Making and keeping friends has always been hard for me. I haven’t had a best friend for a few years now (unless my boyfriend counts!). I always think what it would be like if I had a best friend…would she come over while boyfriend went to work? Would she teach me new hairstyles? I could finally go shopping without someone moaning & groaning behind me! But, I always lose my best friends. I don’t know if it’s my fault…I need to look back and see where everything all went wrong.
The first best friend I remember having was a girl named Ursula in Kindergarten. On the first day of school, she moved over to sit next to me when we all gathered around the teacher, sitting pretzel-styled on the rug. My mom came to my whole first day of Kindergarten & she nodded with approval when I looked over at her after Ursula asked me if I would be her best friend. Our friendship didn’t even last the whole year. Ursula and her family moved to Hawaii.
The second best friend I remember having was Alise. She was my best friend all the way from Kindergarten to 3rd grade. My family was moving to a different city. I cried because I’d miss her & all of my other friends, I didn’t want to move away but it wasn’t my choice, obviously. I guess she remembered me too because she added me on FaceBook a couple of years ago. I accepted but I never messaged her & she never messaged me. It’s crazy that we could still connect so many years later & just remember each other but not say anything.
When I moved to Forest Lake, MN it was really hard for me to fit in. There were literally no other colored folk except for me and my family. I became best friends with this girl, Mia, because on the first day of 4th grade; our names were already written down on the desks, we had assigned seats which I always loved. Mine was right next to Mia. We became the best of friends. We were always partners for everything, we would write each other super long notes, & talk on the phone with each other for hours–it was like we never ran out of shit to tell each other, ever. I wasn’t allowed to hang out with friends outside of school so in the summer after 4th grade; Mia & I would talk on the phone but never see each other. In 5th grade, we weren’t put in the same class. She became best friends with Sheila. I desperately tried to keep our friendship by writing her notes still but I could tell she liked Sheila more, they were in the same class, & could hang out outside of school whenever they wanted.
I became best friends with Kait. We were as close as Mia & I had been & it happened even quicker. Mia & I never hated each other or stopped considering each other “best friends” but it’s like we didn’t even know each other because we were in different classes. Kait was in a different class than mine, too, but our classes were connected to each other so really, we just had different teachers. Kait was my first friend that wasn’t a “goody-good,” she didn’t care about the rules. She had to switch schools because of it, her parents wanted her to go to some preparatory school. If I had been allowed to go over to my friends’ house–our friendship might’ve lasted longer but once she switched schools, it was the same as if she had moved to Hawaii. She told me that she started to cut herself & she was “emo” now. I didn’t really know what any of that meant. She told me not to mention to anyone that she cut herself…which I NEVER did (until now). A classmate asked me where she had went & I told them, “I don’t know, she’s emo now.” She called me and asked me why I told people she cut herself when she had asked me not to. I told her that I told people she was emo & I had no idea that was associated with cutting yourself but everyone else knew this fact, I guess? I truly think she never forgave me for that. She didn’t believe that I didn’t blurt her secret.
After I lost Kait, I tried to find my way back into Mia’s life. I found my way but I had to accept that it wasn’t just Mia as my best friend anymore…Sheila was a part of her & a part of “us” now. So we became a trio.
There was a girl on my bus, Tia, who I hated in 4th & 5th grade but all of a sudden, she wasn’t so weird anymore in 6th grade. We started talking on the bus & we were even able to hang out outside of school because she lived so close. (My parents didn’t care if I was running around outside in our neighborhood but I was forbidden in anyone else’s house.) We would go on bike rides & to the playground. It seemed like there was always something we could do together. She became my best friend & just like Mia brought Sheila in–I brought Tia in. We were the 4 best friends! I loved them & they were REAL friends. We didn’t talk about each other when one of us wasn’t around, we included each other in everything & never tried to make anyone else in the group feel bad (which sadly was rare when I hung out in groups of girls). We were never in competition over school, boys, or looks. We rooted for each other, we were there for each other, & we were always together. Since I had been friends with Mia & Sheila for so long, my parents started to allow me over to Sheila’s house. We would have sleepovers; the four of us. I’ve never had real best friends like that ever again. We even kept in touch & planned get-togethers when I moved away after 6th grade ended. Sheila stopped having sleepovers for her birthday & that was our usual, for sure, annual hang out. I think our last one was during freshman year in High School. Mia parted ways from Sheila & Tia & it never seemed right to me to plan a separate meeting with Mia from Sheila & Tia. I hung out with Mia separately once, we went bowling & out to eat. Tia & Sheila came over to my place once & we went to the mall. I think we all felt it was too different & weird. Those were the last times I saw them.
I still love all of them so much but we don’t talk at all. We like each other’s tweets & FB posts but that’s about it. They probably don’t know this; but I will always have their back if they ever need me to.
