Back years ago I had a friend. She was stunningly beautiful, with long, curly dark hair, a perfect size 6 body, and a Louisiana accent to boot. She wasn't just a friend, but my sister found...and every spare minute we had, we spent it together. Her name was Mechelle.
When I was 18 I quit college, packed up my belongings, and headed off on my first long term away-from-home adventure. I put a lot of thought into how to make my first adventure work, and it took me in the direction of New York, where a family awaited me as their nanny. I loved children and knew that I would do a good job as a nanny. The family I had contact with was very different from my own, and yet we immediately fell into a comfortable existence, from the first phone calls. I was signed up with a nanny agency, and after going through thorough testing was approved to be a nanny. And, this family was interested in me. With a 4-year-old son and a 2-month-old daughter, as well as two parents in upper-class, high stress jobs, I found myself not only away from home, but away from everything familiar. Living with them was not like heading out to the woods to cut trees with my dad, or heading over to the station to visit our regular customers with my mom. It was a different lifestyle. And it was also a different region of America. I was living on Long Island, with traffic jams and green grass and the ocean just around the bend. It was a new start for a teen desiring adventure and a something different. It fulfilled my desires for adventure and excitement and gave me that sense of who I was. It was there that I found myself.
And Long Island is where I met Mechelle. We worked for the same nanny agency and I was asked to pick her up and bring her to one of our monthly meetings, as she lived in the same area as I did. I had been with my family for a couple months, and was desiring friendships which hadn't yet formed. I was thrilled to find someone that I may be able to discover New York and the east coast with. And on the night of our meeting, I tentatively went to pick her up.
We hit it off imeediately. After our first encounter, there was no separating us. We got together with our kids, we got together in the evenings, we got together in the weekends, when we would often camp out at one or another's home, and we made more friends. We shared thousands of adventures together, and discovered a friendship that was truly something special. We talked and talked and got to know each other to the cores of our beings. And I loved her, as she did me.
When, 3 years after I first started working for my NY family (as I still call them today, the boy now 22, the girl now 19), Mechelle and I decided that it was time to start life on our own, go back to school and find ourselves a career, we chose to move to Colorado together. I have always loved Colorado, and I knew Mechelle would as well. So, after telling our families goodbye, we were off, back to the West of the US, and another new start.
If I go into too much detail, this will become a book, but we found an apartment, found jobs, signed up for school, and began life together In Colorado, my second-hand car our mode of transport, and our second-hand furnishings lovingly restored by our own hands. We often headed to Laramie in the weekend to visit my family, where we were both always welcome. And our life was terrific for more than a year, when things started going wrong.
Mechelle met a man. And they got pretty serious pretty quickly. And from the outside, he seemed okay. But, as I soon found out, he was into drugs, and pulled my friend Mechelle into that lifestyle as well. She lost her job, dropped out of her classes, and found comfort only in partying and being with her druggie boyfriend. I can only tell of my side of things that happened, but our friendship started to dissolve. I'm sure it was a two-way street, and I know I was jealous of the time they spent together, when before it was always Mechelle and Tera, Tera and Mechelle. But anyway, after a few months, we were like two strangers living in the same home, with her boyfriend an added addition to our little family. And then lightning struck, and we parted ways...and since 1994 we have had no contact.
The past number of years, I have been trying to locate Mechelle. I have had no leads, other than an old address of one of her sisters in Louisiana. And I sent a letter there, with no answer received. Then, yesterday, as I was surfing the net, I came across an old ancestry page where I had left a message a few years back asking if anyone knew Mechelle, where she was, or how I could contact her. And there was a reply. From her niece.
It was not, however, the happy jovial reply I was hoping to receive. I wasn't going to be reunited with my best friend of the good ole days. She was dead. In 2004 she was hit by a car in Fort Collins, Colorado. And she was buried in Louisiana, after suffering brain damage from the accident. It seems she had not been in contact with her family much, but her boyfriend paid to have her transported back to Louisiana. She was not married, and had no children. But she is now flying among angels in the clouds, and I am feeling a bit let down. And wondering what happened, what her life was like, what she accomplished and if she managed to free herself from the life of drugs and mishaps? I feel a great sense of loss, even though we haven't been in contact for years. I feel a tiny piece of me has been torn away, that hope of renewing our friendship now shuffled into a closed up box in the back of my soul.
Mechelle, I hope you had a good life. I hope you were happy and given the opportunity to share much laughter in your too-short time here on earth. And I hope that all the pain is now gone, and that you are enjoying fluttering on angel clouds watching us all from above. And seeing me, as I think about you, and all the wonderful times we shared togehter as two lost souls looking for companionship and warmth. I miss you. And I love you, still.
Rest In Peace My Dear Friend.