I've found a seemingly endless amount of fascination in talking with a childhood friend about the years she knew the Crew before we even knew there was a Crew. I guess I've had plenty of time to talk to Charlie about the weirdness of the years we knew something was up but couldn't really talk about it. It's incredible talking to someone who knew them so long before I did.
Jen knew Stephanie, Reese and probably Amelia (nee Roo) by the time she and I were 13 or 14 years old. Jen is the person I called the night I first tied one on. The person who ratted me out the first time I planned suicide. Hers was the kitchen where I had my first bagel, the house where I had the best sleep overs and the sanctuary to which I ran to when I couldn't take it anymore.
She's the person who, ten years ago, when told about the diagnosis responded with "Tell Reese I said Hi."
I still can't come up with words to describe the total shock of hearing those words. WHAT THE HELL? "I only found out her name a few weeks ago! How did you know?"
"Oh come on, you knew... didn't you? It was obvious."
Nice to know, even after, that someone at least did see.
She's also the person who chose Stephanie as the first of five people she'd want on her side in a bar fight. Gotta love Facebook and Living Social. I saw her top five and laughed until I cried. I forget, she's one of the few people online who ever had the opportunity to see Stephanie on the warpath and in the flesh.
As odd as I find it that she was privy to so much in a time of my life I still struggle to remember, it's equally as odd to her that I didn't have an inkling of a clue about the others. Well, there was an inkling. I think about all those years when I did try to explain the world in my head and the voices I heard... but was already so confused and convinced of the label of 'liar' that I didn't believe even myself.
I still have so much to ask about those years.
How strange that it's taken so long to find the strength to voice the questions.