Friendship

Shanyn's avatarBy Shanyn Hosier

I met the woman who was to become my BFF (and, in case you’re wondering, the final F—the one that stands for forever—is quite literal) when I was 18 years old. She lived across the hall from me in the dorm. Ours wasn’t an instant friendship, but its foundation built steadily over that year, and has lasted over two decades.

Toga party at our first apartment. Not quite Animal House, but you get the gist.

Toga party at our first apartment. Not quite Animal House, but you get the gist.

We endured A-core and Organic Chemistry, failed romances and hellish roommates, idiot classmates and pain-in-the-ass professors. We consoled ourselves with Jiffy Treat ice cream and Mother Bear’s pizza. We consumed innumerable bad attempts at dinners by novice cooks, and her “specialty”: goulash. We lived together until she graduated (from the Indiana University School of Business, no mean feat) and abandoned me to seek her fortunes on the East Coast. Then I, a year later, took my “talents” out to the wild, Wild West.

Two coeds wearing white t-shirts, wrestling over a hose, spraying each other with water. Not quite the porno you were expecting, is it?

Two coeds wearing white t-shirts, wrestling over a hose, spraying each other with water. Not quite the porno you were expecting, is it?

But my BFF and I stood steadfastly beside each other, albeit via long distance. Sometimes I think all the technological advances in communication since we met—which includes the invention of email, cell phones, and texting, people—were invented solely so we could keep in touch. Jobs drifted into careers, dates persisted into engagements marching into weddings, marriages begat children, illnesses shifted into disabilities or deaths—we were beside each other at a moment’s notice, thanks to those electrons moving at the speed of light.

From the early '90s, during an apocalyptic snowstorm, through which I rode a Greyhound to Rhode Island to visit. (Also, depicting the lengths to which I hold things over people.)

From the early ’90s, during an apocalyptic snowstorm, through which I rode a Greyhound to Rhode Island to visit. (Also, depicting the lengths to which I hold things over people.)

My BFF has the worst sense of direction of any human being, dead or alive. She is a handful of melanin molecules away from albinism. She dislikes seafood and eats meat well done. She’s a Cubs fan, for God’s sake. I have no idea how I even stand her, some days.

She is also my beta reader, the first person in the world I trust to read everything I write. She is the most loyal person I know, yet she doesn’t hesitate to call me on my bullshit. God help you if you get on her bad side, or slight someone she loves—they invented the term ‘mama bear’ to describe the way she Hulks-out on someone in defense of a loved one. And she is, bafflingly, a pessimistic optimist—and no, I don’t know how she manages it.

We know there are trials and tribulations ahead. Some of them we can predict, others will take us by surprise. I think by now it’s safe to say we’ll be facing them together.

PetrifiedForestI luv ya more than my luggage, Kath.

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