A Faithful Friend, A Lasting Love

I will always consider the night before Thanksgiving two years ago as one of the best days of my life.

Shaking in the cold, dutifully standing with Sam as she puffed on her cigarette, I said,

“He’s one of my best friends and what if this ruins it?”

I had just crawled my way out of a two year, too long relationship. It was the night before Thanksgiving, the heaviest drinking night of the year, two years ago. I was finally going to make it happen with the guy I actually loved.

“I thought I was your best friend.” She said in a drunkenly memorizing giggle.

“You’re always going to be my best friend. But he’s like, one of my greatest friends. He almost makes me laugh as much as you do. That’s hard to find. What if it doesn’t work, what if I hurt him?”

You could almost feel the ears listening to every word leaving our lips. The feeling of someone pissed off and prowling on your every pronunciation, waiting to pounce at the opportunity of a guard let down.

“If you ever hurt him, I’ll punch you in the f****** face.” An apparent friend’s voice echoed from behind my back, a familiar place for her. I stood in shock, scared honestly. Was she going to hit me right now?

Sam shuffled around me in a protective manner, making sure this girl stayed out of frame. With side eyes in full force, Sam said, “You do whatever makes you happy. Who cares what anyone thinks, especially this b****. That’s not a real friend” She practically chucked the remaining cigarette in her direction, linked my arms with hers, and walked me back into the bar where she continued to soothe my worries.

You see, I always knew where my life was headed, but I was terrified to take this guy with me. Us dating meant it would have a lasting effect on those orbiting us. When we came together both our lives changed like you wouldn’t imagine. As happy as I knew it would make me, I knew others may get hurt in the process. And I will always be painstakingly apologetic for it, to a degree. Until I remember what Sam said: Do what makes me happy. Who cares what they think.

Yes, you may have heard those words from thousands of people. But, it was her timing: She saw I was about to crumble, so she stood up for me. It was her actions: She went full momma bear mode with her protective stance, staring me directly in the eyes so I wouldn’t look away and cry. It was her tone: The love that flowed through her could make even the most cliche of words feel like comfort. It was her motivation: We went back into the bar where my future boyfriend was about to soon sweep me off my feet, I had never been more ready to accept him into my life.

I will always consider the night before Thanksgiving two years ago as one of the best days of my life. I had been so overwhelmed knowing my whole life was in the process of changing, but the comfort of Sam’s words and the intimacy of Brett’s kiss had made a lethal combination of love like I’d never experienced. I knew that whatever life was about to bring my way, God had gifted me two of the greatest friends to be by my side through it all.

I’ve been dreading this day since late this summer because of Sam no longer being with us. She always told me how much she loved my writing and to always remember my feelings are valid, so put them out there. So I’m writing my heart out hoping her soul hears this, so she knows the impact she’s had on me.

I will always consider the night before Thanksgiving two years ago as one of the best days of my life. Two years ago today, I wouldn’t have had the courage to kiss the love of my life if it wasn’t for my best friend. It was a night I will always remember because of a friend I will never forget.

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