A sight that leaves me dreaming wistfully of the beauty of the past…
When I read the daily prompt this morning my lovelies, I knew this was one I had to do: Tell us the origin story of your best friend. How did you become friends? What is it that keeps your friendship rockin’ after all these years? I’ve told this story a million times over the years but never here on my blog, and since I mention my bestie so much, I figure it’s only right to tell y’all the story as well!
My best friend and I met the summer before my Senior (and her Junior) year in high school at the pool in the apartment complex where I (and she) lived. I was taking my younger brother swimming because 1) I LOVE to swim, and 2) there was this stupid rule about how old you had to be to swim at the pool (which we broke all summer because at sixteen years old I apparently could not swim without someone twenty-one watching me but considering I’d been swimming confidently since I was five, I figure this rule was a bit silly, but I digress…). Now I should probably tell you my lovelies, that I’m not the most trusting person in the world and I don’t really take to new people well, I get defensive or stand-offish and usually just ignore everyone that I don’t know. Or rather, I used to. I’m a lot better know, since I was bombarded with new people and new situations when I went to college a few years ago and it was an adapt-or-live like a leper or social pariah for a few years kind of thing and I chose to adapt. But when my bestie and I met, I was still rather anti-social and not at all a fan of new people, especially not new people who wouldn’t take no for an answer, and good grief was she stubborn.
I can’t remember if she was already at the pool when my brother and I arrived or if she got there later, but I do remember thinking “Crap, now I have to deal with her…” So I put on my best Fear-Me look and pointedly would not give her the time of day (other than a few curt replies) although she kept swimming by what I deemed my-side-of-the-pool and asking pesky questions like how old was I? What school did I go to? Have I lived here long? All I could think was WHY DOES SHE NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS?!!! So with narrowed, blatantly untrusting eyes and a palpable aura of disapproval and distrust I answered her as icily as I could and hoped she was smart enough to take the hint that her inquiries and her presence (if she was going to keep talking that is) were not welcome. It seemed to work…for a moment and my temper began to settle.
Then she began speaking to my little brother.
Who did this little pool stalker think she was?! If I dismissed her then she had no right to speak to my brother (who I later learned already knew my bestie because she baby-sat for some of his friends)! My over-protective big-sister instinct flared to life with righteous indignation, but before I could do or say anything, here she was showing him how to stick his legs out of the pool and lean back underwater until his back touched the wall. THE BITCH WAS TRYING TO DROWN HIM!!! I sprang into action, rushing (as fast as someone can rush when they’re up to their shoulders in water) to save my brother and get him as far away from this nutter as possible, but he resurfaced before I got there and was grinning proudly. “You’ve got to try this Tara, it’s so cool!” he crowed, happy as can be, oblivious to the fact that moments before I’d been on the war-path looking for blood. I stopped and stared first at him, making sure he really was okay, then at her, then back at him. Maybe she hadn’t been trying to drown him after all?
Noticing perhaps, the severe and sudden drop of hostility on my part, my future BFF made her move and struck up a conversation when I was too confused to put her off. I still didn’t fully trust her (that was the weirdest swimming move I’ve ever seen) but she had refrained from drowning my brother and that meant she couldn’t be so bad. I guess. I mean right? So we talked for a while, she happily gabbing away and me thawing out bit by bit until it was time for us to go. We planned to see each other again (a plan I fully didn’t intend to keep) and went our separate ways until I made the mistake of telling my mom about my new “friend” and how I didn’t plan on going over to visit like I promised. Big mistake on my part because mom had me out the door in five minutes flat telling me I better go say hello. Sigh.
And so the awkward friendship continued until after a while it grew into genuine friendship and then into full-blown bestie awesomeness. And now 8 years later we are once-again approaching our friendiversary, a little older, a little wiser, and a lot nicer (on my part at least). Life has taken us for one helluva ride so far in the relative short time we’ve known one-another, but still our friendship remains strong. We lasted through the separation of moves, college (and me crying on the phone for an hour telling her how much I wanted to come home because I didn’t like all the new-ness), the addition of family members, deaths, divorces (my parents’), living together (which was better in theory because we never actually fought until we lived together, though I think if anything, it strengthened our friendship), distance, and time. We went for months (amicably) not talking because I’m always reluctant to actually call people and life was a bit rough, but I could only go so long before I needed my bestie.
Time and time again she has been there for me, always with a cheeky comment or just the right thing to say, even if we only speak in movie-quotes or Disney lyrics. I can say the weirdest things to her and know that she understands what I mean and vice-versa, I don’t have to be prim or grim, I can be goofy and outrageous. And for someone, who by choice, does not have that many close friends, it’s nice to know that I have one person outside of family who truly gets me and who truly cares.
Our friendship isn’t perfect, we have our ups and downs but no matter what, we fight though and I think that’s why we’re pretty freaking awesome, because I won’t fight for just any friendship, I’ve let other dissipate and fade away, but I can’t imagine my life without my bestie. She’s worth fighting for, even if she is a pool stalker 😀
(And P.S. my bestie is also on WordPress: BecomingEllipsisMark ) Go check her out, she’s got some great poetry!