When I first met my best friend I thought she was the nicest girl in the world. She invited me to celebrate her birthday with her even though we barely knew each other, and even gave me a hug when I wished her happy birthday. I spent all day with her and her friends at our school swimming carnival, eating the food the others had brought and envying how awesome this group of girls was. On the way home, the two of us sat next to each other on the bus and I learnt that she spoke fluent Polish with her mum. I thought it was the coolest thing ever and I knew that I wanted to be her friend.
I’m not the only one who thinks she’s nice – ask anyone and they’ll tell you how lovely and sweet and kind she is. It’s the first thing that comes to mind, for most people. She’s the girl who makes handmade birthday presents, who does that favour no one else will do, who listens to your problems and then solves them without even blinking.
When you dig a little deeper, though, you find all sorts of quirks. She blows on her ice cream before she eats it. She likes to smell everything. She’s a bit obsessive – get her talking about Harry Potter and she’ll never stop. If she makes a list she likes to see it through to the end, even when it takes her years. If she sees a sausage dog she melts into a puddle of happiness and incoherency.
She’s quiet in a large group, not because she’s shy but because she’s listening and remembering all the facts and thoughts people offer up so that she can get a complete picture in her mind. She knows people well and she uses it to her advantage – and to theirs.
She can be mean. She can be detached from herself and from everyone else. She can be manipulative, when she really wants, and selfish. She irritates me to no end sometimes, for a million tiny and insignificant reasons, and none of them are important enough for me to ever want our friendship to be over.
She can say just one thing and have me dissolve into hysterical laughter. She’ll sit on the other side of the computer screen while I cry and she won’t say anything because she knows I just need her to be there. She puts up with me better than anyone in the world, and she probably understands me better as well.
I think it’s great that people say my best friend is nice, but if they really got to know her they’d realise there are so many more interesting words to describe her. Nice only skims the surface