By Robin P.
I met my friend Robin when we were six years old. Since I was new to the neighborhood, one of my mom's friends brought me down the street to meet her. We were a perfect match and became inseparable for the next seven years.
Robin had two brothers who were teenagers, so they were out of the house a lot. Her parents owned a restaurant which kept them busy, so Robin was at my house quite a bit. That was just fine with us because we loved being together. No matter what we did, we had a good time. Robin spent so much time at our house that she became a part of our family.
In 1975, we entered junior high school. Robin wanted to join the cheerleading squad. I helped her practice her cheers and her backward handsprings for tryouts. I was happy for her when she made the squad. We were only about a month into 7th grade when I noticed Robin begin to act differently. She finally admitted that she had begun smoking cigarettes.
I was stunned. I thought we were too young to smoke. She also started to be flirty with boys and hang out with other girls who were interested in flirting. I liked boys, but from a distance; I didn't want to flirt with them or date them. Over the next few months, I felt Robin leaving me behind as she embraced new friends.
One day, I overheard some girls talking about Robin's upcoming boy-girl party. Her parents were going away for the weekend and she was supposedly having the party of the century. I thought that was odd because she hadn't told me anything about it. After a couple of days I realized something was wrong. I got up my courage to ask Robin if she was really having a party and if she was planning on inviting me. She hesitated for a moment and then said, "It's not really your kind of party. Plus, you'll tell your mother and then my parents will find out so I'd rather that you not come."
After a few minutes of stunned silence, a tear slipped down my cheek. I looked down at my feet because I didn't want her to see how much she had hurt me. Reluctantly she said, "You can come if you really want to." I was still in shock. Not knowing what to do, I quietly thanked her and walked away.
I ended up going to her party and having a terrible time. The main attraction was spin-the-bottle. I was quite uncomfortable with this game and I'm sure it showed. Everyone else was anxious to kiss and be kissed. I went in the other room before the bottle pointed in my direction. I left early, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I walked down the street to go home. This wasn't my idea of fun at all and I was happy to be free from the stress.
I had to finally admit that Robin and I had grown apart. We were still friendly towards one another but we were never really friends from then on. In 8th grade she moved a few towns away and we rarely saw each other.
It was very difficult to handle the loss of this friendship, but I eventually understood that we were not meant to be lifelong friends. Our interests had gone in completely different directions.
My daughter Lillianna has made some very close friendships over the years. At 9 years old, I am sure she doesn't ever think that there will be a time when her friends will not be in her life. My husband Rich and I often wonder which friends will still be by Lillianna's side in middle school and high school and even as an adult. It will be interesting to see.
If she does part ways with one of her friends, at least she won't have to go through it alone.
Robin P. lives with her husband and daughter in a suburb south of Boston.