There we were. Six best friends ready to take on the world.We did everything together. Biking, hiking, playing, laughing, going to the movies, reading, sleepovers, and of course our favorite was ballet. Every Monday and Wednesday after preschool, us girls would pile into Gracie's (the blonde second right) minivan and we would pull on our tutus and play games like "sweet-and-sour" and the license plate game. I remember laughing and laughing until my stomach hurt and sometimes there were tears in my eyes. I may have been young, but I knew then, that it was rare to find people I could laugh and talk to with so much ease. I imagined us being friends for the rest of our lives, and the thought never failed to bring a smile to my face.
One Wednesday, I had a doctor's appointment. Unlike Monday's, Wednesday's dance class would start at 5:30 sharp. For some bizarre reason, my appointment was scheduled late in the afternoon so I would either have to miss dance class or come late. I absolutely loved dance, so I begged my nanny to let me come late. But by coming late I would not ride in the car with my friends like I usually did each week. My appointment ended sooner than I expected, and I got to Ballet right on time. When my five friends were not there, I figured that maybe they stopped and got cookies (like we sometimes did), but my friends never arrived. I left with a large pit in my stomach, this was before cell phones and I had no way to reach any of them. It took me a very long time for me to fall asleep that night, I tossed and turned, anxious to know where they had been.
I had never been to a funeral before, but before I knew it I had gone to six in one week. Gracie's mom Susan, had a drug problem in college, but she had gone to rehab and had been sober for almost fifteen years. But that Wednesday afternoon she relapsed, my friends piled into the car with this woman, a thoughtless task, and the ride ended their sweet, young lives. The pain I went through realizing that I would never laugh, or dance, or talk to any of them again, was absolutely unbearable. They are gone and I am not. I still find it ironic that a doctor saved my life, not because I was sick, but because I just needed a physical.
I quit dance right away, and never looked back. I have made friends since then, but none have been as close to me as those five were. I see their families from time-to-time. The six of us loved going to the top of twin peaks and shouting, "that's my city!" But now all I have left are the memories, never failing to forget them when I am in the car, or watching others dance, and especially when staring out at my city scape. I don't want to forget them, just the pain, maybe I will, maybe I won't, only time will tell.