My ‘Best Friend’
8:30 a.m. First day of my final week in Year Six at St. John’s. Mum dropped me off and this girl came running over to me telling me about some boy she’d kissed.
My initial thoughts were: Wow, she’s forward. Not sure I’d go up to someone I didn’t know and tell them about my lip antics.
But then she used my name, as if she knew me.
“Sorry—how do you know my name?” I asked as politely as I could.
“Come on, you idiot,” she said. “I need to show you these texts he was sending me.” She started pulling me by my arm toward the school’s pupil entrance.
“What are you doing?” I said, yanking back. “I don’t know you. Why are you acting like we’re friends?”
The girl let go of my arm and looked at me, her wide, slightly obnoxious grin starting to falter. “Rachel, are you joking?”
I wasn’t sure what she was playing at. “I’ve never seen you before.”
“We’re best friends, you birdbrain. Have been since Year Two.”
“My best friend is Jenna Weir. I don’t even know your name.”
She didn’t know who Jenna Weir was and started to cry. Mrs. Fowler came rushing over. She hadn’t heard of Jenna Weir either, which made me angry. Were this girl and Mrs. Fowler in league to confuse and frighten me?
The girl became hysterical. I became hysterical. Her mother was called. My mother was called. All before the end of registration.
Mum took me home, and only then did this girl start to come back to me. Lucy. Her name was Lucy. It was a bizarre feeling, like I’d woken up from a dream. No, Jenna Weir wasn’t in my Year Six class. Lucy was. Lucy was my best friend, the one I had sleepovers with every Friday night. Round hers one week, mine the next. Jenna Weir… she was slipping away. It was getting harder to recall her at all.
I’m not sure if Lucy ever truly forgave me. I don’t think she trusted me after that. We stayed friends, but drifted apart during secondary school. By Year Nine we never spoke again.
I remember Mum, at the time, was convinced Lucy had done something to upset me, and my reaction that day was to punish her. Truth is, that’s not the truth at all. For a few hours that morning, I genuinely had no idea who Lucy was.
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