Day 1: Write A Letter To Your Best Friend

by pronounced "ahhh" like a sigh

Dear Tosin,

I’ve known you for 18 years. Longer than I’ve known myself.  I met you in the 8th grade. Both of us 13 year old misfits in that horrible middle school. I just moved from Oklahoma and my hair was wrong, my clothes were wrong, my voice was wrong.  You back from Nigeria. We were teased and taunted and ridiculed but I remember how strong you were even then. I was scared to death but no matter how difficult it got, while I faked stomach aches and migraines to stay at home, you got up every morning and you faced the bullies head on.We’ve been through it.

I’ve always been the flaky one. The one that never kept her word. The one that promised to visit but always fell into something else. You should have given up on me years ago. But you didn’t. Through every bout and apologetic phone call, you always forgave me. Always understood that my heart was in the right place if my body wasn’t. I’ve never told you how difficult it was for me to stay friends with  you. Not because of anything you did but because I felt I didn’t deserve you. I could count on you always but I knew there were moments when I let you down. When I was at the wrong place when you needed me. When I was trapped in my own head, wrapped in a melancholy I couldn’t understand and you just wanted to visit New York. I can not offer you enough apologies. We grew apart for a bit. You became a grown up and I was still this lost little girl trying to figure out where I fit and why nothing felt right. But you were alway there. Calling and caring. And when I found out about my illness, you came over, sat with me and told my parents. You were my voice and my anchor. The only thing I could come back to when I felt like my head was going to carry me away.

You are a mommy now. Twice over. And the fact that we were pregnant at the same time but never saw each other. Never compared bellies and compared possible names still hurts me to this day. I don’t even remember why we weren’t speaking. Probably something I did or didn’t do but every second I missed you. When our kids were born, we saw each other after years of separation. I saw your girl with your face and your strong will. And I saw us back at Greenbelt Middle School, these two girls who never fit. But I knew that I belonged wherever you were.

I love you more than I’ve ever had the opportunity to say. I admire the woman you’ve grown to be. This mother and wife and still your own fashion crazy, hilarious, head strong self. Two people couldn’t be more different than we are, yet when we’re together, it just makes sense. And some days, just knowing that somewhere someone knows how to help you make sense is all that you need.

I;ve always been the crier. You’ve always been the fixer. Hell, as I write this, I have no idea why you’ve stayed friends with me for so long. But I’m glad you did because I wouldn’t exist without you. Months older than you, I always felt like your junior sister. And we are sisters. More than just merely a “friend”. We share blood and love and this awkward, unpredictable life.

18 years later, far removed from those girls we were; now fully into these grown women attacking our bones.  I’m so proud of you. Your resolve. Your determination. Your commitment. The way you’ve owned yourself when the rest of us could never even begin to look.

So I’m telling the world. I love you. I’ve always needed you. I hope to one day be worthy of the friendship you’ve offered me.

Always,

B.

PS. Fuck Dominique and those other hatin’ hos from Greenbelt Middle. Look at us now!

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