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Best Friends 5-Ever: A Teenager Talks About Lasting Friendship

Ethan and Joshua have been best friends since middle school.
Basim Blunt

Joshua and Ethan have been BFFs for life...well, actually since middle school. Ethan came into the studio to help his friend tell this Dayton Youth Radio Story.

Hello, my name is Joshua Zimmerman. I live in Kettering, Ohio, with my mom, Tiffany, my dad, Scott, my brother Andrew, who was 15, and my sister Sarah, who is 19. One of my hobbies is playing Halo. It's a multiplayer science fiction video game for the Xbox 360. Halo was popular back in the day. I was so good at playing Halo that I was beating people that were playing professionally. But then I had to stop. I was getting bad grades in school.

I have always had a hard time making friends since I was weird. Most people just wanted nothing to do with me. When I was in sixth grade, I met my best friend, Ethan. He had a full head of red greasy hair. I thought to myself, man, I really want to stay away from this guy. That was five years ago, and today we are both still friends. We both have similar taste in music. We texted each other about 115 times a day.

In seventh and eighth grade, Ethan and I used to go to each other's houses like every weekend, and we'd stay up through the night until the sun came up all the way. Even though we tried going to bed, we just couldn't because we'd just have these conversations and they just kept going on and on. In middle school we were very weird kids. It was not uncommon for people to tell us to shut up,

"I would told to shut up at lunch and the hallways," says Ethan. "I remember the first time that I saw that Josh was going to have the same class as me, I got so excited because I knew it was going to go down. I knew that was not going to be a good art class for the teacher anyway. It was great for us."

I remember people in middle school, and I think even now, we get the same thing, people thought we were a couple.

"Yeah, at first it was offensive," says Ethan. "But I started embracing it almost. We would hold hands, hug publicly at school and it was just..."

"I think we kissed each other one time," I added.

"Probably," Ethan says. "I'd rather do that than go home and cry about it."

Next year, we'll be seniors and I'm starting to think about how our friendship will survive after high school. What I don't want to happen, but know is going to happen is that we're both going to grow up. I want to go to college, but I don't think Ethan wants to. Ethan is in love. He met his girlfriend Chloe during the summer in 10th grade. Right now, I don't have a girlfriend or even a date for the prom.

"How does that make you feel?" Ethan asked me.

I feel like the only reason I want to go to prom is because it's the only prom I'll ever have the chance to go to. I have not decided if I want a family or how I'm even supposed to get a girlfriend.

I think we both want to stay in Ohio or maybe even the same city, because we know moving will affect the friendship. If you asked me what a friendship really means, you know, I kind of stumble on that question. I've known Ethan for so long. Two socially awkward kids that probably would have been lonely the rest of their lives if we weren't put in the right place in the right time. And we got kind of lucky. Maybe it's a story about luck to me.

To me, adulting means something that is not fun. When I am reminded about it, it makes me feel like the life I'm living right now will come to an end and I'll have to start over anew. I know even though graduation is near and you grow older, Ethan and I will be going our own separate ways. But I can say for sure that no matter what happens, we will always be friends.

Joshua Zimmerman is a student at Kettering Fairmont High School. Special thanks to their teacher Laura Hutchens and to Lovely Nalls. Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation, the Vectren Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.

This story was created at the Eichelberger Center for Community Voices at WYSO.