Some mates aren't forever. Workmates come and go, school friends fade after graduation and uni mates are hard to keep around (if you can even make any in the first place).
But this is an ode to the real mates out there. The ones that constantly stick around.
Here's to those true MVP's that make you laugh so hard that you pee your pants a little, that shout you food all the time without expecting anything in return, that you can talk to forever about anything and everything. These are the kinds of friendships that never fade, even if you move apart, one of you travels the world for a year or you're both just too busy busy busy. Whether you're living the dream or up shit creek without a paddle, real mates stand by you.
On the first day of high school, I heard this girl laughing like a dugong and I felt drawn to walk right up to her and tell her so. She then asked "How do you know what a dugong sounds like? They're a myth". She genuinely thought dugongs, like mermaids and unicorns, weren't real. I was stunned and intrigued. As we yapped away about everything and anything and inevitably had to part ways as we were already very late for class, she invited me to her Shrek themed party and from then I just knew she was going to be my best mate. Eight years later and we've basically blended into the same person because of all the time spent with each other.
People come and go through life and that's totally fine. But some friends stand the test of time. You'll boogie together whether it's at a night club or a nursing home. I know that Gabby and I will stick together so hard that we'll probably be buried next to each other, (most likely because we both did something really stupid together, resulting in our deaths tbh).
Real mates are there for you through all the highs and lows, all the ebbs and flows of life, just like Ron Weasley was for Harry Potter, even in the fifth movie when Harry was being an angsty dickhead. They've seen your worst but help you get to your best. They'll trust you when you tell them, "yes, Gabby, dugongs are real." Real mates are your chosen family; isn't that the most wholesome thing on the planet?