Best Friends Forever
You’re my bestest friend, the little girl whispered conspiratorially to the other little girl sitting next to her. I love you more than all my other friends and one day when we’re all big and grown up, you can be my bridesmaid and then I can be yours too. The little girls beamed at each other, their hands reaching instinctively up to the identical ‘BFF’ split heart necklaces around their necks. Best Friends Forever.
Bella Swan sat on a patch of grass by herself a short distance away from the other two little girls, a wistful look in her big brown eyes. She had never had a best friend. No one had ever asked her to be their bridesmaid one day or given her the other half of a ‘BFF’ necklace. All the other little girls thought she was weird – that Swan girl, with the big glasses and the pale skin who was always lugging around some enormous book that didn’t even have pictures. Anyone who wanted to read ‘adult’ books all the time must be weird. And Bella was weird. She knew it. She just wished that she could find someone who could share in her weirdness.
Many years had passed since Bella had sat on the grass gazing forlornly at the happy little pair, and over time she had gotten used to being alone. In fact, she had even managed to convince herself that she liked the solitude, having her own space to meditate in. Quiet was good. Quiet was nice. Now and then a small voice at the back of her mind would tentatively suggest that having a best friend could be fun; someone to talk to about stuff, but generally she would ignore the voice until it shuffled back into its dark corner again to wait for another rainy day. No, Bella Swan was in absolutely no need of a best friend. She was a rock, an island.
And then Bella met Edward Cullen. And she fell in love. She was deliriously happy and she certainly wasn’t alone anymore, but was he her best friend? No, not really. He was her boyfriend, her idol, the love of her life, the one she couldn’t live without, but somehow the words ‘best friend’ did not fit him. Too mundane? Perhaps. But for all that, at the back of her mind, where the small voice resided (quieter these days), she still felt that there was something, or rather someone missing. A piece of the puzzle that was Isabella Renee Swan that still needed to be found and attached.
Some months went by and then the unthinkable happened. Edward left. And Bella was broken, shattered, numbed with pain. She felt like half of her had been torn away and had gone with him, gallivanting off into the sunset and leaving her to rot in rainy Forks, WA. The hole where it had been ached and burned and stung around the edges. It felt raw and ragged. Bella thought that she would never feel like a complete person again.
Until she met Jacob Black. Or rather, met him again. Because she had met him before, but then she hadn’t really seen him. He had just been a sweet, pliable boy that she could use to get to Edward. Nothing more. But this time, Bella saw Jacob, really saw him, for the first time. And fell in love.
This love was so different from the first. With Edward it had been all adrenaline and restraint and I am not worthy of such a gift. With Jacob, there was no need for restraint, no need for self-doubt and feelings of unworthiness, because they just fit. For the first time in her life, Bella had someone she could truly call her best friend. Someone she could laugh with and joke with and just be silly with. Someone she could sit in silence with for hours on end without feeling awkward or having to say something. Jacob was truly a ‘kindred spirit’. When she told him this, he laughed at her and rumpled her hair, saying Bells, you read too much – life isn’t a book you know! And I am nothing like Anne Shirley…When she discovered that he had actually read Anne of Green Gables (under duress, it is true), she fell in love a little bit more.
And so it went on. Jake and Bells. Bells and Jake. They were like Bonnie and Clyde or Fred and Ginger – two of a kind, whose names could not be uttered by themselves without immediately bringing to mind the name of the other. And while Jacob did not ask Bella to be his bridesmaid or give her a ‘BFF’ necklace, he did tell her that he loved her more than anyone and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. And Bella agreed. Because she realized that when Edward left, she had thought that half of her had gone with him. But in actual fact, that half of her had been missing all along. And in Jacob Black, she had found it again. He was her missing puzzle piece.