Spring is in the air & I can't sleep. On nights like this long ago, Shannon, Derek, Nicky, Tom & I would roam the streets. We'd maybe have a little London XXX ($5.00 a bottle back then & the worst swill you've ever tasted), we'd maybe share a joint or two. Mostly we'd talk, laugh, sit on the curb & have a cigarette. Go to the park & swing on the swings by the dull glow of the streetlight. Thinking about it i can feel my hair on my shoulders, wearing a halter top, short skirt, long tan legs, flip-flops. I felt beautiful & loved & needed. Tom & I would hold hands or he'd have his arm around my waist, we'd stop & kiss. Derek would make funny sarcastic remarks. He was gay, sorta knew it then, but he was jealous too. He just wanted his friend (me) to himself. Shannon was my best friend in the world. I loved her so much. We talked about everything & hung out every day of our lives & talked on the phone when we weren't togther. I still remember her number.
We were good kids. Just looking to be loved & heard & understood. We had each others backs. And we had so much fun. When the midway came to town, we'd go down there & ride the tilt-a-whirl, the guys would play the games & win us a stuffed animal. We'd put the feathered roach clips we won in our hair. I'd give anything to go back in time & tell each one of them how much i love them.
I had the earliest curfew so they'd usually all walk me home even though i lived on the other side of town. I would go home to my two parent home, nice & neat, warm bed. Tom would go home to his harsh, hard drinking dad, Shannon to her alcoholic father who she was afraid of, Nicky to her hard-as-nails army dad, Derek to his shack on the West end.
I moved away the summer i turned 16 & it broke my heart. Theirs too I think. The night I left, Tom biked to my place in the middle of the night from his place in the country & left me a message on our backyard patio. He spelled out "I love You" with rocks & covered it with his cherished red bandanna. I went back to visit twice but it was all different. Everyone was hurt. My sweet Shannon was angry I left her. We'd been inseparable since Grade 2. She didn't let people in easily. She didn't need to beacuse we had each other. Now I don't know where to find her. My beloved Derek called me the other night & left me a message but no number.
I can't sleep. Tonight I'm that 15 year old girl & I miss my friends.