
Allie’s world was crushed. And it will never be the same. I held her as she fell apart, worried for the baby that was nearing its due date. I tried to hold myself together because that’s what you do when your other half is breaking. You can’t break too, but my husband was with Alex. Did he suffer the same fate? Were there uniformed men at my place in Boston looking for me to destroy my world, too?
I didn’t know, but I couldn’t let the unknown break me. Not yet. It was confirmed that Alex was KIA. Jake could still be alive. I would hold it together long enough to find out if it was true. In the meantime, I called the calvary to help me console Allie. We couldn’t fix her. God knows, nothing could, but we could shower her with all the love we have to give. Between all of us, it’s a lot of love, but still only a fraction of what Alex gave to her.
Jake came back to me but he came back a different person. He carried his best friends’ coffin off the plane and brought him home to his pregnant wife. He was just as broken as Allie, but in a different way. I can only imagine what he’s going through. What would I be like if I lost Allie? It was not something I ever wanted to entertain, but for the love of my life, it is his reality.
Now, months later, Alex is not dead, and it’s a fucking miracle. Allie’s given birth to their baby boy. Things have gone back to normal for her, but not for me and Jake, as I might have expected. I think Jake has PTSD from his time overseas. Watching your best friend die no doubt fucks with you something fierce. I sympathize, but I don’t know how to help. I’m as helpless now as I was while holding Allie after the news.
Jake’s pushing me away. I don’t even know if he realizes he’s doing it. He doesn’t want to accept my comfort. He barely sleeps and when he does, he wakes up in a sweat with screams piercing the night. I try to hold him the way I would hold anyone, but he can’t stand the closeness. It’s too stifling, it’s too smothering.
He loves me; I know that, but it’s hard to be there for him. I’m a doctor. I know what’s going on with the chemicals in his brain. I understand the basics, but I can never really know what it’s like. I feel more alone than I’ve ever felt in my life. I feel powerless in a way I never have before.
Loving my husband is breaking my fucking heart.