She's getting married tomorrow. To the man she danced with at his senior prom, the guy she used to gush and giggle about with me in Ms. Ryan's computer class. It's like a fairy tale.
I first saw April in my 7th grade gym class. She was wearing a white tee shirt with a cookie on it.
Neither of us were very good at gym. (Thankfully, in a high school built on the high holy virtues of academia, it didn't matter and we were often excused to sit on the side lines and cram for Latin exams.*)
That night, I noticed she was also in the Tuesday night CCD class for all of us public school kids in West Roxbury. I don't remember who approached whom, but we started talking, and soon our desks were pushed together. We lived in the same part of town (separated by The Woods and The Quarry), loved doc martins, fishnet tights, and The Offspring (before and after they 'sold out').
Very quickly, very clearly, we were inseparable.
April and I both kept journals in those cheap, cardboard covered composition notebooks you can get at CVS for a dollar. Every few days we'd trade journals, spending time in class or on the bus reading one another's most secret thoughts. Sometimes we'd write responses directly into the other one's book. Sometimes we'd use the journals to have entire real time conversations in class or study hall.
Because of that, for a long time April and I were like two halves of one mind.
We vacationed with one another's families, referred to one another's parents as "Second Mom," and "Second Dad," had sleepovers, fell in and out of love with different boys, watched The Craft or Empire Records at least once every few months, and created a fantasy story about what our lives would be like as grownups in a notebook separate from our journals, which we also passed back and forth. You know, like all teenage girls do.**
Although we shared a very close core group of friends, April was my closest. In all the time we spent together, I do not remember a single fight.***
During our senior year she and Chris started dating. Chris was a guy she had known she she was eleven, and had hated until recently re-meeting him. I liked Chris, and I liked her and Chris together. They dated until almost Thanksgiving of our freshman year in college, and then - and here's where the fairy tale gets complicated - they broke up.
Unfortunately, by then, April and I had also drifted considerably. I didn't even know that she and Chris had broken up until long after it happened. Through the next five years April and I lived very different lives, separated by geography and newly evolving interests.
While we were both seniors, Chris and April got back together and started dating seriously again.
April and I are also back in touch.
I can barely begin to express how blessed I feel that I will get to be there tomorrow when she and Chris stand up in front of everyone and promise each other the rest of their lives.
Congrats, April and Chris.
* I don't know how the gym classes are now. But that's how I remember it, at least.
** We figured we both be in a rock band. So the story was about life on the road. And boys.
*** April, you can correct me if I'm wrong here... but nothing really jumps out at me.