It’s been over a year since I saw my best friend.
The last time I saw her, she was at work. She worked the fabric counter at JoAnn’s. I try not to drive past JoAnn’s anymore.
I went in to look for planner stuff with my friend Jess. They never have any good planner stuff at JoAnn’s, but I went anyway because Jill was there.
When I left, I bought a decorative cowbell. I left it with one of her coworkers and said, “This is for Jill. Just keep it up here, okay?” The coworker didn’t really get it, but I knew Jill would. She knew that I knew that she had a fever and the only prescription was more cowbell.
We were going to get together after the holidays because she worked retail, and her schedule was nuts.
Today, I grabbed my planner and excitedly told Mr. Jen, “Just a few more weeks until I get to use my new planner!” I flipped back to the first week in it, which began December 27, 2021, and ended January 2nd, 2022. January 1st: “MIMOSAS ALL DAY!”
I turned the page.
I turned it back.
December 27, 2021 to January 2nd, 2022. The last week I remember feeling happy. I don’t remember what that feels like.
I don’t remember what it felt like to hug Jill that last time I saw her, the quick “stop in to say hello” that I didn’t know would be the last time. She gave great hugs, and I can’t remember them.
The week of January 10, 2022, to January 16, 2022, have two days where there’s nothing but a black square with numbers beside them. Black square, 4 – 7. Black square, 11.
I didn’t want to write down what those events were.
I don’t know remember what happy is.
But I know that it’s now been over a year since I stopped into Jill’s work on the pretense that I wanted to look at the always-lacking planner section when I really just wanted an excuse to say “hi” while I was in town. It’s been over a year since she sent me a picture of what she did with that stupid cowbell: obviously, she taped a picture of Will Ferrel to it.
It’s been over a year since I’ve seen my best friend.
I’ll never see her again.
I don’t remember what happy is.