I searched for her, wondering to where she vanished and why.
Winters ushered in Springs. Summers yielded to Falls. But she did not return. Despite traces that she left behind, I knew that she was never coming back. For a long while, I expected her to somehow reappear. I could not conceive of a day that we would no longer be together. We were that tight. Eventually, I blamed myself. Maybe she left because of me. The truth is I did not always care for her the way I should have, the way that she deserved.
So now I am learning to navigate life without my wing-girl by my side. Those exciting days of unabashed wildness have ceased to exist without her. The times when we strolled curb side in short-shorts with knot-tied shirts to the front. Our tobacco colored skin glistening under the scorching sun, ballet slipper-painted toe nails peeking through open-toed sandals. Fast cars slowed at the sight of our applebottoms and charcol doobie wrapped hair swinging across our shoulders.
Those were the days. We gladly served it how they wanted.
And no matter how much we ate, our bodies banged relentlessly in teensie size twos. We doled out sympathies to those who had to exercise, and shook our heads at the frustrated calorie-counters. Sucked to be them, better to be us was how we stroked our egos. We secretly bragged to each other that our petite frames were a blessing from on high. Body struggles, we told ourselves, was something we would never know.
Rules of any kind were the bane of our existence. The more unconventional, the better. We were hell raisers in disguise. Good girls ready to go bad. We lived by creeds like roll or get rolled over, and bad girls do bad things. Our rebellious spirits were our badges of honor. We defined us. Anything other was uncivilized in our book.
Until we learned that bad decisions birth bad results. And that broken little girls grow into carefully pieced together women who shatter upon impact.
We popped in and out of hoods like special guests. Fake humble about all we had in a land of have-nots. Our dudes’s worth rose like the stock market. We were girls from the hood, but not of the hood. Like Fab said, we made em’ better.
That is until we lost our shine in their eyes and they wanted that old thang back. And so we moved on.
The choice to have kids would always be ours we assured each other. So we chose to live now, and worry about the rest later. We underestimated the passage of time. Played Russian Roulettte with our peak child bearing years in pursuit of education and dreams of changing the world. No doubt we could have it all. We would be mothers and bosses.
Until our bodies betrayed us rejecting every one of our attempts. Loss after loss before one last miracle. Thank God for that one last miracle.
Deep down inside, I know why you left. The day was bound to come. You are to stay forever young. I am to grow older and wiser, as I journey down a road in which I now stand in the middle–without you.
And it is well. Lessons have been learned. Resilience has seen me through.
Although there are times I miss the days when we ran so wild, so free, these are the days I live to be the best me. You see, there are no more do-overs. Mistakes I had the luxury of in our heyday, would now leave unspeakable casualties in their wake. So now my steps are ordered. Deliberate. And I would want them no other way.
Maybe in another life we will once again walk in synchronicity.
Maybe together we will never again be.
But until destiny reveals itself, take good care of you.
Because finally, after all these years, I got me.