This is a photo of my friend Brit.
I took it during our last summer before starting university. We were on the edge of the rest of our lives. During that car ride, we talked about how being 18 years old feels like a sort of rebirth; like we were being reborn into the world of adulthood, but instead of learning how to walk and talk, we were learning how to do taxes and hold jobs down. I have always loved how relaxed she looks in this picture. How it captures the mole on her ankle from too much sun, the sea she has swum in thousands of times. How it was a beach in her local neighborhood, a community that crafted her into the coffee and cat loving force she is today.
I met the face value Brit at the start of high school. I met everything underneath in Year 13. For four years she was always a distant phantom, living in a different world of pretty girls and parties and boyfriends. I never believed I was ever “cool” enough to even form the foundations of a friendship with her, so I never tried.
However, in Year 13 I became hungry. I felt disconnected with the people around me. I was tired of the girls who wore things and listened to things and said things just to be like everyone else, but brit was different.
We clicked pretty instantly, a Pisces and a Capricorn asking ourselves how had our paths had not crossed before, and I had never met anyone like her my entire life. She was unapologetic about who she was. Instead of wanting to be perfect, she found comfort in the mess of life, sat right in the middle of it and made it her home. She lived in this 35mm world full of friends who would take rose-tinted glasses and dance to the Arctic Monkeys drunk with cigarettes in hand at 2 am.
High school ended and by far my best achievement of it was finding her. I learned that her favorite color is orange. That she loves The Beatles. I knew her coffee order and she knew mine (trick question; its a soy hot chocolate). My family adored her and her home address was favorited on my map phone app.
We spent the summer avidly planning our first year of university. We were studying the same degree and in the same hall. We pondered the queries of life and had homemade picnics with strawberries and paperback books. we discussed how we don’t want to be like our parents.
“I’m probably going to divorce like three times.” she declared one day. “I just don’t believe you can love the same person for all of your life you know? You are forever growing. Changing. How can you be compatible with someone for your entire life?”. As always, I agree with her. We further agreed we never want to settle down, live in 8 different countries and in apartments with pot plants and cats.
“I guess you and I knew we’d always live unconventionally,” she told me another afternoon over the soft rifts of the jungle giants on a checkered picnic rug.
Our first year at university was a whirlwind. I worry that we will drift apart, separated by new friends and growth and change but we grow closer. We are drawn to the same friends and grow in the same directions. We fight and we argue but we apologize and realize we were stupid or unreasonable and we move forward. She breaks down next to my hospital bed after I tried to kill myself. I sat and waited for her when she went to her first psychologist appointment. We cry together on our cheap single beds with creaky springs. We pull all-nighters for assignments that we should have started earlier. We take 2 am vending machine visits and live off peanut butter chocolate and caffeine pills.
I think one thing I adore about Brit is her brilliant mind. She thinks brilliant things. Whips up assignments and poetry that reads like it was written by a 55 year old academic. Makes the most mundane of situations seem beautiful. When she listens to someone and is engaged, she listens, stares you in the eyes, sips in your worlds and soaks in their meaning. Then she passionately speaks back. In turn, people adore her, an endless amount of souls whose auras warm up in a bright yellow when they touch her. like addicts, we find ourselves coming back for more; feeling campfire warmth while in her company.
Brit worries she is not good enough. That she lets other people down, that her life is too messy, but I wish she could see herself through my eyes. To see that good isn’t even a worthy enough word to describe her. That her endless list of friends give proof that she is not letting anyone down. That no one has it together, and that mess is what makes magic.
As we stare out to the sea, hearing the faint sound of seagulls in the distance, I break the silence; asking her a question that she has heard from me many times.
“B?” I ask.
“Do you think everything is going to be okay?”
There is a silence.
“Yes,” she responds. “I’m promising you, Luce, that everything is going to be okay.”
And despite all the mayhem we live in, and despite the fact that things aren’t perfect. And despite how we won’t be best friends forever. And despite all, we’ve faced, and all the pain, and all the heartbreak and all the boys who have made us cry and all the love and all those faces; when she says those words, I believe that everything is truely, going to be okay. Because she is Brittany, lover of Morrisey, award-winning actress, astrologist and writer, and when someone like her says it's going to be okay, it's going to be okay.