Wednesday, February 25, 2009

B is for. . .

B is for Brooke

She’s been my best friend since our freshman year of high school, where we met during volleyball tryouts. Then, we got into a huge fight and she wasn’t my best friend anymore. At least not for a few weeks. I replaced her as quickly as she replaced me. It’s an easy thing to do, at 14, when the title of Best Friend was given easily, thoughtlessly, taken effortlessly and apathetically. Those new Best Friend titles were revoked immediately upon reconciliation, of course, because no one could compare to MY Best Friend. And the same was true in reverse. I think most of our freshman year of high school went this way, at this pace. But something happened over the summer between our freshman and sophomore years. We shed the skin of carelessness in relationships and played dress up in the skin of adolescents learning how to be a friend, what it means to be a friend and, most importantly, how to do these things regardless of the mistakes to be made along the way.

We experienced so many things together, through those high school years. First dates with our high school sweethearts. Prom and Winter Formal. Making the Varsity Volleyball team junior year. Making new friends and allowing them into our circle, but never letting them become fully enveloped in our circle. Our circle was special, not to be broken, just opened long enough to allow someone a glimpse and a taste, but never the entire thing. First sexual experiences and experimentation. How embarrassing and exciting, all at once. Neither of us would ever dream of sharing such personal, private information with anyone else, ever. My confidante, my best friend. The only one who “got” me. First heartbreak, when those high school sweethearts went off to college, leaving us behind as juniors to navigate the rest of our high school years without them, each holding out hope that even through college, they would come back home to us. Of course, the high school sweethearts each met ‘someone else’ and after 2.5 and 3 years together, we were forgotten about. At least we had each other.

High school graduation was next. The parties and celebrations. Finally! We were going to be out of there, that evil, wicked place, cause of much drama, angst and ill feelings. A few weeks after graduation, we moved to the nearby beach town, into her parents beach house, less than 1 block from the beach. What a spoiled life we led. Class a few times a week. Free flowing alcohol. A revolving door of friends—boys, mostly—in and out, in and out they went. Slowly, our special circle, not to be broken, was open for too long. People, parties, boys, school filled it up. We tried to close it, make it special again, but it was useless. I moved out. It felt like that heartbreak from my high school sweetheart all over again. The anger and hurt feelings brewed at the surface, but I kept them down with a fake smile. Everything was okay. On the surface.

Two years whir by. We keep tabs on one another, through mutual friends, but do not speak to one another. A phone call in the middle of the night. It changed everything about my life. Our life. Our lives. “It’s Casey….she’s been in a terrible car accident, a drunk driver. She’s not going to make it, she is on life support, until they can harvest her organs. She’s dead, Sarah. Casey is dead.”

The funeral the following weekend. Everyone got together at Casey’s parents house to create a scrapbook of memories. Photos and stories were traded and shared. Memories were tucked away for safe keeping deep in our hearts and minds. And somewhere, in the beautiful mess of Casey’s death, Brooke and I were able to recreate that special circle once again. A circle that will never be broken because of the pain and the hurt, the memories and the laughs, the love and the friendship that keeps it melded together. Unbreakable.

1 comment:

  1. I love it :) And you should post Casey's website again, or message me with it. I looked at it a few times and I was so saddened by it. Such tragic losses for that family. It's a nice reminder, although please don't take that the wrong way, of how short life is and how we need cherish the times we do have!

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