I sit in English class and stare at the back of her head. The long curls are gone; instead she has tight waves on the top of her head tied back with a scarf. I see the ends peeking from the nape of her neck. There is so much I don’t know about her anymore, so much that I used to know, all of which is no longer true.
The gap between her two front teeth is gone; she no longer wears soccer shorts and athletic t-shirts. She doesn’t bring a tomagatchi to school anymore. This is a totally new Sarah sitting in front of me. A girl so foreign to me. I find myself asking if this is the girl who used to wipe away my tears. And wasn’t I there for her? But now it’s no longer enough.
Now she is so different. I can’t find where the old Sarah went. I can’t find where my old best friend went. We don’t talk anymore. Sadly we don’t hang out anymore. When people talk about her, I eavesdrop, hungrily taking in all I can learn about her new life.
I turn my attention away from this new and different girl. My mind is content with the image I have kept alive. I smile as my heart conjures up the image of a little girl with her arms tangled in mine. A little girl with light brown, long, curly hair and almost-bangs. I remember the gap between her two front teeth that was there whenever Sarah smiled. Then I smile.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.