When One Door Closes Another Opens...
K moved into our hometown the summer before our sophomore year in high school. This was her mother's hometown and as her mom and dad had divorced, her mother moved them back home. How K and I became friends is a story that we still giggle about after all these years.
You see, that summer I had been allowed to begin dating. I had met this guy named Danny who was two years older than me. He drove an old blue Ford pickup truck and was into CB radios at the height of the CB radio craze. He lived with this wonderful old couple and their youngest son, who was just a couple of years older than Danny. Danny and I would double date with Mike and his girlfriend Kim.
It was a great summer spent boat riding and skiing on the river every Sunday afternoon. Danny and I went to movies and even Astroworld. His truck had a bench seat so I got to sit right next to him when we'd ride around town. Ah, young love! I was head over heels. Until he decided to break up with me at the end of the summer so he could spend his senior year untethered. I was devastated!
School began and I had to see my beloved in the halls every day refusing to even acknowledge I existed. I heard rumors that he liked a new girl who was tall and pretty and wore dresses to school every day. I didn't know this new girl but I was absolutely sure I didn't like her.
One early Fall weekend, we went to a nearby town so my brother could compete in the Boy Scout Cub-mobile races. I had a friend with me and she and I were walking around the grounds. The police explorer group from our hometown had a concession stand there and Danny was working in it along with the new girl. [shock!] Every time C and I passed the stand, Danny would sidle up the the new girl, K, and I teemed with jealousy. As the day wore on, I could stand it no longer. C and I left that immediate area of the park so I didn't have to watch the spectacle. As we cut through the parking area, what do we spy but the baby blue Camero owned and driven by one K, the new girl, and that car was pretty dusty. I looked around carefully, saw that no one was nearby, and politely wrote "BI**H" in huge letters on the hood. C and I giggled and took off. I felt so very much better.
Well, our sophomore year progressed. As time continued, I got over Danny completely. Most of the focus was on Richelle as we lost her that Spring.
One day in band I was talking to Becky, another friend, and she told me she was friends with K. I explained to her why I really didn't like K but she asked me to reconsider. She told me that K was never interested in Danny. On the day of the Cub-mobile races K was interested in another guy there. But every time Danny saw me coming around he'd start talking to her until I was out of sight just to make me jealous. Oh man, did I feel terrible after learning that. It gnawed at me all day long because I'd done something mean to K and none of it was her fault.
That afternoon when school ended, I found K at her locker. I took a deep breath and told her everything and I apologized for being so stupid and mean. She looked at me wide-eyed and started to laugh. It seems that when she saw the writing on her car, she assumed it was this girl named Debbie, with whom K did not get along. She happened to pass Debbie as she was leaving the park and flipped her off. She never even thought it could have been me.
From that moment on we were the best of friends. To this day if we are together and see Danny we wave real big and collapse into a fit of giggles. Getting rid of him as a boyfriend brought me a new best friend and I can't thank him enough for it.
K and I will be friends until the day we die. She has been as close to me as a sister. Her two children are, for all intents and purposes, my niece and nephew. I was there when each of them were born. K and I have shared all our milestones together. She welcomed E with open arms nearly six years ago when I showed up with this guy I met online that I was going to marry and she didn't call me crazy. We love to tease our husbands that we've known each other longer that we've known then so our loyalties lie with each other.
In November, when we almost lost my mom, K was there at the hospital with us through most of it. If the doctors came to talk to us, she sat in as well. My dad called her his surrogate daughter. [vbg] She opened her home to us as a place to sleep and clean up between shifts at the hospital. When Mom was released on Thanksgiving morning, our entire family celebrated Thanksgiving dinner with K's family in her home.
Just last night E and I attended a crawfish boil at K & M's home. We sat in the backyard all evening, eating crawfish and visiting. Her son and his friends are into some of the rock music from the 70's. Those boys cranked up the speakers and all us "old folk" sat there an sang along, talking about the bands and what the music meant to us.
On that day in May, 28 years ago, I was given a new best friend. She is and always will be my sister and I look forward to sharing our old age together.