Welcome to Week Thirteen of the 30 Day Song Challenge! This week's topic is "A Song that Reminds you of Someone."
I've had a lot of friends over the years. Some close friends, some not so close. Some that I've stayed in touch with, more that I haven't. Erica is my absolute oldest friend. And when I say oldest, I mean oldest. As in, our parents were close friends before we were born, our mothers were pregnant together, and we were born just weeks apart.
If I had time to scan in a picture, I could post countless shots of us together as babies, in our walkers, in our puffy snowsuits, on the train to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. For now, this one will have to suffice - this was taken at our 7th grade dance.
Erica is front row on the right, not sure why she's making that face, but it's one I've seen her make a thousand times. I'm in the middle of the back row, mostly hidden, which, now that I think about it, is an interesting metaphor for my social life in middle school. I think they put me back there because I was wearing jeans.
We attended every single one of each other's birthday parties, played on the same softball team, and had probably hundreds of sleepovers. We were like sisters, there for each other through thick and thin. Junior high marked the first time that we were actually in the same school together. I was so excited about being in the same school! Unfortunately, my transition to junior high didn't go quite as smoothly as hers did. Erica was always the people person - bubbly, funny, popular - and I was, well, the complete opposite. I was shy, quiet, and bookish. Our social worlds didn't really mesh so well. In fact, one of Erica's friends really seemed to enjoy bullying me and made it a point to make my life miserable on the softball field, in school, and in the summer reading club at the library. I can only speculate as to why she was so nasty to me - I was a geeky, scrawny 12 year old with a boyish haircut, I didn't dress well, I was a nobody, I had other dorky friends. Who knows? Eventually, other girls started making fun of me in the halls, too.
This would be where most 12-year-old girls would choose sides - would take the side of the popular clique and abandon their childhood friend who was now not deemed cool enough to hang out with. But not Erica. She always stood up for me, and she always stood by my side. She was always there for me and always defended me, which is a very brave thing to do in teenage-girl culture.
The next year, when we were in eighth grade, her mom (who was like a second mother to me) became very sick and passed away. It was very unexpected, and a very difficult time for all of us. I tried to be there for Erica the way she had always been there for me. I hope that I did a good enough job being a friend, but sometimes I feel like I failed her, especially since we moved out to Ohio shortly after we lost Annarose.
Erica is one of those people that no matter how much time passes between meetings (and right now, I'm embarrassed to say how much time it has been, mostly through my own fault), we can always pick up right where we left off. Our lives have gone in very different directions and I'm guilty of letting time and distance get in the way of being a good friend in recent years, but I still count her among the handful of people who know me, through-and-through.
This song pretty much sums it all up.
Next week's topic will be another vague one - "A Song that Reminds you of Somewhere."