I was an overachieving and studious 14-year-old student at McLane Middle School: Student Body President, Student of the Year, Voted Most Popular. She was a self-proclaimed outrageous 14-year-old classmate and the undoubted class clown. Together, Tara Evans and I were inseparable.
We joined the same clubs and organizations. We dyed one another’s hair. I dragged her to church youth group with me. She dragged me to skip school and smoke cigarettes with her. At school, we were joined at the hip. After school, we were glued to the phone with one another. I could spend all 24 hours of the day with her and would not tire of her. Tara knew how to make me laugh until I cried. Nothing could ever separate us!
McLane Vikings circa 1994-1995
So imagine my sadness when Tara left Tampa during the middle of our Freshmen year. Her mother wanted to finish law school in Gainesville, and Tara had to move away. We still religiously talked on the phone after she left. We mailed letters and photos to one another. Even without Facebook or Twitter in existence back then, we still managed to keep in touch with one another and the going-ons of one another’s lives.
Before we knew it, we were graduating High School and enrolling in college. She got engaged. She got married. I started working. Life just steamrolled on, and we hadn’t kept in touch with one another as heavily as before. We found one another on Facebook a year or two ago, but never truly checked in with another besides the standard status update LIKE or comment.
The other week, Tara was coming to Tampa for her job and asked if I could meet up for lunch. I had a million things going on that particular one day that she was in town: YCDC grant due that afternoon, Billy Jolie’s birthday party that evening, etc. Yet, I HAD to see my teenage idol and best friend, even if I had to completely rearrange my schedule and not sleep that day.
Do you know how you know when you are good friends with someone?
It’s when you can effortlessly pick up right where you last left with them.
Yes, a million things in our lives had both changed but the chemistry that cemented us together back in the day had not.
This post would not be complete without our 1995 theme song below:
I love you Tara Bizarre “Rock That Na Na” Queen Beara!
“Stay (I Missed You)” by Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories