(Chicago, IL(Julie on the left, me on the right))
I met her when I began working at an equestrian barn on weekends. Though I was a few years older than her, we became friends almost instantly. We would constantly take smoke breaks together and chat for as long as we could without getting in trouble. Once she graduated high school, she went to a community college and her and I kept in touch. Eventually, we ended up at the same university, and our friendship became stronger and we became a part of one another's lives. Since we lived close to one another, we spent much of our summer going to fairs, or meeting once a week for drinks at her favorite pub or mine. I am not much of a house party person, and there were numerous times she asked me to come to these parties but I wouldn't. "They bore me" I used to say. Now, I regret all the times I was simply too lazy or hung up on being bored to go to the parties. So much time I missed with her...
She died December 31st, 4 AM. Her car crashed into a utility pole and she was dead when the police found her. She wasn't wearing a seatbelt. My girl Julie, 22 years old, with her rosy cheeks, beautiful red hair and stunning smile, was gone. Gone from my life. I can't walk campus anymore without seeing her on every corner where our memories are littered. Even when I am at home, her memory is everywhere. At the bar, at my house, at the town square. She is everywhere and I both love it and hate it. I will never, ever forget her, but then again, I will never forget her. Not that I want to, but I don't want to be haunted everywhere I go, and find myself crying at every corner.
I have never lost a close friend before, and I really never thought at 27 I would, I am at a loss. I miss her more than words can express. To know I will never see that smile again breaks my heart. I am going to miss laughing with her...laughing so hard because her and I were so funny together. My future seems a little more dull without her. Such a young life taken, I question my mortality. I am so scared that I am going to lose someone else, whether my family or other close friends...I am absolutely terrified. I lost my uncle earlier in the year to a heart attack, and knowing that my grandpa is on his way out soon is making me feel like it is all too much. All my loved ones are going away. And saying that she is another angel in heaven now isn't cutting the cake for me. When I looked at her in her casket, I thought to myself, "I would rather see her face dead then never see it again at all". That was the hardest part of the goodbye for me. I didn't want to let her go. She haunts my dreams, and I wake up in grief when I am no longer looking at that cheerful face of hers. Why is she gone? She had so much to offer, and was such a good friend, that I feel like a piece of my heart is missing.