To introduce this experimental story, separate interviews were held for Rylie and Brynn to analyze their friendship and how it has lasted to high school. The interviews were then used to write separate stories from their perspectives on one another, showing the progression of Rylie and Brynn meeting to what their friendship means to each now.
Sophomore Rylie Beatty knows she has been given a unique friendship that, in all honesty, sounds straight out of a movie—a Disney-designed dream of a movie. This friendship, the everlasting bond between her and sophomore Brynn Schanski, started even before the two were born.
If humanly possible, it was simply gifted down from their parents; both Rylie and Brynn’s parents met while pregnant with them as teachers at the local Ada elementary school, introducing the two before they even were born.
“We were friends [from the start],” said Rylie, who is a mere eight days older than Brynn. “We went to preschool together, so we saw each other every day in the morning, and we just clicked.”
This click is something Rylie references often when on the topic of friendship, and it is a click that hasn’t faded despite inevitable challenges almost 16 years of life brings. With their moms and families remaining close friends, their friendship grew up with them, reinforcing that “click.”
Yet one of the biggest trials to this notion—especially given their young age—was eventual separation.
Brynn left kindergarten at Ada to go to Thornapple elementary school, a drastic change for juvenile kids; yet they didn’t let this become the tear-jerking finale to their movie-esque friendship, testing the essential concept of clicking.
“We still stayed in touch,” said Rylie, who stayed at Ada elementary. “We still had playdates a lot. She would sometimes come after school to Ada when her mom was working, [and] our moms’ [teaching] rooms were right next to each other.”
It’s this combination of straight-from-Hollywood coincidences of rooms near each other and the aforementioned clicking that has kept Rylie and Brynn together as friends even despite an early change. Claiming that she’s “close with her family” since the parents are still friends today, Rylie has felt an unrivaled comfortability with Brynn as they’ve shared almost all of their lives by each other’s side.
“We’ve just always stuck around with each other,” Rylie said, “and our families have, too. I feel like it has come really easily [since our friendship] has been working out for almost 16 years. It’s kind of cool how it worked out, [and] I feel like you need to have a click to some extent or else it just doesn’t work out.”
This easiness has lasted from building baking soda volcanoes in outdoor classrooms to fumbling around as chemistry lab partners. It has filled in the gaps of boring days since Rylie was born, or, more accurately, eight days after.
And it has survived the exorbitant change in where the two are at in life.
No longer toddlers who can spend hours mindlessly playing in a toy pin, Rylie is an integral part of the school’s crew team and Brynn herself dances competitively and often. So, the two, as Rylie says, “just kind of make time [for each other] on the days that we don’t have stuff going on or over the weekend.”
The time spent together now—whether one-on-one or with their plethora of mutual friends—has made days a little better Rylie. Full of laughs and teasing, the two have developed a friendship that, like the unparalleled roots of it, has extraordinarily lasted through life itself, with Brynn guiding Rylie through it all.
“We can just talk,” said Rylie, describing the importance of Brynn in her life. “There are some things that I don’t normally talk about with other friends, but with her, I feel like I can just kind of talk about whatever. She’s definitely helped me as a person; if I have a problem, I go to her.”
Though befriending Brynn seemed like fate, it is something Rylie will always be grateful for. Whether it’s asking for advice or watching the newest Netflix movie on the couch, it has evolved from sitting in the same seat on the bus to something much bigger—much more important.
And she doesn’t know how it got to be that way—how she and Brynn, who she describes as a shy yet “crazy funny” kind of best friend, have become so inseparable yet separate.
“It definitely helps [that] our moms are friends,” said Rylie who is perplexed herself on how their friendship has become what it is today. “But I’m not even really sure. We have a lot of mutual friends too, so even if we’re like hanging out as a group, we’re still together.”
The “clicking,” their moms, their unbelievable movie-worthy story—it has all worked together to last, to endure almost sixteen years and many more. Rylie has found herself through Brynn, and in the process, can’t really envision life being what it is now without her.
“[Life] just wouldn’t be as funny,” Rylie said. “It just wouldn’t be as fun and amusing. We’ve literally known each other since we were born [and that] kind of separates us.”