“Hi! I really like your account. I see you’re also a big Voltron fan.”
“Hey, thank you! I am a huge Voltron fan, lol. Who’s your favorite character?”
This is how I first started talking to her — the girl that would become my platonic soulmate.
We first started talking in 2016, when I was thirteen years old, and just getting into the Voltron fandom. Voltron is an animated series we both fell in love with about five paladins, the pilots of the lions of Voltron, that had to defend the universe from the evil Galran race. We constantly talked about our favorite characters, favorite scenes, and quoted the show.
Then we continued getting to know each other, talking about anything and everything: sports, what happened at school, what pissed us off, and what made us happy. Our talks deepened, and we spoke about anger and happiness, our deepest fears and internalized sadnesses, what we struggled with in silence, and what we hid from those who were supposed to know us best.
I can’t even begin to try and explain why it was so easy for me to open up to her. I just knew, the second I started speaking to her, that I could. Before that, I never even wanted to open up to others, I wasn’t trusting or willing enough to do so. That’s until I met her — she utterly demolished my walls with barely any effort, understood me in ways that drew me in, and made me feel like I could tell her anything. She was the only person I felt I could open up to, and became the person who stood beside me so that I could confront all the things I never wanted to think about.
Talking to her was like walking into a new and random house, but already knowing where everything was. I knew what was in every room, what the picture frames displayed and where the snacks were hidden, along with anything and everything between. She is, by every form and meaning of the word, my best friend.
We have this funny way of speaking to one another that’s very erratic and messy, to say the least, and the most fluently messy talks I’ve ever had the pleasure of partaking in. We dedicate songs to our friendship, make memes out of random things we compare each other to, and send obnoxiously funny voice memos and videos of us singing or screaming to one another. We have inside jokes that we, to this day, have never stopped laughing about and referencing, and we compare our friendship to that of the most iconic characters from anime and shows we’ve watched together. She even compares me to her favorite character of all time, Akutagawa, from Bungo Stray Dogs. She is the Gon to my Killua and the Lance to my Keith.
I found her at a time in my life where nothing had any sort of meaning and I felt no reason to be close with anyone — a time in my life when life didn’t seem worth living. As all hope and will to live was practically lost, cheesy I know, she came along and changed things for me and became my light.
There is a Greek myth that humans were originally created with four arms, four legs, and a head with two faces. Zeus feared their power, so he split them into two separate parts and condemned them to spend their lives searching for their other halves. Once, when I told her about this Greek myth, she immediately agreed that it was a great representation of how we feel about one another. We’re split-aparts, as I call them, sharing two halves of one soul. Both of us, together, are greater than one without the other, and we complete each other in ways neither of us has ever experienced.
I have found love in many everyday things since she’s been in my life. Music, for example, has always been sacred to me, but I have never really connected songs to my life, to characters, or to people until she started sending me songs that reminded her of me. The first song that we dedicated to our relationship was “The Only Exception” by Paramore, which, to me, symbolizes how much she changed things for me in the way that I trust her, am vulnerable with her, and share such a pure and emotional connection with her. She changed my life and how I’ve decided to live it in the best ways possible.
Although I talk about her as though we spend time with each other constantly, I have yet to meet her in person. All our deep talks, early morning conversations, days where we can’t stop laughing, and days where we sit on the phone crying, happen virtually — one of us in Boston, the other in California.
I have grown a lot since I’ve had her in my life. If you know who I am now, most of it is thanks to her influence. She helped me become a better person who tries to understand others more, is kinder, and can lean on others a bit more. Highlight on the “a bit” part, I’m still learning how to rely on others, bit by bit. She may not be part of my world in real life, but she has changed the way I perceive every part of it.
We are both 17 now and have yet to meet in person, but our friendship is just as strong and beautifully chaotic as always. We do plan to meet once everything is safer and we are a bit older so that we can go on a road trip together. I am still growing and becoming a better person every day, all thanks to her: my best friend.