When I wrote the book, many of the characters were loosely based on people I knew in real life, a million years ago.
The role of Sarah would have been played by my friend Amy.
I need to write the sequel that has been in my head. A sequel not about Emma and Robert, but about Emma and Sarah.
I’ve never been the popular person, I was always the kid picked last for the team in elementary school, (and for good reason! I SUCKED in P.E.!) but I’ve been fortunate to have some amazing female friends over the years. Kim – my best friend in elementary school – the kid who was quietly introverted back in the day, while I was overly talkative to mask the shyness… a cancer survivor who is absolutely amazing… Peggy, also pretty quiet in her way, my best friend in middle and high school, who dressed like a punk but is still one of the kindest people I know…
Amy was my first “boisterous” friend. I met her in my first year of college, but we didn’t start hanging out until our second year. We had Master Theory together, where we learned that some chords were just “marshmallow fluff.” We sang together often – anywhere and everywhere, from summer chorale, to driving around Tallahassee and the surrounding areas with the radio blasting, to karaoke at places like Dudley’s Pub, a hole-in-the-wall establishment on Tennessee Street that had good hot wings and let people under 21 in. (They didn’t sell us booze, but we didn’t try to buy booze, either. We were just there for the karaoke and the people-watching.)
Amy was a complex person. She carried a lot of pain, but laughed at everything in life. She had something of a dysfunctional family, her ex-boyfriend was scammed into Scientology, and she had a lot of physical issues, even then.
She was the sort of friend who would drop everything just to hang out and do nothing on a Friday night, just because. For a time, she filled my world. She also brought another friend into my life, Lee. Lee is the sort of person who is beautiful and bubbly inside and out.
And yes, I am referring to Amy in the past tense.
Earlier this fall, I received the news that she passed away. She’d already suffered from a stroke that left her unable to talk, and then the congestive heart failure.
I wish I had kept up with her better in the years after college. I wish I had kept up better with all of the friends I’ve had the fortune of knowing. I still chat with Kim, Peggy, Lee, and my friends Michelle and Rosie. I still love them.
I’ve been busy with school, with animals, with life. But I keep promising myself that I will write this sequel, that I will immortalize a little piece of Amy. I can’t possibly capture all that she was, I’m certainly not going to get into writing an autobiography or a biography, but if I can catch the essence of the girl who loved turtles, walked around singing Mozart Opera with bastardized lyrics, and smoked because she was on the “slow suicide plan,” the girl who tried to rush fraternities with me because we both had “big brass balls,” the girl with the masses of curly dyed red hair? Then all ten people who read the book will have a chance to know someone wonderful.