Something Beautiful

D'you remember the first sleepover? There was Kassy, and Steph, and Kelly, and me. And Kassy was trying to read us Revenge of the Sedden-thing, except we kept interrupting her, and I kept getting up and spilling over Kassy's pop. And we stayed up late and played games and talked until we fell asleep.

And remember how we started writing the stories? The monster story assignment in Mrs. Meach's class? Looking back, the original draft is terrible, but those stories have been a lot of fun.

Remember the Harry Potter sleepover? Four overly hyper girls squished into the backseat demanding Burger King- even though we had just come from the Goblet of Fire premiere. And Kassy and Kelly walked in there with English accents, and I had a Scottish accent, but Steph thought we were silly, so she talked normally. But then, those of us who were using accents convinced the guy at the counter to let us use expired coupons, but Steph didn't...

And just this year, when we were growing bored of our mentoring "class", so we decided to blow it off, and we went to the park, and the snow was just melting, and we played on the swings and on the merry-go-round thing and had a "poetry slam"? And then, whenever we didn't want to go to mentoring, we would skip... we were terrible...

Then Kirstin's driving- how we fit into Little Red, I'll never figure out. Plus the "music video" we made as we sang along to our favorite song from Chicago- "He had it comin'... he had it comin'... he only had himself to blame..." And the times we nearly died while Kirstin was driving- especially on South Westnedge. Especially when she was talking to her Josh, traffic was terrible, and we were trying to get to Barnes and Noble by cutting through parking lots instead of using the actual road, and Kirstin was going well over the speed limit.

Remember the time I had leftover candy from Halloween, and I gave it to Joe and Darrin, and they started to expect it everyday? And then on the third day, I gave them an empty bag, and they were mad, and Darrin was shouting, "Not cool. That is not cool." And then I gave them a different bag filled with candy, only to have Kassy steal it...

Remember math class and how we hated doing the homework in class? Three words: The dumb choice. We'd talk and draw and pretend we were doing the homework...

And EfA Drama! And Tucker and his death threats- "I will stomp your souls!" and "I will stab your eyes out with a spoon!" And Travis in the pants that kept sliding down and Ian and Charlie fights and Cheniah THUNDEREAGLE! And there was so much more than that... we were more than a class. We were a family.

We all had our "label". Kassy was the natural, but reluctant, leader. Steph was the sarcastic, brutally honest one. Kirstin was the silly one. Kelly was the evil one. I was the "sweet" and "innocent" one. And the Harry Potter quizzes! Kelly was always Slytherin, Kassy sometimes got Slytherin, but mostly got Gryffindor, Steph and Kirstin were in Ravenclaw... and I got Hufflepuff.

I remember the inside jokes. Kassy and her paperclips. Steph murdering her boyfriends. Me and muffins. Kirstin and Daniel Radcliffe. Kelly and her magical scar. Emerald, Radar, Q, "K", and Doodleheimer. The Author quadruplets (and their fabulous editor).

But do you remember the lock-in sophomore year? When Kassy locked herself away from the rest of us to play Halo? We were playing cards the whole time and watching movies and doing all that stuff, and we kept trying to get her to come out and hang out with us? That was a terrible fight...

But not as terrible as the one she and Steph had last December. It was just after the formal. It'd been building up for a while; you could just tell, and they got so mad, they didn't talk to each other for nearly three weeks... That was horrible for all of us.

The fights would never last. It's like that saying... "We'll always be best friends... you know too much!" But perhaps Kelly defined us the best when she said, "You know you have interesting friends when there is global destruction and you aren't one bit surprised." We could never stay mad at each other. We're best friends. As Kirstin said in her comic, we were, "Four girls with crime fighting POWER!"

There were fights, yes. But there were moments that I'll never forget- when we laughed, and we cried, and we were always there for each other.

Senior Send-off wasn't really long ago- just this May. I guess that's when it started to sink in that we were leaving. Kirstin was the first to start crying- and then she made Steph cry- and then Steph made me cry- but Kassy didn't cry. Kassy's weird. And we kept crying, and I remember taking everything out of my locker- all the stickers. There were three that Kassy gave me- "Heavily Medicated for Your Protection", "All reports are in... life is now officially unfair!", and "GET TO WORK. You aren't being paid to believe in the power of your dreams." And there were Happy Bunny stickers, and smilies, and my two oldest stickers that said, "So many freaks. Too few circuses." and "I want attention. Just not yours!" And as I took them down, I thought, This is the last time I'm ever going to take these down out of a locker. And I started to cry harder, because I couldn't think of what I was going to do with them now that we were leaving, and because we were leaving, and because I didn't want to leave. Because leaving meant that things were changing, and I didn't know if that would be good.

Steph left for college last Saturday. She's going to be a teacher. We're not sure when she can come back to visit yet. Kirstin's going to WMU, and she's going to be a doctor, I think. Kassy and me are going to KVCC. I'm a writer- I just need the degrees to prove it, plus I'm a dork and I like going to school. Kassy's leaving after three semesters, and she's going across the country to Arizona, because she wants to be an archaeologist. And then we'll have to go through the tears and the hugs and the whole plan for leaving for California or somewhere out in that general area, and before you know it, there will just be me and Kirstin, and maybe Kelly.

We dreamed up all these wonderful things, and we had something beautiful- a true friendship. We opened up to each other, we trusted each other with our lives. Now Steph's gone, Kassy's leaving in a little more than a year, and then what'll we do?

I hate saying goodbye. And the fact that you're all my very best friends doesn't help.

But there's always hope.

This one is dedicated to my best friends.