Once upon a time, two 4th grade girls were invited to go ice skating by their elementary school best friends. The girls were from two different schools and had never met before that day. One girl had straight across bangs (yes, like a bowl cut), and had just learned what a bra was; while the other girl had lovely curly black hair and ridiculously small ankles. While their best friends skillfully maneuvered the rink to the sounds of “The Backstreet Boys,” these two girls clung to each other trying to stay upright for more than a minute. And after the skate date was over, the two girls — who had become quite fond of each other — went back to their separate lives until one fateful day three years later.
This is the story of how I met my best friend Imali. While we didn’t become fast friends until we both transferred to the same junior high, we credit that skating date as the event that fated us to be soul mates.
Through the years — even though we’ve spent the majority of our time living in different cities — Imali has never stopped being my person. With her, we simply pick up right where we left off the last time, and let our time together lapse into giggles and reminiscing and heart-to-hearts and tears and catch ups and pep talks. With her, I’m exactly who I want to be and together, we dream as big as we want because nothing seems impossible.
I got spoiled this past week with her being here for a whole seven days. Having not seen her for over two years (don’t worry, I’m going to visit her in September so we don’t continue this cycle), we had A LOT to catch up on.
She just moved to Brooklyn with my adorable roommate from college and is working for an amazing company that connects donors with international relief organizations. I just got cats. She got her first tattoo. I moved to Los Angeles to pursue writing. Our mutual friends from high school now have kids and husbands and passions for bedazzling. Our sweet dance moves have improved. We had more hot mess moments to cringe over together. And most of all, “Revenge” is crazy, yet we can’t stop watching that damn show.
Together, we said goodbye to a close friend going to serve in Afghanistan and caught up with another friend who just moved to town. We accidentally walked part of the LA marathon home because all the roads were closed on Sunday. We ate lots of In-n-out and drank lots of wine and tried to better figure out this thing called life. But mostly, we just basked in the fact that we were together.
It was the perfect week and reminded me how lucky I am to have someone like Imali in my life. So here’s to the next 100 years together best friend, I love you.
PS. During college, I worked with the Aids Service Foundation to record stories of those affected by HIV — whether directly or family and friends. In my first interview, the woman I was talking to told me all about her best friend who had passed away recently from AIDS. Her words captured the exact way I feel about Imali and I still haven’t forgotten that interview years later.
“I believe that you only meet so many people through your life and some people just have you. You are madly in love with them from the moment you meet them. There is just something that your heart and their heart just go together. I think it is so special to have those things.”
^^ For no other reason than this video is amazing. ^^