by Laura M
A short story about two best friends who drift apart due to life's cirumstances.
|We were inseparable—the definition of best friends at the age of ten. On sunny Sundays, Sarah’s dad would take us to the park. We would run around, so full of vitality—the kind of energy that seems to wither and die out with age. We loved playing on swings under the blue sky. Sometimes, we tried to be perfectly synchronized. Mostly, it became a competition of who could swing the highest. We would sway our legs, reaching for the sky. Jumping off the swing felt similar to flying. Those days held no fear. No fear of possibly falling and breaking a limb.
When it rained, her dad would take us out to the arcade and for ice cream, or to watch a movie. We would ride the bumper cars for hours. The bumper cars made an odd, scratchy noise against the floor, and the moment of impact with another bumper car caused an exciting surge of inertia. Our laughter mixed in with the whirring sound of the wheels filled the air.
It was always a competition between us two. Our goals were childish and similar. We wanted to have the shiniest Sketchers and the prettiest notebooks. I wanted to have her perfect handwriting while she longed for my undying sense of humor. We promised that we would be friends forever. It was an honest promise—one full of hope and innocence—the promise of a kid.
As I read for my next History lecture in the library at 7 P.M., she stares intently at her cookbook, wondering what meal she should cook for her husband. Yet somehow, ten years later, I made it into her dreams. “We were doing some kind of test,” she wrote to me on an IM, “and you finished first. You were mad at me because you needed me to finish so you could move on to the next task.” Reading about this seemingly trivial and somewhat confusing dream made me smile melancholically. Ten years have passed since we were friends, yet the warm comfort of our past relationship still remains.
From an early age, our lives dramatically forked out in different directions. I moved to the United States and she moved to another school. Neither of us tried to keep in touch. By the time I came back to Colombia, two years had passed—years of dramatic change and growth. I made new friends and Sarah* became a person of my past. When I ran into her during Middle School and High School, I felt a special kind of affection towards Sarah; similar to the feeling that an ex-boyfriend radiates. A feeling based on memories alone; on the fact that no matter how many years had passed, she would always be a part of my past.
As she walked down the aisle towards “the rest of her life,” I opened my Tufts University acceptance letter into a world of uncertainty. Does this mean that she has jumped off the swing and left me behind in my world of uncertainty? Or have I left her behind to move on to a different life? I don’t know. What I know for sure is what I remember—a sunny afternoon when we were swinging on swings, trying to reach for the sky.
*names have been changed