Happy Best Friend-iversary!

Sep 4, 2013 by

“’Cause I knew you were trouble when you walked in, so shame on me now!”

I Knew You Were Trouble, Taylor Swift (featuring Maria and Olivia)

(I shamefully admit that this is one of our songs.)


I heart Mayfield! Cheers to the Class of 2007!

I heart Mayfield! Cheers to the Class of 2007!

          The first day of school is the anniversary of the day that I entered Olivia’s life, boasting my Italian pride and introducing her to the beginning of many adventures to come! She was totes jealous of my Italian Princess shirt (and continues to envy the fact that everyone says I’m the more Italian of our duo), but I transformed this chick’s story for the epic. Olivia, you’re welcome!          

          All cockiness aside, eight years ago, when I walked into art class late and took the empty seat beside my soon-to-be best friend, our lives – surely headed for less amazingness than we currently live – changed forever. My heart hurts when I think about where she and I may have been today had I been on time for class that day, had someone else gotten to that seat before me, or had I been wearing a different T-shirt – one that might not have sparked the conversation that never died. That day, I met the girl that I would spend eight years growing up with. At 15, we were instant best friends. Though enough time has now passed to justify our bond, those who knew us in the beginning know that we didn’t take years to get here. In high school, people used to ask how the hell we were so close after only days, weeks, or months of knowing each other. We never had an answer that satisfied them. We just clicked. I connected with her like I had never connected with anyone before or since.

          Thus, last night, I thought it was about effing time that we celebrate the anniversary of our best friendship. (Our official anniversary falls on September 6. That was the first day of school back in 2005. However, the actual first day of school has more significance to us than the day of the month.) We never have! Eight years of friendship that has been repeatedly challenged, and we’ve yet to embrace its survival. This year, I knew we needed it. This year, our friendship almost saw its end. This year, I wasn’t so sure that we’d make it to the first day of school.

          So, yesterday evening, Olivia and I returned to high school. (My idea! Yes, I’m the cutest. I know.) We took a drive to our hometown and I nearly missed the entrance to the school, not recognizing the intersection beneath all of the construction. When we attended Mayfield, it was planted in the middle of cow country. On the way into school every morning, I passed forest and farm, where suburbia is now quickly creeping its way closer and closer to the building. I could cry just thinking about it, forcing me to acknowledge the amount of time that has passed. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was pulling an all-nighter for a Grade 11 Chem exam?

          My heart melted when I drove in. It’s unbelievable how time passes and I move on, but I expect everything that I leave behind to remain frozen. It’s as if I went there, thinking my past friends would be walking the halls, my paintings would be adorning the walls (even though I happily haven’t picked up a paintbrush in six and half years), and the teenage versions of my best friend and I would be bent over in laughter as we rushed to class. I saw the spot where one of my high school friends once lifted me into the air and accidently dropped me on my ass, not knowing his strength relative to my weakness, as I fell to the mercy of the weight of my backpack. I saw the glass showcase where my friends ambushed me on my way to class one day, trying to talk me out of going to Blue Mountain instead of Wasaga for prom. (They all ended up coming to Blue Mountain. I can be persuasive/stubborn.) I looked out to the hill where I laid in the uncharacteristically hot March sun during one Grade 12 lunch period, beside Olivia and another close friend of mine at the time, basking in a simple moment I knew I’d remember years later. As I stared at my old locker through the window, caught a glimpse of the aud that my performing arts friends used to grace with their talents, and reminisced outside of the caf that formed the backdrop of my social life for four years, I choked down tears (as I am while writing this). The school that houses my memories stood before me, a ghost of how I once knew it. (Ugh, nostalgic moments make me so emotional!)

Bitch + Angel = Italian Spirit Clubbers 4 life!   “It’s ironic that I was Bitch,” I said with a smirk. Olivia retorted through laughter, “Ironic?” “Listen, Angel was always school code for bitch,” I reminded. “Oh my God, I can’t believe I didn’t swear until Grade 11!”

Bitch + Angel = Italian Spirit Clubbers 4 life!
          “It’s ironic that I was Bitch,” I said with a smirk.
          Olivia retorted through laughter, “Ironic?”
          “Listen, Angel was always school code for bitch,” I reminded. “Oh my God, I can’t believe I didn’t swear until Grade 11!”

          I remembered the early years of my friendship with Olivia. We never fought, we laughed endlessly, and we conversed telepathically. (We’re so in each other’s heads now that we don’t even need telepathic conversations. We each know what the other is thinking before she does.) We went to the door of our old art class – the one where it all started – and we innocently marked it with our old high school nicknames, complete with a “4” between “Italian Spirit Clubbers” and “life,” and our fingers forming peace signs for a picture. (We decided to fully embody our high school selves, even the MSN-worthy characters and ginogina.ca gestures that we’re glad we’ve left behind.) With that, we said goodbye to Mayfield once again, possibly finding it more difficult to part with it than we did six years prior. (I still can’t believe that I graduated high school six years ago. I vividly remember my first day of Grade 9, when a senior student gave some speech in which he warned the future class of 2007 not to blink, because high school would be over. First day nerves consuming me, I exhaled in doubt, right before Mayfield disappeared around me. I had blinked.)          

          Olivia, my love, thank you for the last eight years (officially crying now!). Thank you for leaving me post-its on the bathroom mirror to tell me that I’m beautiful when I fried my hair one week before spring break; thank you for having wisdom teeth sympathy pains, absolving me of all real pain; thank you for reserving judgement on days when I need extra apples and peanut butter; thank you for being the friend that encourages me to do up guys’ backseats; thank you for admitting that I’m funny, even though I know it kills you to give me the satisfaction; thank you for being my partner in both stupidity and poordom for as long as we’ve known each other; thank you for combing your fingers through my hair on nights when I thought the crying would never stop; thank you for knowing the difference between when I need Ogen Fruz and when I need PC peanut butter ice cream; thank you for telling me when I’m being a bitch; thank you for sleeping in my car with me on nights that I’ve had nowhere else to go; thank you for never taking my side when I’m wrong; thank you for randomly driving me to Niagara after I cried in the middle of a grocery store because I hated my job; thank you for calling me out when I’m in need of “real talk;” thank you for proofreading my statuses and tweets; and thank you for being the first person to ever prove to me that beautiful things happen when I let someone in. In short, thank you for working with me to build the friendship that is the envy of everyone we know. (I swear our mutual friends are more emotionally invested in our friendship than we are. Chill out, guys! We’re going to be okay!) Now, let’s find the gorgeous male version of our friendship, so we can all live happily ever after! (Weddings in NYC and Italy? Let’s do it!) I love you × a million, girl!

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