Remember when you held my hand as we rode the scary rollercoaster all day by the seashore. Screaming indulging in fun partying in the light. Oh do you remember when we crashed your sister’s birthday party bouncing around like two kids on a treasure hunt. Remember when I held your hair back when you were drunk. Remember when I hugged you when you got dumped. Remember when I did your homework so you can make out with that biker guy. Remember that expensive shopping trip we took celebrating your promotion.
Remember when we met the man who would change our world, you said he has kind eyes. Remember when I got married you were my maid of honor wearing that awful lime green laced dress because green is my favorite color. Remember when we danced Men At Work until the sun came up. Remember when I got pregnant, held him in your arms so tiny was he, we named him after our favorite rock star.
I remember when I came home that sunny afternoon to my shocking surprise I caught you in bed with my husband. I remember when you told me your pregnant with his child. I remember when you said with a smile “I’m keeping her.” I remember you standing there allowing this man to rip me apart. I remember you walking out with him as our son watched in honor. I remember dropping to my knees wondering why this happen. I remember sitting across from you at my divorce hearing. I remember you hanging up on his son the child you held and name not allowing him speak to his father.
I remember when you were my friend. I remember when you were my sister traveling through this space-time sharing all the good, bad and ugly of this world. I close my eyes so tight, grit my teeth so hard trying with every inch of my being not to go off on you.
“How are you?”
Good, the chatting from your mouth makes me sick.
“Our little guy made it”
Yes he did.
It’s been ten years since I had the pleasure of calling you a friend. The world has grown moving fast forward and life tries so desperately hard to keep up, I haven’t thought of neither of you. My son now with a beautiful family of his own my little diva gives me life in a way I never knew. Happily we play along waiting for daddy to arrive with some urgent news. Me excited over the possibility of another grandchild can’t hide my excitement. It’s the mother in me.
Sadly the news wasn’t one of excitement of importance to me. The man who fathered my son is dead. Like in life he has nothing to show for it not even the friendship he stole from me. He has no money, no home, living out the back of a twenty-five year mini van. My loving son always looked out for his father. I can see the pain on his face. With a sip of my tea I fake up a sad smile pretending to be in grief. Deep down inside I was joyous yes it’s a harsh horrible feeling to have but years of therapy years of feeling like a failure ended with the death of my ex. Standing here at the grave of a heartless man who walked out in his family for some cheap strawberry is torturous but I’m here for my son. Enter stage left the real housewives of Johnny all seven of them. Yes that’s Johnny-come-lately legacy, seven well eight if I count myself and between us there’s twelve kids. The strawberry wife no. 2 sits there looking worn out. I guess I should thank her, she spared me a life of grief and debt. I said “grief” not pain there’s a difference. Love, affection and Johnny in the same sentence doesn’t make any sense. I realize this man was incapable of love or affection just look at the carnage he left behind.
Here at the end of the road for me. I’m lying in this bed taking my last breath, surrounded by family and friends I look back on a life well lived. I carried too much baggage but letting go my life became fuller. As I say my goodbye, a familiar face appears. Standing there off in the distance waiting patiently silently. The room finally empty just me my son and this old familiar, the machine I’m attached too keeps ticking a reminder the end is near. This old familiar whispers “close your eyes it’s time to sleep.” Funny I’m not afraid or scared I just want it to be over but this old familiar is comforting to comforting to ignore so I will close my eyes and follow.
Awaking to my familiar face oh sh*t I’m spending eternity with Johnny.
This short-story is loosely based on various experiences with friends and ex-friends who have dealt a hand of betrayal and deceit. This story happened over ten years ago but the pain of knowing people you trusted the most still resonate. Letting go of all the anger is a step taken but like they say the scab is still there for the picking. Once you pick a scab, opening the womb everything floods out. For me writing about this in such a way helps heal that scab. I learned that all women aren’t backstabbing. All men aren’t dogs. Finally letting go of the pain, one can experience a life well lived. This experience has shown me who is truly my champions. The take-away here is no matter how painful life can be the only way to rise above the drama is learning the lessons, letting go and move on. Trust me you’ll be the better for it.