On the second day of high school, I met a girl who quickly became my best friend. We had our first slumber party 3 days after our first conversation, and stayed connected at the hip throughout that whole first year at our all girls catholic prep school. She gave some pretty obvious hints of envy towards me at times, but they went completely unacknowledged by me. I was tall and thin and widely regarded as a beauty, she was short and alarmingly curvy for our age with an average face. I remember how uncomfortable she would make me when she complained about the differences in our appearances. I’d never competed with a friend, and had no intentions of doing so with her.
On the first day of sophomore year, I saw a girl I had never seen before sitting among some acquaintances of mine in the library. I remember asking her who she was quite rudely, and she told me she was new. Her name was Catherine, and she had just moved from California. She was tall and lovely, with dark curly hair and the widest, most innocent pair of eyes I’d ever seen on anyone over the age of 2. I can’t recall if we had any classes together that year, but we began spending a lot of time around each other. She had this softness about her that only comes from not being raised in New York City. Soft spoken and poised, she was damn near my opposite- but we got along famously. Cat lacked all the envious qualities of my other best friend and she was much easier to talk to. She and I were equally pretty in our own ways, and this made us a force to be reckoned with as a duo. It was so refreshing to have a friend who wasn’t secretly competing with me.
Throughout the next 3 years we started becoming young women together. We both abandoned our natural hair for more glamorous looks. She kept her glossy curls blown out and flowing, while I opted for a golden brown dye job and long extensions. We spent our time outside of school getting weekly mani/pedis, stealing her mom’s French cigarettes and watching Sex and the City DVDs. I remember our first bikini waxes like it was yesterday. Her almost yellow skin turning bright red after every"RIPPPP" of the wax strips. We cuddled and laughed and took care of each other. We held hands and danced in the streets. Snuck into the city and pretended to be college girls. She used to make me Cafe Bustelo with just the right amount of cream and sugar and do my makeup for parties. I used to detangle her curls and cook her dinner. We loved each other. Deeply. And with no ulterior motives.
We ran with a group of other girls in our class and some local skater boys. Each girl had a boy to date in the group. Mine was “J”, hers was “C”. They were best friends too. I broke up with my older, college boyfriend the summer before senior year and fell quickly and hopelessly for J. He was stingy with his affections, which only made me work harder for them. On the few occasions he actually acted like he cared about me, I beamed with joy. I was like a bear reserving fat for hibernation, knowing I wouldn’t get to taste his affection for a while. So I held onto every last drop and made the feeling last throughout the cold winter until he kissed me again, signaling the beginning of Spring. Looking back, it was silly and desperate as fuck of me. But you can’t tell a 16 year old girl anything about the boy she likes. I used to cry to Cat about how shitty he made me feel. No boy had ever made me feel so rejected, even to this day- almost a decade later. She stroked my hair and listened and never judged me for how I felt about him. Eventually, I got tired of crying over J and began a strained but cordial friendship with him. We still ran in the same, tight-knit social circle, afterall. Cat and C didn’t work out much better. I got back with my ex, and she briefly began dating another boy in the group. We both still cared deeply for our ex crushes, though.
As senior year came to a close, I began spending less time on the weekends with “the crew”, and more time with my older boyfriend in Long Island. One of the girls in our group told me that J and Cat were spending more time together and seemed to be getting closer. Cat never even hinted at this and we remained tight. When it came time to make prom arrangements, Cat grew distant with me. She hadn’t once mentioned who’d she be taking as her date, and I started realizing why. A week before prom, I asked her to meet me for lunch. We sat down in a booth and I said ” are you going to tell me who your prom date is, or do I already know?” She looked more ashamed than I had ever seen her, and said “You already know.” I don’t remember finishing lunch.
Since the limo and extras were already paid for, I had to watch my best friend and the boy who had coldly rejected me spend prom night together. I went out of my way to make them as uncomfortable as possible until they eventually left the after prom slumber party early. On the day after graduation, we had to go to the school to tie up loose ends and have one last class meeting. Cat walked up to me and asked to sign my yearbook. We had hardly spoken in weeks. She scribbled some bullshit and pretended to ignore the obvious. We never spoke again.
I saw her once on the street at some point during freshman year of college. My heart raced with a mixture of sadness and rage and I turned the corner to avoid her. Last I heard, her and J were still together.
Today I found myself thinking of her and missing those perfect cups of Cafe Bustelo she used to make me. It’s been 7 years. I wonder where she is and if she’s happy.
I hope she’s happy.
I miss my friend.
I’m moving to Los Angeles.
And staying there.
- I fainted for the first time in my life. I was hot, dehydrated, hadn’t eaten and was higher than anyone should ever be. I tried to walk about 8 feet to the bathroom, and woke up on my back about 4 feet from where I started. I was with my dealer, of all people. He actually took good care of me. So shout out to him. And my fluffy afro for protecting my head.
- I met Schoolboy Q, my ultimate rapper crush, off twitter and he gave me tickets to his show with Kendrick Lamar and Ab-Soul. He tweeted about needing an asthma inhaler while in Atlanta, and I responded not thinking much of it, but two hours later I was chatting with him outside his tour bus. He’s amazing and really went out of his way to make sure I was taken care of. Now I REALLY have a crush on him. Le sigh.
- I went on a “date” with an authentically “hood” ass Asian dude. A chubby Asian in baggy jean shorts and an Ecko red t-shirt- just to give you a visual. Don’t ask. The date itself was terrible, of course, but afterward we got stoned with his two female cousins. They all had deep southern accents and were ghetto as fuck. One girl was 8 months pregnant and passing me a blunt. It was a lot to take in. Naturally, I fell in love with those Asian hoodrats. I’ve already stopped responding to texts from the guy, though.
One day, I’ll expand on all these little stories and maybe somebody will pay to read em. Probably not, though.