The Best Kind of Friend

By Terri Tiffany

I was that kind of girl growing up–the one who surrounded herself with best friends. I prided myself on the depth of my friendships, too. I kept the same ones all through high school–whispering secrets about our boyfriends, attending sleepovers and cheering together at Friday night football games. When one of us hurt, we closed ranks and offered our condolences and well-meaning advice whether solicited or not. It’s what best friends did.

When I moved away to college, I was forced to gather new best friends. Soon my roommate and I found other besties. We attended frat parties, held each other up during break-ups and ate popcorn at late-night chats. If I spent the weekend studying, one of my friends would bring me snacks and sympathy. For four years, my friendships grew and deepened. Then my roommate left college early to get married. We wept together as we led her down the aisle to her new husband. Which of us would be next?

It turned out I was.

Once again, my best buds surrounded me with words of endearment when I showed them my engagement ring the day we graduated. We hugged and laughed and promised to always stay in touch. My girlfriends were my world. My rock.

My husband, on the other hand, called me his best friend. Sure, I understood what he meant. But he didn’t quite get it when I experienced a frustration at work and needed a shoulder to cry on. He would shrug off my concerns with a pat on my arm. When we moved again, I developed more best friends at my new job. We would lunch together, gossip and console. When I learned I was pregnant after years of trying, I rushed to the phone to share my good fortune with my friends. They planned a baby shower and offered words of wisdom to get through the long nights when the baby cried uncontrollably.

One evening, my husband’s brother was accidentally killed – I took the late-night call. My husband broke down in my arms since I was his best friend. His rock. After the funeral, I called my best friend and cried to her.

Fortunately, my husband took my many friendships in stride. He knew the depth of my love for him – he just wasn’t the ideal candidate to shop the mall with or go for pedicures. When we moved to Florida for the second time, I was relieved to live near another old friend. We rekindled our friendship – sharing all the details of our life – swearing we would be best friends until we entered nursing homes and couldn’t remember our names.

When she met a man she once dated briefly forty years ago, our friendship took a hit. Suddenly, our fourteen years together paled in comparison to a man she knew for three months. Because of her bad luck with other relationships, she had warned me to tell her if I noticed any red flags in their relationship. Both my husband and I found a slew of red flags.

The day I told her my concerns I learned a hard lesson. There are lines friends don’t cross no matter how many secrets they’ve shared or years they’ve endured together. Unfortunately, I crossed one.

This time I didn’t have a best friend to weep with. Or so I thought. As I set down my phone, my husband held out his arms. I fell into them.

“You’ve always been here as my best friend, haven’t you?” I said, as I looked into his kind eyes.

He tugged me closer. “Isn’t that what best friends do?”

It took me thirty-nine years to learn the best lesson of my life. I never had to look too far for my best friend again. He was right beside me buying my new sneakers for our long walks together.

About this writer

  • Terri TiffanyTerri Tiffany has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines including Chicken Soup for the Soul and Hallmark. Her first novel, The Mulligan, was published in 2015 by Pelican Book Group.

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2 Responses to “The Best Kind of Friend”

  1. Linda O'Connell says:

    Lovely story Tiffany, That special sister bond is unique and fulfilling, but to be married to your best friend is a blessing. I too am blessed.

  2. Terri,
    This is such a lovely story. It’s true that we often look beyond our husband to our “girl” friends. Though they’ll always have a place in our hearts, well maybe not this particular one for you, but our hubby’s often unexpectedly fill the role. Thanks for writing this and reminding me that I had a best friend in my husband for 51 years before he went to Heaven. Now I’m back to reconnecting with “girl” friends. Keep writing.

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