Shortly after my outing with Courtney, I received an emotion-filled voicemail. I could hardly make out what the caller was saying, she was literally crying into the phone. but I recognized the voice…
It was Tasha.
This was a voice that I hadn’t heard in over two years, and it was a voice that I missed dearly. Could it be that the horrible tragedy of Kesner’s death had birthed a reconciliation between two old friends?
When Tasha and I ended our friendship two years prior, my soul told me that we weren’t completely finished. But how would we ever cross the bridge that had been burnt? ‘Only God can do that,’ I’d resolved. And God did, in God’s time. Hearing her tearful message lifted my spirit. My heart leaped in my chest. The cold war had ended.
Tasha is a childhood friend. We grew up together as youth and young adults at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church.
Back in the day at Olivet, there were four of us who were really close: Me, Tasha, Jocelyn and Carla. On Sunday mornings we would split from our parents and sit together in the back of the church; the very last pew on the far right side of the balcony was where we encountered Jesus from week-to-week. It is also where I made paper hats out of candy wrappers and placed them on the heads of unsuspecting strangers. But aside from my small bouts of social deviance, we were mostly good.
Jocelyn was the responsible one, Carla held down the steady high school relationship, Tasha had the incredible smile and infectious laugh, and I was the flighty one who couldn’t drive very well. We went to different schools and were involved in different activities, but our faith tied us together. We were four Christian teenage girls and our faith was the foundation of our friendship.
After high school we all went off to different colleges. Jocelyn went to Washington University, Carla went to The University of Michigan, Tasha went to Northwestern University and I went to Spelman College. We were far apart but we always made a point to connect with each other during breaks – typically over a holiday brunch at Yours Truly.
And such would be the case -that we would live in different cities- as we progressed into adulthood.
That is until one fateful summer when the stars aligned to place Tasha and me in the same place at the same time.
I imagine that my summer 2006 is much like what ‘they’ say about the summer of ’69. Simply Fabulous. I was home working as a Pastoral Intern at Olivet and Tasha was a Fellow with the Cleveland Foundation. From June-August, 2006 Cleveland was our oyster and Tasha and I had an absolute blast! We had never been adults in our home town and it was like seeing the city with new eyes. We went to the best events, discovered new neighborhoods, got caught up in random situations and laughed non stop, while cruising to T.I.’s “Big Things Poppin” in our matching Toyota Carollas. We had a wonderful friendship-summer and that season brought us very close.
Tasha and I have a kinetic vibe. Our energy bounces off of one another. We are excitable and we can laugh about almost anything.
And not only that, but I value Tasha’s wisdom, she is a wonderful counselor. She taught me the concept of healthy selfishness. She also taught me how to use “I” statements when in the midst of conflict. She is a treasure to me and at one point our friendship was tighter than a pair of skinny jeans.
But then we fell out.
Neither one of us can say exactly why, but we fell out in spring 2008 and it was bad. So bad that I refused to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. So bad that we didn’t speak for two years. It was bad and I didn’t know how it could ever be good again. God would have to do it.
and God did.
After hearing her tearful message, I called Tasha back immediately. There was so much to say, yet nothing to say at all. Neither one of us wanted to dwell on those things that had wedged the divide. Rather we decided to dwell in the comfort of the love that was still there. She said that she had been sitting in church when the announcement was made that my fiancé died. She said that the congregation gasped upon hearing the news, and that she had to leave the sanctuary and cry.
”How could this have happened and I didn’t even know you were engaged”, she cried.
I corrected her. Apparently the church knew that Kesner was my boyfriend but they made the decision to announce that he was my fiancé. The rationale was that: “if we announce that Rev Kim’s ‘friend’ died, then people will be expecting us to make an announcement every time a friend or acquaintance dies.” According to some, calling him my fiancé added legitimacy to my loss.
…And it meant that I would have to spend the summer making corrections- “no, he was ‘JUST’ my boyfriend..”
I corrected Tasha and told her that I was not engaged, but I was very much in love. She understood that the loss was just as severe and she offered me her love and support. We ended the call with tentative plans. “We’ll meet for coffee...” We had finally reconciled and I would see my dear friend again. My heart was filled with joy and relief. Tasha and I would get together for coffee on the week after next…
We would get together after mom and I got back from the Links Convention.
© Copyright Thank You Very Sweet, 2011