The journey continues.
"My baby is having a baby!!!!!!!! I am literally so so so excited!!!! Congratulations Mika!!! I love you!!!!" Khloe Kardashian posted with glee in September when her longtime best friend Malika Haqq revealed that she was pregnant with her first child.
Khloe and twin sisters Malika and Khadijah Haqq then promptly met up at L.A. children's store Juvenile to pick up a few precious items for Khloe's daughter, True Thompson—and perhaps for the new baby on the way as well.
Malika was with Khloe every step of the way, right into the Cleveland delivery room where True was born in April 2018, and obviously Khloe has been happy for the chance to return the favor, most recently at Malika's elegant, neutral-toned baby shower last month at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Beverly Hills.
"It was a fun afternoon for all of the ladies closest to Malika," a source told E! News afterward. "She was so emotional and so touched by all of her closest girlfriends supporting her at her shower and throughout her pregnancy. It was a beautiful afternoon for a beautiful mama-to-be."
Friends since they were teenagers, Malika and Khloe have been each other's ride-or-die as other pals have disappointed, romantic relationships have come and gone, businesses have opened and closed, and new life has been brought into this world.
"[If] it wasn't for Malika then who knows where I would be emotionally," Khloe fired back when an Instagram troll wrote that Malika, who for a time pulled double duty as Khloe's assistant and closest confidante, would be a nobody if not for her very famous friend. "She's been my BFF since we were children. Loyalty and love means more to me than anything else ever could. Fame is fleeting. Malika is not."
For Khloe's birthday last June, Malika lavished her friend with praise, calling her a "selfless beauty, a vessel of passion and love, an incredibly mindful spirit, whom is consistently accountable with her reliable presence."
Also last year they released their limited edition BFF Collection for Becca Cosmetics, their first foray into makeup together after decades of inspiring each other's glam game.
"We love makeup, we love getting ready together, we love picking tones and shades and all of those things. And honestly, our process together was really, really good," Malika told Bustle about their work flow as a team. "There wasn't really anything to disagree on; it was more about empowering each other to pick things that you love, go for what's really true to you, and how we vibe with each other. We like a lot of the same things, so it made this collaboration that much easier."
Added Khloe, "I think with Malika and I, we're not people that come from a place of ego. We know our strengths and our weaknesses—who is stronger at what—and that's a blessing of a real friendship. We're not competitive with one another. We encourage one another. We want each other to shine and be as successful as we want to be. I think that we trust that in one another."
One of the few things they've fought about over the years is men—and only because, at the end of the day, they're looking out for each other and don't want to see the other get hurt. Or, as they'd inevitably find out, one was just missing the other and feeling a little neglected.
It's only because they care.
"I'm able to be a Malika because I have a Khloe," Malika told Entertainment Tonight last March. "We take care of each other. We're a duo that's really tough to come by, but we are blessed to have each other and we build off of that."
When Khloe gave birth to True, Malika was just another family member in the room, along with mom Kris Jenner and sisters Kim and Kourtney Kardashian—and, after some consideration, Tristan Thompson. And while she was always based in L.A., Malika was happy to go visit Khloe in Cleveland during basketball season for quality time.
But of course count Malika among those who was thrilled when Khloe moved back to L.A. for good, if not for the reason her friend was forced to make that decision.
"These hoes ain't loyal," Malika commented on a meme that called out Jordyn Woods when Kylie Jenner's now former bestie was accused of hooking up with Tristan at a party, a scandal that resulted in a rare fraying of the tight-knit Kardashian-Jenner friendship circle.
"She is to us exactly what we are to her," Malika told E! News a few weeks later at the Daily Front Row Fashion LA Awards, explaining the "incredible" support system that runs both ways between them. "Family's family, and those that are true, they show that."
Because that's what friends do, Malika rode the roller coaster along with Khloe when she was with Tristan, and she was there for her when Khloe finally decided she'd had enough ups and downs.
"We can tell each other when either one is right or wrong, but no matter what we just stick together," Malika also told ET. "That is all that really matters to us. When you have someone who has your back no matter what, it's like a family member. You know how your mother was like, 'You're in trouble, you're wrong, but I still got your back.' That's the nature of our relationship."
And, it goes without saying, Malika adores True like the honorary auntie she became from day one.
She is "the best," Malika told E!. "You see that big, beautiful smile and everything's OK."
Of course Malika and Khadijah, who has a son with husband Bobby McCray, were among the VIPs at Khloe's Hotel Bel Air baby shower in 2018, where the guest of honor simultaneously feted the twins with unicorn-themed cakes, as the party happened to take place on the sisters' birthday. A year ago, Khloe treated Malika and Khadijah to a trip to Las Vegas, where they dined and danced at Hakkasan.
When True was born, Malika also broadcast her support for Khloe via Instagram, writing, "Right by your side, Congrats my love! Thank you for my niece."
Now it's Khloe, a mom and currently an expert aunt of nine, who gets to shower her pal with the luxurious mommy-to-be treatment.
"Khloe knows she can give Malika advice on everything about pregnancy, newborns and having a baby," a source told E! News. "She wants to do everything with her because it's all so fresh. She is excited for True to have another friend in the crew and for Malika to experience motherhood. [Khloe] knows she will be an amazing mom."
And we don't expect minimalism to be the name of the game.
It's unclear if the stuffed animals and blankets Khloe picked up at Juvenile were for True or for Malika's bun in the oven, but that was surely the beginning of countless retail excursions to prepare for the new addition.
"Congratulations Mika May!!!!!" Khloe also wrote in September, commenting on Malika's pregnancy announcement. "I am so beyond overwhelmed with love and happiness!!!! God is GREAT!!!! We are all so blessed!!!! I love you and baby madly."
Asked by Bustle what the secret was to their enduring friendship, Malika said, frankly, that it was the honesty.
"If you can't be truly honest with someone," she said, "it doesn't matter if the honesty is tough. You have to be able to get through those things and talk to each other about things and remember what your heart is for one another, because then you can get through anything."
Added Khloe, "I think it's the open lines of communication. It's obviously not fun all the time. We've had awkward moments and we've had not fun discussions. But even if I do something and Malika's not, let's just say, proud of what I did, she'll say, 'I think what you did was stupid, but I'm still here for you and I'm going to support you and still be your friend.' And that's what friendships are. It's like your sister, even if you're upset with what she did, you're not going to leave your sister."
And especially not when she's about to be a first-time mom.
"Malika was there for Khloe throughout her pregnancy," a source said, "and now Khloe can't wait to be there in the same way."
(Originally published Oct. 7, 2019, at 12:37 p.m. PT)