Ode to Alex
The way two people can wrap around each other and become utterly connected is wondrous and was a feeling I never thought I would obtain. Then I met her, Alex, and I found just how truly wondrous and beautiful someone could be.
Before Alex truly became my best friend I always felt alone. Before Alex I felt as if I was a blurred image; something everyone noticed but not something anyone actually saw. Before Alex I was unwanted territory. Before Alex I was simply an object people tolerated because it was easier to keep me then go through the hassle of shoving me away. Before Alex I was nothing.
After Alex I became part of a pair. After Alex I became a defined image; something with vivid colors that people finally saw. After Alex I was wanted. After Alex I was carved because I was needed by someone, which was never true before. After Alex I was, for what felt like the first time, something.
Alex is what makes me. She has taken my mind and soul into her angelic hands and morphed them into what I now live with. The problem with someone making you is that they have the power to destroy you by the simplest acts. The worst part is that no one ever suspects that the person who makes them will leave. I never thought my other half would be torn away from me by some unknown force that neither of us knows how to repair. It’s hard to solve a problem when you are unable to even comprehend why the problem started. Instead I tend to reply every little detail about the situation. From beginning to end.
When I first met Alex I felt as though she hated me. I had intruded on her other friendship. Alex rarely spoke to me for two years of our friendship. The words spoken between us were scarce and not worth mentioning, although I wouldn’t even be able to recall them. For two years Alex was a silent girl that I talked to because she talked to the people that I considered my friends. Alex was background noise and I know she felt the same way about me. She was a friendly face and nothing more. The thing about friendly faces is that you remember them and take advantage of them when you are out of options. That’s how all real friendships begin.
We have graduated middle school and are thrown into the horrible and messy world that is high school. I walk in with more confidence than others having already accepted the fate that I will be tainted by those older than me. I had made it through one class that had three old and close friends of mine. Nothing that I couldn’t handle but after an hour I had to venture into the vast unknown. Into classes I would struggle to understand, at school I didn’t yet know, with people that would forget my name as soon as it left my lips.
In spite of this fear I ventured into my first period classroom and scanned the classroom for a familiar face while at the same time taking in the people around me. Faces of people I knew the name of but would never talk to was all I saw until I reached the corner. In the corner of the room, tucked in between a large metal cabinet and the oddly colored tan wall, sat Alex silently laughing with Jassie and glancing around the classroom with nervous eyes almost awaiting the uncomfortable moments to unfold around her. They were the only people in the classroom that I felt relaxed enough to sit next to. I straightened my backpack and plasted my face with fake confidence and walked towards the empty seat across from Alex.
I sat down and said hi and immediately Jassie turned to me and begin asking me how my summer was, what I did, how much she missed, and a bunch of things that everyone says the first day back of school. Alex said hi.
As people in high school do we all pulled out our schedules and compared in order to see if we would go through the same hell of a class together. Alex and I found that we had second period together, gym, meaning we would walk from this class to the next for one hundred and eighty days. We both found comfort in the safety that this promised; a built-in partner.
The three of us made it through the class and Alex and I said our goodbyes to Jassie and turned into the direction that we were both praying was our next class. As we did we talked and made jokes to only do more of the same during gym. We did this repeatedly for days on end until we truly over one thing. The tv show, One Tree Hill.
It was a show that she held close to her heart. She laughed and cried with that show, she watched and rewatched that show. That show became a part of her. All nine seasons consisting of, on average, twenty-five episodes all one hour each. Somehow she convinced me to watch it and I fell in love with it just as much as she did.
We started talking more and more about this show. I would text her anytime something happened and we would end up talking for hours. Soon talking to her became my daily routine and I became hers. We would talk for hours on end and we would still never run out of things to talk about. At lunch we would talk like no one else was even an option because we just wanted to talk to each other. There was no way around the fact that had become so close. No way to deny that were the others first choice for anything. No way to deny that we were slowly approaching best friend territory.
I don’t know how I can fully describe the friendship that grew between us. She was the one person I could always count on. She would be honest with me when I messed up and it was my job to fix it or when I was just making poor decisions. She was there for me when I wanted to have fun and talk about the most meaningless things. She was there when I needed to be sad but I needed someone to be there with me. She became my other half. For a long time she was all I had and all I needed but then I do what most girls do. I fell in love, for the first time, and I forgot about everyone but him. Everyone but Aristotle.
I fell in love with a scared boy. A boy who loved me because he didn’t know what else to do. He loved me because he needed someone to fill hole that was made by another girl. He loved me because, for him, it was easier than being alone. He loved because he felt like he should. Maybe Aristotle did love me. Maybe he did deserve my love, even if he ended up throwing it all away, maybe. He may have deserved my love but no one deserved my love more than Alex did.
