We loved that everyone knew, the snide remarks about how inseparable we were. Together we set fashion trends and challenged the older boys to foosball. We laughed like the world was ours.
I stood up to the middle-school rumor mill for you. You taught me a few things I never learned from my mother.
We exchanged tongues: anteem, mejor amiga; puta, sharmoota. Reggaeton became my favorite genre of music.
We held each other up through bad days and breakups.
When it was time to go, we cried. We watched sisterhood of the travelling pants and created a travelling notebook.
We promised bridesmaids, godmothers, and forever.
The new adjustment was hard for you, and I knew you weren’t really happy. I could tell each time we talked.
But the letters and skype calls slowly faded into distance.
And when we came back, you were not the same. Your eyes were not the same. You didn’t laugh the same. I remember feeling a sense of deep loss upon the realization that things would not be returning to how they once were.
Then, last night, we spoke. Ten long years and several best friends later.
Your eyes were the same. You laughed the same. You spoke with the same familiar accent and intonation, like old jingles my ears could never forget despite the decade they spent deaf to them. It brought me an unexpected pleasure. And sadness.
You got married.
I got engaged.
You told me how your family was shocked when they saw the photos.
My fiancé was once your brother’s closest friend. One of the guys we played foosball with.
The other one is dead.
You told me your heart broke when you heard the news.
I told you mine did too.
We remembered our old math teacher, and the day that he told us we would only become adults when our friends started dying.
I asked about your brother.
You told me his wedding is in a few months. I remembered how much I missed your family.
As I sit here now I try to recall the emotions I once associated with that place. Home, was what we called it – though now I know that no such place exists, as both moments and people are fleeting.
Long Lost Best Friend, you were my first.
My first whiff of true friendship. My first taste of loss.
The first time I learned that fires don’t need to be stifled to cease blazing. Eventually, they just do.
And when the mention of your name no longer stung, I learned that time heals everything.
I write this at work, a testament to how life eventually castrates us all. Our passions take a backseat to practicality and reason. Leaving us to look back at even the days that had us teary-eyed and broken, as ones of grandeur and glory.
I miss you.
Like every other brick that made up the shelter I couldn’t carry with me through pages of one chapter to another. Always sick for the last one, but also all the ones before it.
And it was great to hear your voice.
With loving memories,
"A dedication to all of my UDH/Aramco people <3"