Childhood ties bind for a lifetime

Childhood ties bind for a lifetime

Falmouth schoolmates Kelsey Duchesne and Jessica Hoch solved pretend-mysteries on the playground as first-grade best friends. Eighteen years later, they share an apartment in New York City and help each other navigate the very different mystery of post-graduate life.

Kelsey Duchesne and Jessica Hoch 3The friends share memories of sleeping over at each other’s houses, spending summer days at Duchesne’s cottage on Sebago Lake and sharing their favorite junk foods.

Hoch said she and Duchesne are compatible because they share a “14-year-old boy sense of humor.”

Duchesne is fiercely loyal and protective, Hoch said, and asks her friends the right questions.

Duchesne described Hoch as a “silent doer,” someone who takes on challenging tasks without complaints.

Growing up, the pair never expected their friendship would end, even when they left for college, Duchesne to Boston and Hoch to Montreal. They connected through Skype calls and the occasional visit.

The week before Duchesne graduated college, she was unsure what she was going to do next, “and everything felt very open and unwritten. I was an emotional mess,” Duchesne said, “until Jess cruised right into town.”

Kelsey Duchesne and Jessica HochDuchesne brought Hoch as her date to the graduation dance, and “we had the best time,” she said. “Jess got me through that week. Her being there and doing little adventures with me throughout Boston helped me so much, and I was very grateful for that.”

Because they’ve been friends for most of their lives, Duchesne said, “we know each other’s personalities so intensely and our friendship just feels like the most natural thing in the world.” Hanging out with her best friend, she said, is “effortless.”

Shortly after graduating in 2014, they moved to New York City and lived separately until moving in together last summer.

The friends said they stay so busy with work they don’t get to hang out as much they expected they would.

But when they do, “it’s so much fun in New York City,” Hoch said. “I’m interested in environment, so we’ll go to the park together. And Kelsey is interested in comedy and pop culture, so we’ll see shows at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade.”

And no matter where they are, Hoch said, “the foundations of our friendship are still there.”

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Tess Wrobleski

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