I have been lucky to have good friends in my life. When I was ten, my old German neighbors, Marlies and Jerry, introduced me to their granddaughter, Emily. On our first play date, we ran through Jerry’s jungle of flowers (her backyard). We picked grapes from the vines hanging from the canopy and chased her Siamese cats, Porscha and Lilly. On other days, we climbed tall trees in Sugarhouse and ate honey suckle. We told secrets. We watched sunsets at Dandelion forest. We grew from little girls into tweens. We worried about our growing body parts and bluntly asked if the other was having the same abnormalities.
Because of Emily, I saw a “friend” as someone who thinks you’re dorky, brilliant, witty, strange, and beautiful all at the same time. Someone who loves you no. matter. what.
I was lucky in middle school. I met Megan in careers class. Tasia in art. Ana (who moved from Mexico) at church. The four of us hit it off.
Tasia was a punk rocker with attitude and Pocahontas hair. She was a dancer. She painted her fingernails black and used bright green eye shadow. Megan could hip hop, slaughter anyone at basketball, and spent her weekends playing golf. She could crack a joke at the drop of a hat and was always the life of the party. Then there was Ana who could shop all day and still get 100% on any school assignment. She was brilliant and fashionable. She filled our lockers with “I love you!” post its notes on our birthdays. She was a listener and knew how to cheer any one up.
I grew close to Loira in tenth grade. I loved her sweet laughs, her loud voice, how willing she was to help. I loved how she forced me to the gym, and as a reward, sat with me at the lake to spy on Will. I spent hours talking to her and never got bored.
I was lucky when I met Lucas. He pointed out the beauty in buildings, people, and culture. Karneval nights- he danced with strangers. The plane back to America – Lucas was so interested in the old man sitting next to him.
I was lucky when I met Micky. I can’t write about Micky right now, because it makes me sad. But I loved Micky, and was spoiled to have him as a friend.
This year, I am at a new school. I am back in Utah. I am going to college next year.
Ana has moved back to Mexico. Tasia is gone. Megan is gone (for the basketball season, at least). Loira is in college. Lucas is no longer a train ride away. Micky is gone.
I am attached to these people. I think about them more than any of them know. I am alone right now because I have no desire to make new friends, I just want to have my old friends back.