Back to the girl, now a woman, I've been talking to a lot lately.
I met her when we were both a lot younger. We started out as friends, became more, went back to friends. And while we have sometimes gone years without speaking, it was easy to pick up the old connections, but something has been different. It's like falling asleep in the middle of a film. When you wake up, the characters are all the same, but there are subtle differences.
This girl, now a woman, is still the same one I used to know, but her voice has an edge to it. She's been through the shit, and is still going through it. She also has a child now, and that little boy is the love of her life. You can hear it in every word that she speaks about him. She lights up. She will destroy planets to keep her boy safe and happy, and I couldn't be more amazed.
She's a good mom, a good friend, and a good person, who deserves more than what she has been handed. I used to feel guilty that I left PA, but she may be right when she said it worked out. It definitely did for her. I have a daughter out of my move, so I can't complain there.
Talking to her now, it's sublime. She is this strong, independent woman who has decided to tackle her problems head-on and leave them behind her. It is awe-inspiring and even a bit sexy (and I mean that in an innocent way). But there is a downside.
That edge in her voice unmasks some very simple truths. She will never again be that girl, now a woman, I knew in PA. You see, life showed her how hard it could screw her over, and she is not about to let that happen again. Cynical, perhaps. Cautious, you bet. And tired.
We've talked every day since we've made contact again. She's kept me grounded. I can't help but tell people how happy I am to have started talking to her again. When I hear her talk about her little boy I know that no matter what she is going to be okay. She will get by. She will survive.
I don't know what the future holds for anyone, but I do know this: She's made mine brighter, and I thank her. If I die today (and I could), I want her to know that. I love you, girl. You know how I mean that, too.