Growing up I felt like I didn't relate to people to my age.
I had always hung around my brother and his friends who were five years older than me and I could never seem to resonate with the kids in my class or on my softball team.
This was until I decided to do cheer-leading for one season (a sport I was really wasn't too interested in).
That was when I met my best friend.
The moment I met her I knew she was someone I would want to spend time with.
We loved to cheer together and we often set up "play dates" after practice or games.
Unfortunately, we went to different elementary schools so, after cheer-leading season seeing each other could be difficult when we both played sports on the weekends and needed our parents to drive us everywhere if we wanted to hang out.
We stayed connected through Myspace but, eventually, we ended up going to the same middle school.
We had sixth-grade English together and that's when it became me and her against the world.
We were inseparable.
We did absolutely everything together and if we didn't we were texting each other the entire time making sure we each knew the exact detail of the event.
Of course, this is also an extremely awkward time with trying to figure out how tampons work, what kind of bras you should wear, and the switch from granny panties to thongs.
All of these thorny times were shared together.
The boundary lines began to blur between us and nothing was ever left unsaid because we were so close to each other we wouldn't dare to pass judgment on one another.
This carried on into our high school when we began dating, partying, and facing the typical troubles of a high school teen.
I spent every weekend and holiday I wasn't playing softball at her house.
Not just one sleepover but multiple in a row.
It was like pulling teeth for my parents to try to get me to come home and I would beg to stay another night even then.
We continued to be inseparable even though high school tested our friendship a few times with making new friends, playing sports, difficult classes, and everything in between.
But, we survived and we did it together.
We walked across the stage together and we continued our friendship when I went 400 miles away to college.
While I was away at college she indulged herself in a relationship with her high school crush that just happened to a boy from a separate friend group that I cherished back home.
Obviously, she was my best friend and if there were ever troubles in their relationship I was the first person she came to for advice.
Her boyfriend was aware of this and didn't want it to happen.
So, while she was sleeping he looked in her phone to see if our messages had contained information about him that she shared with me.
She and I had not deleted our message thread since 7th grade so when she awoke and saw that our thread wasn't there she freaked out.
She immediately went to her Ipad which was connected to her iPhone and found the exact reason the thread had no longer been there.
Her boyfriend had taken a nude photo of me that I sent to her in confidence (mind you this is my best friend in the entire world so if I'm going to show off my body to anyone it was going to be her because screw sending that ish to boys right?) and sent it to himself then deleted both of the threads.
I'll never forget the phone call I got from her trying to tell me what happened while pushing back hysterical tears.
She was absolutely distraught, torn down, and broken.
She was also forced to try to deal with this situation during summer while working a full-time job at an optometrist office.
Since I couldn't help her while she was at work I decided to go to the beach with a group of friends.
I decided to go with the same group of friends (since freshman year of high school) that just happened to include her boyfriend.
That is the last day I talked to my best friend.
She decided that I was betraying her by going to the beach knowing her boyfriend would be there.
Since I was the victim in the situation I didn't think me going to the beach with my friends and him being there should be a problem because he was the one at fault.
After all, I was more worried about my best friend than I was about my own body being exposed because it's just a body and my best friend meant more to me.
Well, I guess I was wrong.
She didn't see it that way.
Instead of sticking up to her boyfriend for taking her best friends nude body from her own phone while she was sleeping she was firm in her belief that I was the one betraying her for going to the beach while he was there.
Although I know I shouldn't carry what happened in one friendship into others, I do.
I find it difficult to become as close as I was with her with anyone else.
I no longer wish to have the energy I once had to put into another friendship that possibly end up like this one or worse.
It sounds cynical but I promise it's not.
I have no negative energy towards this situation or her I just instead focus this energy on my personal relationship with myself and that's OK.
I still cherish all of the moments I had with her and I still consider her to be the best friend I've ever had and probably will ever have I just can't see myself having another friendship like this one and that's OK, too.