When little girls are about five or six, there is an addictive little want that springs into being. It happens about then, because this is when we go to school, when the worlds of children open up- from the home, to the play ground, to everything the eye can see. This little addiction is called ‘best friends’.
When I was six, my best friend played fairies with me. She was a blue fairy, and I was a night fairy. I wore a black tutu, and we wandered the garden looking for fairy doors in the sides of trees. She was always the best at spotting them.
When I was eight, my best friend helped with my homework. It was fun for awhile, because homework was new, but I soon got better grades on my own. I let her know I loved her, but we didn’t do assignments together after that.
When I was ten, my best friend and I played at the beach. She swore black and blue that she’d seen a mermaid, and I showed her the rock pools where the anemones slept. We both ran from the waves, when they chased us onto the land.
When I was twelve, my best friend tried to plait my hair (and failed), to read my favourite books (and failed) and asked me about my crushes. She was excited by my first poem, and let everyone know how clever I was.
When I was sixteen, my best friend took me to my first driving test. When I failed, she looked relieved, but hugged me while I cried anyway. It was for the best- I wasn’t ready to drive yet- so she promised to drive me around for a little bit longer.
When I was eighteen, my best friend and I drove home from school together every night. She would tell me all the adventures she’d been on that day, and I would show her the art I’d made (she was always my biggest fan).
When I was twenty, my best friend helped me get my first real job. She coached me through the interview, and quizzed me every night. When I got the job, we celebrated (I knew I owed her one).
When I was twenty one, my best friend and I went to Paris. We flew on an airplane and ate croissants every day. She wasn’t very good at speaking French, but that was okay- we helped each other.
When I was twenty-two, I graduated university. My best friend bought me flowers, and she hugged me tight when I came off stage. She always knew when I needed the extra squeeze.
When I was twenty-three, I got my first apartment. It was scary, and expensive, and I cried when I first moved in. My best friend hugged me, though, and told me everything would be alright.
And she was right, as best friends often are, because everything was alright. At twenty-four I left the apartment, and my best friend helped me move.
At twenty-five, in different states, I talk to my best friend on the phone. ‘Mum’, I said,’ I can’t wait to see you again. When are you coming home?’
‘Soon,’ she said, with a smile in her voice, ‘I’ll be home soon’.
Danielle K. Day