Lonnie This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 9, 2012
A light rain beats softly against my window. It's faint, like the long lost conversations and memories that race through my head. Pushing back the bangs from my charcoal eyes, I stare into the glass reflection against night's black canvas. I glance around my bedroom, at my desk piled with school books, college applications, make-up, spare change and dusty frames with pictures of childhood playmates: my dog, Sonny, my two younger sisters, my best friend, Lonnie, and me.

For a moment, I pause at a photo of the two of us, of our beaming smiles with lanky arm draped around my neck. We looked like sisters with our waist-length chestnut and matching green shirts. Most important, we looked happy. Judging from the, one could never guess that this friendship would never die.

I have no explanation as to how I lost Lonnie or why best friendships end at all, although I can recognize the slow deterioration that takes place time and time again. There is a separation period when both people change their paths by meeting new people or by staying home alone. Then they change their style of dress and borrow clothing from new friends. They use different expressions and words and their throats ring out a newly-formed laughter.

Sitting next to Lonnie is uncomfortable and standing behind her in line at guidance or the supermarket is never quite the same. Trivial comments that meant the world have reverted to the meaningless phrases they were meant to be. And little comments have grown into snide remarks as inside jokes are void of any giggles.

I could almost cry as I sit in the corner of my room wondering and shaking myself out for answers as to why. Was it something I did or was it inevitable? Can we ever re-create the sturdy friendship we had or are we forever destined to be acquaintances with a friendship long buried beneath memories? I try and rationalize the impending situation and feel a twinge of guilt for secretly being relieved of the heavy burden of Lonnie's extra, influential opinions and unwarranted advice that I carried on my back.

Then my heart rolls into a tight, little ball because I feel Lonnie has no interest in the spider on my ceiling, the fight I just had with my parents or the smile he gave me Friday night at my new hangout where she has never been.

I question the perplexities of the situation as my low self-esteem kicks in and I begin to wonder if maybe everything is fine and that I am imagining this or maybe I am just under a lot of stress. Maybe she is under a lot of stress, maybe family are in the way, PSATs, SATs, junior ball, parttime jobs; all these minuscule wires that form a complex barbed knot.

I decide to confront Lonnie and express my feelings. As fast as I pick up the phone I return it to its original home because I don't have the faintest idea of what to say, or how to start, without sounding obnoxious, pathetic, possessive, mean, scared, and hurt. What if she is unaware of the situation or decides to hang up? What if her egotistical boyfriend is there or her superficial friends? I decide to write a letter - it will give me the chance to state everything without being interrupted or nervous. Yet, there is the nagging fear that she might show it to someone or lose it, that maybe she'll laugh or be really hurt and cry, or she might twist the words like my knotted heart and once again obstruct our communication.

I play with my hair, twisting a curl around my finger and braiding the long piece in front like she did before her shiny hair was chopped. I remember holding her hand tight as her long tresses fell to the tiled floor of her mother beauty salon. I smiled at her through soggy tissue which filtered out the stench of permanent wave solution and told her I loved it although I secretly hated it. Her fine hair had turned puffy like a large stick of cotton candy.

Abruptly, the shrill ringing of the phone like distant laughter awakens me from daydreaming. I search for the phone beneath a rumpled red sweatshirt that I know she would never wear and I fling aside a pair of black moccasins that most definitely do not belong to her. Cautiously I answer and am greeted by the singing voice of my new best friend.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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