Have That One Special Person

Lily and I

Lily and I

We all have one. The person that knows us inside out, round about, up and down. They’ve seen us stressed, upset, anxious, happy, elated. And they still want to stick by us – even though they’ve seen the worst of us. For me, that person is my very closest friend, Lily. I first met Lily when I came to Brighton College for my sixth form – a place that I wasn’t the biggest fan of, as I explain here – and she actually made my whole experience worthwhile. Without her and the memories we shared together, I’m not sure I would have lasted at the stuffy, snobby private school.

Luckily, her wonderful Mum had a gorgeous flat in Kemp Town – a very trendy part of Brighton – which was a stone’s throw from our school so on occassion, even though it was strictly forbidden, we would skip our Politics class, cross the invisible boundaries that the school had laid out for us, would stop by this lovely little cafe for coffee or cupcakes and then pootle on down to the seaside flat for tea and gossip. It was wonderful. We felt so rebellious, even though of course we weren’t really doing all that much wrong, but it just felt nice to escape the strict laws of the college sometimes and go home to spend afternoons laughing together.

The treacle tart we shared today

The treacle tart we shared today

From then on, we have been firm friends. Lily was my travelling buddy: three months spent side by side, not more than a minute apart we managed to survive living in a campervan in New Zealand for three weeks as well as a close call with a horribly aggressive Fijian man in his ‘shop’ where we thought we were going to spend our last evening on this earth together,  a fantastic night where I’m pretty certain our vodka was spiked by a ‘nice’ Northern bloke called Richard, the occassion where Lily had her hair ‘dyed’ – aka the Thai hairdresser poured a bottle of peroxide onto her scalp – and the night we slept in an ant-infested bed in Koh Tao. My whole travel diary is bursting with wonderful stories and every memory was made that bit better because I had my number one buddy with me each step of the way. Even now, we sit and laugh about the fantastic time we had together: it feels like a whole lifetime ago – was it even real?

Now, I am at university and Lily is doing amazingly well at her job as a researcher on different programmes such as Britain’s Got Talent/Red or Black/Take Me Out etc. We don’t see each other as often as I’d like but whenever we do meet up, it feels as though no time has passed. Her Mum makes me feel welcome and all I want to do is slip my coat off, stick the kettle on and spend the evening with them laughing about everything that is ridiculous. I’m incredibly proud of her, and sent her a bunch of flowers after one year had passed since she had first started her role as a runner on the X Factor – where her whole television career began. She knows me inside and out, and I know her in the same way and there’s nothing as comforting as having someone in your life like that. They’re not around you every single day, but that doesn’t matter because you know, really, that they are always there. They are are a reminder of who you once were, how you’ve changed and they also remind you that you must be an OK person to have befriended such a fantastic person in the first place. And it’s people like that that you hold onto – they’re the special ones.

That bloody campervan

That bloody campervan

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