Rachel Paige
May 17, 2015 9:00 am

Welcome to Besties Week! We’re kicking off the release of our first HelloGiggles book, A Tale of Two Besties, with an epic celebration of friendship and stories about friendship. Read an excerpt of the book, buy a copy, catch us on our cross-country book tour, and share your photos from our events by tagging us @hellogiggles #ATaleofTwoBesties.

In the meantime, join the party right here. All week long, our contributors will be sharing stories, essays and odes to their very own partners-in-crime. Read, laugh, cry (because you’re laughing so hard) and share with your bestie!

Steph and I were inseparable. I know you probably think that you and your best friend are inseparable, but Steph and I gave new meaning to the word. We were rarely ever apart, staring freshmen year of college right up to the fall semester of senior year. Come senior year, I just expected us to be together forever no matter what.

For both of us, college wasn’t really the “best time.” We were ready to GTFO. Steph actually found an out that fall semester. She was offered a spiffy job on the other side of the country, and I knew she was seriously thinking about taking it, even though she was still a few credits shy of graduating. Steph told me she could take the remaining classes online, and it sounded like a good idea. But I didn’t want her to leave me. I had always assumed we would graduate together and enter the real world together, too. I know I told her this a few times, and she nodded like she understood and the topic was always dropped. (Honestly, I also really thought it was super risky to take the job, and I told her that, too)

Steph put the idea to duck out of college early on the back burner. Or, so I thought. Honestly, I don’t even remember the events that led up to our epic, screaming fight in the middle of the dining hall’s concourse. I just know that Steph made it clear to me — whether by accident, or curtly intentional — that she was taking the job, and I couldn’t stop her. She was leaving me behind.

And me, being the always cool, calm, and collected person I am, I responded rationally to her decision.

JK, I bugged out.

The discussion should have been something like, “So, Steph, how often are you going to call me?” But instead, it became all or nothing. I was either going to have Steph in my life, or I wasn’t. She made her discussion to leave, and I made my decision to cut her out — foolish, and stupid, and silly, I know. It was the end of us.

It all happened so fast, and then the next day I woke up and I couldn’t text her. It was awful. As time went on it became not so awful, it just became my reality to not have her there anymore. The end of the fall semester slowly drew to a close and I decided to put on my big girl pants, and I reached out to Steph to try and amend our broken friendship. She didn’t want to talk to me. She packed up her things and left college.

Every now and then I’d casually bring her up in conversation, and that usually led to me slyly asking if Steph had mentioned me or anything. I started asking friends if they thought Steph would ever want to talk in the future. Most of my friends ignored the question because they didn’t want to hurt my feelings. One of them told me straight up that she never wanted to hear from me ever again.

I graduated. I moved. I moved again. And three years later I found myself in an awful dead end job and life was bleak. I found myself wishing for my friends back in college, because I’ve always felt like they knew me best. I found myself thinking a lot about Steph. Steph was always very anti-social media, so it was never like I could secretly stalk her Facebook or her Twitter. I honestly had no idea what she was up to. I wondered if I could somehow get in touch with her. I really just wanted to say hi, that’s harmless enough.

After asking all my college friends, one thought Steph wouldn’t be totally opposed to the idea of talking. I learned that she was working at the same company I was working for at the time, just on the opposite coast. I took that as a sign. I was given her email address and I thought, WHAT THE HECK? and wrote her a little note.

The email was like, 90% self deprecating. I figured I needed to be funny, humble, and apologetic all at the same time. I didn’t even know what to write, so I told her exactly how I was feeling: I told her that I missed her dearly, and even after all this time, she was still l one of the only people I want to talk to every day. I also told her that it pained me to think about the fact that we had gone three years not speaking, and maybe we could have another go at a friendship? I wasn’t looking to pick back up where we had left off, since we had both been hurt so much. I wanted to turn over a new page, and I hoped she would, too.

I hit SEND, and then I waited. And I waited. Two months passed, and I figured that Steph didn’t want to talk. I accepted it. I moved on.

At the beginning of the third month, I got a call from an unknown number. I let it go to voicemail, because who answers the phone, anyway? The voice on the other end was Steph. It was a short, quick message, and she apologized for not getting back to me sooner, but her life had been crazy. She told me to call her whenever I got a chance.

And OK, so I needed two weeks to gain the courage to actually call her back, but eventually I did. And then she needed to call me back. And then I missed her call. And then I sent her a text just saying I was around whenever. And then one night just before 11 pm, she called and I answered. We talked for almost three hours, because we had almost three years of ground to cover.

It was like we never missed a beat. We picked up right where we left off, and yes, the two of us acknowledged our “hiatus,” as we now call it. Our hiatus was long and dark, but maybe the two of us just needed to grow up a little bit. I apologized for cutting her out so hurtfully, and she apologized for fleeing so quickly in the first place. We’re still working through some of this, but we can at least talk about what’s happened in the past. Honestly, now we find it funny that we somehow managed to not speak for three years. Now more time has passed, and it’s weird to think back to that time when Steph and I weren’t speaking.

Steph is currently 3,000 miles away on the other side of the country, but we talk daily. I haven’t seen her in person since we made amends, but I don’t necessarily need to see her. I just need to know she’s still there for me, like she was there for me all those years again. I’m still there for her. After some yelling, fighting, tears, three years, and one little email, I got my best friend back.

[Image via here]