Today, where I’m at, I want to talk about friendship. Real friendship. And there’s no one with whom I feel a realer friendship than my BFF Jenna, even though I haven’t heard from her in 10 years.
Jenna and I have been friends since high school, when we accidentally both invited the same boy to the Sadie Hawkins Dance. Now, over a decade later, I can confidently say that Jenna is one of the few people I still consider a true friend (You reading this, Jenna? Comment if you’re reading this.).
Friendship isn’t about constant texting and meaningless chatter. It’s about the silent comfort of knowing that your friend is out there somewhere in California, unless she’s moved somewhere else, and that she’ll always love you. Right, Jenna?
The best thing about my friendship with Jenna is that silences are never awkward with us, even though the conversation paused when we graduated from high school and neither of us has said anything since. I know that if I could reach her, I could tell her anything, unless she’s dead. (Jenna’s mom, I know you haven’t moved. Is Jenna dead? Please answer my many letters.)
I think about Jenna all the time. I imagine she’s with me when I’m trying on clothes and need someone who will be honest about whether or not a pair of pants makes me look fat. I pretend she’s there with me when I get my heart broken, drinking an Orange Julius and watching rom-coms. When I got married, I asked my bridesmaids to leave a space for her, even though none of the 48 Jenna de la Cruzes to whom I mailed invites responded with a positive RSVP. That’s just what friends do.
It’s been ten years and counting since our comfortable silence began. I can honestly say that I’ve never felt closer to her, especially due to the increasing concern about her whereabouts. I’ve thought about calling the police to trace her location, but a true friend never has to ask what’s on your mind. True friends live in each other’s hearts, so while it’d be nice to know what you’ve been up to, I know we’re good, no matter what (please call me Jennaaaaa!!!!).