There are some people that are just gold dust. You could be walking around the town without your head screwed on and they’d be the first to notice and tell you ‘dude, you look lost’. They have this marvellous habit of finding you. Particularly when you didn’t even realise you were wandering. I know not all those that wander are lost – Lord of the Ring told me as much. But you need those people in your life that notice when you’re moodily staring into space in the cocktail bar. They ask you if you’re okay even when they probably know you’re not but they know you need to hear yourself say the words. ‘I am not okay’. 

We all need that ‘I am not okay’ safe space friend. Having your mum or dad or sister on speed dial is one thing. Having your old primary school best friend across the world might not cut it anymore. But your person – some version of a platonic soul mate maybe – needs to be there to recognise and truly see you. To listen to you and actually hear what you’re saying. Who counts down the days to your birthday so that they can give you really thoughtful presents and a card that will make you cry. 

Then when you get the heart emojis in response and feel your heart grow six sizes because friendship is truly something that no one should be without.

I firmly believe that you can live without a lover or partner.

You can’t live without friends. Honestly, you can’t. it’s the moments when you all get tipsy before the club and they slur and ask if you know that you made them cry with the present. As if you didn’t bottle that feeling when you saw the response and in debt it to memory thereafter. 

This is the friend that you always think to go to whenever something new happens to you. Be it happy, sad, important or largely irrelevant. They’re the first call you make, the first face you look for in the crowd of other people. The notification that pops up and makes you grin when you see what dog meme they’ve sent you on their work break. Friendship is magic, basically. 

It’s not effortless though – even though it will eventually feel like that. You have to prioritise each other to make it work. If you are university friends it’s not enough to simply be on the same course or have a similar schedule. It’s offering to walk together, sit together or meet up outside of that environment. Of when you’re both stressed and can only tolerate each other’s company. Or when you’re angry and you have a fight and shout at them for the first time and don’t know what to do with yourself after wards. You send a jaunty postcard through their door and meet for coffee to apologise and cry. But you were due a small fight to remind each other of how much you mean to each other and how hard it is to be alone. 

I know better than most how the phrase ‘we should stay in touch’ ages.

It doesn’t age so much like a fine wine as it does disintegrate like stale cheese. An attractive picture, I’ve painted there, I’m sure. But you get my drift – friendships can sometimes fall a little by the wayside. It’s a combination of the ravages of time, the fact that we change over the years, and that we might be wanting different things out of a relationship. 

However, most of the time it’s just distance. Pure and simple geography that thwarts us, time and time again. 

Therefore, this is a platonic love letter to my best friend of years gone by. 

How has it been so long? We used to talk everyday and see each other everyday in school, after school, walking to school… you get the picture. We were something of a pair. Maybe it was the common interests in football when it wasn’t cool to be a soccer nerd in year 7 when everyone else liked Rugby. Maybe it was the collective obsession with One Direction – we were slightly more mainstream with that connection, lol. 

Either way, we found our way over to each other’s houses on the regular, texting our allotted phone minutes away way back when we actually had a limiting plan.

I almost forget that everything is free on wifi or unlimited calls and texts.

Shout out to the phone companies for fixing that. I always remember with fondness the unmitigated horror of accidentally opening the internet button on your old flip phone back in the day.

We feared for our life, such was the expense and alien nature of the internet at the time.

Ah, how times change.