www.whyville.net Mar 20, 2011 Weekly Issue

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I see her almost everyday, in passing. The only thing we say is "Hi." And I wonder if she ever feels how I sometimes feel.

I miss being her best friend. Being able to relate to her. To talk to her at all. But that started to be almost impossible since the awkward silences. And the awkward silences only began because we'd grown apart. We would never have grown apart if she hadn't needed to move away.

She did come back after a year or two, but regardless, the damage was done. I'd only visited once and we wrote letters. I remember one she wrote said something along the lines of "I don't care if you play with her or become best friends with her, I will always be your best friend." I'd wondered who the girl that she was talking about was. When I asked her about it over the phone she just told me to forget about it. I guess I did. For a while.

When she came back, things were most definitely not the same. She'd started to hang out with a girl that we'd disliked for years. But I sucked it up. Because that's what friends are supposed to do. And I had my own new little group of friends as well. My group and I weren't as close as I had been with the girl I'd known since she was born just a few months after I was. The girl who I'd basically grown up with.

I remember once, we caught ladybugs at her house. But the ladybugs we caught were giving off an unpleasant smell so we sprayed them with perfume. We thought we'd solved the problem but in our joy, we noticed that one of the ladybugs was dying. We pretended to cry and give it a funeral but miraculously, the ladybug returned to life. After that, we set the bugs free. They'd had enough for one day.

But we were not the same kids anymore.

I can't recall if it was in elementary or middle school but I'd realized that some things had really changed and weren't going back. So I wrote her a note. I'd written that I felt that we'd grown apart and I felt closer to one of my other friends at the time who did come to be one of my best friends. I considered mailing the letter to her but that seemed stupid because she only lived a few houses down from mine.

So I called her over one day to give her the note. Looking back on it, if I had been the person I am today, I never would have even considered telling her that I had something to give her, which I had done that day. I would have just written the note, cried, and continued on. When she got there I asked her if she wanted to play first. I guess I asked just so I could play with her one last time if she hated me, though at the time that wasn't really going through my head. She said "Sure. As long as it's something like tag. None of those witch and wizard games or anything like that."

"Oh. No. Course not," I'd said. I don't know if she'd realized it but that broke my heart.

And then she was expecting me to give her something. That wouldn've been the note but I decided to throw it away. I was a coward afraid of further losing my best friend. How could I damage this friendship even more? I wonder if she still wonders why I "lied" to her about giving her something that day. I hope not.

As the years went by, I noticed that we each became best friends with other people. People that we could relate to most at that moment in time. And sadly, that wasn't each other.

I notice I have had a few different sets of best friends in my transitions from elementary to middle school and then from middle school to high school and even within high school itself. Some friendships have developed in to super-lose-almost-best friendships while some best friendships have become even closer than before and some have disappeared almost altogether. This last category includes my childhood best friend.

I've also noticed that she has had her own sets of best friends. I miss the old days. When there was only elementary school worries and dramas and just her and me and our innocent sisterly best-friendship.

I'm not ungrateful for my current best friends. Not one bit. I love them just like they were the sisters I never had. I hope to God that we never separate. I know it may inevitable though. After all, it's only high school.

But I just don't want to feel that feeling again. The first time was hard, still is hard. I felt my best friend slip away and likewise, my childhood. Along with my very first best friend, I'd lost the playful and creative games we used to roleplay and the silly childish things we used to do. The things that helped make me who I am and the person too.

And I can only hope that the people and things that are currently shaping who I am now won't slip away like that.

So, though I deeply miss my first best friend and may not ever entirely move on, I keep going. My best friends are the best friends any girl could ask for. They make me laugh, they have my back, and I have theirs.

And who knows? Maybe one day, my first best friend and I will be close again? No matter what friendships are in store for me in the future, I have to be positive and hope for the best.

You can count on me like one, two, three
I'll be there and I know when I need it
I can count on you like four, three, two
And you'll be there 'cause that's what friends
Are supposed to do
You can count on me 'cause I can count on you
-Bruno Mars, "Count on Me"



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