This One is for My Best Mate

Correction: my soulmate*.

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Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

They say that when you find your soulmate, it will hit you like an Asda delivery van hurtling down a dual-carriage way at 8:56pm, the driver frantic and speeding because he’s fully aware he’s about to miss the start of Love Island. They tell you that when you find your soulmate, you’ll just know.

Granted, what they don’t tell you is that sometimes you might have to swap out the Asda van for a sweat-drenched waistcoat. You might have to swap out the Love Island impatience for soul-crushing first-shift nerves. You might have to swap out a darkened dual carriage way for a winding car-park leading directly to the staff entrance of a hotel — but other than that, it’s all true. When you find them, you’ll just know.

The thing is, though, it’s a myth that your soulmate has to be the person you’re going to marry. Your respective life partner. Your significant other. They can be your grandparents, your oldest pals, your local Gregg’s employee. They don’t have to be somebody you’re going to live with, fall in love with, grow old with. Although, full disclosure, my soulmate is all that to me. We’re getting hitched in June.

But more than anything, she’s my best friend. My pink-pumped person. The one who can withstand any high powered chaos I might immerse her in, and the one who is there to Henry Hoover up the dust after the storm has settled.

And I think that’s when you know they’ve transcended the label of just best friend to soul friend. Being the Best, whilst subjective, tends to be defined by peaking at something above all others, which is exactly what she does. She’s there for me endlessly — whether that’s tangibly beside me in the UK’s second biggest nightclub or digitally directing me through a small town centre in the height of the night. Whether she’s picking up the buttery knives that have slipped off the plates piled high (in no way) on my trembling wrists, or picking up the tiny fragmented pieces of my heart, wrapping them in a little velvet pink tie bag left over from a wedding and keeping them safe, safer than they have ever been before. She’s the very Best at showcasing exactly what it means to have a heart forged from entire constellations.

That’s why she’s my Best friend.

She’s my soulmate, however, because of everything else. Because — regardless of what she’s done for me throughout the foggy times — she’s still right there within the light. The clear skies, the normal days, the moments that aren’t sad or confused or heartbroken. I don’t just (manically) adore her because of what she’s done for me. I love her because of exactly who she is.

That’s where I think a lot of people get confused these days.

We’re so used to defining something according to it’s use to us. The qualities that prove the most handy within our lives. We compare and judge and deem the value of something based on reviews and testimonials and first-hand anecdotes and determine whether or not they fit what we need it for within our own lives. People buy microwaves based on their functionality, and whether a ceramic plate covering your bowl of Heinz Five Beans can withstand the heat. People buy vacuums dependent on their ability to suction up enough hair on your carpet to blanket a small West Yorkshire county.

But have you ever wanted something in your life simply because it’s so damn beautiful? Because being in it’s presence fills you with this inexplicable happiness? Because the addition of it in your household makes it feel so much more like home? That’s exactly what my framed photo of Robert Pattinson is to me. That’s exactly what Abbi is to me.

I wouldn’t mind if she’d shrieked go away I’m bloody sleeping! down the phone to me at 4am that night (via a Facebook message sent in all caps because we hate phone-calls. Even though, in reality, she didn’t shriek that and she did call me. Because she’s made of stars). I wouldn’t mind if she rolled her eyes and changed the subject every time I went on and on (and on) about the same old person. I wouldn’t even mind if she had to ball up her cranberry-sauced stained fists and throw a Northern Knock-Out my way (if anything, I’d welcome it. It might spark a little sense into me and also I bloody love a war wound), because I know that for whatever reason it happened, it would be derived from the goodness of her heart.

My point is, I would not mind if she outwardly told me I’m not here to help you (she does enough of that at work and I don’t think this planet realises that’s she’s way too good for it), because she is so much more than what she can offer, what she can do (which just so happens to be everything). She is exactly who she is, from her very soul and beaming outwards. And for every atom of her made within the heart of a star, there’s not one part I don’t love. Her presence alone, the fact that she even exists at all, that’s more than enough.

She’ll heal the world, she will. I’m sure of it.

So this one is for you my love. I don’t know what I did or am yet to do to deserve somebody like you in my life, but whatever it is, I’ll make sure there’s plenty of snacks included.

I just hope you know — like wholeheartedly know. Confirmed by science. Preached in churches. The underlying theme of every hit song ever. They’ll dedicate entire episodes of Glee to it — how grateful I am for you. For the moments when you’re sweatily racking up 27000 steps. For the moments when you’re binge watching Friends again, like me, for the 27000th time. And for every moment in between.

We’re cosmically tethered, me and you (me n u. And we bloody love a good menu). Much unlike Phoebe’s spurting arm during the civil war on Thanksgiving Day in her past life of 1862, we’re permanently attached. In all our lives.

So this one is for you, for Valentine’s Day — a day proudly toasting it’s four bottles of VK to the phenomenon of love. And that’s entirely what you are. You’re made of it, you radiate it, you redefine it (you could easily improve even the likes of Twilight’s love story and that would be no easy feat, I tell ya). You are love. And you’re bloody phenomenal, too.

Thank you for existing.

(P.S. I could go on and on and on about my Abbi Adoration, filling eighteen whole pages — FRONT AND BACK — but Love Island is on a second, so I’ll save the rest for every single Valentines Day to follow. Which is all of them. Forever).

I imagine in a parallel universe I might be a caricaturist or a botanist or somewhere asleep on the moon — but here, I am a writer.

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