If you have been a regular reader of this blog, you may know that i had a very shitty relationship with a dude in highschool who i have dubbed Dickface. During our varied stints at attempting to date each other, i went on a Crazy Mormon Roadtrip where, in my absence, Dickface began spreading rumours about a faked pregnancy and systematically destroyed all of my friendships while i was not there to defend myself.
It got so bad that i was sick with (what i now know to be) anxiety about returning to my small home town for my senior year. Like, literally sick. I felt like i was going to be walking into a den of snakes, instead of the hallways of my high school.
I felt pretty fucking lost.
It felt like starting all over again, as my core group of friends at the time (the ones that had been lied to all summer by Dickface) were a year younger than me - so i had to find ways to connect to people in my own grade. It's not like i didn't talk or hang out with my year mates, i did! But, as i say, they were not part of my core group.
Looking back 13 years (HOLY SHIZNIT) to the beginning of my senior year, i'm still not entirely sure how it happened, but i started hanging out with this one girl, Stacy, quite regularly.
She became my life line that year. She probably never knew it, but she was the reason why i actually enjoyed my senior year. She liked me, and i liked her, and before long we were inseparable.
We arranged our schedules so that we both had the same spare periods, and in the last semester we had 3rd period spare (right before lunch) and 4th period spare (right after lunch) and that meant that we could drive out to her acreage and have lunch and spend a good long time perfecting Rainbow Road on Mario Kart. In fact, i can't even count how many times we strolled into English late - to much Eye Rolling from our English Teacher, with the words: "Sorry, we were playing Rainbow Road!" as our excuse.
B-rad, at that time, would sometimes join us for lunch - which was more often than not some kind of Lipton's Sidekicks Noodles... or maybe a delectable cream cheese brownie made fresh by Stacy's mom that morning.
She was my rock. Some nights, when we had nothing better to do, we would get dressed up and then drive to the city to just drive around with music blaring, talking about boys and sex and the BackStreet Boys, as you do when you're 17....
She got me my first job at Burger King, and some of the night shifts we spent there working together were priceless. I loved working late shift... the dining room was mostly empty most of the night, and the majority of our "work" was doing the Drive Thru, and amusing ourselves by pretending that i was an Australian Exchange student - complete with a somewhat convincing accent.
We went to city parties with her city friends - who i tried to get close to, but i'm pretty effin' shy.... how i became friends with Stacy, i'm still not so sure.
|Look at that big beautiful smile!|
She was always there for me, even when i started (STUPIDLY) dating Dickface again that year (but for the last time, thankfully) and i was there for her too. One night, while hanging out in her room her dad came home, and i don't know if he was drunk or just really really angry (i hardly ever saw him, to be honest) and he got into a big loud and scary fight with Stacy's mom... and when the screaming and yelling spilled into Stacy's room it got very real very fast.
He called her a stupid slut, just like her mom, and a lot of other scary things - completely oblivious to the fact that i was sitting on the bed, terrified... when he finally left the room - i grabbed Stacy and held her while she cried and said: "Just pack a bag!"
She stayed with my family for almost 3 weeks.
When things got scarily stupid with Dickface - which may or may not have led to me to a position of sitting outside my house with an unopened bottle of painkillers contemplating downing the whole thing... i ran across the street to the gas station and called her from a pay phone. She was there within minutes.
|There are many MANY photos like this... in her car, naturally|
We went to grad together, with our escorts, in a limo - in true Stacy fashion. She was bigger than life! Always a step ahead of our small town, it seemed like she was destined to get out there and do things.
The summer after high school, while she went to Ontario to visit her boyfriend who was working on a pipeline, i moved in with my soon-to-be-sister-in-law, in a very secret and covert operation called: "Move in with Pam before Stacy gets back!" Don't get me wrong, i still loved Stacy and loved hanging out with her, but she could be a tricky friend. She often exaggerated things, not lying per se, but close to it... and she was always, seemingly, searching for attention. Which is fine if you understand that she's like that - it's easier to take in small doses... But before graduation she had been dropping hints about moving in together, and i was pretty sure if we lived together, i'd kill her in her sleep!
So, she came home - and eventually got over the fact that i was living with Pam. I was going to University at the time, and she was still working at the Burger King - now as an Assistant Manager or sorts...
We still hung out a lot, going bowling, going to parties, drinking, partying... she was over the moon when B-rad and i finally started dating (after months and MONTHS of me talking about him...)
and then one day, that winter, she informed me that she and her boyfriend were going to have a baby, and were to be married that summer. I was to be a bridesmaid.
I know, it's horrible, but when she married Taylor and had her daughter - i became that friend who really WANTED to stay friends, but i was living a completely different life. I was still partying and staying out late, and doing things on the spur of the moment... and she was a mom now. And married. And our interests shifted and she found other Mom friends and i started hanging out more and more with my new friends from University.
Plus, i really didn't like her husband, so it was hard to go over to visit... they were still babies themselves, and to see the way he treated her and his daughter was too much for me. it was hard to see the pattern of Stacy's parents being repeated right in front of me.
|After graduation - at some party or other|
We kept in touch for a while, but eventually we grew apart - as you do when you're growing up and trying to figure out who you are.
I eventually moved from our small town, and moved in with B-rad in Calgary. Then i heard that she and her husband and their two kids had bought the house next door to my parents place. So, sometimes when i would come home to visit, we'd catch up. She was never very happy in her relationship, but she LOVED LOVED LOVED her kids.
In all those years after we drifted apart, i would hear things through the grapevine, and sometimes they'd be met with a head shake and a "well, that certainly sounds like Stacy"...
She got and beat Thyroid Cancer, she wanted to be a cop, she was taking flying lessons... her and her husband were not doing well...
So, it wasn't much of a surprise when we heard that she and Taylor were over.
During that time, i hardly saw her anymore. I would run into her here or there - she became a Zumba instructor, she was SUPER skinny, but still very smiley. We just weren't the same people we were in high school, so there was never really much to talk about when we DID run into each other.
Then, through the magic of facebook - we reconnected a bit, just at the end of June. I sent her a message saying that he looked so happy in her profile pic with her new man. We had a brief exchange catching each other up on our lives... her kids, her job, her man... my kid(s), my job, my man. It was nice.
Then i went back to my normal life and didn't think about her again until yesterday afternoon, when i found out that she had been killed in a two car collision just outside of the city on Saturday night.
I honestly don't know what to think or how to feel.
Mostly i feel....weird. Numb. I said to a friend yesterday afternoon that i hoped it was just shock and not that i'm an emotional zombie.
I mean, it's so surreal when someone your age dies. Even though i'm 30 now, i still feel like 'm in my twenties and we're all invincible. That death is something that happens to much older people, or to people that i don't know.
I spent the majority of last night in a kind of haze. We went out to B-rad's parents for a family supper, and i didn't want to think about Stacy, or her family, or her kids... or how she died, or what may have happened... but it was ALL i could think about... and i started to wonder why i wasn't feeling *more*
it wasn't until we were driving home, when i started remembering the beginning of our relationship. Not the parts where we were drifting apart, or how we just eventually stopped talking... but the parts where she was my best friend in the world for almost two years. I remembered all those things i talked about at the beginning of this post.
I still haven't cried.
I feel like i'm in grieving limbo... not sure where to begin.
I didn't know the 30 year old Stacy.
|Goodbye, old friend. You'll always have a special place in my heart.|
But i remember and deeply miss the 17 year old one.