"Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget." ~ G. Randolf
She honestly did not know when their friendship began to fall a part. Perhaps it was when she began to gain her fame or maybe it was when she began to gain hers. All she knew was within a couple of years they went from inseparable to complete strangers.
Actually, they were worse than strangers. At least if they were strangers she would not be able to be hurt by the memories that ate at her every single day. No, they were strangers in the sense that they were now just two people who used to know each other like they knew their own hands.
So time passed, people changed, not just the two of them but it included them. There was nothing that either of them could do about it; she didn't even believe that her old friend even wanted to ever talk to her again. Snide comments, unreturned calls, ignored messages; that was all they were now. However, she could not deny that it didn't go both ways.
The freshly fallen autumn leaves crushed beneath her feet as she slowly walked through the silent park. The place was deathly quiet, which she guessed was fitting considering it was a cemetery. She knew that the funeral would be long over, but she also knew that she would still be there, alone, just there.
Sure enough, she stopped when she saw a lone figure, dressed in black, standing in the distance. The person stood there, arms crossed over their chest, staring down at the fresh mound of dirt and at the head of that, a dull, grey headstone. There were no tears on her face, no sadness or disbelief; her face was just blank and nothing more.
Without turning, the girl in black said, "What are you doing here Sel?"
Selena sighed and wrapped her own arms around herself to keep warm. "I thought you might need somebody by your side today."
"The funeral ended an hour ago, why didn't you come then if you thought that I'd need someone?"
"Because I know you and I know that you would have enough people smothering you during the actual memorial service." She paused, "Where is Miley?"
"She's waiting at my house. I had to threaten her to get her to stay home. This was something that I had to do on my own and she finally understood that after a lot of convincing."
Demi was still facing away from her old friend, refusing to even send a glance towards her. Her gaze was fixed on the headstone in front of her.
"How did you even find out?" Demi finally asked after a long string of silence between the two of them.
"It's not necessarily being kept under wraps at the moment. It was all over every gossip site on the internet as of this morning, but Joe called me. He apparently thought that I could give a little insight as to how to deal with this, how to deal with you. He told me that him and Miley were at a loss about what to do."
"I'm not a little kid, I can take care of myself. I don't need to be coddled or looked after; I'm perfectly capable of making sure I'm alright," she said sharply.
"I never said that you weren't, and that's not what he said either. They know how strong you are, but they also know what pressure does to you."
Demi silently choked back a sob and slowly reached out towards the grey tombstone in front of her. She gently ran her hand along the top of it and Selena watched as her old friend broke down in front of her.
"I don't know why I'm like this!" she cried. "He meant nothing to me; he was just a guy who I happened to share DNA with. He left us and now I'm expected to cry at his funeral? This is such bullshit!"
"He was your father, Dem," Selena replied simply.
"Oh please," she scoffed. "He wasn't even a real father to me."
"But he was still your dad and that counts for something, believe it or not."
"It shouldn't count for anything."
"But it does."
"Did you know that my mom refused to come? And Dallas only showed for like two seconds before she was in her car and gone again. Why can't I be more like them? Why can't I care less?"
"Because that's just who you are," Selena said softly, still talking to Demi's back. "That's one of the things that I've always admired you. You have always had this ability to love and forgive people no matter what."
She let out a small laugh, "You think I'm good at loving people? At forgiving them once they have hurt me? The people that I can truly trust with my entire being are the people that have never hurt me."
"What about Joe?"
"You really think I trust him? The only reason we are even speaking is because he kept pushing his way back into my life and I needed him, so I let him back into it."
"And what about me?"
There was a long pause, an empty silence that engulfed the space between them. Finally, Demi turned around to face Selena, she turned to face the girl that used to be her everything; her best friend, her sister, her confidante.
"I don't know anymore."
"I just want to know the real reason for why you came here because if you 'knew that I'd need someone' you could have called Miley to come and be here with me or even Joe for that matter. I don't understand why you came."
She sighed, "I guess I just needed you to need me, so coming here made me feel like you did."
Demi shrugged, "That makes sense, I guess."
"You think so?"
"I've felt that way before. I remember once, back when we were in an actual fight and you were spending all your time with him, I just wanted you…back. So I told you that Nick would always be in love with Miley. And it worked."
Selena's eyebrows knitted together in confusion. "What are you talking about?"
"You needed me again, you needed your best friend and I got you back, even if it was just for a short time."
"You're such a bitch," she replied, but there was a smile hidden behind her words because of the memory.
"Yeah, well…" she let out a breath that she didn't even realize that she was holding and glanced back at the freshly packed dirt mound, under which she knew her father lay peacefully.
"It is okay to be sad, you know. You're beating yourself up for it, but you shouldn't be."
"It didn't feel real to me, at least not until you walked up. I was just standing here, in this spot, during the funeral, and it didn't feel like he was gone. He's been out of my life for so long that it seems as if nothing has changed. Except now, he won't be bothering me anymore and I don't have to worry about him becoming the next Michael Lohan.
"And then when everybody finally left and I was alone, I started feeling so terrible because who feels like that? What kind of person feels like that when their father dies?"
"Why did it change when I walked up?"
