The Secrets My Best Friend Holds
That’s what soulmates do.
That time I really messed up.
That time I sobbed like a baby.
That time I did something dangerous.
That time I learned the cold, hard truth.
These were just some of the indelible moments I have shared with my best friend. The woman who knows me best. The woman who’s seen me at my worst.
The woman who holds my secrets with the grace of a prima ballerina.
My best friend has experienced some of my most traumatic and life-changing events while standing by my side — and I have experienced the same with her while standing by her side. She is truly my sister by proxy and she is my reflecting light through the dark and perilous tunnels of this existence.
The secrets of my first marriage and the abuse that I kept hidden. She was the only one who knew. She was the only one I couldn’t fool.
When I finally left that abusive marriage, she was there, on the phone, as I cried and cried like a wounded animal.
Later in life, my best friend would again hold many of my burdens for me. Secrets of an illicit affair, addiction, lies, and sex. There was uncomfortable darkness in my life for a time and an embarrassing sequence of poor choices. Things I had done that no one would know by looking at me — but things my sweet friend would carry for me and with me.
She never judged — she only listened. Even when she wanted to judge and probably had a good reason to do so, she kept listening.
Our friendship is — and will always be — a safe haven for confessions, tears, and honesty.
To have a friend like mine is not something everyone gets in this lifetime. To have someone who keeps your innermost longings, mistakes, and rituals safe and tucked away within their own psyche. This is the absolute definition of intimacy and trust.
With every relationship, every break-up, every lover, every joy, every depression, and every heartache comes that inevitable call to my best friend — the one who holds my secrets and the one who can hold up that mirror and say, ‘You’re better than this,’ or ‘I knew you’d get through this.’
The keeper of my pain, and the keeper of my sadness. The one who will stand up and cheer for me louder than anyone else. The one who will know exactly what makes me laugh. The one who will immediately call me out on my bullsh*t without hesitation. The one who knows me — and has known me since I was 12 years old and still playing with barbies.
Now in our 40’s, we look at one another and we plainly see that we are older women but all we really see are two pre-teen girls who wanted to be somebody — who wanted to be beautiful — and who wanted to be loved.
We watched one another fall desperately in love and we also held one another when that love was crushed without mercy.
When my best friend was giving birth to her first child in another state, she called me. The sound of her voice was cracked by the guttural pain of childbirth. She was absolutely terrified. And so was I. I had never heard her voice like this —she was in that much pain. Years later, when I was in the hospital about to give birth to my first child, I called her as well. By that time, she was already an experienced mother of two. Her voice was like a reassurance to my soul.
We needed to share those primal experiences with one another. That’s what soulmates do.
Though we are so opposite in personality and even in lifestyle — we share a common bond. We hold each other’s secrets. But we also hold each other to a higher standard. And we don’t let one another get away with any less than that for any great amount of time.
When someone dies, we immediately gravitate to one another. When life goes topsy turvy, we seek out the comfort of one another.
It’s comforting to know that in this life we can find a soulmate — someone who has bits of us, pieces of us, fragments of our experiences, and memories also stored within their own being.
Those secrets we hold for one another, in our Pandora’s box of friendship — they do bond us utterly and completely.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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