I work part-time in a small store at one of the local malls. Tonight I watched four tweens interact as they perused the items on the shelves and tables. Two of the girls stood out. Anyone could tell they were Best Friends! They reached for the same items at the same time… they liked the same products in the store…they paid for each other…they finished each other’s sentences! Pensive I am and wistful I became. I spent the Summer between elementary school and junior high at sleep-away camp. When I returned, both my Mother and Grandfather stated I would be starting at a new school in a few weeks and making an entirely new set of friends. They did mention one girl in particular as her Mother had worked for my Grandfather as his nurse until she made her debut on this planet. Lo and behold, the first day of school and this girl and I have every class together! I remember one of her first questions she asked me. She knew I was Jewish but she wanted to know if I left the lights on on Friday nights and if I pre-ripped my toilet paper before sunset on Fridays. I must have looked so lost that she stated, “I know you went to a Jewish camp so I thought you did this every week!” Such a disarming statement: I adored her immediately! I smiled and let her know those who practice Orthodoxy do this; I am Reformed. From then on we were inseparable! Wherever she went, I wasn’t far behind. If I was in the local ice cream parlor, she would arrive soon after. At lunch we always shared an order of French fries…even in eighth grade when both of us were feeling under the weather. I came down with Scarlet Fever; she was home sick as well but luckily not the same illness. She was more of an extrovert to my introvert. She was tall, blonde and stunning! Her Grandfather christened us “Double Trouble.” My Grandfather called us “Mutt and Jeff!” We would bike to the local mall (the same one I work at) for pizza and the candy store! Swedish Fish! No trip was complete without Swedish Fish! When we learned to drive, we would venture further from home base but the children in us never left! We always found a way to a candy store! In high school we would spend time at her family’s house down the shore! I don’t remember eating but I do recollect the joy of our camaraderie. When we entered college our relationship remained strong but it was sorely tested when I lost my Grandfather. I had never experienced such loss and a devastation to my soul. I had been diagnosed with “growing pains” as a teenager. With my Grandfather’s passing, the diagnosis was given a more accurate title – depression. I wanted to take a leave of absence from school and clear my head. Certain family members and my BFF told me to stick it out. During this span , silence grew between us. We went for extended periods of time without talking or writing. When I last saw her, she said she couldn’t handle a friendship with me because I was too depressing. I watched her walk away, out of my life. Dear Lord! I have missed this person for many, many moons! About a year ago, I found her on social media. I reached out and she positively responded but I think I messed up a potentially budding friendship. She was never overly loquacious but her messages were brief and very much to the point. I asked her if I made her nervous. She intimated yes but she also said she took complete responsibility for the end of our friendship. I have been trying to find out why but I think I might have driven her away. I hope she reads this! We may not be Best Friends but there is no reason to not be amigas! Swedish Fish may be off the menu but hopefully chocolate mousse could be an olive branch?!?


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