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Confessions From the Past

The Chapter About Your Old Best Friend


Remember third grade? Mrs. Smith? She was our favorite teacher. She loved us. We were one of her favorites, hands down. I even remember once, when I accidentally called her ‘mom’, she just laughed and said “I’m not sure how your mother would feel about that, but call me whatever you want!”

I loved her even more after that.

Life back then was good grades, giving cartoon tattoos with Crayola markers at recess (10 cents a piece, of course), and wanting to be exactly like Mrs. Smith. The good life.

For years after that, when anyone would ask me who my favorite teacher was I’d say instantly, “Mrs. Smith!” Sometimes I thought my second grade teacher, Mrs. Tanner, was my favorite. She was probably the nicest lady I’d ever met. She had a bath tub in her room stuffed with pillows that you could read books in! Remember that? I almost forgot! But I loved Mrs. Smith too much. No one could blow her out of the water.

Until I found out.

I heard about it when I was around 16 or so, but it’d been going on for years, apparently. Like when I was in third grade. Back when I was that curly haired little girl with stars in her eyes, front of the class, ready to listen to anything my loving teacher had to say. A little sponge waiting to absorb her every word.

Mrs. Smith had been cheating on her husband.

With Mrs. Tanner’s husband.


As you know, finding out there’s no Santa Claus didn’t even come close to finding out that my role model for eight years of my life was basically a fraud.

I know you’re probably wondering why I’m bringing this up again. It’s just that she came into your Boring Ass Job again the other day and it made me think of it. It made me think about people. How so many of them suck. How so many of them of change.

And then I started thinking about Tara.

At this point in your life, you haven’t actually spoken to her in roughly three years. She’s reached out a few times over Facebook (is Facebook still, like, a major thing in the future?) but you haven’t spoken in person for quite some time. You tell her happy birthday every year. She forgets yours. Or ignores it. Who knows. She’s in almost every single one of your stupid Facebook Memory things for the day. I wonder if she sees those too.

And even though you haven’t been friends since the summer before freshman year of college, you still miss her. Like today, for instance. Today, all I want to do is talk with a girlfriend. I’ve got a lot of my mind (as you know) and just want to unload. I want to sit and paint nails and talk about boys and gossip and laugh. And she used to be the best for that. We used to take all those stupid pictures together. We used to run around town together dressed in the most ridiculous outfits as dares against each other. We used to laugh harder than I ever did with anyone.

Remember that time her parents freaked out for missing her little sister’s spring concert? It was senior year and we’d just gotten back from the gym, thinking we’d made it back in time to ride over with her family to the school to see the 4th grade recital. When we got to her house, her parents had called saying how they’d left early and Tara shouldn’t come anymore but that she was the to clean the whole house before they got back. With the mess we’d just walked into, it looked virtually impossible to clean the whole place in that amount of time. So I offered to stay and help. We put on some music and dance-cleaned around the house until it was spotless. Afterward, exhausted, but with time left to spare, we laid on the floor next to each other.

“You think we’ll stay best friends after we graduate?” she’d asked. At that time, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that we’d always remain just as we were in that moment.

What I miss the most is the four of us, our little group. We really were the best friends ever. Some of the happiest memories I have take place in this little town that seems to offer nothing but just that anymore; memories.

We saw her across the street the other day. Drove by her house. She’s home for the summer, as usual. And, as usual, we’re avoiding each other. I hear she’s gotten herself a Big Kid Job somewhere in the fall. I’m horribly jealous.

And then I started to think about how stupid that is; to be jealous of someone who meant so much to much me. Since the Mrs. Smith days, even. That’s where we met.

Sometimes I think about reaching out. Trying to set up a lunch or something. The hardest part is that I know that things would instantly go back to normal if we did. We’d be two giggling girls again talking about boys and life and everything and nothing. Everything could be swept under the rug so quickly.

Which is exactly why I have pushed back these ‘I miss you’ feelings for the last three years.

People change, that’s for sure. Then again, maybe they don’t. Maybe sometimes who they really are is just brought to light. And all the glitz and glam you make them out to have in your mind is never really there in the first place.

People suck. But I think only the ones you ever really loved have the power to break your heart. And we both know it’s not like you’ve never messed up before.

Forgiveness isn’t easy. I don’t think it ever will be. But I hope that by now you’ve moved on a little more. You sometimes forget how much it’s affected you; how much it weighs you down. I hope that you two have made amends. I hope that every now and then you get coffee and update each other on your lives. I hope she’s doing well. And I hope you’re happy for her.

And if you haven’t by now, you should give her call.