An Open Letter to My Best Friend

They tell you a lot about heartbreak, but it’s always about romantic love. They talk about men with beautiful hair and shining eyes and hang ups about their exes leaving you sad and lonely. About men who cheat, men who treat you like shit, men who are charming and sweet and then never text you back. You would know, we have had conversations about this kind of heartbreak over and over. We have tried to figure out what makes people break hearts like they mean nothing.

They don’t tell you about the awful pain that sits on my chest like a rock when I think about you. They don’t tell you what it’s like to have your heart broken by the person you loved most in the world. By your soul sister, by your best friend, by your partner in crime, by the woman who has kept you standing tall when you couldn’t do it on your own. They don’t tell you what it is like to feel the pain of your heart breaking, and wanting to tell your best friend, and not being able to do so. Because you did the heart breaking this time.

Sometimes I am fine. I am happy. Then I think about the fact that my life now stretches on into infinity without you in it. I fight with my boyfriend about stupid shit that would make you laugh. I buy a beautiful outfit for a party I’m attending, and I know you would make a crack about how even you would take me home when I look this good. I think about how we’ll miss each other’s birthdays and weddings and children and those really juicy bits of life that we used to daydream about together.

I think about that time we went out for “girls’ night” and didn’t end up home until 10 the next morning. I remember the look we shared as we stood in our kitchen in the bright light of a sunny Sunday morning as we cracked open a beer together and laughed.

I think about girls’ night a lot. How we would buy a bottle of prosecco with our last $40 before pay day, throw our arms around each other and dance to the folksy guitarists at that bar in Fitzroy we loved so much. How we would pretend to be engaged if boys dared to speak to us on girl’s night. We were always going to get married in September, if you remember.

We would come home exhausted but so happy. We’d squeeze every ounce of joy and adventure out of an evening before we finally decided that we’d had enough fun to go home. We could never have enough of doing anything with each other. Even when we’d come home, we’d kick our shoes off and put trackies on and forget to take our make-up off and curl up in bed and cuddle before we fell asleep in the early morning light. You’d always leave painkillers and a glass of water beside my bed because you knew better than I did that I couldn’t handle a hangover as well as you.

I look at your contact in my phone. Your name with a love heart beside it. And I can’t call you. And it hurts even more because when I am in this much pain, the only person I talk to is you. The only person who lets me cry and rage and talk for 40 minutes without taking a breath is you. The only person I can talk to when I have literally nothing to say is you. I feel like the rock on my chest is made up of the million words that won’t be shared between you and I in the years to come.

I think about how easy it would be to pretend I hate you. To take nothing from this except the fact that everyone can fuck you over and no one can be trusted. I think about meeting other women, and my friendships with other women, and I think about how easy it would be to take a step back so that no one hurts me as much as you did.

But that would be wrong. Women need to trust each other because the only way you build a bond like that is through trust. Strong female friendships are a gift. Women have the power to give each other everything. We are strong and generous and loving and we need to lift each other up. The reason it hurts so much is because we were so good to each other. Before the heartbreak, there was happiness. Unending support, unconditional love and walking the tightrope between being a bad influence and being the voice of reason – which is exactly what you need from a best friend.

If you hadn’t pushed me to text a man I had a silly crush, on I wouldn’t be planning a future with the love of my life right now. If you hadn’t picked up the phone every time I called crying about getting rejected from job after job, I never would have stopped pouring beers at a shitty pub in the suburbs. You helped make me me.

I hope I helped make you. I hope you meet other women who help make you you, who help make you happy, who help make you better.

Letting the awful end of things between us make us bitter and untrusting would be the biggest crime. We may not be each other’s person anymore, but I want us to have that same all-encompassing best friend love again. Because a life without strong, supportive, “You’re my best friend and I love you and of course I’ll help you button your jumpsuit up cause you’re too drunk!” kind of love is a life not worth living.

And as I’ve said a thousand times before, bye chick. Love you.

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