Thursday, February 10, 2011
You can do it put your back into it : Day Seven
Day 07 – Your best friend
S was my best friend, before I even knew the definition of best friend.
The first time I met her was on the playground at daycare when we were 4 years old. She and her brother were new to the daycare, and me being the seasoned veteran that I was, decided to take it upon myself to introduce the new kids to my turf. "Can I play with you?" I asked them, as they were playing in the sand. "NO!" S yelled at me, throwing sand. After that we were pretty much inseparable.
As luck would have it, after a year of being in daycare together, and my family moved into the house just three doors down from S's and her family. She ran, barefoot, down the sidewalk to greet us the first night we pulled into our new driveway.
She was skinny, dark hair and complexion. Beautiful, if not for the terrible haircuts her father insisted on giving her.
We would build forts in the neighbor's bushes, hang nets from her backyard trees for hammocks to lay on, and sneak into her brother's room when he wasn't home or wasn't looking.
We both got 2 wheel bikes for christmas in first grade. S taught herself how to ride by scooting around the block, using the curb for support.
We had sleepovers, and dinners together, and we fought. We would fight over who got to be the baby when we played house. We fought over whose name got to be "Elizabeth" because that apparently was the best name to have. We would fight over whose barbies we got to play with, what we were going to have for lunch, and who was in charge. We were both very dominant personalities, and we constantly fought for the other one to hand over control.
Of course, we got along famously, too. We were a force to be reckoned with, when we were pitted against a common enemy. Our most common of enemies? Our siblings.
S has an older brother, and we assumed that everything he did was WAY cool, and something we needed to be in on. He of course, constantly dismissed us, would run off to play with his much cooler, much older friends, and we were left trying to fry bugs on the sidewalk with a magnifying glass, with no idea on how to catch the sun.
I have a younger sister. She always thought WE were the cool ones. She always wanted to tag along, and sometimes my mother would force us to bring her with us on our adventures. Most of the time we could force her into the roll of "butler" to do our bidding. She was always more than happy to oblige.
S and I learned how to cheat at nearly every board game, ever. When she and I played against someone else, we always won. Though not by the noblest of means, but we considered ourselves to be pretty clever all the same.
Shortly after the start of our 5th grade year, and we were hit with the most terrible of news that any two friends who were 10 and swore to be BFFs could ever get... S and her family were moving.
I helped them pack up their moving van, and I even rode down to spend the first night in their new house with them. We tangled ourselves together in her room that night, all lanky arms and legs and wet, tear-soaked hair, and we swore to stay in touch. To call, to write, to visit. At 10 years old, losing your best friend to a two hour drive is the end of the world.
Over the next seven years, S and I stayed in touch. We wrote letters, we phoned each other on a semi-regular basis. The saving grace of the entire friendship was that my mother had accepted a position in her town, and commuted two hours every morning. It worked perfectly for my mom to bring S home with her on a Friday night, and for S to ride back with her the next Monday morning.
I visited mostly in the summer, and over winter breaks. In the summer, S and I would rub Crisco all over our budding bodies and lay outside of her apartment pool for hours on end until we were so crisp from the sun, we couldn't move for the next two days. We would sleep on the balcony, and play hide and seek at night with her brother and his older friends. It was at fourteen that we snuck our first few drops of alcohol at a road party her brother had taken us to. It was all of a sudden "cool" for him to be hanging out with his baby sister and her friend.
We would ride our bikes all over town, hang out at the mall playing video games and eating chewy pretzels. We played video games on the super nintendo, and swam all day long.
S came to live with my family the summer of 2000. Her parents were planning to move again. It was just before I started my senior year of high school, and due to the transition, her parents working, her brother having gone away for school, and she had nowhere to be.
I worked part time at the Country Kitchen, she hung out with some other friends from here in town while I was working. When I wasn't, we would drive. We drove and we smoked and we drank. We talked to men twice our age and would talk them into buying us beer. We would hunt boys during the evenings, and when that never panned out, we would hang out at my friend J's house. His mom would let us smoke, occasionally share her weed, and we could pretty much do whatever it is we wanted to do.
As that summer came to an end, I went to Lincoln with S for her first few days at her new school. Her parents were still transitioning between jobs, and they weren't in town. I stayed at the house with her. I got up with her when she got up for school in the morning. I made her coffee, and we smoked our cigarettes. I would drive her to school, and pick her up at the end of the day. Leaving her there was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life.
Over the next two years before she graduated in 2002, and we spent nearly every weekend together. Between me driving there, or her driving here there were very few important moments we missed in each other's lives. S was here for my graduation, I was there for hers. We spent most of the summers together. We went and got our first tattoos together.
A week after she graduated, and we had signed a lease for an apartment back in my town. We broke it to her parents by showing up at their place with her boyfriend's pickup truck (he lived here.) We moved in together, and pretty soon after, we stopped getting along. Her boyfriend and I didn't like each other. I didn't like that he was there ALL THE TIME. He ate our food, he used our hot water, and he didn't pay for any of it.
She started locking her bedroom door. I lost my job. I started locking myself in my bedroom, thinking of ways to kill myself. That April, she sat next to me in the bathroom when I found out I was pregnant. She started giving me some leeway, even though I planned on moving back home as soon as our lease was up.
She and I hardly spoke anymore. It wasn't until I had Aiden and she would visit me that we actually started to reconnect. She sat next to me on my bed the day my milk came in, and watched as I breast fed my son for the first time. She watched Aiden when I had to work.
She got engaged, and asked me to be her maid of honor.
S became a mom nearly two years ago. Her daughter was born on the same day I quit smoking. Her and her husband will be parents for the second time late this summer.
We don't talk often, but we do talk deeply. We have the connection that two people are able to share over time and distance.
She is the person who probably knows me the best, because she knew the me I was, before I became the me I am now.