Best Friends Forever

Delta Winds cover 2003Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


Best Friends Forever

Tajmah Jones

As mothers and aunts bustle around us, my bridal party and I stand in the crowded, hot bathroom. The girls are already beautiful in their antique-yellow, lace dresses and neatly curled ringlets; they gather around me to touch up my hair and make-up as they argue about what shade of lipstick would look better with my complexion. I peer out the small, open window as the guests arrive for the most important day of my life. Anticipation grows as I watch groups of people enter the picturesque Japanese garden, lush with its greenery and colorful flowers. A life of memories walks by with the arrival of each friend and family member. Everyone is there from my third grade teacher to my old classmates in high school, and even my great aunt and uncle that I have not seen since I was small.

There are memories I can attach to each face. Tears begin to well up in my eyes as the time to walk down the aisle grows near. Diane, my Maid of Honor, is quick with a tissue and comforting words. Meanwhile, my bridesmaids, Dana and Felicia, are busy adjusting my veil and train. Candice, my last bridesmaid, amuses me with silly faces and stupid jokes to ease my nerves. What would I ever do without them? These four women are my best friends. For me, each of these women, different in their own ways, represents a person who was extremely important to me at a certain period of time in my life: my childhood, my adolescence, my teen years, and finally early adulthood. In life, I believe we are given more than one best friend and each one can represent an influential stage of life.

Dana is the best friend who represents my childhood. Mr. Johnson's fourth grade class in the small, mountain town of Twain Harte brought us together and we became instant companions. Snow days were spent together and peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches were shared. Building forts and tree houses in the summer always kept us busy. At these places, a secret club was devised in which she was the president and I was the vice president. Any member had to be approved by us, with a fee of a dollar. Everyone wanted to be in our club. My best friend was always a leader and I admired her and wanted to be like her. As a matter of fact, most of our quarrels were due to me "copying" her when I had my hair cut similar to hers or when I bought the same shoes as she had. But of course, the fights never lasted for long and we became inseparable again -- although miles did separate us the summer before our sixth grade year when my mother's new job forced my family to move two hours away from Dana. With the miles between us, our visits became less. Leaving my childhood behind, I would enter adolescence in a new place. Then Dana became one of two best friends in my young life, but to me she would always be my favorite companion during my childhood years.

Along with a new school in the valley "hick" town of Oakdale, I also gained a new best friend, Diane. Diane, for me, mostly represents my adolescence. During the awkward years of junior high school we became attached at the hip and boy crazy pre-teens together. Where there was Tajmah, there too was Diane. Besides boys, we were also focused on Guess Jeans and Espirit clothing. Discussing what band member was the hottest of Bon Jovi or Poison while doing each other's hair or make-up was a favorite past time. Fights over boys sometimes occurred, but no boy could ever part us completely for long. We were as close as sisters and "sister" is also what we called each other. On the weekends or during school vacations, we had sleepovers where we spent the whole night talking of what our future weddings would be like and this is where we also promised each other that I would be her Maid of Honor and she would be mine. At these sleepovers big secrets such as a first kiss or a new crush were always revealed. Sadly, our weekend sleepovers ended when once again my family moved and along with my teenage years a third best friend also arrived into my life, but Diane would forever remain my "sister."

After we had moved to Stockton, Felicia became my best friend at Tokay High School during my teen years. Although I may not have shared the closeness with Felicia that I had with Diane, she was the one person in high school I trusted completely. If it were not for us being totally engrossed in our boyfriends, we probably would have become inseparable also. Felicia and I were not exactly popular in high school; we were actually kind of loners together. At school we joined the same clubs and we were athletic sports trainers for the football and soccer teams. Outside of school we both were employed at a local Taco Bell. Long hours were spent at each other's houses studying for tests. School dances and football games became fun double dates. My best friend, Felicia, was the only friend at my high school that truly knew if I had lost my virginity or not. Complaints of having an overly strict and protective father were shared with Felicia. Our friendship was the only friendship that remained secure from rumors, jealousy, and popularity contests, which had been the reasons for my other high school friendships to tear apart. But eventually, with the arrival of graduation, the new pressures of adulthood upon us, and little time left in our busy lives, our relationship did tear apart a little. A best friend is still what I would consider Felicia because she was the one friend that was beside me in a few of the hardest years of my life, my teenage years.

After high school, I was employed at Carlos and Luigi's and that is where I met Candice. To me, she represents my best friend during early adulthood or should I say my early twenties. As hostesses, we shared many shifts together and enjoyed conversation and laughs in between seating guests and making tortillas. From a relationship as co-workers, it grew into a friendship. Candice and I did many things outside of work together. Our days off were often spent taking road trips to San Francisco or to Sacramento. Roaming the outlet stores and the malls were usually on our agenda since Candice was a shopaholic. She and I loved to hang out at parties and dance at local nightclubs where we would check out the guys and pick up a phone number or two. With time our relationship grew; we eventually became roommates and soon we threw our own get-togethers where we invited the Carlos and Luigi's crew and their friends. This friendship was full of the best times of my life. At one point, the day came that I met the man that would be my future husband. Later I became pregnant with my first child. Having the new responsibilities of motherhood, my priorities had changed and our fun times and outings did not happen as often. Then the day came that Candice decided she wanted a change of pace in her life and moved to Alaska where she met the man she would marry and had her first child also. Although miles and life have separated us I will always consider her my best friend; she is the one I shared life with back when I was single and living it up without the responsibilities of a family.

But now, as I stand nervously at the entrance of the garden watching each of my bridesmaids walk down the aisle that is surrounded by a sea of people's faces who have entered my life at one time or another, I come to a realization. Out of all the faces that are here to celebrate this happy occasion with me, the people who have had the largest impression upon my life, besides my parents, will be standing right beside me as I say my vows to my husband. No matter how they may change over the years or what influential period of time in my life each of these women represents to me, I will forever call each one of them my best friend and they will forever hold a special place in my heart.