Closer Than I Thought

I met Michelle when I was 12.  We'd just moved into the neighborhood and she came bouncing over to meet me.  My dad opened the door and she insisted upon seeing the little girl who just moved in.  I still remember what she said.

"Hi!  My name's Michelle and I'm your new best friend!"

She was exactly right.  All through 7th and 8th grade we were inseperable.  She pushed me to date my first boyfriend.  In the 8th grade, true to middle schooler form, she dated a boy I'd just broken up with.  I wasn't even mad at her.  I flipped out at him during art class, though!

Something about me understood Michelle.  She was a loud, dramatic, boisterous person.  Everything she said had to be taken with a grain of salt.  I gues I accepted that because as a small child I was known to streach the truth once or twice.  I understood that she wasn't malicious, just in search of attention, and I loved her anyway.

After my family moved back up North, she still kept in touch.  When my ex boyfriend and first love tried to kill himself, she called me to let me know.  When she graduated from high school, my mom and I flew down to be at her graduation party.

Not long after that my parents moved back to her area.  The instant she found out she was over the moon.  She couldn't wait to hang out and be best friends again.  And so we were.  We spent that first summer after I moved down constantly together.  When I wasn't working, I was hanging out with her and our friends. True to form, she managed to introduce me to the best one-month fling of my life!

Every summer after that we would find ways to hang out.  I met my future husband at school so I was no longer in the dating pool, but I would still have fun going out with her and her current beau.  We went out on Lake Wylie, countless movies and parties.  Afterwards we would go back to her place and sleep in her big bed.  We'd stay up to all hours talking about boys and love and our plans for the future. 

When she graduated from college, my brother, boyfriend and I all went to the ceremony. 

The weirdest part about all this is how alive she seems in my mind.  I can see her in every mood, every expression, every situation.  I remember the way she would **** an eyebrow or how her thin, bony hands felt in mine.  I can feel her slim form in my arms as she gives me a hug or hear her laugh as she tells a good joke.  She is a part of me.  When that truck hit her car, it didn't just kill her.  It killed a part of my childhood.  It killed a part of my heart.  My life will never be the same.

And to think that a month ago, I would have just shrugged and said, "Yeah, I know Michelle."

octaviaslady octaviaslady
22-25, F
1 Response Feb 19, 2009

When there is no opportunity to say goodbye it feels like they never left. Too much left unsaid. Always the brightest friends stay fresh in our memories. It almost makes it hurt more because you remember them so well.