I've been in love with you since I was 5 years old. The only thing I can remember from that day we met in the park is you pushing me down in the sandbox, and running away laughing. I cried...but it didn't actually hurt, I was just embarrassed. The next time I saw you in the park, I pushed you and made you cry, and that was the beginning of our friendship. We went to elementary school together, and even though people taunted us and told us boys and girls can't be friends, or tried to convince us that the other one had "cooties," we just danced along to our own drum. Our friendship was undeniable. We both loved Power Rangers, and the Steelers. You didn't understand my love for Barbies or Sailor Moon, and I didn't understand your love for being dirty all the time, but we moved past those transgressions.

In middle school, we would share our crushes with each other, and try to help the other one win their crushes heart (or at least their attention). We both had those little fake phone relationships that didn't last longer than 2 weeks, but in the moment they felt real to us. Neither of our parents actually let us go on dates at that age, but they always let us hang out with each other. Our parents became friends, because of our friendship, and they would always joke about how maybe we would eventually be family because we would probably get married one day. We both thought that was pretty disgusting. However, when I played MASH with my girlfriends I always put your name down as a potential person I could marry. MASH was a serious matter back then, and if I was going to get stuck in a shack, at least I could have my best friend with me. 

I moved to a different neighborhood when we went off to high school, but we still remained friends and talked on the phone weekly. We met new people, had new crushes, played sports...but still made time for each other at least once a week. Once you got a car, it was on and poppin'. Now our weekly phone meetings could be at our favorite diner, without our parents breathing down our necks. We talked about EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. I still remember the bet we had about who would lose their virginity first. We even watched our first porn together to figure out how exactly everything was supposed to work, because we were clueless. Neither one of us had this romantic notion of our virginity, but OF COURSE LIKE A TYPICAL MAN YOU LOST. You told me you didn't know what you were doing, but that you tried your best...and I remember patting you on the back, then busting out laughing at your face when I got home. Neither one of us had a senior prom date, so we went together. Something about seeing each other so dressed up made the mood a little weird at first, but we still had a great time. We had dinner (at our favorite diner...because....us), and danced all night. We actually had never danced with each other before, and hadn't really touched outside of the once a week side hug we gave each other. I started to see you in a different light, and at the end of the night I wanted you to kiss me so badly. You stared at me long and hard before I got out the car...I know you were thinking the same thing...but you just let me get out the car with our not-so-secret secret handshake. 

Things went back to normal for the next few weeks until graduation and we went off to college. Me out of state. We kept in touch mainly through AOL IMs then, and texting. I would be SO hype to see you online. Chatting with you was always more fun than studying. Whenever, we were back in town we would meet up at our favorite diner. If we were dating someone, we would bring them along too, to introduce them to the best friend. Your approval was really the only one that mattered to me anyways, even moreso than my parents. I remember after one particularly bad breakup, my mom told me to come home because I just couldn't stop crying. You went to a college about 30 minutes up the road from our hometown, so you let me stay with you and I just laid on your shoulder with my snotty, swollen face, feeding me ice cream. I was miserable. Heartbroken. But home. You have always been home.

Many years have passed since that day...many loves as well. We've never had the "more than friends" conversation. We stay safely in our comfort zone. Never testing the waters, but I feel like I'm suffocating in my feelings. Like the question of "what if" is burning inside of my chest every time we talk. I fear your rejection, but I fear drowning even more.

So, best friend, I think it's time I ask you...

"What if you're supposed to be my forever?"

XO, Brittany

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