My best friend is insane. The first time I met her, she scared me. She was something my eleven year old self never expected. She was black as tar with the whitest teeth I’d ever seen. Her small, shiny black eyes looked everywhere and nowhere. And she was ugly, but then she smiled at me and I loved her.
My best friend is too sane. The first time I met her, she fascinated me. She was what I had always looked for in a friend. I had been waiting for a friend like her for a long time. Her big brown eyes locked on me and refused to look away. I thought she was beautiful and when she smiled back at me, I loved her.
Now I hate her. I hate her because she loves me. She is always there by my side, never letting me do anything stupid or fun. She always talks of my future and the potential I have. She would just be there, dreadlocks hanging down her back, wearing a black top and a colorful wrapper. Her small, snaky eyes are always lined in black and her lips are always black. Every time she looks like this, and when I ask her why she laughs and says, “My soul is black and so I wear black. But the wrapper is for you, you are the only bright thing in my life.” There is a moment of silence then we both burst out laughing. Times like that I don’t hate her because all her bullshit makes me laugh. I told you she’s insane.
I still love her and I know that sometimes she hates me because she thinks I am too overbearing. But nobody cares about her as much as I do. Sure she has parents, but even they can’t possibly love her like I do. She has a future and I plan on personally getting her there in one piece. She isn’t grounded; she’s always swayed by the latest trends. Today she’ll be wearing leggings and a baggy shirt and tomorrow she’ll be wearing a short, soft pink dress. Her hair also changes with trends, but I like the long black braids she has on now. She’s even more beautiful than before; her teeth have been straightened and whitened, and her eyes are as big and brown as ever. We’re as different as the darkest night and brightest day. And when she asks me why I dress the way I so and I tell her, she laughs because she thinks I’m making a joke. The girl is too light-hearted.
Today she walks into my room telling me something about an anniversary. Apparently we’ve been best friends for seven years. She laughs as she tells me how I used to complain to her about all my schoolmates being idiots. I reply absent-mindedly, I’m not exactly sure of what I said. Today I talked to a boy, and I answered all his questions in complete sentences. We had a whole conversation and for the first time I felt like I wasn’t talking to an idiot. His parents just bought the house next to ours and he goes to the university I will be going to when long vac is over. He said I was smart and pretty, and I felt that I’d been living in a bubble that burst all of a sudden. Best friends share everything so I tell her, expecting her to be happy for me; instead, she mutters something about throwing my life away and storms out. Times like this, I hate her.
Today I went to a party for the first time in a few years; our new neighbors were coming in with a bang. I talked to people and laughed, and my parents smiled at me for the first time in a long time. Usually they look at me with slightly worried expressions. I saw a few of my old schoolmates who looked at me with wondering expressions; they’ve never seen me be this outgoing. I had my first glass of wine, it made my stomach hot and I felt very sleepy. And I got my first kiss. We’ve only had two full conversations, but I feel like we’ve known each other for a lifetime, so I wasn’t surprised when he joined me on the balcony when I went to get some fresh air. I wasn’t surprised either when he put his hand on my arm and moved closer. I’m not exactly sure how, but we were kissing and I was very, very aware of where his hands were resting. I didn’t see any fireworks like how they say in the books and I wasn’t transported to somewhere heavenly either, but it felt good. Now I’m sitting on my bed and its one o’clock in the morning, I just got back home. I can’t wait till tomorrow; I’m going to tell my best friend that I just might be in love. She hasn’t come in a while and I miss her, and I know she misses me more – she’ll be here tomorrow.
She tells me of this wonderful party she went to yesterday. She tells me of the boy and his kiss. When she is done telling me she looks expectantly at me and so I humor her. I hug her and laugh with her and tell her that I’m so happy for her. I’m not happy for her. She is too smart to waste her time thinking she’s in love with this boy who is only after one thing, and it isn’t stimulating intellectual conversation. I know his kind, and I will NOT let him derail our plans for the future. This has to stop, and it has to stop now. We spend the rest of the day together and I laugh at all the appropriate places when she makes jokes about getting married. I leave her at the end of the day with all her dreams.
She took it pretty well; I thought she was going to shout at me for throwing my life away on a boy that isn’t adding anything to it, but I guess she understands that I can have love and a bright future. No need to choose between the two. Yesterday we talked like old times, and I remembered why I love her. Today she takes me to an abandoned plot in the neighborhood where we used to play as kids. There is an old well in the back corner where we used to sing our wishes into after watching Snow White. We pretend like we’re children again and we go back to that well. She goes first, but I’m not listening to the words she is saying. I’m busy listening to the sound of her voice; she has a very lovely voice. It’s very deep and rough, but there is something melodious about, sometimes I swear that there is more than one voice coming out of that mouth. She finishes singing her wish and I kneel down by the mouth of the well. I pause and think of what I’m wishing then I bend over and draw in a breath, about to sing. The smell of stale water hits me as I put my head into the mouth of the well and start to sing. Suddenly I’m falling, and I know she loves me, but I swear she pushed me.
“She was so young.”
“She had such a bright future ahead of her. Why?”
“What kind of problems did she have that she would commit suicide?”
“I heard that she had mental problems and that’s why she did it.”
“I didn’t really know her, she didn’t talk to anybody.”
“What a waste of a young life.”
I stand in the background as the people of the neighborhood stand and watch as they pull the bloated, disfigured body. All of them speculating about possible reasons why she killed herself. I look at her face one more time before they cover it with a cloth. Nobody sees me walk up to her and kiss her forehead. I turn around and walk away, but not before I see a little girl in the crowd with chocolate skin and big brown eyes.
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