As I looked through some old boxes in my garage, I found a letter from my for mer best friend (let’s call her Minnie). The dog-eared letter had survived years of neglect in a cardboard box filled with cobwebs and dust.
Despite the spelling errors and the misuse of “accepted,” the twelve-year-old letter had me giggling with happiness. The bright yellow imprints along the edges of the letter reminded me of the times when my best friend and I were obsessed with sending each other different types of stationery.
Minnie wrote: “I am really sorry about before. Apology excepted? Tell me if you will be my BFF agian and if my apology is excepted [sic] below.”
The lonely blank box waited for my approval so that Minnie and I could be best friends forever again. I wrote the words: “YES. I will be your B.F.F.” in the box provided.
I was glad that I picked up such a significant piece of history from my childhood. It dawned on me that my pre-teen years were filled with an innocent understanding of friendship.
One minute, Minnie and I would be playing on the swing set, the other moment we’d be arguing over who would play Aladdin and Princess Jasmine.
We’d get into arguments and give each other the silent treatment for a good five minutes. But things would always be better again. We’d find some way to laugh or giggle about our stupid little arguments. We’d go back to playing “dress up” or pretend we were editors at a fashion magazine entitled, “Girl’s Life.”
My life would have been void and dull without Minnie. She was like a big sister to me. She stood up to me when pre-school bullies came to demand their portion of the sandbox.
She even gave me my very own “Gothy doll” for my first birthday, which I still have to this day.
Gothy resembles Chuckie, decked in a horrible flower apron, and a wig that was replaced from Michael’s arts and crafts store too many times to count. Her eyeballs can flip inside out, and her feet are raggedy and torn. She’s aged more than me. But through the years, she was a reminder of the memories I had shared with Minnie. I remember hugging Gothy every time I felt like I needed a hug from my big sister Minnie.
Things eventually changed though. Minnie stopped writing letters to me when she moved 30 minutes away. I could no longer bike to her house. I remember my mom driving past her old house one day, and reminiscing about the days Minnie and I chased her dog and ran across the sprinklers. The house suddenly seemed to haunt me. There were no kids, no dog, no laughter and no Minnie.
We went to separate elementary schools and Minnie became more involved in other activities and other friends. We suddenly lost contact.
Years later, she invited me to her sweet sixteen party. I knew it would feel awkward because I hadn’t seen her for such a long time. But I was eager to go. At her party, I looked at the young woman in front of me and realized that we had both changed so much over the years.
We didn’t have time for slumber parties or makeovers anymore. It was time for us to grow up and bid our letter-writing days adieu. And that’s what happened.
Needless to say, life wasn’t as simple as I thought it would be. I came to the realization that we couldn’t just write “apology” letters and slip it under the door, and suddenly become best friends again.
I didn’t see Minnie much after her sweet sixteen. But we were unexpectedly reunited at the same college.
It was weird bumping into her again because I knew how we often joked about how we’d always be best friends and that we’d call each other when we got accepted to the same college, and that we’d be roommates and find us some dashing twins to marry. I guess one out of three ain’t bad.
The letter I had come across made me feel bittersweet. I now realize that I can’t hold onto the past. My falling out with Minnie was part of our path to “growing up.” I wanted to childishly believe that we could be best friends forever, but that just never came to be.
I’m thankful for the memories, and glad that a simple letter reminded me of the good times I had shared with Minnie. As cheesy as it sounds, I’ll always keep the letter. Who knows, I’ll probably hide it in a time capsule or something.