On the ﬁrst day of second grade, I noticed a new girl in my class: she wore brown sandals and two signature blond braids, and continually corrected mispronunciations of her uncommon Russian name. I grew curious of this new girl, so at recess I united with her on the playground. It didn’t take much for us to kick it off, and before we knew it we were enthusiastically discussing Pokémon. Before long our mothers were well-acquainted and we were having frequent play dates outside of school. I rejoiced when she moved within minutes of me, and I found myself with her almost every day. Finally, I understood the deﬁnition of “best friend,” and I consider myself fortunate for having discovered it as a child. This friendship continued with minor road bumps, and we had the pleasure of growing up together from age six to fourteen. Close to me not only physically but emotionally, she was my go-to buddy for every occasion. In fact, I can’t imagine a single thing I would’ve have done without her.
By the time high school came around, I thought I still knew everything about her, but little did I know she had been distancing herself from me since junior high. During my freshman year, I met a brief transfer student who had switched from my best friend’s school because of addiction problems. I found out that she knew my childhood companion, and later related to me that she recently saw her at a drug- and alcohol-counseling program. This didn’t sound plausible; uneasy, I confronted my conﬁdant to discover she lied to me while developing a drug problem behind my back. This thoroughly disturbed me, and of course I wondered what else she was hiding from me. But above all, I was heartbroken that my best friend—who was the staunchest anti-drug activist I knew—was struggling with addiction, and I couldn’t be there for her. Instead, I found out by chance through a third party, and even though she did apologize, we lost a bit of trust and proximity that day. Nevertheless, I was quick to forgive her because I loved her, and we remained friends.
When the calendar neared 2011, I found out she was moving to Minnesota. I could hardly comprehend the thought of my best friend of eight years suddenly leaving my life. Even after she lied to me, I still cherished our friendship deeply and couldn’t let her leave so easily. In retrospect, I could have been less judgmental and more sympathetic, but I don’t blame myself heavily, for her faults outweighed mine. The following summer—after even more lies I tried to overlook—she did visit for a couple weeks, but after that, our relationship trickled into intervals of short, shallow, long-distance conversations.
Since she’s moved, she’s been gradually cutting herself off from the rest of the word—including me. I know she is going through something, and I’m not quite sure what; maybe it was the harsh transition from sunny California to snowy Minnesota that changed her. But regardless of whatever it is, I try to be there for her unlike her other “friends” who are offended by her isolation. Currently we are connected on Facebook, and occasionally we pop a message expressing how much we love and miss each other, but it doesn’t go much further than that. Her questionable behavior never ceases, and it is clear we’ve gone our separate ways. As much as I hoped that one day we would reunite, I doubt we’ll ever be that intimate again. Despite the tumultuous deceit and confusion she put me through, I don’t regret the friendship to any degree, because what I cherish most are the valuable memories—frozen in time.