Don't go climbing mountains (literally and metaphorically) without a best friend... and a map.
Our hike ended when we listened to strangers who told us we were going in the right direction. They lied. But that is besides the point. Up until we were met with the busiest road in the city and three miles off our of destination, my best friend and I had been hiking atop Sleeping Giant, a gorgeous mountain with nearly a dozen trails and the perfect place to take advantage of a Sunday with 50 degree weather.
Most can relate when I describe the kind of friend that Corey is to me.
It's that friend that knows everything about you, should have judged you a thousand times before but never has. It's that friend where you could literally spew off facts about that person more precisely than a doctor's chart. You know when they broke their leg and how. You know that scar on the side of the cheek. You know the story behind their chipped front tooth. It's that friend who you could go a few weeks without talking to and still pick right back up where you left off. You Fill In The Blanks And Keep On Going. Speaking of blanks, it's that friend who helps you to realize that is all you would be without them. Blank.
So aside from a few texts here and there, Corey and I have not talked since January. And although peoples' jaws drop at the time span, we laugh because we know that even when we are far apart, we are closest to each others' hearts.
It's that friend that pushes us and challenges us. They tell us that yes, we did good, but they definitely know we can do better. It's that friend that we will never have to question if one day we will be without them or if a fight will cause our friendship to rip. We know in 10, 20, 50 years, they will still be the best listeners to the stories we tell.
We meant to follow the blue trail today, the most challenging trail on the mountain. But blue spiraled into white and white somehow took us to orange. Orange was nice for about five minutes until it reversed into red. We had no map. No cares. No concern for what color we were following. I simply followed her when she took the lead, she was never far behind when I moved in front.
It's that friend that you can actually say back their home phone number and the names of their parents, a rarity in a world where everyone is so connected on the surface. It's that friend who brings about the best and most meaningful of conversations, about life and love. Sometimes those conversations don't even involve words. Just sitting. And looking forward. And acknowledging the silence or the pain, the joy or the confusion.
We have hiked this trail several times before. Every time we are at a different cross roads in our life. We once let go here. We once held on here. We once fought tears here. We once laughed here. Some days she is at her best. Some days I am at my worst. But we still travel together, we still hike the same path each time. We change but we stay the same. We grow separately but never apart. We could be hiking blue, red, white, orange, green. I don't care. As Long As We Go Together.
It's that friend whom you grow up with, believing you can give them the world. It's that friend that holds you when you find out for the first time that the world doesn't always have to be kind to you. It's that friend that you can tell with conviction, "the world is going to love you." And then you think in your head, the world would be crazy not to.