I still think of her daily. And it still hurts.
Jessica and I had been inseparable since high school.
As if we were joined at the hip, we did everything together. We sported matching leather backpacks, and even accidentally got the same haircut and colour done one Saturday afternoon before meeting up for dinner, the two of us laughing hysterically upon discovering our matching bobs with chunky blonde highlights. We’d even unintentionally worn the very same pair of underwear when we’d lost our virginities (same underwear, two different boys, and two different occasions, just to be clear).
Where I was, Jessica was.
We shared everything: food, clothes, makeup, books. The only thing we didn’t share was ex-boyfriends. Our girl code was solid like that.
In our early twenties, although we chose very different paths, we still spoke every day. When she was travelling for work, I’d sit on the phone with her for hours, which eventually drove a wedge between me and my boyfriend at the time. He said that she was manipulative and possessive. Jessica maintained he was just jealous. Of course, I sided with Jessica. Bye-bye went my boyfriend. After all, if he didn’t like my soul sister, then he wasn’t my soulmate.
Jessica and I weren’t without our tiffs. We had plenty. She lived with me on and off throughout our early twenties, and her free-spirited, deal-with-it-later approach made my organised, clean-freak blood boil at times. We’d eventually hash it out, our tempers getting the better of us. After a brief period of silence, one of us would call the other, and we’d pick up again, as if our fight had never happened. Our friendship always restarted right where it left off, and our fight would then be filed away in the archives that all long friendships have, never to be spoken of again.
But by our mid-twenties, change had come about for both of us.
Do you have an “obligatory friend””? Post continues.
I left my retail job to go to uni, and my newfound education seemed to irritate Jessica. She often made chastising remarks about my student debt, as if to suggest going to study had been a bad decision on my part. Around the same time, she was promoted in her job. Suddenly her whole life became about networking with the big execs, work functions and her new group of work drinking buddies. I’d been working in healthcare and had taken an interest in nutrition and wellbeing, so I didn’t find her drunken tales all that entertaining anymore. My stories of homemade sauerkraut and meditation eventually led to her making up excuses to get off the phone during our regular calls.
We began seeing each other less and less. I assumed it was a stage ― we had been together for over 10 years now. Most friendship couples who’d been together for a decade found that their interest in one another waned every now and then. Surely we would just pick up where we left off as always, after Jessica’s new corporate-martini phase wore off… right?