"Oh, I don't know whether to say it, because it will make you cry again."
"No," I lie, my sinuses thickly lined and my eyes already filling up. "I'm all cried out for today."
Alice has called me because boys are stupid and she was hurting. She's in an empty hotel room in Essex and I'm in my London flat, and we've been through the fuckboy pep talk, the jam packed catchup, the blubbering reminiscing and now we're talking about my book. I've sent her over some sneak peeks and it's all very ironic, because I write a bit about the pain I went through in the changes of best-friendhood and how it was difficult to share for a long period of time; and yet here we are, talking as bluntly and openly as we would in my old bedroom on my pink carpet. Out of all of my friends, for some reason, she is the most excited. I thought it would have been because I write about my past so much and that's the me she knows best; but there is another reason.
"Well… I guess it's so I can catch up on the bits I missed. I knew you then and I know you now and they are two entirely different people. I know about your pain and everything you've been through; but it will be so interesting to fill in the blanks that led to you now."
We both have a deep ache to revisit 2014 and shake ourselves; why are you messing up something so special?! Why couldn't you have gone on this journey together, like you were supposed to?
But the universe works in strange ways. Sometimes, you have to experience deep pain and go through grief alone to come out the other side, stronger within yourself and wiser about your own soul. Good things will end but perhaps not when you think they will; becoming more interesting with every dip and turn. Me and Alice needed our space, to make room for the amount we would both independently grow in the years we didn't know each other.
I blubber through my gratitude and she cackles at my emotions. But I laugh back, because we have the same heart.