Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Blog Challenge: Someone You Miss

Now Playing: Brazil - Candles (Cast Long Shadows)

Week 12: Someone You Miss.

I miss a lot of people.

As consequence of being someone who got switched around to wayyy too many schools and had like a million and a half online friends I've lost contact with, there are plenty of people I miss. You'd think it'd be easier in today's digital age to find and talk to them again, but even if I had the required social media profiles (and they had the exact same ones too), I don't think I'd really contact them. People change so much over the years that after even a few months go by without talking to someone, it can be difficult to pick up friendships again.

That said, because middle school was such a horrible time of horribleness, I have fond memories of the friends who stuck by me. There were a few of them, but I was especially close to two girls: Maria in 6th but especially in 7th grade, and Yaziris in 8th grade.

Maria and I had a bit of a rocky friendship in 6th grade, mostly because of the influence of another girl we both knew. I regret that I wasn't as great a friend toward her as she was to me, which is part of the reason I wouldn't try and contact her again nowadays even if I could find her online. She was a good person, very smart, with a ton of imagination and a dark sense of humor. About a year after she moved and switched schools, we exchanged letters to one another through snail mail. (She didn't have internet at her house so email and chat weren't an option). I still have the letters. At thirteen, I put them all away in a time capsule box I'm not supposed to open until I'm twenty-three, so I won't get to reread them until then.

Side note: the way I found out about Maria moving sucked. She told me about a month or two in advance that her mom was thinking about it and I didn't want to believe it. I think I got angry and told her not to let it happen. (As if either one of us had any control over that crap).

Some time went by without mention of it. Then one day, after we'd had a Teacher Planning day or something (or maybe it was a holiday--basically, we didn't have school on either a Monday or a Friday), I went back to school and she didn't show up for homeroom. So I started calling her house. I think I even called in the morning, while walking through the halls to first period. I must have been using the first cell phone I had because I didn't want to wait until school let out to get in contact with her. Eventually her mom answered and she recognized my voice (I'd called their house a dozen times) and said something in Spanish like, "Rebeca, listen, we moved."

That ranks as the worst freaking, fraking day in all of my middle school years, and considering how crappy those were, that says a lot.

Maria's part of the reason I started to write full-time. I wanted to give her and our mutual friend something special for Christmas, so when I wrote the first novella-length draft of The Night Kingdom, I dedicated it to both of them and burned it into a CD for them to read. I don't know if Maria still has it, but she was one of the first people to finish it. That year she also wrote me a story in a composition notebook she called Violet, and she even let me illustrate it. Months later, long after she'd moved away and after I got put in another middle school (we were still talking on the phone and through letters) she sent me another book she'd typed up called Labels. It was much longer in length--I think a good 50k words--so in turn, I sent her something I wrote with a friend of mine during 8th grade. That friend being Yaziris.

As I said, I got switched around to a different middle school during the summer between 7th and 8th grade, but then after that I got pulled into some random charter high school no one else in my school was going to attend. Yaziris also got moved around a lot and I think she went back to Puerto Rico for the 9th grade year. So once again, a friend and I got dragged in opposite directions.

But during 8th grade, our time together was pretty fun. She read The Band while I scribbled it down in a composition notebook, and got really excited at different plot developments and arcs. (During one of our breaks--winter or spring or something--I texted her telling her I was writing the kiss scene between the two leads. She texted back with total excitement, adding something like, "I'm jumping up and down, I can't wait!" and gave me some ideas too)

We wrote a story together called The Apple Tree--also in a composition notebook--about two teenagers in a psychiatric hospital. Not to give away too many personal details, but that one had a lot of components we'd based on real life, from situations to actual people. I mailed it to Maria that year, and she read it and loved it. In the letter that followed, she had a whole section telling me that writing is what I had to do and what I was meant to do.

Like with Maria, Yaziris and I had really similar tastes in music. I shared favorite songs and bands with both of them, and they introduced me to a lot of stuff too. I planned the initial chapters of Redemption with Yaziris. I think she helped with a few of the early sketches of the characters as well. By the time I got around to writing it as 9th grade approached, we weren't in as much contact as before. Eventually, we stopped talking all together.

I miss both of them a lot. I miss our friendship. I don't think I could ever stop missing them nor would I want to. I just hope they're both doing okay and I hope they have as fond feelings toward our time together as I do.

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