You’ve Got A Friend In Me


This column is going to consist of a whole lot less talking about what’s going wrong right now and how I’m trying to get through it, and instead, I’m going to talk about one of the very best things in my life: my best friend, Darryus.

A best friend is a funny concept to me because if you hear me talk about the people I surround myself with, I consider so many people to be my “best friends.” However, if there are multiple people who are the best at something, then doesn’t that set a new standard and mean there has to be a best of the best? Well if there was ever to be a new standard for someone to hold the title “best of the best,” it’d surely be Darryus, every time.

On my first day of kindergarten, after starting a month late, Darryus and I sat on the bus together and the rest is history. I’d go further into detail about who asked to sit with who and all that, but I honestly don’t even remember at this point, I just know that the bus in elementary school was divided by grades and since we were both in kindergarten, I ended up lucking out.

It’s been nearly sixteen years of being friends with each other, and there have been ups and downs. I remember there was one time in elementary school where he made me really, really upset and I didn’t talk to him for a good few days (which is a long time when you see someone every day and you’re only around the age of seven). I don’t remember what even happened, it was probably something so minuscule, but the point of me mentioning it is to reflect on the downs. We actually used to fight a lot when we were younger, we’d always be upset with each other over something right before we’d get over it. I used to reflect on that – how we would fight so often and then just be over it days later.

The most important take away from that is that no matter the amount of arguments or fights we’ve gotten into, we always bounce right back. It’ll always be Jillian and Darryus.

Please don’t get me wrong here when I say that we used to fight a lot, because now we bicker constantly, but I think we’ve just come to terms with the fact that we’re two people that need their opinions to be heard and then we can shut up about them.

Growing up, Darryus and I always had different friends. Sure, there were some people that we had in common, but there was never a time where we didn’t get along with the other person’s friends. It’s actually always been really pleasant that way.

When we were in sixth grade, he’d eat lunch with his friends, and I’d eat with mine, up until the point where my friends pretty much banned me from the table and decided that I couldn’t eat with them anymore (I know what you’re thinking, why am I bringing something up from so long ago? But there is a point to this, I promise). So, after this whole dramatic thing happened and I had no one else to sit with anymore, I found myself sitting alone at the end of a table of a bunch of boys that I’d never even met before. I’d sit alone there during lunch, looking and feeling like a loser. It took everything in me not to cry while I sat alone, and as I was eating whatever they made us eat that day, I’d look up and notice Darryus sitting next to me. He’d leave the people he normally sat with to come to my rescue so I wouldn’t have to be alone, and that meant the world to me. Even now, I think about that and it makes me so much happier. Not everyone can say that they have a friend like that. Maybe that seems like a small gesture, but to me, that gesture meant the world.

Some people can’t stick together after high school, and I know that very well. I only talk to a handful of the people I graduated with, and that’s okay because people grow up and grow apart, but I feel like with Darryus, we grow together. We talk every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes, and for someone like me who is constantly questioning, well – everything, those fews minutes mean a lot.

I’m writing a column on Darryus today because I think it’s important to talk about the things that I value most, and there are few things in this world more important to me than my best friend, even if I don’t say it enough because I’m pretty much the worst at expressing my emotions.

He’s someone that gets along with my absolutely insane family, he’s someone that my friends from Mercy adore (probably more than they do me most of the time), and he’s someone that I know I will always have to back me up and be by my side. He has the most beautiful soul, and I’m so lucky to have him in my life for all these years.