They're memories of you. All of you. Sometimes I don't open the drawer for months. Other times I take them out five times in a single day. Pulling these close to my heart, brushing them with my lips. Clenching them in my fists or throwing them back and slamming the drawer.
Random pieces. I like life a little better when I forget they exist.
A homemade necklace. A charm that says “friends.” Yours said “forever,” of course. We were twelve and we knew it. This one is a broken heart. That's not what it meant at the time.
I hold it now and it remember the confusion of torn families I only observed. Whispers over the phone. And you disappearing one week without a goodbye. The strong decision your Mom needed to make. I still see your Dad sometimes. I'm glad you're free, and I trust you grew into a woman that would make your Mom proud. Confirm she made the right decision. I know more, now. Things I wasn't ready to understand when I was twelve. Things you probably weren't either, but had to. I'm sorry. I wish my two letters could've said more then that I missed you.
Where are you now? I don't know. I guess I never will. I searched your name on Facebook, but it's probably not what it was. I still have that piece of pressed metal that says “friends.” That's what I'll remember you as.
A sand dollar. I was sixteen now, walking with you down an abandoned Mexican beach. I was so proud to call you my best friend. So sure you were cool, you convinced me that athletic teenage girls like us looked good in over sized t-shirts. We would wrestle, and I would win. I believe that you thought it would last forever. I trusted you.
At nineteen we lost touch, but I still have that sand dollar. I wrote letters, e-mails. I poured my heart out and scribbled in my notebook. Life did get in the way. Such different paths, you and I. We share the most important now, but it's not enough.
I'm sorry. I try to hard.
A pair of drumsticks. They say you'll love me forever. I almost believed that, too. Luckily I was jaded enough to question it all.
I know I held you at arms length for longer then you thought possible. But you were my best friend. A misjudgment, but I wish that part could have been true. I cried with you well you held me. I cried when I left. I stuck by you until I couldn't any more. It was too long, yet far too short. How you could blindly cut me like that, I'll never know.
These drumsticks will never tell.
And you. You haunt my life more then any other with these reminders. We shared our childhood, our struggles and, finally, my home. Others came and went, but you were like my sister. My sister with communication skills that would never match mine. Is that where we went wrong? This crumpled stack of notes, letters, ramblings? This giant paper clip, teddy bear and a heart. How unlike us, then. You and I with our hitch hiking, our first time swearing, our baggy jeans. The times we shunned each other and our mutual respect.
And this last letter. The one where you asked me not to reply. The one I'll never understand.
I'm closing the drawer for now. I've learned that others will be added, despite my greatest efforts and my learned reservations. I regret that it's still so damn worth it.
(photo source: Barcarola)