Alex was there when Aristotle wasn’t, for whatever reason, she was there. She picked up the pieces he had dropped and broken and smashed. Time and time again during the Aristotle era I chose him over her. I can’t say now if I was aware of what I was doing or if I really was so blinded by love that I didn’t see I was leaving her behind. Now I know I was feeding her insecurities, confirming them, and inevitably pushing her away from me. Finally she did what I wholeheartedly deserved; she left me for five days.
These five days were surreal for me. From Alex I received radio silence for a whole five days. This I knew I had deserved as I had chosen a boy who treated me poorly time and time again over her who had done nothing but support me through everything. No words were exchanged between the two of us, except for the times when I had attempted to reach out and only received one word replies one word at a time from her. Those five days felt as if I was four in the deep end of a pool, my lungs filling with water, as I screamed and yelled for help and never heard.
For the first time since Alex became my true friend she saw my pain and not only did she turn away but she was the one who caused it. We both hid it from all of our friends, not wanting anyone to feel obligated to choose sides, for me it meant that I had to go through this all alone. Those five days I appreciated Alex more than I ever had before because I now felt what it was like when she was no longer there. Eating became meaningless, school became even more bleak, and music became static noise. Sleep consisted of nightmares where I would be running and racing and desperately trying to catch up to someone. In these dreams no matter how fast I ran or how vigorously I screamed at them to wait they never would. This recurring dream of those five days I knew it was Alex I was running after and I would wake up sweating and panting only to go to sleep and go through the same thing again.
It was five days of not eating, not sleeping, and not having her by my side and on that fifth day my mental capacity of pain shattered leaving tears behind as a trail.
Late that night Alex texted me that she was sorry for refusing to talk to me for those five days and that she should have handled the situation better. That night we both said everything that we had been thinking for those five days and both of us just wanted each other back in our lives. Part of friendships is the fighting and the making up. Friendship is being able to work through the bad times and come back stronger than before.
So Alex and I were friends again and two days after we had made up I lost Aristotle and Alex then had to pick up the sharded pieces that were left.
After Aristotle left I completely shut down, as if he had found my off switch and he was the only one in control of that switch. My life became hollow once again and, having never felt this way before, I absolutely fell apart. Alex was able to listen to me obsessively analyze every small detail about the relationship. She honestly told me what mistakes I had made and which ones he had. Alex had the ability to make me feel as if I was being heard but she would still make sure I never got away with anything.
Slowly she picked up the pieces and gave me the strength to put them back together. We began to be able to just be best friends without so much sadness. The two of us would promise to love each other always and forever.
Months has gone by since Aristotle left but Alex has remained. She has become my constant and my safe haven. Before her my life was full of close friends and never consisted the one person, the one friend, that you just bonded and loved more than anything else.
Alex has given me more than I could ever put into words and I am so thankful for the countless things she has given but there is one thing I will always be more thankful for than anything else. She gave me the purist and deepest thing that can ever be given or exchanged; she gave me platonic love.
Sometimes platonic love can be fleeting though and it is nearly impossible to break to platonic lovers apart.
With sexual love the relationship, although difficult, can be broken with three little words, “I’m leaving you.” Platonic love is stretched out until, finally, the two have severed indefinitely with no clear lines drawn. In some respects this is a positive as it allows for friendships to remain intact but in others it makes the platonic partners to question themselves and overthink every aspect of their relationship. They manifest in the thoughts of being unwanted and mull over the fact that if it was sexual the relationship would have been severed long ago.
With Alex I find myself believing in this more and more. Her consistency to grow silent and bottle her feelings and my pattern of doubting myself, and her in the process, make the relationship difficult. There are moments when I completely doubt her reasoning behind staying with me and her love for me. It becomes easier when she grows quiet and my phone remains unlit. Her affection and love is what my world centers around for better or for worse.
This pain I endure is painful and, in some instances unjustified, but more that worth it to have the capability to call her my friend. After being left and forgotten Alex has never truly left.
She showed me that I am wanted by people and that people will love me without being related by blood. When you become someone’s best friend it is a choice. That person chose you. They wanted to be your friend, they picked you above anything. Alex knows me so much more than I know myself. She made me the person that is writing this. Without her I would be lost in an ongoing forest but she was able to guide me out. I have made mistakes with her and she has still forgiven me even after hurting her various times. She has given me everything that matters to me and I can only hope that I do the same for her. If one day Alex and I drift away from each other I will still be thankful and their will always be a part of myself that loves her.
Alex will be a part of who I am, always and forever, and I will never say she didn’t give me anything.