Prompt: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.
When I was in primary school I had two best friends, Sarah and Pauline. Sarah was a tall, gangly, auburn haired girl who was, as you might expect, terribly awkward. Sarah’s was the spitting image of her mother, an anorexic looking woman with huge hair and coke-bottle glasses. Thinking about her now, Sarah’s mother was always dressed impeccably she wore silk neck scarves, cashmere knitted cardigans, and expensive tailored pants. At the time I had no appreciation for her fashion sense because it was all in muted browns, greens, beiges and greys and I liked bright colours. I could never quite fathom Sarah’s life, she lived in a big fancy house in Ivanhoe, she had two Staffordshire bull terriers who would lick you all over when you went to visit, she had a little brother, and she had carpet and a piano in one of her bathrooms. I mean the very fact that her house had two bathrooms was pretty intense. Her father had chesterfield lounges and exquisite leather bound books in a room that we weren’t allowed to go into.
Sarah and I became friends in prep, the first year we were at school. There were twenty-nine pupils in my prep class, all girls, and they very quickly formed tight knit groups. Sarah, Pauline and I were not really a part of any of the groups, so we ended forming our own. At the end of grade four, Sarah moved schools, to another expensive private girls’ school. I saw her a couple of times after she left, but unlike Pauline, who I still see occasionally, we haven’t stayed in touch as adults.
Thinking back, I specifically recall the feeling of disapproval I got from Sarah’s parents. They were pretty religious, I think they were Anglicans, and I went with them to a couple of church functions. My family were never particularly into church, my Dad would have characterise himself as a Catholic but he hardly ever went to mass, so when it came to the part of the sermon where you go up to the front to receive the sacraments, you know, the bread and wine part, I didn’t quite know what was expected. I followed Sarah up to the front of the church with the other children, where we both knelt in front of a thing that looked like a wooden fence. I put my hands together and rested my forearms on the top of the fence because I thought this was what I was supposed to do. The priest went down the line, blessing some of the kids and giving others the sacraments. There was clearly a system at work, but I didn’t know what the system was. When the priest got to Sarah he gave her a blessing. When he moved to me, the next in line, he put a piece of wafer in my hand and offered me the cup of wine. I’d never taken communion before, and thought it would be rude to refuse, so I drank the wine and ate the little piece of bread.
I hoped that no one would notice that I had accidentally taken communion, and that no one would scold me, but Sarah’s parents had seen it. From then on, it would seem, I became persona non grata. Sarah told me that her parents were shocked that I would do something so deceitful, since I hadn’t done whatever it is you’re supposed to do to prove you’re allowed to eat and drink Christ. It was like I’d lied in a church!
So Sarah and I never really kept in touch. It was one of those relationships that fell by the wayside, and given that I was still in primary school at the time it’s probably not that surprising, but sometimes I wonder what she’s up to now.