I downloaded a Judy Blume book called "BFF" on my Kindle that contained two stories, "Here's to You, Rachel Robinson! and "As Long as We're Together." By the first page of "As Long as We're Together", I was drawn in. The story is about two best friends who get a third best friend when a new girl moves to town. In the foreward, Judy Blume describes how the book mirrors her experiences in middle school with her two best friends.
I also had (and still have to this day) two best friends, Melinda and Tracy.
This story is about Melinda.
As I have told y'all before, I have known Melinda since I was a little girl growing up in Ontario, California. We rode our bicycles through the surburban streets for most of my childhood. Our friendship and history together is part of who I am. We had crazy adventures, too many to count. There was the time we got drunk at a friend's house and walked home in the rain. Somehow, Melinda came home dripping wet with only one shoe on.
I wanted to be Melinda. In junior high, I coveted her straight black spiky hair and her cool jean jacket with concert buttons lined up on the right side.
In high school, she got even better looking. She looked like a Mexican version of the lead singer of the Bangles. I could never compete with her. She was a total guy magnet.
Melinda always tried to help me with my makeup and hair, usually to no avail. She tried to straighten my hair for the junior prom and I ended up looking like a puffy poodle. To make matters worse, the red dress I had bought looked good in the window, but it's shiny apple color didn't suit my skin. Melinda looked amazing in a tight, irredescent lavendar dress and purple eyeshadow.
To make matters worse, Melinda had set me up with her boyfriend Todd's friend so we could double date for prom. I had anticipated being set up with one of his handsome punker friends, but the guy who came with Todd to Melinda's door to pick us up that night was about five foot three with long Jesus like hair and a mustache.
They took us to Cask and Cleaver and eternal optimist that I am, I tried to make the best of it. The Jesus lookalike didn't say a word and the less he said, the more I babbled. When we finally got to the dance, I tried to dance with him, but he kept counting in my ear.
Thankfully, Todd got caught drinking and we all got kicked out of the dance. I don't remember what happened then.
What's funny is that many of my stories with Melinda are like that, in the sense that they end abruptly. We had so many crazy times together that they all kind of blend together and trail off suddenly. When we hang out, we talk about the old times and we have to chime in and correct one another.
Maybe fiction would be easier. But, the reality is much more sweet.