From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Love & Friendship

Losing My Best Friend

In a friend you find a second self.

Isabelle Norton

Tears streamed down my face as I hugged Kristen tightly. I whispered good-bye and got into the van to travel back home to Tennessee, which meant I would be leaving my best friend in the whole world hundreds of miles away at her new home in Texas. I didn’t know how I would ever be able to deal with this terrible loss. As I left I clutched my favorite pillow close to me, wondering what my life would be like without Kristen in it. Trying to stop the pain I shut my eyes and let all the memories of joy I had shared with her slowly flow into my thoughts. Pictures of smiling faces and the sound of laughter played out in my head.

For six years we had shared every detail of our lives, big or small, with each other. We constantly helped each other deal with all the pain, suffering and joy that comes with the new experiences you face as a teenager. I depended on her for so many things, and she was unceasingly there for me. She always listened closely to my problems with a nonjudgmental ear and helped me solve them. When I desperately needed someone to laugh at my jokes and give me encouragement to follow my dreams, her words always reassured me. When I needed someone to help me understand why I cried because my heart was breaking, she simply cried with me. I shared every secret with her, causing me sometimes to wonder if she knew more about me than I did about myself. Being around Kristen helped me to learn who I was and who I wanted to be.

As I felt another teardrop roll slowly down my face, I was hit with the horrible memory of the night Kristen called me with the bad news.

“What? You have to move? Your dad is being transferred to Texas?” These questions tumbled out of my mouth. I felt myself panicking as my mind began to race, searching for some explanation that would help all of this make sense. Please, please let this be some cruel joke. I wanted to scream, but it was true. Kristen would be leaving in just a few months. I was devastated. This was one problem that we couldn’t resolve. There was nothing either of us could do to change what was going to happen.

The memories of Kristen’s farewell party flashed before me. Balloons, presents, food and friends filled the room. Kristen was opening her presents. As she opened mine, a photo album filled with pictures, I stood up to read her a poem I had written.

Remember Me Always

So many memories we’ve made together
As the years have slowly passed.
Tears may have been cried
But our laughter drowned them all out.
Sharing my deepest-most secrets
’Til one in the morning at your house.
Talking forever about things
Until our words just ran out.

But now you must leave,
And I stay behind.
Who will I call
When I just need to talk?
Who will you lean on
When your problems weigh you down?
Who will laugh at my jokes?
Who will make you smile?

I can’t tell you the answers
To the questions I have.
But I want you to know
I will always love you as my friend.
And when your heart is troubled,
I want you to think of me.
Remember the times of joy
We have shared
And maybe it will make you smile.
And since you can’t take me with you,
Take the memories we have made
And cherish them
As I always will.

I quickly pushed that memory aside, not wanting to relive the emotions written on everyone’s faces as I read aloud. More images zipped through my head.

It was the week I traveled with her and her family to Texas. I remember sitting on Kristen’s kitchen floor of her bare house waiting for the movers to finish packing some of the last belongings and feeling extremely lost. Once we arrived in Texas we stayed at a hotel for a few days while they moved into their new house. Kristen unpacked her keepsakes, placing everything down with care and asking me if it looked all right. No, of course it didn’t. She wasn’t supposed to be here and neither were any of her possessions. But I simply told her that it all looked fine. For the rest of the week, we went swimming and to the mall trying to make new memories that we could reminisce about later. We stayed up every night until the early morning hours just talking. Then the day came when I had to go back home. I wasn’t going to relive that morning with all the tears and good-byes. I popped open my eyes, snapping myself back into reality.

That dreadful week happened almost two years ago, but the memories of it are as vivid as if it happened yesterday. Kristen and I call each other all the time and write each other every detail about our lives. Sometimes when I talk to her on the phone, I forget she’s hundreds of miles away. She’s still as large a part of my life as she was before and vice versa. Our friendship is so strong that it can face anything. I am very lucky. I’ve found my soul sister, and I am able to share my life with her. The distance just doesn’t matter.

Amanda Russell

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