Monday, August 18, 2008

Her Anniversary

I wasn't sure what to write about today, but when I looked at the calendar this morning, the date struck me.

Back in grade school, I was best friends with a girl named Heather. Every weekend in the summer I was at her house from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening, and occasionally during the week too. We went roller skating every Friday night, and were dropped off at the mall so she could spend her money (I never had any). Her parents cussed and laughed and poked fun at things. I loved being there. They had a swimming pool and dogs and she had sisters. All the things I didn't have. Maybe that was part of the attraction...

As we entered high school, she went to the public school while I was sent to a private school. We talked on the phone for hours, really about nothing at all. As teenagers do, we had tiffs every now and then. But never enough to not speak or not be friends. We had totally different friends, but the other was always included. Mostly everyone got along well.

Things changed when she started dating the man who is now her husband. He was a few years older than us. In my mind, we were kids (only twenty years old or so), while he was very adult-like. He thought a lot of the things we did were immature. (Uh, yeah, we were immature.) Still, Heather was my best friend, we had been through a lot together. And whatever problems her boyfriend had with me, we were still friendly. (Though I didn't think he was good enough for her.)

Soon, they were engaged and had picked a date. I was asked to be in the wedding, and of course, accepted. I helped make favors and plan her bridal shower. I was so excited for her, and for me too. A few weeks before the wedding, Heather called to talk. Nothing unusual in that, but the words that came out of her mouth shocked me. She confessed that she had lied to me a couple days earlier about an injury she received on her leg. She told me she tripped walking up some steps outside her house. In reality, her fiance had shoved her up the brick steps steps and she fell. She was having second thoughts about marrying him. I was outraged! What right did he have to do anything like that? She also 'fessed up that it was not the first time that he'd gotten physically abusive with her. She wanted me to talk her into keeping the wedding date and marrying him. I could do nothing of the sort.

I don't recall the entire conversation, but I thought maybe she should take some time to figure it out. I was no objective observer. She came to the conclusion that everything would go ahead as planned, it was an accident, she loved him, he loved her, she couldn't call the whole thing off two weeks before, etc. I tried to be supportive of her.

Her Big Day came and the wedding went off without a hitch. The reception was a blast and though I tried to steer clear of her husband, we were thrown together in wedding party duties. I spent a fair amount of the evening talking to my own family, and Heather's as well.

I don't really know what happened the next day or what was said between the newly married couple. Maybe she told him that I was aware of things that had gone on with them. All I know is that she called two days later on her honeymoon and accused me of messing around with her husband at the wedding.

What?!?!? First of all, she was my best friend. I would never do anything like that to her. Secondly, I didn't like the man at all. Thirdly, my own fiance and family were in attendance at the events. Lastly, it was just plain ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

That day was the last we ever spoke. I miss her. Still. Best friends, as close as (I thought) we were, are hard to come by. Perhaps, I should have tried to bridge the gap. My pride would not let me. I've thought even recently about contacting her, but I'm still mad. Though I had other friends and have made more since then, it's not the same. She was, and still is, the only one I could imagine dropping in at her house for coffee or just watching television with. Oh well, what's done is done.

So, Heather, Happy Seventh Wedding Anniversary. Hopefully, things have turned out the way you want them to.

No comments: