Inspired by @ListPrompts
  1. Her name was Emily
  2. We met when we were seven. She had just moved from Maine. We were bffs almost immediately.
  3. Best memories:
  4. Every year I wrote her birthday card backward, so she could only read it in a mirror
  5. The first summer we were friends, I spent a month visiting my grandparents in California, and emailing her was often still the highlight of my day.
  6. House sitting for her grandparents and staying up all night talking and watching the same Spanish infomercial
  7. Spending almost every weekend at her house, just playing and talking and doing everything together.
  8. Our favorites were playing with beanie babies, Playmobil dolls, roller blading, renting movies from Kroger (that was a thing!) and eating really buttery popcorn, playing Sims and roller coaster tycoon, im-ing people together, dyeing Emily's hair, baking cakes at 2 in the morning, eating pizza on her roof
  9. Bad memories:
  10. On my thirteenth birthday party, she purposefully drew a lot of attention to heraelf
  11. One Halloween, we went trick or treating with her neighborhood friends, and they all dressed up as zombie witches, but I wasn't allowed to so I went as their cat. They kept purposefully leaving me behind and two other girls were fighting and it made me cry
  12. Our families went camping together, and all the kids rode our bikes from the camp site to a little town nearby. My brothers and Emily decided that we were going to ride single file in order of fastest to slowest, and I was voted second slowest to my youngest brother.
    I definitely wasn't the slowest.
  13. In middle school, Emily and I went to a youth group gathering together, where we made friends with some girls who are still my bffs today. Without Emily, I would have been too shy to come out of my shell.
  14. My parents often "checked up" on our friendship. They though Emily was disrespectful to her parents. They worried she had a bad influence on me.
  15. They might have been right, but the benefits outweighed the bad.
  16. We were 100% best friends until sophomore year of high school.
  17. We had geometry together. Our first class together ever (I was homeschooled until freshman year, and she was a year behind me in school, but we ended up going to the same high school).
  18. She just stopped talking to me.
  19. And she started dating our very good friend, Jake.
  20. Jake was like a big brother to me. Unlike my actually big brother, he looked out for me, wanted to spend time with me, made me feel special, and he was so sweet and genuine.
  21. Jake had bright green eyes, bushy brown hair, and exclusively wore kaki cargo pants and t shirts with funny things on them
  22. Very soon after they started dating, Emily and Jake showed up to youth group and she had completely changed him.
  23. He showed up in tight skinny jeans, black, slicked down hair...
  24. She had emo-ed him
  25. Throughout the year, I tried writing her letters and talking to her, but she wouldn't tell me anything beyond small talk.
  26. "What's going on?"
  27. "Stuff."
  28. And we just stopped existing. I was completely baffled.
  29. Our friend Jackie became her new best friend, and I had the other girls from our group at church.
  30. Several years later (Jake and Emily had been broken up for a long while) my mom told me she saw Emily at the mall and she was pregnant!
  31. She said Emily wanted to get back in touch.
  32. So we did. When her baby was born premature, I was one of the first people to visit them.
  33. She told me about her life, which seemed a little crazy to me at the time. Too grown up. But she was doing well, was in school and working and had a baby. Her boyfriend was studying to be a nurse.
  34. I saw her another time after that.
  35. Two years later, she was pregnant again. And her baby has some health issues on the womb.
  36. My mom told me she was going to name her baby after my little brother, Adam, who was born with a heart condition.
  37. When Ryder Adam was born, I saw Emily and her family again. We couldn't seem to find much to talk about.
  38. That's it.
  39. Our friendship ending was one of the most painful things I've ever experienced.
  40. I never had sisters or girls in my neighborhood, and I was homeschooled, so before Emily there weren't a lot of friends in my life.
  41. Emily and I spent almost every weekend together. She always had more friends at school, but for me - Emily was really all I needed. I was very loyal.
  42. Even in our group of friends, everyone knew Emily and I were exclusive. Best friends.
  43. Since then, I've struggled to understand what a best friend exactly is.
  44. What are the boundaries of best friends? I worry that I push them, and will make others pull away.
  45. I don't make friends easily.
  46. Actually, my best friends are still the friends I made when Emily was by my side.
  47. And although our friendship has nothing to do with Emily now, I wonder if that's significant.
  48. I don't miss her anymore, and I see how she sometimes put me down and often wasn't a great friend. But I miss the unlimited access.
  49. The I'll show up at your house and you weren't expecting me, but you'll let me in and it's not weird and we'll eat mac and cheese.
  50. I miss not having to figure out what to do with friends, because with Emily, being together was the thing we did. We didn't make plans.
  51. Or we made silly, ridiculous plans. Like dying her hair pink, or ding-dong-ditching but leaving cookies on the front porch, or filling our youth leader's yard with pink flamingoes.
  52. It was so easy. The best friendships are easy.
  53. Maybe it was her and me together that equaled that easiness. Maybe it was youth... Whatever it was, it's ruined me for friendships that are full of bullshit.
  54. Thanks for the lessons learned, Em.