Make New Friends and Keep the Old: Looking Back

On February 20th 2007, I turned 17.  In New Jersey, when a person turns 17, and if they have fulfilled all of the requirements, he or she is eligible for their license.  Well, I got mine – along with my first car (a 1990 Buick LeSabre, navy blue).  I was so in love with my car, and had so many plans for it…my parents had already gotten me a really awesome sound system to get installed, and I couldn’t wait to drive it down the shore for the first time.

Fast forward to March 4th 2007.  In New Jersey, high school juniors have to go take the HSPA, High School Proficiency Assessment.  The HSPA spans four days, and lasts about three hours each day.  March 4th was the first day for my class, and I wore my favorite tee shirt and most comfortable pair of “lounge” pants, and flip flops.  By the time the day was over, I was ready to get home and relax.  So of course no more than hour after I had gotten home, I got a call that I needed to go to my best friend’s house for an emergency band meeting.  Not exactly excited to get there, I nevertheless got in my LeSabre and started down my street for the easy two mile drive.  This is where things get fuzzy, because not halfway down my street I, for some reason, swerved, then over corrected, and ended up driving straight into the side of a house.

The first thing I did when I woke up, having passed out for probably a minute or two, was call my dad (not 911, of course, because that would have made sense).   I then texted my friend something along the lines of “I was just in an accident on my street.”  The friend I texted, my best at the time, got to me in record time, before my father and the ambulance he called on his way from the office.  Now imagine, I’m sitting there in my own blood, cradling my broken wrist; I didn’t know it at the time, but the front of my car was crushed all the way to the windshield , which was also cracked from my face meeting it (and that’s why they tell us to wear seatbelts).  After checking on me, my friend took it upon herself to knock on the door to make sure no one was inside and injured, ignoring the danger she could have been in from the now structurally unsafe house.  That being done, she came over the passenger side, which I had somehow slid too, procured napkins from somewhere and did her best to wipe the blood from eyes and mouth – she did all of this before any other help arrived, but checked first to make sure help was going to arrive at some point.  Now, you may wonder why I bring this story up.

I think about it sometimes, about her wiping blood from my face and staying with me until I left in the ambulance.  I think about it because just a little over a year after my accident, we were suddenly no longer friends.  I wonder how we could be so close, and care so much about each other, and how that could just end.  It’s horrible how the fact is that friends, no matter how close they are, can just grow apart.  It started with a fight that probably wasn’t even that bad, and then radio silence.  BOOM, no more friendship.  We still talk occasionally, and when I’m in town we’ve gotten coffee before, but there’s nowhere near, and never will be again, the closeness we used to share.

On the other side of that, there’s the friend who made the half hour drive to visit me in the hospital each of the five days I was there after the accident.  She brought me movies and real food, and even washed my hair for me after about three days of me living with the blood, glass, and vomit that was by then crusted into it.  Of course, with my broken nose I didn’t even notice how rank I was, so the hair washing was more for everyone else’s benefit, but that’s not the point.  I’ve known her for twelve years now, I believe; she actually was my babysitter when I was younger, fun fact.  Our relationship is probably more like sisters than friends, and we can go from laughing hysterically together to me wanting to punch her in the face.

I just wonder why that friendship is different from the other one.  There’s no denying that Friend B and I have had probably over a million fights, radio silence included, yet we’ve always remained friends.  I’ve questioned in another blog on whether or not some people are just more important in our lives, and I didn’t want to think that I could rate my friends like that.  But I guess somewhere inside I do, because the simple fact is that one of those friendships is over, and the other is just as strong as ever.

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