When We Were Kids
An Open Letter to the Girl Who Used to Be My Best Friend
You used to be my righthand girl. It was always the two of us, making mischief, art, and laughter. We spent endless days running wild in the fields by our house, and the nights curled up in bed making up stories until one of us fell asleep.
After my first date with the boy I’d been pining after for months, you were the one I called to analyse every bit of what happened—from his hello to the kiss goodbye. I went to you with my dreams, my heartbreaks, and my funny stories.
Then, slowly, everything started to fall apart. Your responses to me got less frequent, our visits got shorter, until we didn’t speak at all.
There was no fight; we didn’t have a screaming match full of tears and thrown cushions. We just ceased to be us. We were you, and me.
Sometimes if I close my eyes, I can remember what it used to be. Spending hours lip-syncing in your mirror, flipping through magazines and ripping out pages of the cutest male celebrities to tape to our walls. I have photo albums full of our random photo shoots, times when we put on costumes, put a camera in your mom’s hand, and just laughed ourselves silly. I will never get rid of those photos—they have captured some of the best days of my life.
I’m certain there were some bad times, too, but I can’t remember them. Sadness and nostalgia have put a rose-coloured filter all over my memories, leaving me with nothing but the good times—the best times—to fall back on.
I miss you. That’s the honest-to-god truth. I miss falling asleep to your breathing, I miss waking up in the morning and seeing your brown hair fanned around you like a halo, I miss making stupid videos with each other, and I miss having that one person in the world that I told everything. I miss it all; I miss us.
I’m a different person now, and so are you. I’m not surprised: We were kids, and I shouldn’t expect you to still be the same person when I know for sure that I’m not. But, for some inexplicable reason, I do. I look at you and I’m astonished at how much you’ve changed. You’re a stranger to me now.
If I could go back in time, I’d hold on harder, make sure you didn’t slip from my grasp and drift away. I don’t blame you or myself. Sometimes, things just fall apart.
We aren’t friends anymore, but I still love you. I always will; it’s inevitable, considering how much of my time I’ve given to you. When we were kids, everything was so much easier. Things—including friendships—have gotten harder now. But that love I had for you as a child will never go away, even if everything else has.
If you have a daughter, a little girl like us, can you make me a promise? Tell her about me. Tell her about the explosions in the kitchen, the first time we tried on makeup, the stories we made up, and the games we played. Tell her about how much we laughed, and about the plans we made to get our crushes to notice us, and about the sleepovers spent playing video games, listening to music, and whispering long after our parents fell asleep.
Even though we aren’t friends anymore, I cherish those memories. All I want for my future daughter is to have a friendship like ours, a friendship that burns bright and long like the sun. And I’ll tell her, that if she has a friendship like ours, not to let go.
I don’t want her to make the same mistake we did.