My ex-best friend is K. I have mentioned her in my past blog posts plenty of times, she was who I moved in with in Washington. I know I already wrote the story about how that all happened. If you haven’t read that…to sum it up: my dad called the cops on me for having weed in my room & my boyfriend at the time was an abusive asshole (J) who had just snapped my glasses in half. I needed my best friend, K. We became best friends in 8th grade. She was dating this boy, Lou, he became one of my best friends first. At that age, she was threatened by me hanging out with him all the time. Lou even told me all the rude things she would say about me though she was his girlfriend & I was just his friend. We all hung out so often, K eventually became my best friend, too. Lou broke up with her & I took K’s side. I thought Lou was an extremely fucked up person. He was never nice & he is still not nice as an adult. Once, Lou & K broke up…K was all mine! We spent every waking hour together, experienced everything together. I practically lived at her house before I ever did move in with her. I couldn’t believe when her family was moving to Washington when junior year started. I didn’t know what I was going to do…I held onto J like he was my life jacket. I had no one else & how did I forget how to make friends? When my life fell completely apart, I knew she would be there to save me & she was. I lived with her & her family hundreds of miles away from my own. I didn’t even feel like I belonged in my family anymore…I belonged in theirs.
When K’s mom would help me with my homework, K would take pictures of us & post “my mom likes her more than me” as her caption. When I first got there, K’s mom would kiss us both on the forehead before bed. She stopped giving me kisses & telling me that she loved me…at least in front of K. When K wasn’t around, her mom would talk to me like I was her best friend. One day, K’s mom brought me into her room & explained to me that K was jealous of me & that she wasn’t used to having a “sister.” K’s mom said she did love me & that she wanted to be there for me but at the same time, she didn’t want K to feel like our relationship was stronger or threatening to theirs. (It definitely never was since she bred K but K saw it differently, she didn’t want to share her mom with me. She knew I barely had a mom & she thought I was trying to steal hers even though she was the one who invited me to stay.)
I should’ve known from the beginning that K wasn’t a real friend. She was always jealous of me about absolutely everything. The only time she wasn’t trying to be better than me was when I showed her my weak side…when I was broken, crying, or drugged up. All K wants to do is fix broken people…she lives off people needing her. I stopped needing her & she stopped being my best friend.
She stole weed & money from her friends in Washington & she would tell them it was me. She threw me under the bus all the time with her parents. She never had my back–she always wanted me to get into trouble. I would try to meet all her new friends but she always “warned” them about me before we met, she would tell them I’m extremely judgmental & I don’t hold my tongue…that I think I’m better than everyone else & I’m always rude. All of her new friends always seemed so weary & weird around me. Her last girlfriend that I had the pleasure of meeting wasn’t weird around me, though, & she was the one who told me what K had told her about me before we met. She said, I was not the way K said I would be at all.
A lightbulb went off in my head when her ex-gf told me this…K had given all of her friends this info about me before they met me & she had been doing it since High School! That’s why no one ever seemed to like me, I started to think it was my fault. Then, I realized K told all of her friends this because she didn’t want her new friends to meet me & get along with me better. She wanted them to hate me. She didn’t want me to become friends with any of her new friends–either because she feared that we’d become better friends or because she worried she wouldn’t have someone to talk bad about me to anymore.
Ever since her ex-gf told me the shit she lied about me to everyone…I stopped considering K my best friend. I’d respond to her text messages halfheartedly unless it was about her son or family (whom I still love). Eventually, I’d just ignore all of her texts saying “I can’t believe so & so does this & that” or “so & so doesn’t do this but I do so I’m the best” (just kidding about the second one, kind of…like she really does say shit like that but in different words.) She told me one of her other best friends is extremely depressed & is talking to a professional to make it better. I didn’t respond because if that was me; I’d hate her for telling everyone about my situation. I knew if it was me that everyone that ever talked to K would know that I was in trouble. I don’t want a best friend like that.
She’ll not to talk to me for months then one day she’ll text me & ask me how is everything going. If I tell her that I’m happy & things are well, she responds every half hour or takes even longer than that…she’ll try to ask about things she knows will bother me but I brush them off & try to prove I’m un-bothered. She won’t talk about her life & our conversation dies out quickly. Now, if she texts me & I say “oh life is just shit. Here’s why:…” she is all ears & responds within seconds. She then talks all about her life & how things are going GREAT. When I’m already feeling down on myself…she uses it as a platform to brag about her life because she knows that her life will seem glorious compared to mine when I’m feeling that way.
I should’ve known she was never my best friend. Best friends don’t try their hardest to make you feel bad. I should’ve never felt like I needed to prove something to her, ever, but every time I talk to her…that’s how she makes me feel. That is not what a best friend is. A best friend doesn’t make you wonder if they really are your best friend. A best friend doesn’t judge you or talk bad about you. You shouldn’t have to re-write your texts to your best friend, you shouldn’t be afraid to say anything at all to her or him. My only best friend is my boyfriend & I don’t think I could ever find a better one.
There were others who I considered my “best” friend for short periods of time throughout the years, too, but none of them lasted for that long. I’ll always remember this boy who was in my sister’s grade though; he fought J once because he saw him push me. I was his best friend because he smoked weed with me behind his real friends’ backs (including my sister). He never really acted the same around me after he fought with J though, understandably.
P.S. All names have been changed.
Featured Image by Clarisse Meyer