Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Friends and Doughnuts

When I was younger, maybe eight or ten years ago, I had a good friend. I don't remember exactly how she and I became friends, but we did. The earliest memories I have is playing cards in the afternoons with her and usually a couple of other people. Then somehow, eventually, it was just her and me. Those were my favorite times. We had some of the best conversations, about anything and everything. I guess that went on for a few weeks. Looking back, it seems like it went on longer.

At some point, we stopped playing cards. We got into the routine of going to Krispy Kreme, because we both loved Krispy Kremes. And we'd have a doughnut or two, drink a coke, and chat. Every Saturday, we'd meet at Krispy Kreme. One odd thing about our relationship was that this was the only time we ever saw each other, every Saturday. And that was it. Anyway, I didn't think as much about it then as I do now. I guess that went on for several months. Again, it seems like it went on for years.

Then one Saturday, I showed up and Krispy Kreme was closed. I peeked inside and saw a lady, and knocked on the window until she opened it. I asked why they were closed. She said they were going out of business. The store was old. It wasn't the best part of town. Made sense. I turned and walked toward my car. It did not seem like such a significant event then as it does now, looking back. I saw my friend's black Talon pulling into the parking lot. I told her what the lady inside had told me, and that I guess we would have to end our Saturday meetings. She looked sad. And suddenly, I felt as sad as she looked. There was a period of a few seconds where we just kind of stood there, looking at each other, then looking off. Speechless. We were parked next to each other, and after a few seconds we both opened our doors. And before we got in, she said, "You know, I love doughnuts. But doughnuts aren't the reason I loved coming here."

I don't even remember if I said goodbye. I don't know if I acknowledged what she said, if I responded. I don't remember. I know that I only saw her a handful of times after that day, if that many. I saw her at a ball game maybe a year or two later. I think we said "Hi." I'm not sure. For sure, we never shared the closeness we shared for those few months when I was younger. Last I heard she had gotten engaged, but I never heard or saw if she got married.

It seems that once the bond of closeness between two people is broken, it can never be repaired. At least not fully. No matter how much time and effort you might put into repairing it, I do not think it ever becomes as strong as the original bond. Maybe there are certain exceptions. I hope so. Not only do the right two people have to come together, but they must do so at the right time.

It's funny how certain people don't seem all that important until you lose them. Funny how certain events which seem so insignificant at the time can leave you with so many "what ifs" and "if onlys" years later. Funny how certain things which did not seem important when you were younger, seem very important when you get older. Maybe funny is not the right word at all.

I have driven past the site where that doughnut shop used to be hundreds of times since they closed it down. It's a parking lot now. So many times I have wished I could go in and have just one more doughnut. Then I always remember. Doughnuts aren't the reason I loved coming here.

"Try not to think about what might have been, cos that was then. And we have taken different roads..."

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