"Remember that one birthday when all I wanted was that bike? I don't even know why I wanted it so bad, I just wanted it. Anyway, my mom had already gotten me this amazing present so I couldn't just ask her to return it to get me the bike, but I was still upset. So you called him and you told him what I wanted and he got it for me. It was the best birthday of my life.
"And it just hit me, that will never happen again."
"You did want that bike more than anything," she giggled.
"And now look at me…I can't even get into my car and drive to my house where my best friend is waiting with a pile of movies and more junk food than I could ever eat in my life. I'm such a mess."
Selena's heart felt the punch at Demi's use of the words 'best friend' (that was her old title). "I think you're allowed to be a mess today. Demi, you're going to be okay, I promise you. It doesn't seem like it now, but you will be. Okay?"
Another silence lapsed between the two of them. Neither of them had noticed that in that time they had slowly moved closer to each other. They were no longer had the length of a football field between them. The tension had gradually disappeared, not that it wasn't there, it was just now a little bit easier to breathe.
"What happened with us, Sel?" Demi finally asked.
Selena let out a breath. "I don't know. We changed and fought and grew a part."
"But we were such good best friends…"
"Sometimes that's not enough. It's like in a relationship, sometimes love isn't enough and it sounds crazy because love should carry a couple through anything, but a lot of the time it doesn't. That's us."
"I miss it sometimes. I know we've grown up tremendously since we were best friends and I know that we have our new people who we want to share every secret with, but that doesn't mean I don't miss you. I've been wanting to tell you that forever, I just never had the guts."
"I'm glad you did. I miss you too Demi, more than I can even say." Selena began to feel tears gliding down her face and she quickly reached up to wipe them away.
The girls both smiled and Demi said, "I better be going, Miley's probably freaking out. I'm already an hour late."
"Of course. I'm just glad that you're happy. That's all I've ever wanted for you."
"You're happy too, right? I know I'm not really in your life anymore, but I want you to always be happy and confident and you."
"You know what? I am. I've never been happier to be honest."
The other girl nodded, "Same for me. Maybe we did need to go our separate ways, at least for a little while."
"You better get going, I don't want you missing your junk food fest," Selena laughed.
Demi chuckled, gave a slight wave and then began to walk away. Selena watched her go with a soft smile on her face, glad that she was still able to get through to that girl even after all these years. However, unexpectedly, Demi turned back around and called out to her old friend.
"Do you think we'll ever get back to where we were? Friendship wise?"
"The truth would be nice."
"I don't think we'll be able to. So much has changed and too many things are different. So no, I don't think we can get back to where we were."
Demi nodded slowly, "We're like a broken glass, huh? No matter how hard you try to glue it back together, there is always going to be that one sharp edge that is always going to hurt when you go to take a sip."
"Plus, it's almost impossible to find all the pieces once you've dropped the glass," she agreed.
"But you know, I heard that you can get a new glass, one that's stronger and better and different."
She raised her eyebrows, "Oh really? Do they just hand out these new and improved glasses?"
"Oh no, you have to work for them because everybody wants one. But if you work hard enough, they might just give you one."
"Well then I say that we start working for one."
"I'd like that," Demi smiled.
Selena finally let out a laugh. "Talking in metaphors is so exhausting. My god."
Demi chuckled, "Tell be about it. Bye Selena, it was nice to see you."
"It was nice to see you too, Demi; it was really nice."
"We'll talk soon?"
"My number is still the same."
"Okay. I'll see you around."
Demi began to walk away again and this time it was Selena who went running after her. Demi stopped walking because she heard footsteps behind her and all of a sudden, a pair of arms wrapped around her body and brought her into a tight hug.
"The bike was purple and it had butterflies on it," Selena whispered into her ear during the hug.
Her friend smiled and giggled, "Yes it was." She embraced her just as tight and when they finally did part, they knew that they had said and done all they could do.
Selena strolled in the opposite direction and took one last stop at the headstone, the one that Demi had been agonizing over just a few minutes prior.
She crouched down and gently touched the grey headstone. "Thanks Patrick," she whispered. "Thanks for bringing us back together."
And then she stood and made her way back to her car.
There was no telling where the two old friends would end up; whether they would eventually become best friends again or if they would be the two that would always be there for each other, but they were just hidden in the shadows.
There's no crystal ball to tell you the answer, though you never forget the past.
"We all lose friends…we lose them in death, to distance and over time. But even though they may be lost, hope is not. The key is to keep them in your heart, and when the time is right, you can pick up the friendship right where you left off. Even the lost find their way home when you leave the light on." ~ Amy Marie Walz
Happy birthday best friend. :) I know this should have gone up first thing this morning, but I wanted to make you wait alllll day for this. Anyway, I love you so much and I want you to know that you're my rock, my best friend, the one person I can always count on. I don't know what I would do without you. I'd probably still be living in my shell rather than filling up my days with an endless amount of school activities. Woooooo! Haha. I hope that your birthday is truly amazing (or I guess now it would be that I hope that your birthday was truly amazing, again, sorry for the lateness of this post).
I wrote this because for some reason you love Demi and Selena's friendship so much. And I must say, that this was very hard for me to write; I think I even kind of avoided writing it because I had a friendship just like theirs and writing about it felt like I was writing about mine. An
Anyway, you don't want to hear all of this annoying rambling, so now that you've read this you get to go watch my birthday video to you! Yay! It's pretty cool, I promise. ;)