If you know me, you've probably heard about Kat, my super awesome BFF from high school who was like a sister to me and with whom I could share my deepest darkest thoughts and fears and who was often able to finish my sentences for me, and how she doesn't like me anymore. That's what it's about, so if you've heard the story a million times or just don't care, you may want to consider moving on to some other boring things on the internet, because this won't be interesting to you.
But for the rest of you, want to hear the story? Here's how it goes:
Kat was my super awesome BFF from high school who was like a sister to me and with whom I could share my deepest darkest thoughts and fears and who was often able to finish my sentences for me. We met in middle school and became quick friends. My earliest memories our our friendship involve me arguing with my mom to let me ride my bike across J-town so I could hang out at her house. That, and us being mean to Tabitha. We were always awesome at talking shit about our other BFFs, but Tabitha was our favorite.
See, when Kat and I first met, she was BFFs with Tabitha. Tabitha was, um, let's call it "needy". (If you know me and you're reading this - reflect on that for a moment. I am calling her "needy". Me, the Queen of Need. Anyway.) Tabitha wanted to be all up in Kat's business all the time, because, well, after all, she and Kat were BFFs. Well, Kat started getting sort of tired of Tabitha hanging around all the time. I think she started making excuses to hang out with me, trying to edge Tab out a little. (I say "I think" because this memory is like 18 years old, and I may or may not be remembering correctly. As with most things, I remember the gist of the story more than the details.) Tab lived in the same subdivision as Kat. They'd been playing at each others houses since Kat had moved in a few years before. It was common for Tab to go to Kat's house after school every day. That started getting a little old, and Kat started telling her she couldn't come over some afternoons. One particular afternoon, we'd made plans for me to come over to her house after school instead, which was sort of a big deal because that meant my Momma would have to come pick me up some time later that evening, which was always a big deal because my mom (I see now) is like me and would really prefer to not have to do anything extra after work, and I can easily see that including picking up children from play dates.
So Kat tells Tab, "You can't come over this afternoon because Nat's coming over."
Tab says, "Okay." But her feelings are obviously hurt. I'm pretty certain we giggled over that, shitty little assholes that we were. (Have I mentioned that somewhere right around this time a rumor started circulating through the school that Tabitha was a lesbian? I honestly don't remember where it originated, but I do know that neither Kat nor I did anything to argue on the behalf of our "friend".)
So the school day goes on, Kat and I talking incessantly about all the cool things we were going to do that afternoon (especially when in Tabitha's presence - girls are SO mean), and finally it's time to go home! Here comes Tabitha.
"Hey Kat, I accidentally left my key at home today, I just realized. I don't have any way to get into my house. I'm so sorry, but can I please come to your house after school?"
You know how this ends, don't you? She came over, Kat and I were probably not terribly nice to her, and I can't remember if it was a few hours or a few days later that we learned she'd actually had her key, she just didn't want to be left out. Hell, we may have found it in her purse that same afternoon - I really don't remember. But all hell broke loose. Poor Tabitha was accused of being deceitful, a liar, a bad friend, a lesbian, a stalker - any thing that was awful and hateful and could potentially make her cry and feel horrible about herself. Neither of us, not Kat nor I, spoke to Tabitha for the next year. (Of course I somehow made her actions out to be offensive to me, also. It's always about me.) We actively snubbed her. We continued to say mean things about her. It was part of our friendship, Kat's and mine, to be mean to Tabitha and talk about how much better we were than her. (We eventually outgrew the being mean part. We never got over the "better than her" attitude - at least, not until we stopped being friends, I guess.)
The silence was broken because of the Spring Chorus Concert at the end of 8th grade. I had a solo - "Grandpa", by The Judds. We did the program 3 times; once at night for parents/family/friends, twice during the school day that followed - once for each of two sets of students that comprised the whole of the school. Tabitha sent me a note after she heard me sing that said I'd sounded beautiful and that she loves my voice. I'm a sucker for a compliment, and really, it was getting old being mad at her for something so stupid, so somehow that note led to peace and BFF status between us again. We had accepted her back into the fold. But we were still WAY better than her.
That's what I think of when I think of Kat and I in the beginning. And I'm supposed to be writing about the end, but now I'm floating down memory lane.
