Unlikely Best Friends

Life is weird. In elementary school, you think you’re going to be close friends with everyone, forever. You think that the person who shares their snack with you in Grade 1 will still be sharing their snack with you when you’re 20. Then high school happens and everyone scatters like ants in an ant hill that has been stepped on. New friendships are made; old friendships are relegated to Facebook. Then everyone graduates and moves on. The people you wasted your 3rd period spare with, aren’t around anymore. You move away to a University that is two hours away and don’t recognize any familiar faces. Your survival instincts kick in and you make friends with people who look as lonesome and desperate for human interaction as you. Friendships are born – some last a week, while others last a lifetime.

Imagine a giant pasta strainer. Now put every person that you once considered a friend, in it. Yeah, the giant pasta strainer you imagined needs to be bigger than you initially thought. Indeed, this sounds very painful and uncomfortable. Eventually, some people fall through the cracks. These are your closest friends. Some of them, you may even consider your best friends.

Personally, I have two best friends – one guy, one girl. They share the same birthday, except they are a year apart. It’s either a major coincidence they have the same birthday, or I have very specific standards.

One of my best friends is like a brother to me. But this post isn’t about him, sorry.

It’s about a girl who lived across the hall from me in residence during my second year of University. A girl who is the little sister I never had. A girl that I thought was annoying and obnoxious before I ever said one word to her. A girl that I have very little in common with – even though we know exactly what the other person is thinking at all times.

It’s a friendship that doesn’t make sense, but does. A friendship that is against everything society says. A friendship flooded with laughter. A friendship that was born out of a conversation about the Toronto Maple Leafs.

We had been living across the hall from each other for about a week and a half and never said two words to each other. All of a sudden, something clicked and the brother-sister bond grew from there. She was no longer the annoying girl that couldn’t stop talking and laughing during our first hall meeting. She was the little sister I tried to help with her french homework even though I kept uttering “bibliotheque” – as if it was always the correct answer.

I judged a book by it’s cover and I was wrong. Very wrong.

When it came time to move out of residence, and we said our goodbyes, it suddenly started to rain, indoors. Crazy huh? How else would we explain the water in our eyes?

I think that was a defining moment in our friendship and proved, to both of us, how much the other person really meant.

As the past three years have gone by, nothing has changed between us. We are still best friends – nothing less, nothing more. And although it’s only been three years, it seems like we’ve known each other forever.

I don’t think many people understand our friendship. Quite frankly, I don’t think we understand our friendship, either.

The one thing we do understand, though, is honesty. We promised each other we would always be honest, no matter how harsh. And we’ve stayed true to that promise. I think a lot of friendships break because people aren’t honest, or are afraid to say something, or want to pretend like everything is okay.

People see us together and get the wrong impression. We can’t even go to a restaurant without having the waitress bring us one bill. We laugh it off. Maybe we should wear signs next time. It’s a shame society thinks this way. Then again, people judge books by their covers all the time.

The conversations we have range from childish, to serious, to foreign, to telepathic. The number of times we have sent the same text to each other, at the same time, has been too many to be considered a fluke. We know what the other is going to say before they say it. I like telepathy – it just makes life easier.

When we don’t know what to talk about, we just say: “let’s have a ‘stupid conversation.'” And we proceed from there. I wish I can divulge details regarding what a typical “stupid conversation” sounds like, but I can’t. Not because it’s a secret, but because I don’t know how to explain it. Like I said, we’re hard to understand.

Since September, our friendship has changed, a bit. Ironic because the song that we link our friendship to is called, “September.” I’m no longer at school, but she is. I almost feel guilty that I’m not there – like I deserted her, or something. We can no longer go to “our spot” on the second floor of the International Building and just talk about utter, and complete, nonsense. We can no longer watch curling together. We can’t sit in the library and cause a disturbance anymore. And we can’t watch old game shows or walk on ceilings – don’t ask.

It’s different. It’s not the friendship we had while I was still in school. It’s one restricted to text messages. It’s one where the people in the International Building are wondering where those two, non-international, noisemakers went.

On the surface, it’s different. But deep down, we both know it’s still the same. Nothing has changed – nothing will ever change. We’ve been through too much to have our friendship thrown away that easily.

Just because we don’t have a lot in common, doesn’t mean we can’t be best friends.

You don’t need to have things in common to, genuinely, care about someone. Or trust them. Or be honest with them. Or not judge them. You just need to be there, always, no matter what. And at the end of the day, that is why we are best friends.

Over the course of our friendship, she has made me a better person. And I’d like to think I have made her a better person, too. Or at the very least, I added a few jokes to her repertoire. I don’t know what my life would be like if we had never met. Luckily for me, I’ll never have to know.

From the outside, our friendship is unlikely. To us, it could not make any more sense.

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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2 Responses to Unlikely Best Friends

  1. markbialczak says:

    Paul, you have found something good as gold and just as elusive. When you discover a friend close enough that you can pick up a phone (yeah, I’m so old that I prefer talking to texting as my main phone exercise) and start a conversation you left off a year ago in the same mid-sentence, that’s a relationship to treasure. I’m lucky enough to count a few such friends in my life. Thank you for reminding me of this with your insightful blog today. MB


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