I did not, could not have known that one of my closest friends would choose me at the tender age of eleven.
I chose her too.
Too many similarities to name. Too much mystery shaking our bones. We stomped around the streets of our city eager to defeat ill-will, anxious to explore territory of a different kind.
Born in the same month, but of different signs, God took his time crafting this masterpiece. She has never backed down from anything; her opinions are her own, and by them, she will stand.
You are not shaking her.
And, I wish you would. I am her army. I will war for her.
Competitiveness described us so long ago, it still fits. We will compete with wit, back and forth with grit, and stand by love. I long for nothing more than her nodded head. Agreement.
But, will settle for a disagreement if my cause is heartfelt.
Imagine latching on to someone when boys were icky and books were more fun, only to lose them seven years later. Graduating from high school, 10th and tied for rank in our class, high honors, BIG hopefuls, and known names, WE… vanished.
I do not know why this happened. I cannot tell you how we lost touch. I wish I knew. I want to remember. Different colleges, different routes, different lifestyles.
For eighteen years, I worried.
Then, Facebook. Ugh, Facebook. But,
Ahh… REFRESHING, Facebook.
I took my search for her to social media in May of 2015 and posted up this picture:
And, the floodgates opened. Apparently, others had wondered where she was too, however, my call was the one answered.
Of course (don’t give me that look, Theresa).
An old high school acquaintance *tagged* her and from that moment on, we have been reconnected.
I could not be happier.
I know there is a reason why. I do not question the lapse in time. I am thankful for spaces and markers that led us back to one another. I am holding on. I will not let go.
Not This Time.
Her words to me:
I am so thankful that I had the chance to see you after so many years. The flood of memories is astonishing to say the least. To think we have known each other for 25 years. My daughter and I were discussing it and she could not help but tell me the plans that her and her friends have made to stay close to one another throughout school and beyond. It warms my heart to know that she values her friends as I do.
A few of my words to her, in a poem that I wrote, overcome with happiness at the sheer sight of her on February 19, 2016:
You came roaring back
Into my life, thunder
For breath, casually
Reminding me of stories
Untold. In the weakness
Of day, I’ve seen the
Brown in your eyes awaken
This dead soul and I
Fall into memories, drifting
Down a staircase of
Slipping into the now.
I am often quiet if there is pain. I will go without communicating. I will simply write.
SHE WILL READ EVERY WORD.
A few days, maybe a week later… A text or message will come through,
“How is your week going?”
Code for, “Are you ready to talk now?”
And, each time, I spill the beans. An ocean leaves my mouth, my fingers type until they’re numb. She listens. She always listens.
And then… I wait.
WISDOM GUIDES HER.
I am never led astray.
There is no mistaken why we met. There is no questioning the time, nor the place. We were happy to be young and free and smiling eleven-year-old girls. We were overjoyed linked to one another as teenagers. We are even happier now, reunited as adults.
25 Years And Counting.
All of them precious.
None of them regretted.
Author’s Note: I let her read this before publishing. There is not much that I will not share with her. There is a space in my heart that has no beating room for anything else. When you know friendship/love like this, you hold on. You just do.