The rhinestones on her veil twinkled as Natalie tiptoed onto the carpeted dais. The huge bridal mirror before her reflected her beauty three times before she turned to her wedding party for our say.

“You look so pretty!”

“That’s gorgeous!”

“He’s going to love you in that!”

She played with the veil and studied the gown’s detail before she went into the dressing room… for dress #8.

It had been a long afternoon.

The glow of beginning the search for a wedding dress was starting to dim and after dress #7, we needed to recharge.  We took the intermission to stretch, yawn, and adjust ourselves in the store’s uncomfortable folding chairs.

I took the break to go on a mission: Try on bridesmaid dress #3.

It’s only 3 dresses.

Not quite 27.

Only 3.

But when this year began, I never thought that I would be in 3 weddings, all within 6 months of each other.

And I never thought that, in addition to that, there would be 3 engagements before the first leaf fell for this year’s autumn.

And I never thought that such happy news could make me feel…

Wistfully curious.

Kissed with daze. 

Unsure and scared. 

What was the norm is now becoming what used to be. 

I can probably get that adjusted.

Brand new reasons will be the source of get-togethers.

I like these spaghetti straps.

My inner circle is being seated…

Let me take this dress to the register.

without me…

I don’t have my card. Let me give her cash.

…at tables for two.

Why did she give me back all of these coins?

But I’m behind them at a table for one.

                                                I don’t know what to do with all this change.

BFF (Part 4)

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Amy heading to my desk.

I couldn’t read her expression but, thanks to our barely minutes old conversation, I had a feeling why she was there.

“So…you don’t think he’s the one?”

The question hung in the air like a hot pink helium balloon. 

And I reluctantly held the pin that would deflate it.

I was thrilled when Amy began her new relationship. This guy was attentive, caring, and treated her well. 

He had quite the effect on her. 

Her sometimes caustic words grew fuzzy. Her eyes became round and bright whenever she spoke of him.

In slow motion, I saw her descend deep without a lifevest and no lifeguard on duty.

But as I listened…

As I watched…

And especially as I prayed…

I sensed something…not good.

Something other than peace.

Bits and pieces began to collect and formed a mosaic that made me weep.

As the relationship continued, so did the turmoil and turbulence in my spirit.

And I knew what it meant.

How do you tell a friend that the one she’s in love with may not His best?

That you see pain and tears on the horizon?

That her heart is being rented, not bought?

Is it a sucker punch that she will thank you for later?

BFF (Part 3)

“Tell me I’m wrong.”

Robin gripped the steering wheel as she spoke. Her lilac lidded eyes were narrowed as she focused on the road and awaited my answer. 

But I chewed on the lid of my coffee cup and kept silent.

“Come on. I’m waiting for you to tell me that I’m wrong for feeling this way. Tell me I’m wrong.” 

But I couldn’t tell her. Because she wasn’t. And,

“I would feel the exact same way.” 

Reassured in her feelings, Robin let out a sigh that sounded rough and weary.

We were on our way home from Lola’s birthday party. After months of planning, it had finally arrived. But it was anything but fun. 

Feet throbbing from standing for 6 hours in heels while serving food.
Fingers skinned from twisting plastic flowers.
Heads spinning from loud DJ music.
Wallets empty from expense… after expense…. after expense… after expense.
All while trying to keep a decade plus long friendship in tact.
It was sad to hear about Lola’s behavior. Robin had been venting to me about her rudeness throughout the party’s planning process.
Her unreasonableness.
Her ego.
Indeed, it was sad.
But not surprising.
In high school during a few brief moments, her mask cracked and through its crevices, I saw pieces of bad temper and egotism.

It was just a quick peek here or there. 

I saw it then. 

But Robin never did and thus was caught completely off guard.

It’s crazy how certain situations can shake the mask completely off and reveal what else is inside. 

And trigger new opinions about an old friend.

BFF (Part 2)

The sunlight stung my eyes as I gazed off in the distance, hoping to see Ebony’s car. 

She’s coming. 

We haven’t seen each other in a while so she has to come. 

We can never seem to meet up anymore. 

I hope we can become close again.

I hope she’s coming

Ebony had been my best friend for the past two years. Our friendship was intense. During that time, we leaned on and stuck with each other through much turmoil.

Cheating boyfriends. 

Hospital emergency rooms. 

Failed midterm exams. 


But, through one event, we were peeled away from each other. It was just for a little while, and I thought we could easily pick up where we left off. 

But when a season ends, there is nothing to pick up. 

In every relationship, in every friendship, people grow and mature and change. 

New interests are developed. 

Perspectives are broadened. 

Backbones are strengthened. 

Sharp tongues are made tender. 

And sometimes that old friendship becomes too small, too big, too too for the new you. 

Maybe that’s why God escorts friends in and out of our lives by durations. A person placed in your space to enrich and enhance your life but for a period of time.

Some for a lifetime. 

Some for a half-decade. 

A few friendships are made to last while others are meant to survive for a moment. 

The more I waited though, the more I realized that my moment with Ebony was ending. 
I rocked back and forth on my toes, curling my upper lip to block the pending tears. 

And it worked…until my phone rang. 

“Can’t make it….Sorry, maybe another time.”

Another time never came.

BFF (Part 1)

It was happening again.

To my right stood Wanda, loudly voicing her displeasure, her nape length ponytail wagging with every word. To my left was Charlotte. Her jelly bean-colored barrettes were clamped over her braids and were as frozen as the frown on her face.
And in the middle was me, trying to figure out how not to take sides…again.
At 9 years old, I was getting my first taste of a relationship where one rules over all, a dysfunctional friendship.
The three of us enjoyed being together. Playing jump rope on the playground. Eating Ellio’s frozen pizza in the school cafeteria. Talking excitedly about the newest toys in the Toys “R” Us Sunday circular.
But eventually, there were times when one of us would do something that would completely disrupt the peace.

Wanda’s peace. 

Maybe we didn’t see Michael Jackson’s latest video. Maybe we had spearmint lip balm while she had cherry. Maybe it was because we didn’t wait for her after lunch. Maybe we liked Pepsi instead of Dr. Pepper.
Whatever the reason, Wanda would complain and usually Charlotte would counter back, resulting in a rip in our friendship blanket.
I would try not to take sides…but I would always end up taking hers.
During recess, I’d walk along the length of the playground with Wanda, half-listening as she complained about Charlotte’s latest act of insubordination. I’d scan the concrete for Charlotte and would finally spot her, playing happily, oblivious to the invisible friction that was rubbing me raw.
But then, as Charlotte probably figured, Wanda got over it. The rip was mended and all was well again.
Until next time.
We were 9-year-old girls who eventually grew into 20-something women and outgrew such things.
But thinking back made me wonder:
What type of friendship can survive when one friend is being held hostage?
Where one friend can’t be free?
A muzzle when you speak?
Pushing your actions through a sieve?
Filtering your desires and your fears?
How can something so essential as being bare, being yourself before a friend launch an assault of insults?
A refusal of attention?
The disintegration of a friendship?
Or was it a friendship to begin with?