We had nicknames.
At least 4, each.
Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, Titanic, and The Belgariad series.
(the important things, y'know).
We lived off of Pixie Stix and Fanta.
We were constantly together during the summer.
It just wasn't a party if even one of us wasn't there.
We tied my dad's creeper to the back of our 4-wheeler and dragged each other all over my yard.
We played "My Heart Will Go On" on repeat and sat around eating Hostess Fruit Pies with forks, pretending to be the elite guests on the upper levels of the Titanic itself.
Every early release day, we went to lunch (Subway or DQ),
got bags of candy and "kiddy crack" from the Penny Candy place,
and went to cuddle guinea pigs and stare at fish in the Pet Store.
We went to the dollar store and bought silly hats and scarves,
and terrorized the staff of King's with our giggling and stuffed animal fights.
We had sleepovers every Friday night, where we chugged orange Fanta and downed Pixie Stix.
We obsessively watched the extended editions of each Lord of the Rings trilogy.
We drooled over our favorite leading men and watched all of the bonus material until we had it memorized.
We had a "Bond Stronger Than Sisterhood" and BFF promises and signs.
Until we didn't.
We spent one summer happy as clams together, but, as they usually do,
There were fights and back-biting and hurt feelings and mean words.
There were vicious notes and secret agendas and plenty of lies.
We were Jr High girls after all.
But for that one summer, we were tight.
Spotify popped up with Enya's "May It Be" tonight, which brought on this onslaught of memories.
I swear I could smell the freshly cut summer grass again,
could taste tangy orange Fanta and sickly sour purple Pixie Stix,
I could hear each of them using our nicknames again.
We each drifted apart through various degrees of anger, hurt, or neglect.
Even the one I held onto the longest, I haven't spoken to since our senior year of high school.
I hear from them all, every once in a while now.
There's no more hurt feelings, no bitter regrets or attitudes.
I don't think we really miss each other.
We're happy and content with our lives the way they are.
But I don't think I'll ever be able to hear that song without thinking of them.
Without remembering how many times we stayed up waaay past our bedtime
memorizing the lines and faces of the Fellowship of the Ring.
Without remembering how we used to be each other's favorites.
Frodo, Pippin, & Galadriel,
Nedzy, Velvet, & Xantha,
Cap'n Jack, Commodore Norrington, & Ragetti,
I hope you girls are doing well
and I wish you all the best.