I spoke about my exchange-relationship a few weeks back, but something possibly even more heartbreaking is the long-distance best friendship. It tears at you, all day, every day, because it’s something where the pain of distance never quite goes away. With relationships, there’s always the cooling off period where you realise that yes, that person may forever be very special to you, but you are able to fall in love again. But with a friend – ahem, I mean, BEST friend – it’s all very different, isn’t it?
You’re playing murder winks when she first walks through the flat door and does the most ridiculous wink that the ice is immediately broken and you feel so at ease with her it’s as if you could start sending her those unflattering double-chinned snapchats immediately (you know the ones!) And then he makes you and your new friend (let’s call her C) some pancakes and you spend hours watching James Cordon’s carpool karaoke and trying to figure out Rubik’s Cubes.
You planned to go to Nice, but don’t want to go alone, and suddenly she’s booked along with two others, and you spend the weekend stalking random Instagram accounts, sleeping next to each other, singing and making up amazing dances to impress the others with. You’re suddenly besties, and it feels like you’ve known her forever. She surprises you in London after you’d been heartbroken that you’d never see her again, and you two stay up all night watching the Brexit referendum before giggling at giant babies in wombs at the Science Museum in South Ken. You gossip, you sit and watch YouTube for hours, and you beat the boys at both Trivial Pursuit and Fifa (and then do an amazing dance afterwards to celebrate – and even though you hadn’t practiced the dance, you’re #twinning is so strong that you just know the moves each other is going to strike).
Even from across the world, she stays up every night until 3am to get the most time to talk to you – messages usually have to do, but when it’s important there’s always FaceTime or a call to tell the news through (with a white noise machine working in the background to make sure we’re not overheard as we gossip!). You cry together as your lament the distance that makes this friendship so scattered, but somehow, not that difficult. It isn’t hard, really, to sustain something that desperately wants to flourish, and we certainly don’t have any plans to stop finding Buzzfeed articles to laugh over, boy troubles to discuss and memories and future plans to dream about.
There’s no-one I miss more, or love more, from England than C. I honestly find her so strong an inspiration, and someone I can turn to with absolutely anything. She just gets it, she gets me, and she’s honestly without a doubt one of the most important people in my life. I don’t know how I lived the last 20 years without her, but I sure as hell hope she’s by my side for the next 20.