Remember those white sweatshirt hoodies with the red stitching we had? Mine read “Bené” yours “Tish?” We thought we were too fly. Best friends since the second grade who met because your stepmom and my mom were best friends. “The Five Heartbeats” to this day is our favorite movie. Relatives insisted we sing all the songs and give a performance when they’d come over. Show stoppers we were. Can you believe we used to literally get in fist fights with each other as kids? We both thought we were tough. In 7th grade I moved away. We haven’t lived in the same state since. But our friendship was too strong for a couple hundred miles to separate us. I’d come to Detroit or you’d come to Nashville. That’s just what best friends did when they no longer lived down the street from one another.
Life happened. And we traveled two different paths. Became two different women. Not one better than the other, but different. Our arguments as young adults were petty. Yet the true feelings of how we felt about one another would painfully reveal themselves during these times. You told me I’d have the career, success and notoriety but would be alone. I retorted that you’d always be a gold digging ho’ dealing with drug dealing dudes who call you out of your name. I hung up the phone. Your words cut deep. I’m sure mine did too. But all is fair in love and war of friendships. We didn’t talk for a year. When we did start communicating again it was every once in a while about small updates. “Hey I finished graduate school,” I’d text you. “The baby looks just like G,” you would text. And that has been the essence of our relationship since we’ve grown apart.
Then you sent a text:
“Speaking from the heart. I don’t know if it’s true, but I feel like since we lead two different lifestyles you don’t want to have a relationship with me. I don’t understand why you get upset with me over how I live my life. You were supposed to be my son’s godmother. I’m sad that it looks like he will never meet you cause you are a good person. I’m proud that you’re doing what you wanted to do. I feel like just because I didn’t go to school and I had my baby you look down on me.”
Despite that this wasn’t really a conversation to be had via text message, it solidified my sentiments on why we’re not the best of friends anymore. You don’t even know me.
Look down on you? Hmmm. Right, I feel like I’m better than you because I got some degrees and stuff. Yet, of my four best friends only one of them has a degree. My boyfriend who I’m madly in love with is just now going back to school at 29, so technically he doesn’t have a degree either. I guess I feel I’m better than all of them too?
But I’m glad you mentioned your lifestyle. A friend is someone who is supposed to get upset when they feel you are not living up to your potential. A friend’s duty is to know you deserve better than what you settle for. And when encouraging you to want better for yourself doesn’t work, and you end up telling me I’m jealous of you, then it leads to distance.
I knew it would come to this years before it did.
At the core, our values are different. Who we are as women are direct contrasts. What you want and what I want out of life don’t match. The things I am passionate about you couldn’t care less and vice versa. My path is not greater than yours, but we’re on two different roads that don’t intersect at this point in life.
You’re not being fair to claim I think I’m better than, but disregarding how selfish you have always been as a friend. Everything was always about you. I could tell you I want to end my life and your response would be, “Oh for real. Girl G just got me this new Bebe outfit.” When have we ever nursed each other from a break up? Sexual abuse? Domestic violence? Miscarriage? For the very lows of my life you haven’t been there. I’m sure you feel the same about me. Let’s not pretend I went to college and start acting bougie.
As people mature they grow. Sometimes that means relationships and friendships have to end. The more I own my feminist ideals, the more my conversations with my male best friends have to be limited. All the bitch and ho’ talk is too much to bear in one conversation. You understand? It’s not about being better than.
I wonder what we would even talk about today. You about your son and baby’s father and me about my life in the Big Apple? Would we even feel where each other are coming from?
I hope you, and any of my other friends I might grow apart from understand, it’s not because I’m up here and believe you’re down there. It’s genuinely because we’ve grown apart. And our friendship is not conducive to who I am, who I want to be and where I want to go.
But I will always love you, friend. For we have memories that are forever sketched in my heart.