Although we went to both the same primary and secondary schools, we didn't really make a connection until somewhere around GCSE time. It didn't take long for casually being part of the same group of friends to become a steadfast friendship, based on a mutual love for sarcasm, restaurants with free salad bars and all things a little bit geeky. We went on to tour a selection of Britain's universities together as well as spending two weeks exclusively in each other's company on back-to-back school trips to France and Germany which could easily have resulted in a broken friendship (spending too much time with anyone can be damaging). Somehow we pulled through and despite going to unis at opposite ends of the country, we've remained the firmest of friends.
What can I say about Rachel? She may be surprised to hear me say it but she's a bloody classy lady. Less of a surprise I hope, is that she keeps me grounded. If I need sage advice, she can dole it out with the best of them...but not quite as well as she can give me the kick up the bum I sometimes need to man up. She doesn't take things lying down and is more than happy to stand up for herself, a quality I lack and therefore greatly admire.
I don't know what I'm going to do without her for such a long time. Who will do the Made In Chelsea 'fence watch' with me? Who will be the Max Black to my Caroline? Who will I go on Harvester dates with? Who can I spend hours in Liverpool's cheesiest club with, despite having had no more than one drink each? Who will fully understand my need for yet another red lipstick?
She's my sister from another mister, the Caramel Drizzle to my Vanilla, and she knows just how much I'm going to miss her because I never miss an opportunity to guilt-trip her for leaving me. I know she's going to be hugely successful, and I'm just glad that I'll be along for the ride even if it's from afar.
Canada, you'd better take good care of my girl. You're damn lucky to be getting her.