I found out she hung herself from the wooden beam in her kitchen. Her neighbors saw her swinging back and forth through the window. When I heard the news I was devastated. I became a 14 year old girl again and she was 16. It was like I had just talked to her at the locker we shared. And then she was dead. I cried for my friend. For the life that she couldn’t handle anymore. For her children and her estranged extended family. I wept, like I had seen her just the day before, at her house. I wept for the days that we sneaked smokes on her roof outside her bedroom window. The sips of booze we took. The weed we smoked. The boys we chased. The laughter. And for the fight we had.
For most of my Freshman year we shared a locker, friends, and secrets. She was fun and beautiful. With ebony hair. I swear the birds sang as she walked by. The boy’s tongues wagged too. She took me, this young, scared woman under her wing. I was a baby, and she was a goddess. I wanted so badly to be like her. She seemed so strong. I was a doormat; a follower. Little did I know she was fragile, like meringue. The peaks seem so sturdy but dissolve instantly when placed on your tongue.
She and I had a falling out and the friendship fell by the way. I lost my standing with the “IN” crowd. She tried to sabotage me with my stoner crowd. It’s what we girls did back in the day. We lived in a small town, and we we’re very competitive with one another. I don’t even remember what the fight was about. After high school, she went her way and I went mine. She was my neighbor, so I would get updates from her parents about her. She went into the Army. She married, had children, and moved out West. I graduated high school. Married a good man, had children, worked my way up from receptionist to office manager. I had my issues but for the most part life was pretty kick ass.
20 years later she and I re-connected on Facebook. We private messaged each other regularly. We shared our stories and forgave each other for the past. She asked me not to tell her family she was on FB. I agreed to keep her secrets again. After all we had a history, and I still loved her. Cared for her. She was still an ebony haired beauty. Still fragile. She was a meth addict. Estranged from her family and her children. Eventually she lost her job because of her addiction. She gave in to depression and addiction. Found no way out but to hang herself, from a rafter in her kitchen. I miss her. That ebony haired beauty.