Friends forever is just a fairytale.
Once we get past a certain age I think we all come to this realisation. Secondary school brings with it a certain maturity that takes away our belief in pinky promises and fairytale endings but its really university that kills the idea of everlasting friendship.
I’ve just read what I’ve written there and realise it sounds incredibly bitter and depressing. Sorry. But it is true.
From primary school to the end of college you spend everyday 8 till 4 (or some variation thereof) with your friends. You don’t see them every hour and its only 5 days a week minus the summer holidays but you get the point. Your friends are a constant in your life. Even when who they are changes you are still guaranteed to be with your friends a hell of a lot. And sometimes, if you’re lucky like me, you’ll keep a friend for all of those years.
Through primary school we stayed friends even when we hated each other’s guts. We went through ups and downs, sharing each other’s problems and taking them on as our own. We went through bullying, hospitalisation and even dealt with death together. We were so close we were even mistaken for sisters more than once. We were best friends. Best friends forever is what our bracelets and necklaces said. I’m sad to say they were wrong.
In actuality we stopped seeing each other every day in college when she found a new group of 2nd year friends and then she transferred to a different place during our 2nd year. Though to be frank we stopped the constant contact even before that.
We made a group of friends in year 7, there were 4 of us and we were close throughout year 7 and 8. But then she left to hang around with other people. But I still considered us best friends. I still invited her to my birthday parties (though party is probably too strong a term!) Then there were 3 of us and then 2 and by the time year 10 arrived I was on my own. Arguably by choice but I’d say it was less choice and more the fact that I found socialising with groups of people I didn’t know that well – i.e. the friends of my friends – very difficult. Still do. So instead I spent my lunch breaks reading and writing. I was content if not entirely happy. And then in year 11 I was given the job of head student librarian and my lunches were given meaning. That job was a God send. I’ll always be thankful to Mrs G and the other students there.
But I’ve gone off track. So yeah, we started drifting apart years ago but whenever we did meet up it was like we’d never been apart. Years of history will do that I suppose.
Since I went away to university in September we’ve met up once. At Christmas. We went to London and had a blast. We decided that we’d meet up again at Easter as the holidays were going to fall just after my birthday and just before hers.
So fast forward to April and I’ve got her presents all sorted and I’m anxious to see what she’d gotten me for Christmas and my birthday as she’d forgotten to bring the present last time. I’m in London the day before our get together hanging out with my brother and I shoot off a quick text saying how much I was looking forward to the next day.
‘We’re meeting tomorrow?’ she texts back. ‘I’m in college tomorrow’
She bailed on me.
I’d spent money on train tickets and more that that I’d put a lot of thought into her presents and into what we’d be doing on our day out and she bailed on me. Less than a day before we’d scheduled to meet. A day, I might add, that we’d chosen months ago as the day.
I don’t have many friends. I’m friendly with a lot of people but if you count friends as people you meet up with outside of school/college/uni/work then I can count the number of friends I have on one hand and I’d only need two to count the ones I’ve had in 19 years of living. Which is fine, good even. It’s not the quantity but the quality, right?
I still count my longest kept friend as just that, a friend. But best friend? No, not anymore. And forever? I highly doubt it. For a few more years maybe. And 40 years down the line when I try to reconnect with old friends I knew back in the day, maybe.
But friends forever? Just another fairytale.