By Alana Lazarides

My childhood best friend 

eloped over the weekend.

We haven’t spoken in years. 

I only found out when 

I got a text about it

from a friend 

of a friend 

of a friend.

I can’t bring myself 

to look at the pictures. 

To see if her eyes still sparkle 

like they did back in middle school.

How her whole face would light up

when she’d lend me pre-read 

young adult dystopian fiction novels

and favorite albums.

I clung to every word when

she explained the poetry

of “Back to December,”

as though she were lecturing

on the genius of Da Vinci,

the beauty of the Mona Lisa.

I didn’t even like Taylor Swift. 

In seventh grade English class 

she played “Phoenix” 

by Fall Out Boy for me 

through shared earbuds.

We had to sit close.

She said it felt like The Outsiders.

She was right.

“Stay gold.”

I watched her face

when she played violin. 

The way she pursed her lips

when concentrating. 

The way her eyes squinted 

to see sheet music through

her thick, round glasses. 

We all looked tragic in 

our orchestra uniforms,

like nuns or the Amish. 

But despite the cheap velour

and floor length skirts,

she was a model 

walking the runway

as she climbed the steps

to the scuffed up 

high school stage. 

She was radiant. 

We constantly complimented

each other, in the way

that teenage girls do.

I suppose,

that’s what complicated things. 


I can’t help but wonder

if when she said

“You have such pretty eyes,”

did she mean it the same way

I meant it

when I said it 


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