Best Friends – Forever

By Felice Prager

I signed onto Facebook to help sell more of my books by creating a page to market them. Other authors said that it helped spread the word without a financial investment. I set up my page with photos and links to my website. I realized that I needed a network of friends who could share my information, so I added people I knew.

I saw no increase in sales.

I then started to explore what Facebook had to offer. I started searching for people I knew from my past: old friends, old boyfriends and relatives. I found many. When I requested a friendship connection, they responded positively, and we caught up.

Then, I saw one name I recognized from whom I wasn’t sure I would receive an equally upbeat reaction: Debbie Harmon. With Debbie, it was different. Though we had been best friends for more than a decade, we had a friendship-ending argument and never spoke again.

Debbie and I met in 1960 when our families moved to the same apartment complex in New Jersey. We were both seven years old. We did everything together. We bought matching outfits, had crushes on the same boys and had sleepovers. We rode our bikes and roller-skated together. We went to movies and bowling together. We were inseparable. Every night, we spoke on the phone until we fell asleep. As we got older, we remained friends. We were better than best friends – we were like sisters.

When we started high school, something changed. Debbie was more popular than I was, and I was jealous. Debbie went on dates. I sat at home. Debbie was outgoing. I was not.

Debbie noticed that I was often sulking and unfriendly to her. I couldn’t help myself. I did not know how to react to the changes. One afternoon, we had an argument – THE BIG FIGHT. We did not argue about what was bothering me. We argued about something totally unrelated. We both said things we wish we hadn’t. We stopped talking to each other. We passed each other in school and pretended to ignore each other. We went in different directions socially. This continued until we finished high school and went our separate ways.

I went to college in another state. As a freshman, my dad called to tell me that Debbie’s father had died. I loved Debbie’s father. He was funny, and he teased Debbie and me. I hadn’t seen him in years, but I knew I would miss him. I wanted to do something. I wanted to write a letter to Debbie. I wanted to call her. I did neither.

Instead, I went on with my life and put that episode behind me. I finished college and then worked as a teacher. I learned more about myself. I met my husband. We had children. When the children were young, we moved to Arizona. I began writing stories and articles for magazines and newspapers, and then, I starting having my work published. One story I wrote was about friendship bracelets Debbie and I had bought for each other. They said “Best Friends Forever” long before people started using the phrase “BFF” for their best friends. I still had mine. It was tucked away with old photos and trinkets I had collected over the years. I had never even considered discarding it or selling it or giving it away. I wondered if Debbie still had hers, and if she didn’t, I wondered if she remembered the bracelets – or if she even remembered me.

I decided to take a chance. After almost forty years, I finally sent a message to Debbie.

In less than an hour, I received this message, “Do you remember when we bought those friendship bracelets?” Debbie wrote. “I still have mine.”

I felt as if she had read my mind. I replied, “I have mine, too.” Then I sent her the story I had written about the bracelets.

“OMG,” Debbie replied. “It seems like just yesterday! That was fun. Wasn’t it fun? Wasn’t it great?”

With that, our friendship began anew. We caught up on each other’s lives. We were honest with each other. There was no need to exaggerate or play anything down. This was the Debbie I remembered. Debbie had been married young, and her husband had died when they were both 35 years old. With two small children, she moved in with her mother, but she remarried twice – once unsuccessfully, and after that to a man she said she would be married to forever.

Then, Debbie and I began talking on the telephone again. Her voice sounded like her mother’s voice. She said I sounded like my mother used to sound when she called and my mom picked up the phone. We talked for hours just as we did as kids.

After about a year, Debbie and her husband flew to Arizona for a vacation. I invited them to our home for a barbecue. My husband and her husband got along great. They had a lot in common – especially the women in their lives who talked on the phone for hours at a time. When they arrived at the door, Debbie was wearing her friendship bracelet. I was wearing mine, too!

About this writer

  • Felice Prager Felice Prager is a freelance writer and multisensory educational therapist from Scottsdale, Arizona. She is the author of five books: Waiting in the Wrong Line, Negotiable and Non-Negotiable Negotiations, TurboCharge Your Brain, SuperTurboCharge Your Brain, and Quiz It: ARIZONA. Her essays have been published locally, nationally and internationally in print and on the Internet. Learn more at www.WriteFunny.com.

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One Response to “Best Friends – Forever”

  1. Rose Ann says:

    I can so relate to your story. I’ve often wondered about those past “forever friends.” You have inspired me to do some Facebook searching. Nice article.

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