I met my best friend when I was about nine years old. We didn’t have much to do with each otherin separate classes and different friend groups. By 11 years old, we were friendly, shared rooms on school trips, and raced to see who could get their math work done first (it was always me, sorry girl!).

Then we went to different schools as we got older.

We started further education, and we hadn’t been in touch for about five years. I was nervous to walk into my new classroom with a bunch of people I didn’t know. I opened the door, found a seat, and looked up. And there she was, it was like I knew the next few years were going to be fine now.

I had a friend, a familiar face.

From then on, the rest is history. I love my husband, but she is my soul mate. It’s creeping up to 10 years since we left education, and she is still my familiar face in uncertain times. She is still my constant, no matter who is coming and going in our lives, we always have each other.

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Weeks pass and we only manage a text to each other here and there, but that’s all we need. Other weeks we see each other twice and speak every day. It doesn’t matter.

Our lives have changedbetween us, we have learned true love and true loss. We have weathered break-ups, the arrival of children, and the loss of children. We have seen late nights . . . and early mornings. We have drunk tea and eaten cake until we lay with jeans unbuttoned. We have been on holidays and shared everything with each other.

We have been together through the hardest times in our lives, but also the best times in our lives.

We love each other’s children as much as I’d always dreamed. She is the aunty who walks around a shop and comes out with a dressing gown for my child. “Hey, I grabbed this for Imogen, I’ll pop it over soon!” or “All ordered, being delivered to your address.”

I know I can call her and say, “I’m desperate for this, I can’t get out, Hattie is sick and the house is crazy.” The next minute she’s in the car popping to the shop to get it for me. I’d do the same for her in heartbeat.

I could not imagine life without her. I am beyond grateful our paths crossed, and we miraculously chose to do the same course that day. We all need someone we can talk to about anything. Share highs and lows with.

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We have accepted each other for our best bits and our worst bits. We have laughed until we’ve nearly wet ourselves, and we have cried until we’re both snotty, weeping messes. There is no one else I want to share those moments with.

Appreciating the woman in my life today and every day. Charlotte, I love you and I am so thankful for you.

Anna-Louise Osborne

Anna Osborne is an independent writer, exploring writing through social media. Her passion for writing knows no end. Just following her heart.