Book No. 43 – Talk Before Sleep

12 Jun

Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg is probably one of my favorite books that I have read this year. It is a phenomenal book about what it means to have a bosom friend. This is the story of Ruth – beautiful and flamboyant and Ann, beautiful and reserved. They were an unlikely match and it was hate at first sight until a chance encounter in the bathroom at a party led to the alliance of two souls. They were best friends ever since. This is the story of Ruth. Of Ann. And of all of us who wonder what we’d say if we knew we wouldn’t have forever. Ruth is sick, and she is dying. Ann assumes the role of care taker, as any best friend would, but even in the midst of such a sad time for both of them, they are able to share laughs, speak openly about what it means to live and die, and delve deep into their own personal struggles and sorrows. I have encountered in my lifetime two people that I have felt were of the soul mate variety. A type of relationship where it’s almost as if no matter how hard you fight to stay away, it is inevitable that you will come together again, someday, somehow. I am only going to speak about one of those soul mates in this blog because this book really reminded me of her in so many ways. Her name is Hannah. We met about 5 years ago and within minutes of first hanging out, we were best friends. It was as if there was a gravitational pull that was forcing us together… and we were each others light throughout those first days – what seemed like an eternal light at the time. We came into each others lives at a pivotal time for any adolescent in high school. And it wasn’t until meeting her that I realized how much I had been craving someone I could talk to candidly and openly about even the most morbid and bazaar things, without judgement. I hadn’t realized how much I needed someone like her in my life, someone I could say anything to. When we are together we are both capable of a scary kind of honesty, something that is a rarity and a blessing to find in this day and age. Let me explain what our friendship felt like, because I feel as though I am not being clear. Being friends with her felt like a moment of simple truth and suddenly feeling so much lighter. It’s like walking outside during the day and seeing everything for the first time. Noticing all the leaves on the trees and seeing them change color from fall to spring. It’s opening your front door and losing your breath from the brisk winter air. We somehow managed to give each other an internal relaxation, the relief you feel when someone says, “I know,” and you know in your heart that they do. Soon after she began dating a boy, our friendship hit a major road block. (Emphasis on the BOY. Hotness NINE, maturity level ZERO…) Anyways, LONG story short, this boy tore us apart in a sense… but we let him. We were both to blame. He was dating her and constantly flirting with and making passes at me. When the truth finally came out, her and I spoke openly about everything and I told her that if she continued to date him, our friendship would change. She stayed. And nothing would ever be the same after that. Our friendship unraveled faster than Lindsay Lohan’s acting career. And it was excruciatingly painful at first, especially because I felt that I was forbidden to speak to her boyfriend, whom I had become friends with, and because I felt that my best friend in the whole world, my soul mate, betrayed me by choosing him. I was so hurt, that I wanted to rebel against her wishes simply for the relief of something feeling good again. And for the next three years, I took on an unwanted, unbidden, unwelcome, weight. Not being friends with her felt like falling really slowly out into an abyss, with no sound, and no light. Eventually, I got used to life without her, but I never felt completely fulfilled during her absence. There was a lot of drama and hurt that was caused between the two of us, but somehow we managed to end up coming back together again after not being friends for three years. It’s heart wrenching to think we put each other through so much both intentionally and unintentionally, but the end result makes it all worth it. Even in her absence, I still never really felt like she was ever truly gone. A part of her, of us, and our friendship always lingered with me. Sometimes, I felt like I was holding on to something that didn’t even exist anymore. But I still held on anyways. Maybe it’s what got me through. Maybe it’s what brought us back together. Maybe if we had never stopped being friends before, we wouldn’t be friends right now. But we are. And if i’m honest, I have to tell you, it feels like I’ve finally come home.

So there you have it. This is what she means to me, as a person and as a friend. So, all you people who never understood WHY – now you do. All you people who are constantly giving me shit about her and I becoming friends again, now you have an explanation. Not that I even owed you one in the first place. And if you still don’t approve? Well then you can go F yourself. (sorry mom, had to.) But at least now you can leave us the hell alone and stop trying to prevent us from being friends. We are somewhere between mistakes and new beginnings – and we are okay with that. So why can’t the rest of you just let us live our lives? Get over it. We have!

Xo.

TJ

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2 Responses to “Book No. 43 – Talk Before Sleep”

  1. Casey Kim July 16, 2012 at 4:19 am #

    This is beautiful Taylor. You deserve every ounce of support from your friends and not negativity! I love you! ❤

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