Lost a Friend

Missing

I lost a good friend of mine. I met her at a summer camp almost five years ago now. She’s been gone for months. She seems to have just disappeared. I haven’t heard from her or seen her, and for all I know, she could be gone for good. 

I will never forget her, though. I will never forget the small sobbing girl I found after stumbling out of my bunk late one night, and how she later became one of my closest and dearest friends.

She was curled in the corner of the bathroom. Her hands were pressed up against her dripping face and her knees were tucked close to her chest. Stepping into the bathroom, I closed the door behind me. I sat down beside her on the floor without a word. She peeked her hands away from her eyes for only a minute to look at me and then wrapped her arms around my neck. Her hot, damp face was pressed up against mine, her small was body shaking. She clung tightly to me, and I could feel her shudder with every breath she took. I smoothed her hair down and rubbed her back and waited for her sobs to lessen. Both clad in our pajamas and sitting huddled together on the cold floor of the bathroom, we fell asleep. 

I was this funny little girl. I was dorky and clumsy yet headstrong and stubborn. Then that person went away. She sort of gave into the pain of others and let it take her. She left a memory of a person behind. This beautiful unique memory. The memory fades a little every year, but she’s still there. That little memory is still there and lives every day. I liver every day. I breathe, I eat, I sleep. I am still here, just a little dimmer. When I get tired, I thnk about her, this little vibrant healthy thing. Sometimes if I really listen I can still hear her, too. I think of her often. It’s funny when all it does is make ms ache But i do not want to forget who I was so, so I think of her every day.

Everybody has their low days. It’s a part of this wonderfully confusing life. Her low days were so bright. It was beautiful.

She could never come back, though. Even if I wanted her back. She is too beautiful to be in this place. But I will never forget her. She is unforgettable. She lives in cold summer days that pinch your face. She lives in those beautiful melodies that give people hope. She lives in the purest of laughter. She was the beauty in everything broken.

When she left there was this empty space where her light used to rest. There wasn’t any peace within our restless thoughts. I didn’t know how to fill it without her.

 

I

I sat with my bare legs over the edge, my ankles submerged in the water. The dock swayed with the soft waves that rippled from the boats far out on the lake. The old boards creaked with every rock of the waves. I let the wind pull at my hair as my thoughts trailed, my eyes staring blankly into the distance. I could hear her soft breathing behind me, rising and falling. I let out a sigh. The sun had slid down behind the tops of the trees, only a curved orange glow peeking above the edges. The warm glow melted through parts of the sky, turning the once pale blue into inky patches of pink and gray.

“Do you ever feel like dying?”  she asked. There was something off in her voice. Her tone was cold. I turned to look down at her face as she laid on the dock. Her hazel hair was swept off to the side, her dark green eyes stared up at me. She was waiting for me to react.

I looked back out over the water. It was mellowing, the waves turning into small ridges and disappearing before they neared the shore.

She poked my side with her small finger.  “Answer me.”

“When I was seven I had scarlet fever. Then I felt like dying.”  She smirked. She enjoyed it when I tried to avoid her questions. She sat up and joined my gaze on the water.

“If I was to do it” she started, “I would jump.”

“I would sit on the ledge of a beautiful bridge overlooking a river. It would be early morning,”  she paused.  Her voice was soft, as if she was telling a fairy tail. “I’d watch as the sun would spill over the horizon.  Then, I’d push off the ledge,” her hands gestured like she was about to push off the dock and her lips parted in a smile. “The skirt of my dress would ripple and pull in the wind as I plummeted, exposing my legs.  Then I would hit the water and my body would slowly sink. The fabric of my skirt would be the last to follow me to the depths, billowing and floating above as I dipped further away from the surface.”

Her words fell out of her mouth without any effort, like she had thought about this for a long time – like a story she had told over and over again.

Her voice fell silent. I could feel her eyes searching my face, waiting for me to respond.

“It would be romantic.”  She sighed.

 

Bisou

She pressed her forehead up against my arm.  She twirled a twig between her fingers, rolling it back and forth.  She hummed a soft lullaby while we laid there.  The blanket underneath, separating us from the dirt, smelled of chamomile and ginger.  The sun trickled through the dense branches above us.  The tree’s tall mass stole the warmth of the light.  A cold breeze blew past and right up my skirt, exposing my bare legs.  She sat up and rested her hand on my thigh, smiling at my prickled skin.

“Cold?”  she asked.  I shook my head.  She laughed.  “here” she said, untying the scarf from around her neck and wrapping it around mine, tying it loosely.  She planted a kiss below  my collar bone with a smile.  Her lips were warm and soft.  She pulled away and laid back down on the blanket.

“What was that for?”  I asked.

“Just felt good” she laughed.

 

Misplaced