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Frenemy perhaps

My parents had a next door neighbor when I was in high school.  Her name was , lets call her Chris.  I'm sure I bugged the hell out of her.  She had no children of her own and I saw her as a cool chick who I wanted to emulate.  As I've gotten older I have a similar relationship with some girls that could be my daughter age wise, and remind myself how delicate their little egos and persons are.

Chris helped me in many ways.  She helped me cope with my mom's illness and death, she taught me new ideas and gave me a safe haven.  After her divorce, my mom's death, and my marriage we continued to stay in each other's lives.


What ended it all was a long New Years Eve of drinking in the mid 90's.  She came over to my home.  It was just her and I and Tim.  She brought her own bottle of rum and daiquiri mix, I was drinking rum and coke with Tim.  We basically got smashed.  And with each drink refill Tim and her became more and more chummy.  I remember at one point crying in my bathroom because I had no idea how to handle any of it.

The last few details I remember is Tim taking her keys, because, well he was a cop and cops don't want people to drink and drive..... and seeing her and Tim on the floor in front of the TV kissing.

I woke up early the next morning to the phone ringing.  A call from a co-worker of Tim's.  Chris had been in a head on collision after leaving our home.

Turns out she had a separate set of keys.  She hit a man head on.  Thankfully they both eventually recovered.
I never spoke directly with Chris again.  I spoke to her through her family, at first being told she was too injured to talk.  I spoke with her attorney when he called to ask questions, but I didn't hear from her for a year.

It was confusing to me.  Of course I thought it was my fault, that I had done something wrong.  I asked Tim if he knew anything, and he said no of course.

Than I got a call at work from her out of the blue to tell me the lawsuit that I didn't know about had been settled.  She asked to meet me.

Chris had been communicating with Tim.  She had called and met with him at the police department to talk about what had happened that night.  She wanted to talk to me but he threatened her not to.

I figured out they had done more than kiss, and she didn't know how to deal with it, and he didn't want to be caught.

I've been mulling this post around for some time.  Initially I thought of Chris as my first frenemy but as I drafted all that happened I realized maybe I was mis-using the word.  She did know what to do.  How could she?  She loved me and didn't like what had happened.  Knowing Tim would never take any responsibility she knew she was on her own in trying to convince me.  I wish now, that she had . I was only 20 at the time, she was 39, he was 40, of all involved I was the most naive and frankly needed her honesty.  What I didn't need was for her to shut me out because of her own shame.  But looking back now, I don't know if I would have had the courage had the roles been reversed.

I haven't seen her in many many years.  I know she finally re-married, and I hope she found some peace.  I found peace too.

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