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Loyalty: Besties say it's everything
Through thick and thin, these girls stick together
Kayla Loy and Ashleigh Baxley
Kayla Loy and Ashleigh Baxley haven't always been the best of friends. But they have found that the best of friends can be found in the toughest of times. They even got matching tattoos recently, and say they love to make each other laugh. (All photos by Scott Bryant/staff)

Bosom buddy. Pal. Soul mate. Confidante. Ride or die.

All of these words and phrases describe that rare combination of friendship that comes about when two souls realize that they are meant to be — they are destined to be close friends. But what exactly is a “best friend?”

Kayla Loy and Ashleigh Baxley can tell you not only what the phrase best friend means for them, but they can also tell you why their friendship works. 

And they didn’t even like each other when they first met.

Loy was looking for a job a while back, and she was told of an opening at AccuTaxUSA in Statesboro. She discovered that Baxley, whose mom owns the business, works there as well. The girls had run in parallel circles for a few years, each knowing who the other was but without any kind of real contact. Loy had gone to school with Baxley’s step-brother, and Baxley had dated Loy’s cousin. 

“I thought she was spoiled and like, a brat, and she basically thought the same thing about me,” said Loy, laughing.

The girls have been best friends for almost three years now. 

When the girls hang out, there’s almost always food involved, they said, and they love to shop. They recently got matching tattoos, and they’re quick to tell you what they love the most about each other. 

“She’s just not like what you would normally expect from her. How she is and what you think of her is two completely different things,” Loy said of Baxley. “Once you get to know her, she’s like this little ball of sunshine, like, you can’t not like her. She’s just truthful. We tell each other the truth about everything.”

Baxley says she loves that Loy always tells her the truth. “Even if I don’t like it at the time. She’s always been there to help me,” she said. 

Baxley is still in high school and is taking classes at East Georgia State College. She plans to attend Augusta University after she graduates, and wants to study to be a surgeon. Loy is attending Ogeechee Tech, and plans to become a game warden. They realize that the distance between them will be challenging as education and career choices take them different places — particularly  since they spend so much of their time together now.

But they maintain that they will keep their friendship as a priority, and make the effort to stay in touch, beyond just phone calls and texts.

“As many miles as I have driven to see guys, I can drive to see her,” Loy said with a sly smile. 

“It’s going to be different, not being 15 minutes away from each other,” added Baxley. 

For now, the girls are together almost every day. They spend time with each other’s families, and have even taken trips together, including a recent trip to the beach.

“We got home at 2 p.m., and by 5:30, we were back together,” Loy said.  “We’d already spent an entire week together, and then we were back together.”

When asked what they like and dislike about each other, the girls smile and glance at each other.

“She’s stubborn. She’s gonna do what she’s gonna do, regardless,” Baxley said. But she is quick to add that there’s been no one who has been there for her like Loy has. 

“That’s really important to me,” she said. 

Loy says she sometimes doesn’t like Baxley’s attitude. “She gets in these moods where she will do what she wants to do regardless,” she said. But she also is quick to praise her friend.

“I like how she makes me laugh. I’m really serious, and she makes me laugh and relax and just be myself,” Loy said. 

The duo has also learned much from each other. Loy says she has learned a lot about faith from both Baxley and her mom.

“I did grow up in church, but when you have things happen in your life, you get kind of distant from it. Her mom and her showed me that I don’t have to do things by myself. I can talk to people and it’s gonna be OK, and she won’t leave me or judge me. And it’ll work out. She’s definitely helped me with my faith side,” Loy said. 

Baxley credits Loy with helping her to step outside of her comfort zone.

“She’s really helped me to come out of the box. I’m really more of a stay-at-home person, but she’s helped me to get out more and be more open,” Baxley said. 

When asked to define “best friend,” both girls smile and pause. 

“Honesty and being faithful,” Baxley said, adding that there have been people in her past that she had thought were friends but who really weren’t. But she’s never had to worry about that with Loy.

Loy agrees, and says it is really important to her to be able to trust someone, and know that the things she tells that person won’t go any further.

“If you get up from the table you shouldn’t have to worry about someone talking about you behind your back,” she said. “If they do, they’re not your friend, or even close to being your best friend.”

We want to hear about you and your best friend, whether you’ve been friends for two years or 50, or whether it’s just the two of you or there are lots of you in your BFF circle. Contact us at today!

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