I met her within a few days of her family moving into the house four doors down and across the street. It was socked-in foggy, typical for October in our town, the day I put one sneaker in front of the other and shyly introduced myself with a piqued curiosity at the idea of another girl my age on the street with no other children. We instantly adhered to each other - at first based on the childhood friendship rules of geography - and quickly thereafter because it was obvious we were meant to be friends.
Of all the things we had in common - and there were an uncanny number of them - our physical appearances were the most prevalent to strangers wherever we ventured. "Are you twins?" No. "Yeah right!" And we laughed. This was always funny to us in a way that it would never be funny to actual sisters. We even dabbled in dressing alike, dying our hair the same colors - every color - and driving our parents crazy as partners-in-crime, acting as each other's alibi, wingman, excuse and beggar when necessary.
Before the freedom of four wheels and the trouble of boys, we were inseparable and passed the time in this boring town with nothing to do by lying on the warm sidewalk singing Mariah Carey songs carelessly and out of tune, prank calling our classmates incessantly, trading in all our change and maybe even some of our parents' for candy at the Grocery Connection, scouring the neighborhood for trouble, ordering 12 CDs for 1 cent via mail and attending sleepovers arm-in-arm; never sleeping a wink. Over time, our friendship eroding the sidewalk between our houses with our constant back-and-forth.
High school wedged between us; she went her way and I went mine though never on bad terms, just different crowds - drill team versus newspaper staff, curly highlights versus pixie cuts - our lives never failing to intersect both in small hallways and at major crossroads.
It would be many years after school ended that we would find each other again and pick up where we left off, somewhat more grown up and yet still so similar: divorced, with sons, in the same town, the same neighborhood even, taking to the town at night only to have people ask if we were sisters. We'd laugh. No. They still didn't believe us.
Two weeks ago she got married, myself as the Maid of Honor. As I stood beside my oldest friend I couldn't help but think about how perfect it all was. It wasn't about the the venue, the outfits, the details... it was the moment. It was her. And it was him. Of course. But it was also me... getting to stand beside her, right where I was supposed to be 17 years - almost to the day - since we first met. Funny how things in life come back around.