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Losing a Best Friend

by Lindsay Birge about a year ago in friendship
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What happens when you lose your other half

Photo by Roxxie Blackham on Unsplash

A friendship is different from a romantic relationship, but perhaps it is just as important, if not more so. A best friend is someone who you can bare your soul to, someone who gets you, and doesn't judge what they know. A friendship break up is one of the most painful losses a person can go through. Losing a person that you shared so much of your life with can be just as painful as a breakup with a significant other. It’s especially painful when you aren’t sure what happened to cause it to end.

I was a teenager when I experienced my friendship break up. My best friend, who I'll call Bailey for the purpose of the story, left my life abruptly and never gave a reason why. Since the 7th grade she had forced her way into my life and made herself at home. When we first met, I was reluctant to be her friend. She seemed pushy, and decided to move into my world without giving me any say in the matter. She would call daily until I answered the phone, and talk my ear off until our parents made us get off the phone for dinner. After weeks of her assertiveness, I eventually gave in and allowed this girl into my life. Soon after, I learned what a crazy, fun, loud, and supportive person she was. I allowed myself to experience what it was like to have a real best friend. Sure, I’d had friends in the past, but never one I was close enough with to call my very best friend. We spent our weekends in each other’s company, and our classes joking around and laughing until the teacher threatened to split us up. We took silly photos together, giggled through the night at sleepovers, and talked about our dreams for the future. We stood up to bullies for each other; we cried on one another’s shoulder. For two years she was mine and I was hers, until we weren't.

Photo by Walter Randlehoff on Unsplash

Once we hit high school, a gap seemed to open between us and swallow up our friendship. Our class schedules never matched up, and Bailey made new friends. Our nightly calls seemed fewer and farther between, and sleepovers were a thing of the past. Eventually, it seemed, everything had changed, and I was left to navigate my ever changing world alone.

As I made my way through my teens, I didn't find myself telling Bailey about my first time, or my first heartbreak. Instead, I dealt with the reverberations by myself. I didn’t tell her how I was used and discarded. I felt alone and as if I had no one to turn to for comfort. I can only imagine her first time was much the same, but could never know for sure. How could we go from talking to each other every day of our lives to only smiling in the hallway as we passed each other? It was a foreign concept to me.

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I didn't know the relationship was really over until I heard from a mutual friend that Bailey was pregnant and that her mom was forcing her to have an abortion. I couldn't wrap my mind around that. The pain and helplessness that she must have felt shook my soul. This was my best friend, and I couldn’t even properly comfort her. Bailey didn’t want me to know what was happening in her life anymore. Maybe she was ashamed, but if there was one thing I thought I had let her know in our friendship, it was that I would always be there for her, no matter what the situation was. Perhaps I had failed her. I longed for the simple and care free life we had just a few years ago, when our biggest worry was who Jake liked, and if Jerry thought we were funny or not.

Knowing that the relationship was over was a pain I decided to bottle up and keep deep inside my heart. I decided to never put myself out there like that again. I had once and it resulted in what felt like total abandonment. What was so wrong with me? Did I drive her away? What could I have done to keep her from leaving me? Even now, in my 20's, I find myself still dreaming about Bailey and being her best friend, reliving my younger years. I know she's on her own life path and has a son now, but otherwise I know nothing about her. I don't even have her phone number.

Photo by Edu Grande on Unsplash

I remember reading about people who have their best friend over to get wine drunk. They have a sleep over at one of their houses, while one of the husbands makes them cheese plates and sleeps on the couch so they can lay in bed and watch romcoms all night. It's something so simple, yet I feel like I am truly missing out by not having this experience. I've barred myself from knowing what it would be like for fear that history may repeat itself.

I want to be able to call my best friend when my husband makes me angry, or be a listening ear when their significant other draws on their last nerve. I want to talk about our favorite books, our celebrity crushes, our childhood, what makes us who we are. I want to know someone is there for me, someone to laugh with through the good times, and lean on through the difficult ones. I want someone to vent to and to give me advice, and call me on my bullshit. I'm tired of mourning what could have been, and for letting my experience keep myself from such a precious relationship, a true friendship. I mourn for the fact that I don't have this, that I've let my pride and fear deprive me of this experience. I cry over the nights that never were with a friend I don’t have.

I've decided to start healing from the emptiness of losing a friend. It's been long enough, and it's time to start letting Bailey go. It's time to put myself out there again. I may get hurt. I may lose another friend, just like I lost Bailey. However, I may get lucky and find the best friend I've been missing out on. I may get my wine drunk sleepover, I may get my secret keeper. Above all, I may just give myself what I've been aching for most, which is to finally heal.

Photo by Antonio Duallia on Unsplash


About the author

Lindsay Birge

My name is Lindsay and I have always loved writing. My favorite things to write are feel good stories and anything with animals. Thanks for reading!

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