I knew she could hear me crying, I could practically feel her think to herself “if she’s still sniffling in five minutes, I’m going in there”. I tried to shove the overwhelming need to cry out deep into my chest, but it would not go. I had managed to keep the tears sitting just within my lower lids thus far. I sat staring at the brilliant white light coming from my computer screen, blinking as fast as my eyes would close, breathing in sharp from my nose. I heard a shuffle, and then a small voice “what happened?” she asked, before I could even articulate something had gone wrong. That once again, the boy who claimed to love me had shattered my heart into a thousand tiny splintered pieces.
The sound of her soft, gentle voice was all it took; the tears spilled over. I started to try and get the words out, my throat constricted like a snake and the only sound I could emit was a cross between choking and suffocating. She came right over, the white towel from her shower still coiled around her long dark locks. She sat down gently next to me on my pink and brown striped bedspread. She just looked at me hunched over; spine curved into a deep C and said “it’s him isn’t it? What did he do?” I explained to her the trigger, what he’d done this time and how I felt as though at any moment the skin would melt off my bones from the red hot heat I was feeling within. She just looked at me for a moment, her eyes swimming. I knew she wanted to tell me he wasn’t worth it, to run as far and as fast from him as I could, that the only way to make it out of this alive was to jump ship; before it capsized. I finished explaining to her all that had happened, and ended with a typical teenage “it just isn’t fair”. She told me it wasn’t, that I deserved more, better. That everyone else loved me, even if he couldn’t treat me that way.
It took less than 5 seconds flat for her warmth to spread within me. I felt it start in my cheeks, flushing when she named off the other boys that would kill to be in this one’s position, it lowered to my neck and relaxed my throat when she mentioned my family and how proud and supportive they were, finally I could breathe again. It hit my stomach like a shot of warm whiskey when she named off the friends we always laugh with, and hit my kneecaps like a gentle wave licking you calves at the beach when she spoke of the places we’d been and the impressions we’d left.
And like a lightning bolt had shot directly into my chest and pierced my heart, she reminded me that we had each other. That no one ever, would love me the way she did. The way a best friend was put on this planet to love you above all else. To tell you who’s not worthy and assure you there will be others, many others; who if they’re lucky, will be valuable of your time. The kind of love that you never forget, and despite distance and time, never fades. There are some bonds that not only can you see, but you can feel in the deepest corners of your heart, the places you forgot you could feel in. That’s what a best friends love is. The kind of love that picks you up when you fall, and when it hurts too much to bear, they lighten your load and carry your troubles with them. E.E. Cummings had it right when she said “they carry your heart with them, they carry it in their heart”.