Today's prompt: My life would be different if I'd never met... (Courtesy of Glen and Karen Bledsoe's Writing for Children website http://www.gkbledsoe.com/articles/process/prompts.html.)
My life would have been different if I'd never met Mary.
I remember the day her family moved into our ward. She bounced into Sunday School all auburn curls and bright, gap-toothed smiles, inviting all the girls she had just met to come to her Star Wars themed birthday party the next week. At Girls' Camp she carried around an old Cabbage Patch Kid doll she called Jack and sang silly songs to herself. I thought she was funny and slightly crazy. I never dreamed we'd become friends.
But somehow, we did.
I was nothing like Mary. I was shy, straight-haired, and afraid of being different. But Mary, with her brilliant combination of charm and eccentricity, taught me to get over myself and drink life in differently. Before I knew it we were singing and dancing down her street, dressing up like Queen Amidala, falling in love with Christian Bale in Newsies, making movies, and staying up late playing MASH and dreaming of our futures. When we started going to Youth Dances, Mary would pull me away from my spot on the wall and make me dance to the fast songs with her. I had no idea what I was doing. But it was a blast. When I was around Mary, I no longer felt like the little shy girl that nobody noticed. I was easily, wonderously, gloriously me.
We were friends in the quiet moments, too, when no one else was around and the laughter died away. We offered each other shoulders to cry on when life looked bleak and dark, words of strength and hope, love and encouragement. We nursed each other through countless broken hearts. No matter what life threw at me, there was always a bright point ahead, and it was Mary, my best friend.
Although it wasn't intentional, ours was the bond that made other people feel excluded. We were so close we could practically read each other's thoughts. We wrote elaborate notes to each other in Seminary and during Firesides. We snickered simultaneously at inside-jokes. We were so inseparable that people would ask us where the other was when we were apart. When we had a falling-out it was unbearable, as if a part of me was missing.
I've had a lot of friendships in my life come and go, but mine and Mary's has withstood thirteen years, the heartache of liking the same boy, college, marriage, and children. We don't see each other as often these days, but when we do, we fall into conversation as if we've never been apart.
And then we watch the monkeys pick bugs off of each other, because we're usually at the zoo.
Are you reading this, Mary?
The Brown-Eyed Girl