Friday, June 17, 2011

Getting Past the Physical

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.**


  1. Oh! I was so hoping throughout this that she had found someone.. and it never sounded like the was the type to know her own "power" or "beauty." I love that you wrote it that way..

  2. What a lovely tribute to your best friend!

    I liked the way you wove your reflections on her with your own experiences and how they puzzle pieced together.

    Also? I love that you're still friends!

  3. Such beautiful words for your friend. I'm certain she will feel honored and treasured by your tribute :)

  4. I love this. Yes, I suppose being beautiful means being feared a bit.

    It speaks volumes of your kind heart that your friendships are real and grounded.

    I love that she found somebody who loves her. I hope that she always feels beautiful inside, supported by the people who love her.

  5. This is really beautiful, Andrea. Truly. You are a jewel.

  6. What a wonderful tribute to a beautiful friendship! I can see why you stayed friends.

  7. What a sweet tribute to your friend. She sounds amazing!

  8. When I was in middle school and high school I always figured the gorgeous girls had it so easy-but I never realized that maybe they wanted to be seen for who they truly were and not just a pretty face.

    I'm glad your friend found a nice guy, and that she has you for a friend too:)

  9. I hope your friend realizes how lucky she is to have a friend like you. What a lovely tribute.

  10. This really was a wonderful tribute to you best friend, but also this piece said so may wonderful things about the amazing teen you were, and woman you are now. So many people would never have tried to see her, or even noticed the price paid, especially when young, of being the prettiest girl in the room.

    The fact that you always wanted the best for her made the hair stand up on my arms. I also love, how you listed out the many ways that she was beautiful, strong, independent, her crooked tooth.

  11. I love when beautiful people can find someone who loves them for the inner beauty they hold...
    That is a love that lasts forever.

    Beautiful writing... thank you for sharing!

  12. What a nice post/tribute to your friend!
    I think that it's great to have a friend like that ... one that you have close special relationship with. A life long friend is something to hold close.

  13. Your friend sounds like a gem. I like your description of her inner self and not just her outer appearance. This made her much more real for me. So glad she had a happy ending.

  14. I see your post doesn't show the sensitive side of the beautiful girl in high school that everyone wants to be...they don't know her. I didn't want anything bad to happen to her...jut wanted her to know that not everyone is swayed by her beauty.
    Good post...I like it

  15. What a beautiful message to your friend. I hope she reads it and smiles. :)

  16. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! I'm a new follower on GFC. You write beautifully.

  17. I think it's fabulous that you see your friend like this. What fabulous words. :) I hope she reads this and holds onto it when she has a blue day.

    Great writing. Thanks for sharing :)

  18. It's hard I think to be a beautiful girl. Your friend had to grow into her beauty, it seems, before she could own it, instead of vice versa.

    It makes ne hapopy to know that you still have one another, and that her story is a happy one.


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