Kat and I were friends in high school, and we claimed to be BFFs, but we were so competitive, I don't know how far I'm willing to go if I'm trying to be honest here. I was jealous as hell of her. I wouldn't admit that, of course, but for some reason I wanted to be her - i wanted her hair, I wanted her bra size, I wanted to make friends as easily as she did, i wanted to be as sweet and innocent as she was, I wanted to be admired the way that she was, I wanted boys to adore me the way they adored her, I wanted a mom as laid back and easy going and uninterested as hers was. I wanted an older brother like hers. I wanted to be able to have my boyfriend spend the night with me if I wanted him to. (Of course, I would've had sex with them, the way she never did.)
And I did not-friend-like things to her in high school. I talked shit about her with my true high school BFF, David. (He's also the font from which my Mormon/LDS fascination originates. I plan on saying much about him in a future post. I miss him.) I secretly loved that school was easier for me; math, english, science - I was better at all of it. I tried to convince everyone that I was way better than her at Drill Team (JROTC Sport - you spin rifles and wear uniforms and pretend to be, in our case, Marines). I talked shit about her when the Drill Team Commander decided I was wrong.
I totally kissed her boyfriends. (Yes, the s is there on purpose. There were two of them.) The first, I accidentally/on-purpose kissed back when he cornered me one afternoon outside the JROTC building at school. I kissed back, but only for a second, and only until he tried to make me touch his erection through his always-too-tight pants. I didn't tell her right away. Not for years, in fact. I told her later, but only when I was afraid she might actually consider losing her virginity to that asshole, who'd continued to try to corner me in the clothing room and behind the bleachers for the next 3 years. I never kissed him back after that first time, I swear.
The next boyfriend, though, I tried to steal from her. He'd been in love with me for years and now he was making googley eyes at her and it infuriated me and made me think I'd been in love with him and didn't know it and now I had to get my man back! So I kissed him, and he kissed me back, until I tried to touch his erection through his not-tight-enough pants and he pushed me away. I don't know if he told her about that or not. I did, years later, after we'd spent a year apart and grown closer than we'd ever been.
The summer after high school was epic for us. (As this post is quickly becoming. I always have been a bad story-teller. I never get to the point.) We spent the entire summer driving all over Louisville, up and down Bardstown Road, through downtown, over to the Falls of the Ohio, back to Iroquois Park, out to Long Run Park. All in one night. We went to parties, met boys, played pool, got drunk, smoked cigars (never cigarettes or reefer, though).
And then she went off to school and I met a boy. A boy she didn't like. (He was a dick - I shouldn't have liked him either.) And then she joined the Mormon Church. (Another reason for my fascination.) And then I moved in with that boy. And then she went off and joined the Army. And then i got engaged. And then she moved to Washington, DC.
And then, and then, and then...at least I warned you that this blog is boring.
Yada yada yada, she was my maid of honor when I finally did get married. She flew to El Paso to help me pack and move when I got divorced. And then we stopped being friends.
I wanted to go out and party and enjoy my newly single life. She wanted to scrapbook and watch "The Amazing Race" and "Survivor". I wanted to get drunk and pretend I was happy, she wanted to go to art museums and pottery classes. I wanted to smot poke, she was all "WTF, man?" I wouldn't give up my newly-found freedom/friends/life, she wasn't interested in any of that. I had a hard time finding time to fit her in to my new life. When i did, I was always under a deadline to get somewhere else, be somewhere else, be seen with someone else. I wanted desperately for her to join me, to be a part of this new awesomeness, but still, she wanted none of it.
Eventually, we drifted away. Then she said mean things to me in an email. Then she came over one last time. Then she wrote me off for good, and I've dreamed of her often since then. I wrote her on facebook and told her. She basically said "Oh well". And then it all clicked, finally.
There's too much history in a 14 year friendship to get it all out, all the nuances and intricacies and inside information. There's too much that leads to the final act, the resolution, the end. I make it sound like it was all my fault, and a lot of it (most, maybe?) is. But she is not without fault, and the true story of our parting has many other facets that won't be discussed here, not today. I'm sure no one's reading by now, anyhow.
But for the guilt I carry with me, I dreamed of her. Weekly, sometimes nightly. I was always sad, always lonely, and always missed her, and Tabitha, terribly upon waking from these dreams.
Last night's dream was different, as I said. It really did click, and I'm glad. I'm not so sad anymore. I'm not lonely. I don't miss her.
It's about fucking time.