They'll never know her the way I do. She's my best friend. She's beautiful. But they don't see past that. They don't notice me in her shadow, and that's okay. She's my best friend. And she's beautiful.
But she's so much more than that.
The friendships I had growing up? They were real. Guy friends. Girl friends. The relationships and connections were real. Or as real as they could be at that time in our lives, I suppose. They may be long gone now, but they were what they were. You know how it is. You're in high school, and many a guy is your soul mate? Nope, not for me. I had crushes (you know it - I've written about them before), but I had friends. Guys to hang out with. Houses to sleep over. Yeah, I'm serious. I slept over a guy's house in high school. Imagine that, right?
But not her. Her beauty, her body, it separated her from the crowd in that way. She didn't have the male friendships. The true connections. She had the teenage boys lusting after her. She had the flirting and the smiling. The winking. But not the phone calls late at night to talk before bed. Yes, me, *I* had those, too.
They flirted, they crushed, but she did not let them in. She went older. More mature? Perhaps. More real? I don't know. She lost the chance to be a regular teen because of her beauty, although looking back one might not see it. Perhaps me, in my own little world, I did not know it then, either. When my close guy friend who I had a small crush on liked her. It was okay. It didn't really, truly hurt me. I expected it. She was beautiful. She is beautiful.
But she finally, now, in her adult life, has the man of her dreams. The man that she let in and let know her like nobody else. Who loves her as I do, fails and all. She is a woman, a mother, an incredible person. She hates that I love the more natural pictures of her. As she says they're "a mess," so impacted by her own beauty, perhaps? But perhaps just forced to own it, as she has been for all these years.
Is it her body? Her long, beautiful hair? Her deep eyes? Or is it just who she is? The smile. A crooked tooth. A funky laugh? It's all there. That physical beauty. But she's strong, powerful, independent, emotional and worthy. She's incredible and forceful, and perhaps it is because of the way that she looks that she wound up that way. Some might say yes, others no. It's a draw, I suppose. The positives and negatives. The way what she looks like affects who she is. Inside. Out. Outside. In.
They never knew her the way that I did. The way that I do. But now? Now she has someone who truly does. She's my best friend. And she's beautiful.
** This post is in response to this week's prompt at Red Writing Hood over at The Red Dress Club, where we were asked to write about a physically beautiful character who is impacted by that trait. I have also chosen to incorporate a previous prompt given by adding in my friend's Happy Ending experience. Ehem-Get yer minds out of the gutter, people! Initially I had planned to use both prompts somehow in a piece of fiction, but this is what came out. Maybe it's because I saw my best friend last week when I was in NYC, and I miss her terribly already. Or maybe it's just where my mind went today, and so I followed it. Thanks for reading, and constructive critique is always welcomed.**