Laurie’s parents called me the following day asking if I knew where she was. I didn’t say what I felt.
I didn’t tell them that she was so spoiled that she didn’t know anyone else existed in the world so couldn’t possibly show any form of concern about their feelings.
I assumed Laurie forgot me by the time she was ten miles away. Calling me was not something she would do. I wasn’t her best friend the way normal people use the term. I was like an old pair of slippers which is always worn at home. They aren’t the favourite they are the least important.
As Laurie changed friends as others changed their underwear, I was the ‘fill in’. I was her bestie as long as no one else was there.
Of course, I didn’t tell them the truth, I told them I would inform them if she called.
Shaun was another version.
He’d look at me with a question on his face and I’d look back and smile, and he’d come to me thinking I knew something, and ask, and I’d tell him that I hadn’t heard.
Sometimes I’d do it in such a way he’d think I was hiding something and would try to get it out of me. He’d take me for drinks or a snack and ply me with questions, and I’d tell him, I really hadn’t heard.
He’d look at me so vulnerable he could shatter, and I’d want so much to embrace him, but didn’t, of course.
I kept trying to divert, to create, to get him to see me, to talk to me, but it didn’t work.