And Then There Were Three
My best friend and sister is nine years younger than me. Who would have thought that when she was graduating high school and I was having my second child that we would end as close as we are now.
When Nikki was 16, she and her friend Lisa would go down the shore and stay with Lisa’s Aunt, who had a Bed and Breakfast where they would work. I thought I was cool when I would pop over to hang out with her for a few hours. My in-laws lived just two blocks from where Nikki was staying, so it was easy for me to check in on her. You know, looking out for my baby sister.
I’m not sure when and how we started becoming close, because with nine years between us, we never had anything in common. Nikki was dating Keith, her husband now, in her last year of High School. They had a baby two years later. Maybe that’s when we started hanging out.
Nikki grew up with our cousin Michele, who is the same age as her. So when Nikki would come to my house to visit, Michele would tag along and hang out too, and with Michele would come Sharon, no relation, but a very good friend to Michele. One thing led to another and before I knew it, the four of us were best friends. We could count on each other for everything. When the chips were down, the others would pick them up. Not too often do people have someone they can count on for everything.
Five years ago one of us became ill. It wasn’t something that she could just go to the doctors for and get better. She chose this way of life, and then when it was too late, this ailment was controlling it. There was no turning back and there were no chips for us to pick up. The deeper she got into this, the greater distance our friendship grew. I think deep in her heart she didn’t want to alienate us, but when your fixation is smothering every ounce of your inner being, it’s hard to relate, to even your closest friends. Our friend went away for a while to rid all the demons inside her. It’s been two years since she has been gone and all is well. The first two times she came home to visit, she canceled her plans to see us. Our hearts were in distress. But for what ever reason she had, I can’t hold her accountable. Someday she will be able to take that last step and see us for who we really are, the friends she left behind not the fiend that took her from us.
Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.