Diamond in the Rough

Everyone knows that diamonds are made under immense heat and pressure inside the earth. They start as ordinary rocks, and under the right circumstances, emerge as beautiful, unbreakable, priceless gems. I’m close to very few people, but those few people mean the world to me. Some relationships come naturally and are easy while others, like diamonds, are put under pressure and put against the test of time. Those relationships turn out unbreakable.

My relationship with my best friend has spanned over nine years. I’ve known Victoria for almost a decade, and we’ve gone through many chapters in life together. We met freshman year of high school in 2010 during basic leadership training for the Junior ROTC program at high school (yes, I was in ROTC, it’s a shock to me too). We were both on night watch very early in the morning and when you’re awake that early, you kinda go delusional. Basically we sang “twinkle twinkle little star” to escape boredom.

That set the tone for our whole relationship: silly, a little insane, but mainly fun with a whole lot of laughs.

After training camp, we were inseparable. During the entirety of my high school career, we were in half of our classes together (some by coincidence, some we planned). We took drama together, science and history together, and we had a creative writing class together too. She very easily and quickly became my best friend. We had so many inside jokes; when we were together everything under the sun was hilarious. We could make each other laugh just by looking at one another. At this point our relationship hadn’t faced enough pressure to create a diamond.

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If any other person would look at Victoria, they would see an outwardly shy and reserved woman who loves reading books, being with her cat, and eating spicy food. She loves tv shows, good music, and have I mentioned books? She doesn’t let many people see her vulnerable side. Her walls are up to everyone in the world, and you don’t see the hurt in her life. Slowly but surely, she let me in. She showed me that she cares passionately for people, sometimes to a flaw. She will more often than not take the phrase “I would take a bullet for you” literally. If you ever find a friend as loyal and dedicated as Victoria, you better keep that friend because they are a diamond in the rough.

Growing up I never felt like I belonged to one group of people, I felt like a drifter. Having a friendship with Victoria was the validation I needed that I had a place of belonging. There was no denying that we were best friends, she had all of my attention. The heat and pressure of our friendship began in 2013 when I set my eyes on a guy I liked (spoiler alert- it was Taylor). All of a sudden, Victoria had competition for my attention. I started to spend more time with my new admirer and less time with her. Contempt started to creep its way into our relationship. I would make plans with her and then blow her off to hang out with my boyfriend. She saw how happy he made me, so of course she told me how happy she was for me. In truth, she felt hurt inside knowing that she was second rate, and I didn’t realize it until too late.

When Taylor and I got engaged, she did what any best friend would do: celebrate! She helped orchestrate different parts of the engagement with Taylor, she even picked out my wedding ring! It meant so much to me that the two most important people in my life were getting along. It was a no-brainer that she was going to be my maid of honor, I mean, duh! While I was busy wedding planning and going to school and going to work, she was busy too. I believe she had two jobs (or just one very demanding job) that took up a lot of her time. When it came to shopping for a wedding dress, I wanted her there with me. Our schedules could never line up and it was really frustrating and defeating.

I guess it came to a head when I was trying to get the bridesmaids together to go shopping for their dresses. Our schedules just couldn’t line up and all of the frustration boiled over. We had a huge fight in the heat of the moment. That’s when she voiced all of her hurt and frustration from the past but neither of us were in the right frame of mind or emotional state to handle all of it. I don’t remember much from this fight, other than me leaving a voicemail saying that I was disappointed in her. Honestly, I regret ever saying that. In the moment my emotions got the best of me and I wasn’t able to handle the situation well… I don’t think either of us were able to maturely handle the stress.

A few days later she texted me saying that she didn’t think it would be a good idea to be my maid of honor and she thought I didn’t want her at the wedding. Of course I wanted her there! It was my big special day and she was one of the few people close to me during the entire process of my relationship with Taylor. I sent her all the invitations in hope that she would show up the day of the wedding. I waited in anticipation the day of the wedding, scanning the crowd of 200 guests hoping I would see her face. I never did. To this day I am filled with deep sadness that she wasn’t there to celebrate with me.

Throughout this process I had little time to mourn the loss of an important friendship. I also didn’t have any closure to the situation until years later. I had a hole in my heart for years, trying to fill it with other friends that might take her place. No one could ever fill her place as my best friend, she is simply one of a kind. Initially I felt hurt, then mad, then sad. Slowly my heart healed from the deep pain of losing a friend, and I began to miss her. I think I had always missed her but the painful sting of loss was stronger for some time.

I put my heart on the line last year and told her that I’ve missed her and I wanted to see if there was any way of reconciling the friendship. We talked for hours, cried and hugged, even laughed like old times. For the first time in a long time my heart felt whole again. I was exploding with happiness… this is what I needed. I need her in my life, she completes me. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true! Anyone who has a soul sister knows that there is nothing that can break that bond, you are inseparable!

This diamond of a friendship is shining brighter than ever. We have been put through the tests of time under intense heat and pressure. Sometimes these conditions can break even the strongest of friendships. With time, enough love, forgiveness, and understanding, your ordinary friendship can emerge as a diamond in the rough.

This has been my longest post yet, and that’s because I care so much about this. My heart is tender and sensitive to this subject sometimes, so I normally don’t openly talk about it. Today is Victoria’s birthday and I feel she deserves recognition for being a one of a kind friend, for being a diamond in the rough. Have the happiest of birthdays, Victoria. You are a true friend. Thank you.

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