There are moments in your life you won’t forget, actually you can’t forget. I have this memory of hiding under my bed when I was five. I remember seeing glass shattered on the floor and clutching my stuffed animal, for some weird reason I can’t remember what kind of stuffed animal but it isn’t important to the memory. I remember seeing my Father’s feet walk into the room and call my name. He was filled with worry. My bedroom window had burst into small pieces. A tank outside our house had fired a shot and the noise had broken the window. My father gathered me up and my siblings and we all slept in my parents bed that night. We were the innocents of war. We obviously survived and made it to Canada. That was 1976.

Other memories aren’t as traumatic, but still important to remember. I remember the first time I rode my bike by myself. I was so excited that I had saved my knees from any further pain that day. I remember my first kiss. I remember getting punched in the face because I was in love with this girl in grade 8. I remember writing my first short story. I remember when one of my best friends died. I remember the first movie I ever saw. I also remember my first best friend. It was in grade 8 and how we met was in the most painful way. Her name was Stacey and no she wasn’t the one that died. She walked up to me and kicked me. No not in the shins, higher and in the center. Yup, you guessed it. I fell to the ground and gasped for air. Now for all you women who don’t know the feeling, lets just say men who have been kicked there, would rather feel the pain of childbirth then ever having to be kicked there again. Believe me, it is excruciating. Stacey immediately felt guilty and found out my phone number and called me at home that night and apologized. I immediately forgave her but had only one question,

“Why did you do that?”

I swear this to be true, this was her answer.

“I was just curious to see what would happen.”

Needless to say we spent the next 3 hours on the phone talking and getting to know each other. She became my most trusted companion. I told her my deepest secrets and shared my darkest fears. The reason why she became my best friend is because she took those secrets and fears and locked them away. Her friendship and the person she was, formed the standards for what I still believe a friend should be. No other has been able to duplicate her type of friendship. I know each person is different, but what a friend should be is universal.

Supportive, honest, loyal and will eat the gross stuff off your plate when the restaurant messes up your order. Trust me your girlfriend or boyfriend will never do that. They will always call the waiter and make them take it back. Oh and your best friend will go to jail with you just so you don’t have to be there alone. Jail isn’t that scary, the people are, but not the actual jail. No I have never been arrested.

Friends will come and go. They have to, they have their own lessons to learn and you were just a pit stop. Not in a bad way, temporary friendships are healthy. It teaches us that life can be ever changing and progress. Now best friends, well they last forever, most anyway. You can lose best friends. One of mine died. I spent 4 years crying over the loss. I held a lot of guilt. My last words to him were “Fuck you”. It’s a long story and I will tell it another day.

I spent so many years staying away from people and didn’t make friends. I was petrified of getting hurt, and the ones I did meet were cruel. I remember asking kids in the school yard,

“Will you be my friend?”

I didn’t get an answer. I gained popularity by joining grade 10 Drama. I was the funny kid. I was the intense kid.

Now that I’m older I love meeting new people because I know how the social game works and the order of things. I feel excited when I am learning about someone for the first time. I have these questions I ask them and they are not your usual ones. It makes them think, for example:

What colour is love?

What year would you travel back to if you could and why?

What moment in history would you stop?

I think friends should challenge you to be the best person possible and hold you accountable, and you should return the favour. There’s a certain freedom to having a best friend. You never have to pretend. You can always just be you, whoever that may be and whoever you turn out to be. The great thing about a best friend is that they grow up with you and cry with you and realize that they aren’t as young as you used to be. Making friends is rewarding in ways that researchers can’t calculate. I believe friends, best friends for that matter, are 2 spirits that decide to live their lives at the same point in time just so that you can always share the memory of the lives you both live. It’s what they call in the retail business a 2 for 1 deal. One life time, 2 lives shared. Stacey moved on in life and now is married and lives in the United States. My current best friend, she lives in North Bay. She has taught me how to accept who I am. At the point where I am in life, that is the best thing anyone has ever taught me. Because she is my best friend I feel ok about meeting new people and making more friends. I can’t wait to make our next memory. I am pretty sure we will be laughing at some point during it.

My favourite thing about a best friend is that they will never interrupt you when you are venting.

xoxo Best Friends Forever