We're best friends and don't you forget it!

We’re best friends and don’t you forget it!

Today’s Writing 101 Daily assignment is: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more. Make this post part of a three-part series.

Here’s Installment 1:

I was uprooted from my home in rural up, up-state New York after my father died. Mom decided to move our little family to Glenbrook, CT because my aunt and uncle lived there. They sent their sons to Saint Maurice school. Those boys seemed like good kids so Mom sent my sister and me there.

My only experience with school had been a public kindergarten. Now I was the “new kid” in a Catholic first grade, complete with an uncomfortable uniform and nuns for teachers. I was, to put it mildly, rattled.

After lunch the nuns set us loose for some kind of play period. There was no playground equipment or grass like in my former kindergarten—only pavement with some large holy statue watching over us.

The statue didn’t seem to faze the other boys and girls who were running around or talking in groups. I, on the other hand was intimidated by it. Shy by nature, I just stood there: a chubby blonde five-year-old wondering how I ended up with a divinely domineering saint-statue as my only pal.

I looked for my sister, but she, being the sociable type, probably already made friends and figured out how to run around in those unmercifully tight uniforms (at least my uniform was tourniquet-snug).

Then a miracle happened on the “playground” at Saint Maurice’s School.

Still standing all by myself (if you don’t count the statue), a tall, lithe, delicate, pretty girl seemed to glide over to me. She was too graceful to merely walk. Maybe she pirouetted lightly as if she was a first grade Catholic school ballerina. A mane of strawberry blonde hair glowed around her narrow face. Her uniform was actually loose. I think it flowed as she approached me. Was she real?

I just stared at her. She broke the silence by saying, “Hi, my name is Michele, what’s yours?”

“Lorna” was all I could say. It was as if I was under a spell. No one had ever just come up and talked to me before. Was this really happening?

Then she really surprised me. “Hey, Lorna, do you want to be best friends?”

Granted, I was only five (well, five-going-on-six), but I had never been propositioned like that before in my life. I had no idea what a best-friend commitment entailed, but it seemed like a really good deal, so I said, “Sure.”

Michele smiled. I smiled back. We had a deal.

I came to learn that Michele and I were as different as Abbott and Costello. She was tall and wispy; I was plump and klutzy. She had a whole family, including a real dad and brothers; I had a partial family that only included females. Her house had an upstairs; I lived in the bottom half of a house. She had her very own room decorated like a Disney princess’ room; I shared my plain room with Tina. Michele came up with “adventuresome” ideas for us to do; I was the voice of caution.

Regardless of our differences, we managed to stay best friends for four whole years. Then tragedy struck.

Well, it was tragic for us. My mom decided that up-state New York, our former home, was where we needed to be. Since Michele’s mom wasn’t willing to give her up for adoption to us, I had to leave her behind. I lost her.

In those days (1966), the only forms of communicating were ridiculously expensive “long-distance” telephone rates and good old-fashioned pen and paper.

How likely do you think a nine-year old is to write and mail letters to a friend, even a best friend, light years away from her?