Scarlet Begonias and a Touch of the Blues

When I was in 9th grade I met the other me, I guess you could call her my soul mate. I don't know if they exist, but I know that if they do, she's mine.

She was a year younger than I was, but we were both old souls and Aquarians to boot, so we knew that things like age were unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Initially she rubbed my then best-friend, Brooke, the wrong way, the same way I'm sure I would have felt if Brooke had started going on about a new girl that I was going to love. I mean when someone comes along and has a life-changing moment with you best friend, starts hanging out with her all the time, audibly clicks with her on a level that you never have even approached, you might tend to get a little ticked off. I don't think that Allie had a "best-friend" per say, but more like a smattering of close girl friends. I on the other hand had a very serious relationship with Brooke.

Brooke and I had been inseparable since the first day of seventh grade. I had started that day apprehensive, the geeky girl at a new school with no real friends. The class was set up with two rows of desks on both sides of the room and one at the back. I took on of the seats in the middle of the back row as the side rows had filled up. She was the last person to come in and she came and sat down right next to me. That was it. From then on we were attached at the hip. She was like the older cooler sister I never had. She new just how to rebel, but still get your parents to do stuff for you. She knew all the music to listen to that was both incredible and would make it clear that "THEY" didn't understand us. She had a closet full of band tee shirts and oversized jeans, and enough eyeliner to paint our world black. She taught me all about bands, makeup, boys, cult movies, pot, lsd, tequila, and worlds more. Most of all she taught me that I was not just some bookworm sitting in the corner not fitting in, wearing the wrong clothes, listening to the wrong music. She saw someone special and wow, did I feel special. This beautiful, 5'10, 120lb. anti-goddess had strolled into the classroom, sat down next to me, sized me up, and decided that I wasn't a loser, I was Her New Best Friend.

It went on like that for a while, the two of us, unbreakable. Then I met Allie and things changed. I learned that I didn't have to be so hostile to the world around me, that there were other equally rebellious ways to act out that maybe wouldn't worry my parents quite so much, or scare my classmates. For a while the three of us were the best of friends. Boys would come and go, sometimes stealing one of our three for a little while, but always returning her, usually a bit wiser.

Brooke always just seemed a little bit angrier at the world, a little more sullen, everything with her was just to another degree. As we grew up she needed the approval of guys more and more and of us less and less. But we let her go do her thing, never completely, always keeping in touch, eating lunch together, seeing each other at parties, but by the time she was 17 she was dating a guy who'd been legally buying beer for years and he had her under his thumb. It's sad when no matter what other people tell us we just can't see how beautiful we really are.

But as Brooke drifted away from us, Al and I just got closer. We had sleepovers every weekend, staying up until the sun came up talking about anything, and everything, and nothing at all. We dated best friends. We shared pregnancy scares. We tried ecstasy together and danced among the stars. We trekked around this great city, enjoying our immortality, testing our invincibility. We cried for each other's losses, and celebrated each other's triumphs. She became my sister in this life, just as surely as she's been my mother, or my daughter, or both in others. When we had a group of friends, we shared our love with them, when the group shrunk down to just us plus one, let's just say he got to feel how much love there really was concentrated between the two of us. We spent glorious summers throwing caution to the wind and squeezing every last drop of enjoyment we could out of the night. She was my first real love, though so much more than a lover as it was not her body I yearned for but her mind and her fellowship. I don't think many have seen anything like us, it was really the experience of a lifetime.

We would see Brooke, though less and less as high school came to a close. She had gotten involved with some really negative people and some really killer drugs. They had a serious problem with strong women. Women who demanded to be treated as equals. Women who could hold their own and didn't need a man to sanction their happiness, or existence for that matter. They had no problem having Brooke around them. Looking back now, she appears so tragic to me. Depression had such a deep, nasty hold on her, but she rejected the medicine and therapy that could have helped her in favor of heroin and emotional abuse. I should have done more to help her. It's something that I'll regret not trying harder to stop for the rest of my life. Because she was my first love and she deserved better. Better than her jerk boyfriends, better than sqatting in bad parts of Philadelphia, and better than dying because of the hold that awful drug had on her.

Allie and my relationship stayed close until it came time for her to go to college. I was a year ahead of her in school, but because of my partying ways and my inability to balance that with school, I stayed where I was and attended community college. Allie managed that balancing act as if she was born to do it. Parties and drugs, but homework got in on time and done well and she had the brains to boot! So off she went, to our mutual dream, Boston. She came home and visited a lot in the beginning, as she was still dating a guy who lived here, but once that ended her visits became fewer and fewer and we saw less and less of each other.

We still see each other from time to time, chat on the phone once every couple months, but she's busy with work and her boyfriend and school(Just finished her Master's at Columbia, Lucky Bitch) and I'm busy with BF and the LM and being sick (you'd be amazed at how much time that last one steals), so we don't get to talk or see each other as much as we'd like to, but I guess that's what happens sometimes. I haven't stopped loving her with all of my heart and when we do see each other, the only way you can tell that anything's changed is all of the new stories we've got to tell each other.

So where did this tale come from, why now? I guess I was just feeling blue myself and in need of a real girlfriend and I realized that I just don't have that anymore and I don't know that I ever will. As much as I love BF and even though he's my friend as much as my lover, he'll never be her, and that's ok. But I really do just want her and it's really hitting me, now that she's setting up her life and her career in NYC, that she's not going to come back here and have a life side by side with me and that our kids won't know each other, let alone play together, and we're not going to grow up to be little old ladies together.

Tonight, that's breaking my heart.

So thanks for listening to me again. It help's to be heard.

1 comment:

  1. It hurts losing a friend you thought would be in your life forever and ever. I've had the same thing happen, twice. (((HUGS)))