Flipping through pictures, I pause on one in particular.
I was wearing a long red dress; my hair was in crazy blonde curls.
My hair took 3 hours to do.  It did not want to curl.  It took a lot of hairspray.  My hair felt gross.
In the picture my closest friend is standing next to me. 
She was in a long black shimmery dress.  Her brown long hair hung in loose curls.
Her hair was a lot easier to curl than mine. 
It was senior prom.
I didn’t have a boyfriend or a date. So I had invited her.  She had dropped out the previous year and got her GED. 
I wanted her to have the prom experience though.
I wanted to share it with her.
She is my closest and oldest friend.
We have been friends since the age of three. We grew up two houses away from each other.
We are practically sisters.
In the picture we are smiling.
Things were still good.
Lies had not yet been told.
People were not at their breaking point.
But it happened.
It got to that point.
She told me we had to leave.  We had to bring her friend back to his car because it was getting towed.
I was mad, but we left.  We got to town and I saw that his car was in no danger of being towed.
I asked her what was going on.
She said she lied so I would leave.
I was furious.
This is how our friendship was. How it had always been.
She could be my worst enemy or my best friend, depending on the moment.
She knew which buttons to push to make me angry. She knew exactly what to say to hurt me.
She also knew exactly what to say to fix things.
I was afraid to stick up for myself.  I didn’t want to lose her.  I didn’t have very many friends.
People always asked how I could be friends with her.
I told them she was my sister. Regardless, she was my sister.
That night was my breaking point though.
I was tired of it all.
I couldn’t handle it anymore.
So I wrote her a letter.
I could think about my words.  Think about what exactly I wanted to say.
I told her how I felt, and that I wouldn’t put up with it anymore.  She either needed to treat me with more respect, or I could not be her friend anymore.  I was ready to let 15 years of friendship go. I was done.
She understood and apologized profusely.
She then started treating me better.  She treated me with respect.
She knew I was stronger now.
I wouldn’t tolerate that anymore. 
She understood.
Things are still really good between us.
She is still my closest friend, my sister.
I don’t get to see her much at all, but we still talk often.
We have been to hell and back again and again.  We have been through everything together.
Through it all, we remained friends.
She is my closest friend, my sister. 
That will never change.
I look at the picture again. 
I think about that night and smile.

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