I don’t remember the exact day it happened, I don’t know if it was during band or at lunch, but sometime in 7th grade I met Julie.
She was a very interesting mix, a devout Catholic (well as devout as an 11 year old can be) who taught me how to spit (to give you an idea).
She was possibly the most emotionally charged person I knew, which was so very appealing to a child who grew up in a house filled with one emotion, (various shades of it but one basic emotion) anger. She almost took me in and decided she would introduce me to the goodness in the world. I was all to eager to come along.
So it was understandably earth shattering (for an 12 year old) when her parents decided to pull her out of Orange County Schools and enroll her into Durham School of (for?) the Arts.
I thought all was lost. My other “friends” at the time were my friends because of her, she drew people in. We promised to keep in touch, which as you know everyone says.
But we did, almost like clockwork every three months we would call; either I would ring her and hang up so she could call me in her long distance plan or I would get a call from her first. We wrote letters filled with glitter, bracelets, drawings, and secrets.
As we grew older, the calls involved wedding plans, boys, and theatre and letters became more colorful and written on thicker paper.
It mattered not if it was one month or 5 between calls, we instantly started off where we left off.
Even today, we keep using these wonderful phones of ours to keep in touch, a call or a text.
I saw my best friend of 17 years try on wedding dresses today. She was beautiful. So happy, content in a way I had not seen in a very long time. As she was swathed in beads and lace, her sisters taking pictures and her mother and friend B chatting about bodice fonts and decorative folds; I wandered back and was 11 again with my wired phone twined around my finger listening to the kind of dress she wanted.
I looked down at my beautiful boy, all rose blonde and toothsome and I thought, “I hope he is as lucky to have a friendship such as this.”