The ink had barely dried on my parents very nasty divorce and we were making them be together in the only house we’d ever known, so awkward was in the air already.
Now it was just tense.
Nobody believed me when I said without Julie I just couldn’t face going back which makes my next decision even more strange.
I was going back to Georgia with mom and Jesse.
I decided I’d go to The University of Georgia instead. If I couldn’t make it back in time for classes in January, no biggie, I’d start in the summer or the next fall.
I had not registered, applied nor did I have the grades or any qualifications to get into that college. None of that even occurred to me because my dad had enrolled me at Oklahoma State University, while I spent the summer in Georgia laying by the pool at my moms new apartment complex.
I really saw no problem with this plan and I could not for the life of me figure out why everyone was so aghast.
Julie and I had promised to see each other every six months minimum.
Taking turns driving out to see the other one, depending on our moods and school schedules.
We did it too.
For years we stayed impossibly close.
I took a part time job at the company where Jesse was a salesperson and my mom was the office manager.
That’s where I met Katie Meyers.
Her dad was the vice-president of the company and a bigger than life personality. His laugh was loud and infectious.
His demeanor soft and direct.
I loved him.
He introduced me to his son, Kevin, who was home for the holidays and we were married one year later to the day of our first date.
His little sister Katie was awesome and we became inseparable.
I loved her.
Julie and Katie were my two maids of honor at the wedding.
I loved Katie like the sister she had become and would long for her when she left that fall for of all places, The University of Georgia.
The following year, Julie married and I was her maid of honor.
I was out in New Mexico with her for final preparations of her wedding when we realized it had been five days since I’d called home to my husband. First clue that things were amiss and it took us both almost a week to realize it.
My divorce was final in a little over a year later.
I lost Katie immediately.
Julie and I stayed friends but not long after her second daughter was born, she went through a divorce as well and our friendship had just been too far away, too many years.
I lost Julie a lit bit over time.
For both women to reach out and reconnect with me on the same day after all these years is nothing short of miraculous.
This will take days to metabolize.
This will take my breath away.
This will feel like pieces of me are back in place.
This feels like a gift straight from God.
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