The day your best friend ties the knot is a bittersweet one, to say the least. 3 shots down and your walking behind her to the bridal march with tears dripping down your cheeks, hoping you can pass it off as tears of joy. Don’t get me wrong I was beyond happy and grateful my bestie found the love of her life.. but you can’t help but feel the subtle exit of her walking out of yours.
She was married at Now Larimar, a 5 star gorgeous resort located in Punta Cana. It was spectacular.. the island had crystal clear water, white sandy beaches, lazy palm trees and the happiest, most handsome brown boys doing the salsa and pouring Pina coladas. 24-hour room service, meticulous rooms, Olympic size pools and Jacuzzi tubs. 30 people made their way to the Caribbean paradise to watch my best friend and the love of her life walk down the aisle. The same boy just so happened to be her childhood crush, the one we’d run behind, yell his name, snap his picture and run away giggling. The picture she would frame and kiss, and faint over.. The same boy ended up becoming her husband.. oh.. the irony.
Ten years earlier, Kylah (my best friend) her mother Lisa, (my mom’s best friend) my mother and myself had vacationed in Punta Cana. I couldn’t help but have flashbacks during our stay, and lingering on all of our moments as free spirited brazen and fabulous 16 year olds. You never quite realize what a good time you’re having until its past. Back then, her parents were still married, my dad was alive, and life was good. We had all the money to go around, and we made every excuse to have a party. When we arrived at the DR Kylah and I were beyond excited that there was no legal drinking age… We were adults, and god dammit we were going to be treated like them. We squeezed into our matching tube tops, put on red lipstick to really be taken seriously. We wore high heels neither of us could walk in and clickity- clicked down to the bar. We pretended to speak Spanish by adding o’s to every word and took tequila shots until we had to take turns holding each other’s hair in the bathroom stalls. We ordered the security guards around, like they were our personal assistants, “Take us here.” We’d yell directing them around in the golf cart..”Do you know my father is in the FBI, she’d warn if they gave us an argument?..I loved when she pulled that line. We ate lobster, para sailed, and let in room service every time our mothers were in their underwear. To which, we rolled around in hysterics… to us that was the funniest thing of all time. We hung out with Dominican brothers, climbed the walls out of our resort, and tried to catch flamingos. This was the good old days in the Dominican.
Her whole wedding week felt like a dream. We arrived at the resort a few days before, and Ashlee (our other best friend), my son, and my current boyfriend at the time shared a room. I was already on edge, with the impending loss of my sister soul mate, and a crowded room is not exactly the ideal space for a quarter life crisis…but I put on my big girl panties and slapped a smile on my face. We took go carts into town, and went down to see the waterfalls. The resort had good music with modern themed night clubs, and the whole crew of girls who have been Kylah’s nearest and dearest swapped all our favorite ridiculous and cherished memories. I laughed, but I kept having moments where worry would encompass me.. “Are we still going to have girl’s nights? Is he going to hear her secrets first? Is she going to forget about me? Why am I not married? Should I be married? She is too young to be married! What is she thinking?! Why is this happending?… but I digress.
The night before the wedding I floated in Kylah’s outside Jacuzzi filled with bubbles up to my chin. My feet up on the faucet, rolling a glass of champagne in my hand… My mind drifted through all the memories we shared together, and I tried my best to be present and be happy in that. Change is hard, but it is good. I thought about all the times we had together.. stealing my dads pot and living in our bathing suits all summer.. laughing… because Belzar from the coneheads is the ultimate prank phone call.. squealing over boys, and what we were going to be when we grew up.. Planning our own weddings, and what our kids might look like. Skipping school, drinking flavored rum and keystone light, going on country rides, laughing until we cried.. Oh and did we cry… we went through divorces, heartbreaks, job losses, economy crashes and death.. Not once, did we ever leave each other’s side for those things.. we really sat through the tears, through the births, through all the lucky and unlucky events of our lives. How lucky one is to have a best friend, and how lonely it must be without one. I am truly blessed to have her there, not only for the good times, but more importantly the hard ones.
As I peep through the blinds into the suite, I can see Kylah practicing her dance with her dad. ( As Ashlee claps her hands to the beat) I take a deep breath.. Something about that sight made me begin to realize.. I can be happy for my friend, I am not losing her, I am just with her as she gains something else. The outstanding luck I feel to watch my best friend get everything she wants, a true friend just wants the other to be happy, and I know she is. I know that Nick is truly the one. They even look like each other, for Christ’s sake.. True love, looks like it was predestined… like God matched them together before they were even born. Yes, things have changed, were growing up. That’s ok.. The show is not over.. it’s just getting better.
As I watch my best friend, put on her beautiful white gown, she is a vision. Her sister Koryn and I lock eyes and both of us are thinking the same thing? “Are we really this old? Is this really happening? Should I be getting married too?… Nahhhhh, we shake our heads.. We still have a few good years left.. Ashlee and I wink, and whisper.. “Another one bites the dust…”, but as we walk barefoot into the sand, I felt like I was walking on a cloud, and I was filled with complete happiness and gratitude.
As the sun was setting, Kylah and Nick repeated “In sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live, I do.” ..If magic does exist, I think it would look something like that. Everyone broke out in tears and cries of joy. It was perfect, the place, the setting the people…our 16 year old selves would be so proud and impressed . Although, my skinny dipping, school skipping, shit talking, giggle ridden, secret keeping, adventuress, hilarious and loyal best friend won’t be the single gal I grew up with, she will make one good hell of a wife, and I look forward to being with her in that next chapter of her life.