My first really truly best friend was Lori Anne Allender. We both attended Kenmore Elementary School and my first memory of Lori is that she lived in the cool neighborhood where most of the kids on the bus got off. We had talked a few times about playing after school, but I knew that she didn't really need to call a friend, especially one, who’s mom would have to drive her over, when the cul de sac in front of her house was full of kids every single day. This made me sad. My next memory is my Mom informing me that a family with kids had purchased the white house on the next street over—the house with the back yard that bordered the little orchard behind our woods—we lived on 2 1/2 acres. Then she told me it was Lori’s family. This made me happy! By the end of the school year we were best friends, and pretty much inseparable.
I remember the time the carnival came to town. The Octopus ride made Lori pee her pants, so after we got off, we staged a water fight in the bathroom. This way, we were both wet! One time in the 9th grade we rode the city bus to the university district and walked around talking like valley girls. It was like so amazing and like we totally had like a crush on our English teacher and he like owned the Haagen Daas ice cream store, so we like had to like go for like a visit. And anyway, there were like these two older guys that like started talking to us, but we were like so freaked out that we gave them made-up phone numbers!
Lori and I stayed in touch pretty well for the first decade of adulthood, but it’s sketchy now. Most years we send Christmas cards and sometimes we call each other on birthdays. It doesn't matter how long its been, whenever I hear her voice, the years fade away and the memories rush in.
I will always think of Lori as my best friend.