What It Feels Like to Last a Thousand and One Nights

By Allison Hoffelder // As Told to Alexandra Rapp and Karley Rogalski

She is my best friend.

We go to the Antioch Theatre every Friday to see all the latest movies. We give each other meaningful gifts. We tell each other secrets no one else knows— things if anyone else heard, we’d be ruined.

We met freshman year.

We sat next to each other in math class. When I wasn’t solving problems, I was looking at her. She was everything I aspired to become. After being partnered up for a project we talked and clicked almost instantly, like two puzzle pieces. I had finally found the platonic soulmate I always wanted. We were perfect together, or so I thought. We went from school-friends to friend-friends after that— hanging out and spending all of our time together.

Of course we had issues. What friendship doesn’t? They seemed insignificant at the time; they were just disagreements about school projects, but those problems created bigger issues.

The first time we had an issue was because of another friend. Lines were drawn and sides were chosen. The message was clear: she and I were no longer friends.

She sent me an email that I still remember. She still wanted to be friends with me, despite her other friend not liking me.

So we got together and apologies were exchanged. I said sorry more than I should have, more than anyone should have to with their best friend. It worked. Freshman and sophomore years we stayed best friends.

When summer came around I said goodbye with every intention of seeing her again. We weren’t the kind of friends who wrote “See you soon!” in each other’s yearbooks and disappeared for three months.

I tried contacting her any way I could, but she wouldn’t respond. She cut off all communication.

That summer was spent home alone; I had no one else. My soulmate ripped herself away from me, taking half of my heart with her. My best friend, one of my favorite people to talk to, the person I thought would always be there for me vanished like she was never there in the first place.

During the first week back at school, I talked to her and the weirdest thing happened: she was friendly. It was as if the entire summer had never happened, as if I was never abandoned. Was I in an alternate timeline?

Everything was back to the way it was. Except how I felt.

I was heartbroken by how she dropped me like day-old coffee. I called her and asked her to meet up with me to get the explanation I needed. I cried the entire time. She didn’t.

In fact, she hardly seemed upset. She had the same expression as always: a porcelain mask, devoid of all emotion. I asked her why she did this and why she left me. She gave me a nonsense excuse: she didn’t just stop talking to me, she stopped talking to everyone. Against my better judgement I decided to forgive and forget.

My best friend and I were together again. That’s all that mattered. My soul returned and my heart was sewn back together.

We began doing everything we had done before all over again: sleepovers where we whispered in the dark, Friday movie nights; I even threw her a birthday party. We had it all, and we stayed together that summer. We both got jobs at the Renaissance Faire and everything was perfect; we would be tavern wenches together. I thought we were golden, but nothing can last forever.

She started getting mad at the drop of a hat. She’d stop talking to me for three or four days at a time to get her point across. It was like little doses of the previous summer, the worst time of my life.

I figured maybe she wanted her space and I should respect that; God knows I like my space. So, I dealt with it because I was so afraid of losing her again. No matter what she wanted, I did it. I thought it would help maintain our relationship. But I thought wrong.

One day she stopped talking to me again out of nowhere, reopening the scars on my heart that I thought had healed. One minute we were working on a project together and the next minute, nothing, nothing that night, or the next morning.

Here I was, living my worst nightmare all over again, trapped in a personal hell. I tried calling, texting, or even confronting her in class. It was complete radio silence once again.

Giving her the weekend to cool off seemed like the best course of action. One weekend turned into two, two weekends became a month and a month became three. Suddenly, it was the end of first semester.

She was graduating early; after that, she was going to disappear forever. My soulmate would no longer be with me. I wasn’t going to let that happen, not again. I needed closure for the breakdown of my strongest relationship.

I cornered her at least three times. I wanted to fix it. She said she didn’t want to fix this. She said she would never want to fix this.

My heart dropped out from under me. She said she has hated me since sophomore year. What was she saying? I forced friendship on her? I felt lost in a haze, a ship without my lighthouse to guide me.

My best friend and I were a lie.

After a round of finals I barely remember, I tracked her down. I needed answers. I must have looked so desperate. I felt like tearing out my hair and throwing things, anything to get her attention. I begged for an explanation. I told her I deserved a response because she was half of my soul. She smiled. Was it funny? Had I ever mattered to her?

She said, “No,” laughed in my face and walked away.

She had ignored me over summer breaks, gotten mad at me for no reason and said I was worth nothing to her; but I can’t regret this friendship. If I were to regret it, then I would regret most of my high school experience.

She was my best friend, someone who I gave half of my soul, a part of my past that I will never forget.