TW: Mentions of sexual assault.
First off, I’m so proud and blessed to have you as my best friend.
I'm dedicating this article to you, your courage, and your strength to fight.
I vividly remember the day I met you. Your kindness and softness shined through your smile, which made me immediately feel safe around you.
I decided to write this because I don’t think you know how much of a good impact you have made and are making on people and the world, and I wanted you to know.
For the past few years, you’ve been struggling with the things you absolutely didn't deserve to go through (from what I can see.) I asked Gods and Universe why a person like you, kind, caring, genuine, and selfless, has to be put in situations like these every day, thinking “how dare you.”
You’ve been crushed many many times whenever you finally found the courage to get up and stick up for yourself. You’ve been shut many times by the people who did you wrong and took advantage of you. Hearing you say “I can’t do anything for myself” broke my heart and soul. I was so upset and frustrated because I couldn’t do anything for you because I was also a woman. I thought about what I could do with my power (which might not be so big yet) to let you know that you’re way more than what you define yourself to be.
You were there with me at my lowest. You were patient with me when I was an absolute mess. I didn’t even want to deal with me at the time, but you kept telling me how to work the situation out and how I was more than enough. Now, it’s my turn. You inspire me to be a writer. You inspire me to be vocal. You gave me enough courage to be vulnerable. You made me feel safe. You taught me that it’s ok to be not ok and that no one is perfect. You inspire me to accept me to be myself when I’m not at my best. You made my high school memories unforgettable. You taught me to be patient with people. You showed me what a humble person is. You’ve shown me to forgive people who did you wrong. You taught me the importance of education. You reminded me to be appreciative of my family. You taught me that no one is ever perfect, even those who look and say that they’re ok all the time. And you showed me the importance of checking on people and how happy that makes them feel. The list goes on and on.
We may be miles apart. We may not talk every single day. But, I always think about you: you always appear in my conversation with people as “my lifetime best friend that I would do anything to protect” or “the person who’ll accept me for who I truly am and would never judge.” I haven’t been blessed much with the luck of new friends since I moved to Japan. Don’t get me wrong, I have met so many new amazing people, but I was also taken advantage of and hurt A LOT. At the end of the day, though, I can always say, “ah it’s ok, I have her and R.”
I’m going to end this right here since I can’t seem to stop writing this, but I just want to say: You’re a strong woman, and I love you so much more than you’ll ever know.
From your best friend, Miyabi
Edited by Emiru Okada
Graphic by Maya Kubota