Growing Apart


The day we met, we instantly clicked, she was a familiar soul to me, probably long-lost sisters who got to meet in another life, in another alternate reality. From sixth grade through 10th grade, we were inseparable, she was the friend I never knew I needed, we weren’t the most popular girls in middle school, but we sure brought hell to that school.

We weren’t the typical bad children, we wouldn’t cut school to a party or use drugs, or chase after boys, but other kids thought we did, and we never denied it. We had a reputation to keep.

Our most incredible school prison break would lead to us walking to her house, praying our parents wouldn’t catch us, I miss that thrill more than anything. We both had Brazilian parents, and if fear meant anything to us, it would be that day, when we were finally caught.

We lived one street from each other, and on that day, we decided to gather our money, coins I should say, and go to Pizza Pizza. It was enough money for each to get a slice, and we would go back and sit on the street in the middle; we were too stupid to think, that was the easiest place to get caught, or maybe we just always wanted to defy fear.

By the end of 10th grade, things changed, she had met a guy, and I couldn’t stand him, not because he was taking her away from me, but because he defied fear and death in different ways. He was the devil, and you could see it in his eyes. I slowly extracted myself from her life. By the last year of high school, we were hanging out with different crowds, she was finally living up to our reputation. I wasn’t.

I could no longer connect with her, our idea of having fun had different meanings now. I figured that out when I checked in with her one year, and she had told me she almost died, he was going over 100 miles per hour, racing and cutting through cars, chasing death. He had drunk every type of liquor and tried every type of drug that night. I thought that’d be enough for her to wake up, but she never did, and In reality, I think that’s what she always wanted – the thrill.

Months later, I got the invite to their wedding; I never believed they were ever in love, at least not healthy in love. But she was pregnant and in a strict Christian family, which meant she had to get married, despite her mother’s hatred for him. I was angry at him. I was angry at her. But mostly, I was angry at myself. I had missed my best friend’s wedding, I had missed the birth of her first child, and I had missed being an aunt to that kid; Just like we had always planned it. I wasn’t there for her, and I hated myself for it. I had to watch her children grow up through photos, mainly because she had moved to another state but also because we weren’t that close anymore.

When I think back to it, I was too afraid, too afraid I’d get sucked into her life, I regret not being in her life, but when I reflect on it, maybe it was for the best. Things had to happen the way they did; we both had different lessons to learn and different paths to follow.

We live very different lives now, she has to look out for her children while I’m trying to focus on graduating college; I always thought we would be graduating together and end up being roommates In a crammed-up apartment in New York City, but life had other plans.

We still try to keep in contact with each other, we moved past the bad times, and thankfully she’s in a much better place right now. She finally put herself and her children first, and once in a while, we will get together to reminisce on easier times when all we had to worry about was if we had enough change to buy snacks after cutting class. We sit back and laugh at all the foolish things we did without any repercussions.