I have been quite lucky in my life when it comes to the friends department. Sure there are a few that come to mind who were not the nicest, most thoughtful people (read: bat shit crazy pathological liar weirdos), but really only a few. Today I'm going to tell you about a few of them.

This is the story of the gang. They come from a time long ago, in a land far away.

R, C and E we will call them. Just in case one (or all) of them wants to remain webland anonymous.  R, C,  and E (that's me) were attached at the hip.  It was a time in our lives where transition was the norm. Moving into high school and all the social barriers, clubs, groups, cliques, gangs - all of that made for a rude awakening to me for sure, I suspect for them too. I don't think that given our normal every day lives we would have necessarily found one another. I've never talked this over with them so I can only speak for myself, but I have decided that we worked as friends because we were all trying to figure out just who the hell we were and saw something in the others that we really loved or aspired to be. That is at least how I see them.

R. C, and E had all left their old little gang of friends from jr. high. Not maliciously or even with intent I think. It was just that time where you branch out. Those childhood friends were still there, but more on the fringe. We were three.

The little unlikely gang became one of the best, most loved times in my life. I was too young to know how special it was then. I really only learned to appreciate it when I grew up and learned you don't share your deepest, darkest secrets and wishes with just everyone. And if you do take the risk and share, most people won't understand, appreciate or commiserate with you. You have to find the right people at just the right time for this dynamic to work. For us the time was short lived because I moved away and it was hard to maintain that level of closeness when you're hundreds of miles away. A phone call is just not the same as lying on a bedroom floor listening to The Smiths and talking about the futures we saw for ourselves at the time. My life changed drastically and I couldn't keep up with the lives they were living back at home. So I lost them. Not permanently of course and they even came to visit a few times. But I lost that extremely special and unique connection. They moved on and into different friend groups, went on to college and so did I.

I can look back now and still appreciate how wonderful it was, that one year of growth and discovery (I like alternative music? Really? Really.) and just plain honesty. When you are a fourteen year old girl there are not many people you can be honest with. Someone will always judge you or tell your stories or even mock you. Not R and C. They were solid, good friends when the vast majority of the people surrounding us were so insecure they would hunt down the flaws in others to expose them. Typical teen behavior of course, but that doesn't make it any more easy to deal with. You've seen Mean Girls right?

Today I saw a picture of R and C and it nearly made me cry. Not because I lost them, but really because I found them. I still have all these wonderful memories in my head. Watching SNL (is that the age where everyone discovers SNL?) and staying up way too late talking about our love lifes or lack of. Dealing with those first questions of "Should I, shouldn't I?" when it came to boys and intimacy (A blow job? What in the hell is that and why?) Listening to the Beatles when we were in good moods, The Cure when we weren't. Scribbling things on our converse high tops. Trying to fly under the radar when it came to being social with others.

I look back at those times with a subjective mind and think, "God that was kind a difficult time. So much change, uncertainty and lack of direction". I'm sure there were days back then where I though it was the most awful time in my life, certainly if it had not been for R and C. And yet, now I can also look back and think "What an amazing time!" I got to learn to branch out and try new things, make new friends. It felt so free, and really it did. I can remember that feeling. I felt free to be me, no matter. What a gift and for that I am so grateful.