Over the years, I have had friends come and go from my life. Sometimes these relationships have quietly fizzled out after running their course, and other times they have ended in explosions of intense emotions and hurt feelings.
Throughout high school, I had a different best friend pretty much every year. First there was Rikki, then Nikki, then Jessica. I shared many unforgettable experiences with each of these girls, but in the end we grew apart. It's only natural I suppose.
After high school, I moved to Philadelphia. I met my first real friend in the "City of Brotherly Love" when I started waitressing at the Irish Pub on 20th and Walnut Streets. I was the youngest waitress on staff and most of the girls were standoffish to me because of it, but not this girl. She was nice to me from day one. Our friendship started with taking cigarette breaks together at work and quickly turned into wild nights at bars we had snuck into with fake IDs, dancing until the wee hours of the night, and hanging out at my apartment, eating cheese, acting silly and generally having a good time.
When I was going through some rough times and needed a place to live, she was the one who took me in. We shared her big two-bedroom apartment in a crappy section of South Philly for a couple of years before I moved away. We were great roommates, at least at first.
This friend who had always liked to get fucked up, had taken fun and partying to a whole new level. She would bring strange men back to our home and not remember their names in the morning. She often left food cooking on the stove or in the oven all night after passing out drunk. We would wake up to an apartment full of smoke and a ruined pan. On more than one occasion, I had to bust down our bathroom door because she had passed out with her head over the toilet and the bathroom door locked. Finally it got to be too much, I started spending most of my time at the apartment on Mifflin Street that my bestfriend (at the time) was renting. Eventually, I left Philly and moved to Baltimore. The ex-roomie and I kept in touch.
One night when I was back in Philly visiting, another friend and I ended up having to take this girl to the hospital after she passed out on the dance floor at a bar. One minute she was dancing, the next she was unconscious. We didn't know what she had taken. We feared the worst and took her to the hospital. After that night, this friend held a grudge against me for years. She blamed me for her hospital debt. She felt betrayed. That was the end of our relationship. Or so it seemed.
Earlier this year, this friend got back in touch with me. She called me and told me that she had been to therapy and wasn't partying so much and was doing much better all around. She told me she missed me. I missed her too. We decided to give our friendship another shot.
If I told you it was the same as it was before, I would be lying. Our lives changed in the years we spent apart, and we are both apprehensive about baring our souls to one another to reveal the people we have become.
I'm hoping that are friendship will rebound, not to what it was but to something new and equally as wonderful. We seem to be getting there, one step at a time.
We started with a few long telephone conversations. Then, she came to visit me at my new(ish) house in Baltimore. And, now we have plans to spend Thanksgiving together IN PARIS!!!
I was pretty shocked when she called to ask if I wanted to take a trip together. In fact, I'm pretty sure she only asked me because I'm one of the few people she knows who would be able to afford a trip like this, but that's OK. The trip will give us a chance to reconnect and get to know one another all over again.