Catherine Nicholas
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Once Upon a Friendship

All good things must come to an end.

We were all friends once upon a time. We played a game somewhat like kick ball, and we were the scrappy kids, which meant we looked out for each other. My first friend (let's call him Mudpie) went way back with me. He introduced me to beer, head lice, ultimate fighting strategies, and though neither of us would never admit to a word of it, we figured someday we'd get married and live happily ever after. Mudpie was my first real friend ever, and at around nine years old, we were highly known to be wandering around his small town about fifteen minutes from my house, drunk and stirring up whatever trouble we could find. Mudpie can be returned to later though. 

It's time to introduce Big Brother, named appropriately considering he was older than the rest of us after missing an entire school year after splitting his head open, which I remembered being told was the aftermath of jumping on the bed. Big Brother was around the longest and is one of the few that might acknowledge me to this day. He was the one to stick up for me all the time. He too was one after my heart, but sadly the real world caught up to us and now he is one of the worst wrecks of us all. Ladder was the one to officially extend an invitation to me after the other kids wouldn't let me play kickball with them. He said I was tough and my sneakers were cool. Charming was funny and, just like every other girl in the third grade, I thought he was the cutest boy that walked the earth with pouty lips and shiny blue eyes. Speedy was my first guy friend after Mudpie and was the glue that held everyone together. 

That was one of the best years of my life. That was before my eyes were opened to the awful around us. I wished it would last forever, but all good things must come to an end. Fourth grade came and we all separated into different classes, putting the final nail in the coffin. I haven't talked to Mudpie in five years, after he spread a rumor that I slept with him. He moved in with his aunt three years ago, after his dad almost beat his mom to death and skidaddled away, forgetting about their three kids. He's a burn out 16-year-old alcoholic now and sometimes I pass him in the hall. Big Brother has a thing for women twice his age and any drug he can get his hands on. He's handsome and could have any girl he wanted, but you are nothing if you don't play sports, and, medically, he can't play anything but golf without risking his life, after so many concussions. Ladder despises me. Charming and I were friends for a few more years until he changed circles, now he stands with the guys that point and laugh. Speedy moved in the fifth grade and came back, only to have forgotten me and all of our sacred friendship rituals. Once upon a dream, they were my brothers, then like an old house we fell apart. Now the foundation is sinking. Now I'm sinking, and I have been left with no one to pull me out. We pass each other like we have never met. I have pulled one thing from them and have learned when you get something like that you fight for it...    

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Once Upon a Friendship
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