My Janae, My Song Bird

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Janae was my best friend, even though she spent most of her time drunk and couldn't remember many of the nights that we spent together. Most of the nights that we were together I held her hair back while she puked, made her an infinite amount of coffee, and listened to her cry about the latest tragedy in her life. I'll admit that it did get annoying on occasions when I wanted to sleep or didn't feel like listening to her cry, but she was my best friend-my Janae-and I was devoted.

Janae came from a broken home and when I first found her she was asleep in an alley with bruises and blood covering her tiny, frail body. This is the night that a love, so complete and irrevocable, would begin.

I called my boy friend from where I sat, hunched over the strange girl. He relunctantly gave in to picking us up. "Do you know who this girl is?" he asked in an annoyed whisper, as he picked her up to carry her to his car. "What if she wantes to be here and we're kidnapping her?"

At that moment, the girl woke up, screaming. She rolled out of his arms and kicked in between Dustin's legs, leaving him hunched over on the ground gasping for breath. She truend to run and ended up slamming into me.

"Calm down, sweetheart. I'm Caroline and that's my boy friend, Dustin. We just want to help, if you would like us to."

She fell into my arms with tears rolling down her cheeks. I could smell the alcohol on her breath. That's the first night that I took care of Janae. I fed her, got her into a shower, and laughed as she repeatedly asked me if I was her guardian angel. She always said I was. If I am supposed to be her guardian angel, Im slacking.

Two weeks ago, Dustin and I walked in to the apartment that I share with Janae, to find her snorting coccaine with a grungy looking boy named Jesse. That began the struggle with cocaine, a substance that was far too dangerous to allow Janae to dance with.

"AS long as you live here without paying any of the bills, you can't do this," I told her three days ago, throwing the bag of cocaine I found into the sick and turning on the water. She left.

Last night, I found her, broken and bruised once again, trying to hitch-hike home froma bar. We decided that she had to go to rehab because it was the only way that I would get to see my best friend safe and alive.

"Rehab won't be what saves me. It will be the love that I have recieved from my sweet Caroline that gets me through this," she says, as I drive her to the Holloway Rehab Center, which has decided that it can help her.

When we arrive, we say goodby with tears in both of our eyes. She says that I'm her guardian angel and I tell her that she's my song bird. She got that name from the days that I would walk in from work and she would begin to sing the song, "Sweet Caroline." She sings the chorus one last time, through bitter sweet tears, while we hug.

I cry because I know that it will be a while before I see my best friend again, but I also cry because I know that the next time I see her, we'll have nights that she can remember and I'll want to remember.





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