A few weeks back, Cory and I went on a double-date with Sarah and Rick. This was our first true double, and that's just a crying shame.
You already know that Sarah and I go way back (here and here, for starters.) But it's really more than that.
When I was sixteen, I was rolled out of my high-school on an ambulance stretcher, very sure I was having a heart attack. I wasn't. But when I finally made it home that day, so tired of being the sick kid with the weird problems, feeling all embarrassed and still a little scared, hers was the number I dialed. She was what I needed. I wanted her to pray for me that day, because I believed all the way down that her prayers were always answered.
She has been my antidote to many of life's thrashings. She listened through the sludge of dumb mistakes until she heard my broken heart and then she kept on loving it.
She remembers my celebrity crushes better than I do. She knows the books I'll love most. She understands when I cancel our Christmas dinner on account of cramps and a bad attitude.
He dropped her off at church and sometimes I rode back home with them, the three of us squeezed in together, along with everything else.
It was warm inside, smelling like bacon and the kerosene heater. We spent hours upstairs talking about boys and reading magazine tips on eyeshadow and zit remedies.
Then one night a phone call reeled me from a dream and it was her, just two buildings down. She said her dad had been in an accident. He was gone.
Our voices were small that night, in the car. Her heart was broken and the part of mine that was her broke with it. We drove back home to Ohio, on streets lined with sleeping houses. In the quiet, in the dark, we tried to force ourselves to feel what had happened. For me it was hard. It was too pitch black to make sense. It was too much change, too much sad, and I didn't know what to do, so I did what we had both always done; I stayed the same for her.
*all photos courtesy of cmb