I was not prepared.
Was I ready for the casual "head-butt" with your other friends? Sure. Potentially don't like the new boyfriend? That's expected. Maybe I would have to lie, maybe have to tell your friend Rebecca I liked her nails at your sleepover when the color really just looked like a rotten tomato.
But your parents were a different story.
What made it so hard? The fact that I was so firmly taught to show respect, absolutely no questions asked, to adults. So the fact that these adults were your parents, made it so, so much harder.
Mom always said if you can count the number of friends, true friends, you have, on one hand, you're lucky. And, honestly, I was.
I had you on bus rides home after a bad day at school, in the bathroom between classes convincing me my silver eyeshadow would become a statement, and you even saw me naked, the biggest confirmation of friendship for our seemingly new teenaged pubescent selves.
At first, I thought I was crazy and simply paranoid.
But suddenly I couldn't avoid conflict. Now, I would get scolded when putting on lotion. If I fed your goldfish while you helped with dinner, your mom wouldn't speak to me. Quickly, my drink of choice at your house became water when your mother would roll her eyes if I reached for anything else.
I no longer wanted to accept anything you had to offer. I didn't want the bowl of popcorn during our movie nights anymore, your mom would yell at me for invisible kernels on the floor. Dinner nights? Forget about it, I couldn't stand the shame under your mom's glare when I didn't pray the same as you.
The ironic thing is, I never was a bad kid. I never touched a drug, never went to a party, even rejected every boy who attempted to take me to the movies. But, respectably, your mom was much quieter and reserved, and I could not fit the same mold.
And then it got hard, really hard. It was no longer small comments like your mom angrily correcting me for saying "thank you" prior to receiving a favor. "Didn't your parents teach you better?", she would sigh under her breath.
Your mom then soon pulled you out of our school and transferred you elsewhere, where now your summers were filled with camps that you hated. It didn't matter though, you were going regardless, and our time spent together suddenly became few to none.
I don't know what was worse, the fact that I was fighting a useless World War III with your parents for reasons unknown, or the fact that you refused to acknowledge it. Perhaps it was better that way anyway, I never liked direct confrontation.
At first, when the demise of our friendship became apparent, it was easy to laugh. Your mom's tireless efforts to keep you away from the "dangerous" peer pressures of me entirely backfired.
You were no longer at home watching movies with me in our neighborhood. She didn't think ahead to realize not allowing you to hang out with me, meant going out all the time with other friends from new schools, new faces, and new opportunities, including the bad.
But it didn't stop. I started getting messages from mutual friends pleading to help save you from alcoholism. That you were heavily involved with drugs, not even able to recall your body count.
I didn't know you reached for the bottle or bottles for that matter.
But I wasn't the one you confided in anymore.
Any attempt I made was a failure. Besides casual small talk, you wouldn't share with me anything you were doing. When I asked about your love life, you said you couldn't say, that your "number" was too high now to even recite out loud.
But I wouldn't have judged you. Not like your mom would have.
I still check in on you time and time again through social media to make sure you're still getting by. It's odd to flip through photos of daily life and not seeing you in them like I thought you would be.
So I hope your family is doing great, truly. I still will give all of my energy for one in-genuine smile when passing your mom, even if she looks right over me as she always does, just like I did for Rebecca's ugly rotten tomato nails.
I know what you are studying at college for isn't what you had wanted, but I'll still smile and double-tap when I see you captioning photos "best time of my life!"
Even still, I hope you are having the time of your life. I hope that you've found a way to do that without the need for a bottle and a line.
I will forever be thankful for the friendship we had during such a growing, fragile state of our lives, comparing options of boyfriends, complaining about newfound puberty weight, and bickering for the cute new guy down the road.
Just know, when I scroll through your finsta, and see the photo of you jokingly making out with another girl, I'm smiling. I'm cheering for you. I'm cheering for the girl, who despite a mother's obsessive control, still smiles, still lives, and still carries on her way fearlessly like I always knew you did so many years before.