She moved to my town in 5th grade and took her seat next to me in the classroom. I was in awe of her curly golden hair, such a contrast to my wispy reddish locks. We became friends immediately and spent the next seven years making memories.

She was there for the perils of high school. For first boyfriends and later first loves. (Ironically, they were best friends too.) She pushed me through 5 a.m. crew practices, laughed at inside jokes, smiled through endless prom pictures and mouthed “I love you” as I walked across the stage at graduation.

When we were good, we were great. But when we fought, it got ugly. Beneath the bond, there was often tension, jealousy and competition. Comments about a hair style could cut as deep as one about a boyfriend. But in the end, the good out weighed the bad.

We left for college together — attending the same school for only one semester. She was unhappy there and while I built relationships and joined activities, she chose to leave.

It ended badly. She took her anger over school out on me because I was there. I was too young and stubborn to understand she didn’t know what else to do.

We didn’t talk for years until a few summers ago when one of us, I can’t remember who, sent the first email. Hi, I miss you.

Over time we started to rebuild what was lost. She came to visit, then so did I. Monthly emails continued to be exchanged until today.

Today she asked if she was invited to my wedding. And I didn’t have an answer for her. Because although there was an image of a friendship renewed, I wasn’t actually sure if it had been.

Today feelings were hurt, then examined. Today I realized I’ve been carrying the hurt from seven years ago, a hurt that should have been resolved. A lot can happen over seven years. Although I’m no longer the 18-year old girl that felt abandoned by her friend, that girl still lives in me.

But today the first brick was laid in a path back to a real friendship — a new friendship.

Piece by piece.

Brick by brick.

Back to good.

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