Faded Tears

February 3, 2012
The distance grows so much larger between us. I worry about you all the time. I think about you and tears well up in the corners of my eyes. We used to be so vibrant so full of life. I’ve known you since I can remember and far before that. What happened to us? Why did you fade away in my life?

I met you on a warm summer day. The hot air stripped the life from our lungs, it pressed against our young skin, swept through the gaps in our shirts and whispered the secrets of summer into our ears. How can I remember so little from a day so revolutionary?

After that, every day faded into the next. Summer to fall, fall to winter, winter to spring, and spring to summer once more, it never changed. Year after year was just like the first, except the three year olds we were on that day we meet in the crevice that joined our backyards, were growing.

So many memories come back from those days. I remember how you had hair kissed with sunshine and eyes that we’re emeralds encrusted in your head, sparkling with every new moment life brought to us.

I would sprint across my backyard to yours, ringing your doorbell every day and asking for you. We were two peas in a pod; we would not be the same people if we hadn’t met on that day so long ago. It was fate by design.

I remember how we would go to the park in the middle of winter, sit on the playset with a backpack full of everything we could possibly need and more. The snow would seep into our pants, we would shake and shiver as the cold wind hit our vulnerable checks but we didn’t care. We were alive.

We would sit in your room at night watching the TV guide as we sat by the heat fan, wavering in the warmth as it defrosted our frozen fingers. We would watch Iron Chef America, trying unsuccessfully to guess the secret ingredient before they revealed it. Oh, Alyssa! The trampoline, my playset, where we met with all the neighborhood kids and- oh how I miss those times. I remember them all.

At one point you had seventeen pets, didn’t you? They slowly dwindled away with the years as the house wore away with them. I loved your old house, I truly did, how the stairs creaked and every inch had ten more inches of clutter. Somehow that was as warm and comforting as a fire. I felt safe there, and every time I went there I’d find something new to love.

I remember how your family was as close to me as you were. You had two older sister, Juliette (who we’d call “Fools” after her real nickname “Jules”) and Lauren. Also, your wonderful, graceful, parents. Your father, who I was afraid of, and your mother, who I admired greatly.

I remember Lauren when we were young. Lauren was always obsessed with X-Men, wasn’t she? We made that play, about X-Men? I still remember who we were. Lauren was Storm, you were Rouge, my brother was Magneto, and I was Emma Frost. We ran around the yard, screaming at one another to save you.

We explored under your deck in the summer. Your deck frightened me so much, with the chipped paint, the spiders that crawled through every crevice and all the abandoned toys, holding rain water and forgotten memories. But under the deck it seemed like a whole other world. We would sit beneath the floorboards listening to people walking above, eating the snacks we brought with us and watching the world continue outside without us. We had contests of who could stay under there the longest.

We never lasted long.

Life with you was leisurely. We spent all the seconds we had to spare together and rarely fought. You were a push-over in those days and I was so bossy I couldn’t decide if you even liked me any longer. I was afraid of losing you so I did the only thing I knew how to do, I tried to control you.

Thankfully I grew out of it, but the impression lasted. You were moving out of your house in 6th grade, one that I had known you to be in for so long now. Your house had been up for sale for nearly a year but you never told me when exactly you were leaving.

One day, oh I remember that day so clearly Alyssa, I came to school to find all your friends (except myself) in tears. I asked them why they were crying and were confused when I did. I was your best friend, right? Shouldn’t I know better than anyone?

Turns out, I didn’t. It was your last day at Rotolo Middle School. The last day I’d see your walking down the halls, the last day I’d sit with your at lunch and laugh with you between passing periods. For the next couple of weeks I sat alone at lunch, laughed to myself, and kept to myself. I’d thought I’d never see you again that day.

I cried the whole day, the sobs shook me and the sniffles shocked me. I found you later that day and was broken-hearted. You were truly my one and only friend, the only friend I ever needed, and it hurt more than anything to find you wouldn’t tell me something as important as that. I asked you why and you told me five simple words:

I thought you’d be mad.

Nothing had every hurt me more.
You moved to Yorkville, a city I had never heard of before until then, but strongly the distance didn’t grow between us. In a way, it made us stronger, Alyssa. I still miss our childhood terribly. I miss so many things, so many memories. There’s too many to count.

Marionettes with your mother, teasing Nan, driving in the car with Juliette, listening to a strange new band called “Keane” and then they become my favorite band for years to come. Sitting in a plastic tube full of hot water in your backyard envisioning it as a bathtub. Playing hide-and-go-seek in your basement and sitting in a box for over an hour in your grandmother’s closet for the fun of it. The Music Park where we fought over the fancy swings. Fourth of July when you dyed her dog red but he turned out pink. Your dog dying. Being with your family when they bought your new dog, then standing awkwardly by the door while you all cried with your half-asleep father. Dancing in the rain. Playing with polly-pockets. Block parties, Barbie’s, piano lessons with Mrs. Devries, going to the drug store down the street which we always called the “Pantry”, the DVD Rental store, walking home from the elementary school for the fun of it, going trick or treating every year and lemonade stands. Running, laughing, singing, crying, smiling, jumping, dancing, I remember it all. As the years move on, the more the memories return.

There is not one person who I care more about than you, Alyssa.
If you were to die, it’d be like losing a husband after being married to him all your life. Living a life without you is a life I don’t remember and one I don’t want to.

We’re in high school now and how things have changed! My heart aches every time I remember you. We don’t see each other as much, I don’t have a Facebook anymore and texting always fades when one of us forgets to reply... What happened to us? Why can’t I be making a secret language with you again or sleeping in a camper at Lucky 50?

I text you and you nonchalantly bring recent events that have happened in your life. Your mom’s in the hospital, the one I love in cherish so much, she’s also suing her work and your sister’s coming back home. There’s so many things going on and why does it seem now I’m the last to know? I’ve known you for nearly twelve years Alyssa and I’ve never felt more like a stranger than I have now.

I’ve grown so much since you’ve last talked to me. We are so different from when we were young but so much the same. I miss you, more than I’ve ever missed anyone in my life. You’re going one path and I’m going another. Can we stray from those paths and meet each other in the middle once and a while? Being with you is like being a kid again, and you don’t know how much I miss that.

I miss being able to run to your house when I was bored, asking you if you wanted to watch Iron Chef America or jump on either of our trampolines. What about our YouTube videos? I remember those, I watch them and I nearly cry.

I never take my childhood for granted either, Alyssa. Look at children now. They have no imaginations; they simply sit and watch TV all day. Sure, we did that, but we loved to go outside more than anything. SpongeBob was our best friend but so were the soft summer skies.

I miss you, please Alyssa say you’ll come back. You’re straying away from me and I hate it. I’m hurting from it, so much. We rarely talk, I rarely see you, you rarely tell me anything now a days I feel like you’ve changed so much and that new person you’ve turned into doesn’t remember me at all.

I wish I was that dimply little girl that didn’t know any better than smiling and laughing, and you, so happy and joyous, wanting to make everybody happy before yourself. I miss us; I miss what we had so long ago. Why aren’t we like that anymore?

I know you realize it; you have before when I didn’t. Tell me you’ll be my best friend once again, tell me it won’t be another year before I’m walking a mile to a gas station just to get a delicious, multi-flavored slushy?

Remember when Dumb and Dumberer was our favorite movie? Remember the laughing, the smiling, how simply happy we were? I want that, I want it so bad. I miss you Alyssa, I miss my best friend. My childhood is dying and I need you.

Thing’s aren’t the same without you.

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