“And then she frowned, and shook her head, then put her arms around him once more, pressing her face into his shoulder, making a noise that sounded almost like rage.
‘What’s up?’ he asked.
‘Nothing. Oh, nothing. Just…’ She looked up at him. ‘I thought I’d finally got rid of you.’
‘I don’t think you can.’ he said.” -David Nicholls, One Day
I recently finished my new favorite book of all time. It’s probably the only book that I’ve emotionally thought of every day since I’ve read it. Simply put, It’s a story of two people who grow up together over a twenty year period and the trials, fights, hatred, heartbreaks, love and life they experience along the way. It’s about a dude and a girl always finding their way back to each other. More than anything though, it’s the story of a best friendship. The thing is, definitely minus the falling in love part, it reminds me of my best dude friend and I.
A little tidbit you probably don’t know: Best friend and I are currently fighting. We’ve been fighting since I began this book and still when I finished it, probably what made me so darn emotional. Another tidbit: Best friend and I usually have a yearly fight, an almost tradition that started at age 17. I’m stubborn, he’s even more stubborn, and we have continuous moments where we’d like to rip the other’s eyes out. He is, without a doubt, the only non-related guy besides my husband who can perfectly imitate my fits and call me out on things that I want to keep private. It annoys the crap out of me.
Another thing: Since meeting my hubby, I suppose I’ve been hit on as much as any young, decent-looking girl would be. Luckily, my dude is secure about himself, and he really trusts me. In fact, it amazes me what he can deal with. I’ve worked with an ex of mine when Robby and I first started dating,and though it made him uncomfortable, he didn’t complain much. We once hung out with a casual guy friend I had made-out with before meeting my dude. I’ve had a couple of male bosses who have flirted a bit more than he found appropriate. Things like this and me having a naturally flirty (I like to say bubbly) personality make my boy quite a trooper. He never really gets more than obviously annoyed. Funnily enough and much to my embarrassment, Bryant is the only one who has taken it upon himself to harass and bother men who have over-stepped their boundaries. Even more funny may be the fact that the only dude who has ever been able to faze Robby has been Bryant.
Though they used to have their minor problems, the two most important dudes in my life sincerely like each other now. They even talk dorky boy things like anime and technology together. Their former issues were partly because best friend is just really good at purposely pissing people off, and more because it’s hard to find boundaries in a five-year girl/guy best friendship. Let me clarify what I mean when I say this: Bryant and I don’t have feelings for each other (No,no,no…Gross,gross,gross. It’d be almost incestuous at this point. No.) We’re both very much in love with other people and are now friends with both of each other’s significant others. But having an opposite gender best friendship, even without the “in-love” feeling involved, is tough. It’s hard knowing someone for longer than you know your spouse and not sometimes taking precedence. It’s easier to become angry when a phone call isn’t returned or when apologies aren’t shared after bitter words are used. There becomes a certain amount of expectation in such a long amount of time. There are secrets and memories and the getting through heartbreaks and late nights together that just bring so much history and the comfort of familiarity to the table. Being able to maintain such a close and platonic relationship, I’ve learned, is one of the strongest forms of unconditional love out there. Unlike a romantic relationship, there is no sex or candlelight dinner to make handling the other more bearable. It’s easier to fight. It’s harder to draw lines. There’s no butterflies to keep us from walking away.
One more thing: Although Bryant and I will never be in love with the other, it’s safe to say I do love him. I love him more than I love most people, and he understands a part of me that I don’t let many others see. I know the same is true for him. He knows my hurts and fears and insecurities, and I know his. Knowing all of these things,sadly, makes it much easier to accidentally hurt the other sometimes. But. Every fight, no matter how long it lasts, ends eventually. I think this one is almost coming to a close. He told his girlfriend/my good friend to tell me, “Hi.” the other day, and a few nights ago made a picture of him and I his default on facebook. As silly as this sounds, I know this is the dude’s slow and stubborn way of saying he’s almost over it. (Hopefully he won’t read this, because he’ll probably extend his not being over it.) The thing is, I know he’ll always probably get mad at me and I’ll always probably get mad at him. But I also know that it’s pretty much impossible to ever stay mad for too long. That’s what a best friendship is to me, I suppose. Part getting mad, part getting over it, part acceptance, part love, a bunch of listening and memories and tears and laughter, and a whole lot of not calling it quits when the calling it quits sounds most appealing. And as much as it drives me crazy, I feel lucky to have something like that in my life.