What you’re about to read may be slightly haphazard, with thoughts flowing into other thoughts without finishing the first, disorganized and not in chronological order, but my brain just can’t make any sense of this. But first, a little history.
Coming to college, I had no idea what to expect. My family doesn’t have a whole long line of college graduates or attendees for that matter, so besides what friends said about it, I really didn’t know what my college career was going to look like. I came to school with my childhood best friend of 15 years, deciding not to live together for obvious reasons (which included still wanting to be friends by the time college was over with fully intact bodies), but ended up in the same building as each other. She had met a nice girl at a “Get to Know CBUers in Your Area” dinner in our hometown and decided that night to sign up to be roommates. On move-in day, Carley’s roommate Kylie and I exchanged the traditional how-do-you-do’s, and went along our business. With freshman orientation coming up and positively not knowing anyone except Carley and Kylie, we stuck together like lint to corduroy pants. In the middle of orientation, Kylie and I had a private conversation about our lives, our backgrounds, and future dreams, and from that point, I literally knew my life would never progress from dawn to dusk without including her.
Is it weird? To you – maybe. To us – absolutely not.
I’ve read books, seen countless movies, even heard stories of best friends, bosom friends, kindred spirits – whatever you want to call them, but Kylie and I can’t compare our friendship to them. The closest thing we can think of to sum up our friendship is sisterhood. I can hardly put into sufficient words the kind of relationship we have. From freshman orientation on, we were inseparable. Every day, without question, we had meals together, random late-night escapades to In-n-Out or McDonald’s, countless thought-provoking conversations, and more laughs than I had ever experienced in my entire life. We knew each other better than ourselves, could read any emotion or mood with one flash of it across the face, practiced how to push the others’ buttons, and imagined the course of the other’s life together. The whole beginning of our friendship was the happiest we had both been in years, experiencing joy beyond words and knowing that what we were building would last a lifetime.
That summer, after shooting hoops at Kylie’s house (more like her shooting hoops, and me rebounding for her since I am completely uncoordinated at basketball), we sat on the pavement and talked until the wee hours of the morning – about God and faith, who we were and were becoming, and just marveling at the coincidence of our friendship (what coincidence; more like providential). Kylie asked me, “Abigail, why is it we are from the same hometown, my family knows your family. We are so incredibly close – why do all these things line up?” As if I already knew the answer, I replied, “Because I feel like something is going to happen and I’m really going to need you there.” We both pondered the idea, and within a matter of minutes, we were on to the next subject as we always did.
Months flew by; full of surprises, boys, jobs, as well as incredible difficulties like any other friendship or relationship, but the bond between us grew stronger even as we began to loosen the chokehold grip we had on each other. Our schedules grew packed with obligations and responsibilities and priorities, and our friendship merged from happy-go-lucky-don’t-leave-without-me friends to I-will-be-here-when-you-get-home sisters. The Christmas after our profound “Why” conversation, my dad became fatally sick with a blood clot that lead to infections, which eventually took his life 7 months later. With no mother or father, you can imagine the role Kylie and her sweet mother more than willingly took on. As Kylie grieved over the sickness and loss of her own adopted father, she consoled me in my oblivion and numbness more than anyone else possibly could. She gave me a tongue when I couldn’t speak, feet when I lacked motivation, and a heart of flesh when mine turned to stone. How? God provided her with the strength I suppose; there is no other explanation for it. Months after Dad’s death, I recalled the almost-forgotten conversation with her and we shared a laugh over the amazing sovereignty of God’s plan. Funnier still (at least to us), I moved into Kylie’s sister’s old bedroom in her home in Modesto this last summer and adopted her mother as a mother figure in my life. We figured that it was more convenient that way; we didn’t have to go any further than step over her old, wizened dog that laid guard outside of our rooms to talk to each other. We also live together here at CBU – separate rooms of course, so we don’t lose nights of sleep to unexpected and in-depth conversations or pull each other’s hair out in frustration. We decided that even with the many events in life we had already shared together, there was nothing more that we wanted than to live life next to our sister in every season.
Each day, I feel like Kylie and I grow and change into different people from when we first met, but the tears, words of consolation, shared and discovered dreams, and the everyday presence we feel continues to confirm the fact that our friendship is real – that it’s not something we have imagined ourselves or controlled, nor could we if we had tried. Even with most emotions and thoughts unspoken, time spent apart, and the priority of other friends, there is no other earthly friendship we can think of that compares to the overwhelming bond-beyond-blood we share.
Kylie tells me often that she had prayed fervently for a best friend since she her parents’ divorce when she was 12. I had no idea I needed a best friend until I met her.