There’s a time in our lives when we come to realise that we have met the person who we are destined to be with for the rest of our lives. No no no, I’m not talking about a lover, a husband, a wife, I’m talking about a friend. We find that there is one person around whom we do not need to act, we do not need to put on a brave face. We do not need to wear certain clothes, or conform to certain ideals. At some point in our lives we meet someone who makes us truly happy. We kindle a friendship that makes our hearts flutter, and eventually, we realise that we will know that person until we’re grey and old, because now, they make us who we are, and without them, we are not complete.
Six years ago, when I first met you on a gifted and talented induction day at what would go on to be our school, I never thought that you would be that person. You know the story, I’ve told it too many times. Quiet little Alex went home and told her mum that there was a girl who could do everything. ‘She’s so clever and she told me to play a scale and I couldn’t and she just shouted that it was easy!’ I felt so intimated by you, and look where we are now! Can you imagine now if you asked me to play a scale which I didn’t know. I’d laugh in your face. How friendship changes things, hey?
French Exchange resulted in a friendship that nobody expected, and since then, we’ve just grown closer. You were the one that taught me to have confidence and be happy in my own skin. You taught me that I was worth it no matter what I was thinking and how I felt, so to always be myself. You’ve been there for me ever since, slowly knocking down my wall, one brick at a time, and shaping me into the person that I now am. From attending your sixteenth birthday party where I knew nobody and hardly spoke all night (but your mum said she liked me because I helped to clear up and it made me feel on top of the world!), to your eighteenth when we unexpectedly partied on a Sunday night, got just a little bit drunk, and came home giggling like school kids, I’ve never forgotten a moment of laughter.
I remember when we went to see les mis together at the cinema, when you got your head stuck in the Eiffle Tower, and when we queued for hours for Matilda tickets in London. I remember when I had my first glass of wine, we danced with a teacher, and when we met my Danish friend in Denmark. I remember when we sat in the library and revised the night before a GCSE maths exam, when you stood outside a teachers room with me at the start of year 12 for hours on end, and when you collected me from a few flute lessons. I remember when we got on the tube with our big camping rucksacks and tried to eat a cupcake, when we ran around the Bristol Science Museum like a couple of eight year olds, and when you fed me jelly cubes whilst mid panic-asthma-hypoglycaemic attack on DofE. I remember when we sat in Nero’s on strike day and I told you that my grandad had died. I remember when you first told me to believe, and I remember when I said it right back at you.
I’ve said sorry far too many times over the past few years, and whilst I’m yearning to say it again, I won’t do. Instead, I wish to say thank you. Thank you for being the most amazing friend that I could ever ask for, and for always being a shoulder to cry on. Thank you for all the fun that you’ve provided me with, the wonderful knowledge, and always being my rock. Thank you for being so beautiful, for defending me when I needed it, and for listening to me ramble about complete rubbish when I didn’t. It means more than I can ever express in words.
I know that so very often I make you angry and frustrated with my ways. I’m set in stone, and I’m sure I’ve been a hard nut to crack. At the same time though, you’ve been just as hard. You’ve angered me so much over the past year, weather that be a petty little argument or a full blown rage about your current health and welfare. We’ve never really argued though, and that’s what makes this special. We only ever get annoyed because we care about each other, and I simply want you to be as happy as possible, and I don’t want to have to worry about you. Worrying is like putting a poison dagger through my heart, and the pain is unbearable, but I’ll do it a million times over if it means a better ending for you.
Something happened at leavers which changed us both, and I’m sure that we won’t ever forget that. That night was horrific, but at the same time, I hope it’s going to be turn out to be one of the best things that’s ever happened to you. It’s going to be okay. It can’t end until it’s okay. I don’t want to watch you die, it will kill me, too. Please be sensible at university, and make every effort to look after yourself. I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere. I’m always here for you honey, and you’ll make it through this somehow.
As I watch this eating disorder consume you, and I watch how everything that has happened in your life affects you, I find myself over and over wanting to scream that IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. Often, it’s very frustrating, but at the same time, I understand there are probably many times when you want to scream it right back at me.
I got an email that said that I should be proud of myself because you wouldn’t have gotten to where you are without me. Of course you would. The person who wouldn’t have made it is me! Because I wouldn’t be where I am and who I am if you weren’t around, and for that I’m so grateful.
In the future, I want us to stay in touch. I want to be at your wedding, I want to see your children grow up. I probably shouldn’t say this now, but I want you to be the godmother to my first daughter. I want us to wander the streets arm in arm at eighty, and when the day comes, I want to speak at your funeral. I want to be here for you, always and forever. Equally importantly though, I want you to be here for me. Knowing you’re there to turn to in times of need will keep me going, and knowing that there’s times that I will you see you and we will laugh the night away will give me something to look forward to. University is going to be fabulous, but with you around to share the stories with, it’ll be a thousand times better.
And I’m going to miss you. I’m going to miss you more than I can ever put into words. It’s just never going to be the same without you here by my side to keep me sane and make everything okay. It’s not going to be the same when you’re not here to laugh with, to watch movies with, to eat ice cream with. And I know that just sounds like the average ‘goodbye’ speech, but you know it’s more than that. You know I’m not good with words. I need you in my life. And I need to be in your life. I know you’re going to university, but please don’t go any more than that. Please please, I’m begging you.
I don’t want to say goodbye. Winnie the Pooh said ‘How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.’ But saying goodbye is scary. Let’s not make it the end.
I love you to the moon and back, three times over. Big hugs. Speak soon honey.
*This is part of a personal summer challenge that I have set myself to write ‘a letter’ to a different person or thing every week. I plan for there to be nine letters in total, and if anyone would like to join in this summer, even if just for one letter, or a letter to a person of their own, please link back to my blog, as I’d love to see it!*