It is funny how life turns out. I guess maybe “funny” isn’t an appropriate word—perhaps "odd” or “peculiar” is a better phrase, at least at times. Sometimes we make predictions about things or people based on life experiences, past behaviors, and common sense, only to never see those predictions materialize.
During high school, one of my best friends, “Aurora” became in many ways like a sister to me. We hung out quite frequently, we talked on the phone daily, and turns out we had a lot in common. We loved to laugh, sing, and dance. We even had a crush on the same guy. We played sports together—we celebrated Christmas together. We even squabbled a time or two—but that is what sisters do right? Then we graduated high school and she went one direction to college, while I went another.
Amazingly, we kept in touch. Our first winter break from college—and we both headed home to Florida. We spent almost that entire break together. Aurora stayed with us for most of it—visiting her family for only a small part of it. When I had to leave to go back to college, she came along for the ride up to Ohio. It was revealed she wasn’t completely happy at her college. While she was visiting, she hinted that maybe she should transfer to Ohio. I told her if she did we would room-mate up and find an apartment. And that is exactly what happened.
It seemed we sisters were back to the business of being sisters—with a bit more responsibility. We had to go to college, keep up the grades, work to earn money, and pay the bills. We had fun though. We partied, chased boys, skipped a class or two, and just had a lot of fun. She took piano lessons and joined the college choir, I played softball and took horseback riding lessons. We were two very sociable girls—living the college dream—making the best of life. We were a bunch of crazies—in a good sort of way.
Then one day it changed. I took a short vacation up north to see family. Aurora had to work that weekend, or so I thought. When I returned from my little 48 hour get away, I came back to find the apartment empty and all her things gone. We had not argued, fought, or even had a misunderstanding. There was no letter of explanation. This was long before the days of instant communication via cell phone, text message, or even email. I had no idea what had happened—other than she was obviously gone. I did not hear from her for months. I was hurt, confused and worried sick.
When I had finally heard from her, she said she decided she wanted to return to Florida. She never gave me any indication that she was homesick for Florida or that she was thinking of leaving. I thought maybe I had done something wrong or offended her. But she reassured she wasn’t upset or even angry with me, but rather she was worried that I was upset and angry with her for leaving without notice and she did apologize for leaving without so much as a word.
I don’t think I’ll ever understand, but I had to accept it regardless.
I saw her one other time—when she came to Ohio a couple years after with her then fiancé to pick up some boxes she had left here. She was engaged to a boy she dated in high school. She was really happy, and I was very happy for her. It seemed we kept in touch for several weeks after she left Ohio with her fiancé and returned to her home in Florida. I was expecting the invitation to her wedding, as promised, but it never came. Aurora seemingly dropped off the map into obscurity.
It was almost 10 years before I would locate her via the internet. She never did marry her fiancé, thus the reason I never got an invitation. I should have guessed—but was hoping for her sake she had married him. She told me she wasn’t a people person and it would have never worked. She said she couldn’t hurt her fiancé like that. The statement “not being a people person” really struck me as odd—since when was she not a people person?
She did live more of a low key life after the break-up to her fiancé. It seems she is happy with her life the way it is—living more low key. I’ve only ever wanted the best for her—but since she left for Florida we have hardly been close. I have many other friends—whom I consider as close as sisters and while I love each and every one of them—I miss being able to count Aurora as one of them. It is funny, odd, or even peculiar how it all turned out.
Thankfully the internet at least keeps us in touch on the rare occasion she logs in.
Do you miss the absence of an old friend?
Have you been able to reconnect via the internet?