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Lucy

I stood in the doorway of the small classroom on the second floor of the medical wing that was already filling up with students. It was such a wide age gap. I didn’t recognize any of the faces from my small town or from any of the various sports teams that I played against during my many years as a kid. I was truly alone here.  My stomach lurched forward and I grasped the handles on my backpack.

“I should have stayed an extra year in high school just like my dad warned.”

A graying woman who smelled of cigarettes wedged herself between me and the door frame and asked, “Are you in or out sweetie?” I smiled kindly and sucked myself inwards as much as I could so she could pass through. She rolled her eyes. I followed her in.

The seats in the front were vacant like they always are. As a shy and quiet girl, a girl who would throw her erasers under her desk and then fetch them when the teacher would look to pick on a student to read an excerpt from a book, sitting in the front row was my kryptonite, so I kept on inching my way towards the middle row of seats. Then, from the back of the class there was a loud laugh. It was one of those laughs that instantly makes you want to laugh too even when you don’t even know what happened. Her laugh was like a gravitational pull.

I moved to her.

She had dirty blonde hair and a pixie cut and every time she laughed, her eyes closed hard, her head tilted back, and her long lanky arms flung about without caution.

“*Lucy”, she introduced herself as she pointed to an empty seat near her, *Christine, and *Jaclyn

Lucy lived in a town that was 45 minutes outside of our city and made the commute to school each day. During the first part of the first semester spent so much time together to avoid the long trips. We were polar opposites Lucy and I.

I was Type A and had the tight iron grip of overbearing parents around my throat.

Lucy was carefree.

I always walked around with my agenda worrying about tests and assignments and clinical rotation quizzes, while Lucy wrote her to-do list on her hand or on her jeans or on ratty napkins that she just used to cover her french fries with. Somehow she pulled it off. I don’t know how, but she did.

She lived out of her car where the inside fabric of the roof was held together with random souvenir pins, thumb tacks, and pinned on glow in the dark stickers. It was epic.

And the air around her was just calm – no sweat baby.

I envied that.

One time she invited me to come home with her and I knew I wouldn’t be allowed, so I lied to my parents and said that I had to work. I said was staying at a friend’s house in town. They bought it.

That afternoon *Christine, some other friends and I had a couple of drinks and we took off in her beat up car the 401 listening to Micheal Jackson. (No, Lucy was not drinking at all). I unrolled the window in the back and felt the bitter fall wind hitting my face and rustling my hair. The deviance felt bad but at the same time it also felt so damn good.

In that moment I felt like I could breathe.

I watched the lights from the city zip past and grow dimmer as we got further out into the country and remembering how I would be OK if I never went back.

When we made it to her town, we pulled into a shoddy bar. I wasn’t of age yet but they let me in and I convinced the owner to play Spice Girls. Lucy danced without abandon on the floor while I laughed and drank some more and then bumped into Bart.

I wish I never met him…

We sang to old people who had fallen asleep on the tables.

We tried to moonwalk home.

We tried to moonwalk as we waved down a cab.

Actually, I don’t even know how we ended up getting back to her house.

*****

Lucy never made it past the first semester of nursing. It wasn’t because she was carefree and wild, no. Oh no!

She fainted on the first day of clinical when she saw blood on her patient and decided nursing wasn’t for her.

She didn’t like seeing the people suffer. 

I tried to convince her to stay because she would have made a wonderful nurse. I knew in my heart she would have, but she didn’t want to continue.

We kept in touch for a while and then she just disappeared.

Although, when I started taking Lithium for Bipolar Disorder in 2011, almost twelve years later…

…I heard the most infectious laugh from behind the lab door.

A lanky blonde in a white lab coat appeared in the doorway holding a chart in front of her face, called out my name and carried out the “y”.

“Kimberlyyyyeeeeeeee” just like she had done in school.

“Lucy!”

I popped out of my chair and we exchanged hugs.

She had to draw my blood – someone who passed out from blood, now drawing it.

Who knew?!

In that short little bit we caught up on our lives.

She has a little boy now, just like me.

Me, *Christine, and *Lucy

 

Mama’s Losin’ It
Prompt: Share a college memory.
*Names changed

28 Comments

  1. Lucy sounds like a fun friend to have. We all need a carefree one or two.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      She was fabulous!!

  2. There are so many things about this post that make me smile. It is wonderful how someone in such a short amount of time can impact our lives. I’m hoping you and Lucy are still in touch somehow!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      She was so awesome that she was hard to forget. Me and *Christine still keep in touch. She lives out East though and he son is in a very popular and up and rising Canadian band. I’ve watched him grow from a little peanut to a very handsome man! But unfortunately I only saw Lucy a couple of times. The last time I saw her she was pregnant again and it was a brief encounter at a mall.

  3. Have you guys kept in touch since then? It is fun to unexpectedly reconnect. A friend I hadn’t seen since freshman year of college found me right after I got married and we now live local to each other.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Unfortunately no. We saw each other a couple of times but she got pregnant again and I don’t know where she went after. I’m glad that you reconnected with your college friend!

  4. I have a friend from high school who is my Lucy. We’ve been in and out of each others lives since then, thanks to FB I know what she is up to and all of that. She helped me live a lot more than I would have otherwise back in those days! I love that you saw Lucy years later and that she ended up in the medical field after all.
    Oh and Spice Girls, that takes me back!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Spice Girls are my jam! Still on my iPod baby!
      I’m so glad that you still keep in touch with your friend. That’s the beauty of FB sometimes.
      I hope that your vacation is going great lady! I saw some pictures!!! LOVELY!!

  5. I feel like I need to BE Lucy! I need a little more carefree in my life. 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend, Kimberly!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Oh I do too! When I was with her I felt so wonderful…mind you, I was a little uneasy at first like “Shouldn’t we be following the schedule?” and she would say, “What schedule” and throw it in the backseat or stuff it in the bottom of her backpack. But when she was out of sight, I would resort to my type A routine all over again.

  6. Kim Kim

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about this post. I grew up on a very tight nit island and am still friends with almost all of the friends from elementary school. There are a few out there who I have not re connected with but who knows, now you have given me hope!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      That is so wonderful! I still keep in contact with a few people from grade school through facebook but we haven’t actually met in person. I would love to though because every once in a while we will comment on a picture and get talking. That’s the beauty of facebook sometimes! I hope that you do re connect with some of the people you haven’t seen in a while. That would be so fantastic!

  7. Great story. Lucy sounds like a wonderful person.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      She most definitely is.

  8. Oh wow, that is so amazing! I have some old friends who I have fallen out of touch with, every now and then when I get the chance I love to see them. I love a chance meeting like that 🙂

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Isn’t it great! It was so odd that we ran into each other at a medical lab – and that she was drawing blood! I had to make fun of her for that. She makes a wonderful lab tech that’s for sure. Her personality would put any anxious patient at ease.

  9. Mia Mia

    What an amazing story of friendship and how you guys reconnected after so long. Lucy sounds like she’s a lot of fun.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      She sure is so much fun. I am so glad that we ran into each other after such a long time of being apart. So wild.

  10. Amazing how after all those years, you end up seeing one another then and there. If timing had been off, who knows if that encounter would’ve happened. 🙂

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      I know right?! She’s so awesome. What a fun friend.

  11. Great story, Kim. You’re so good at making the reader feel they’re with you. I could feel the pain of the first day of classes. That must have been hard. So cool, you got see her again that way. Is she a nurse or lab tech?

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Thank you so much Lisa! She is a lab tech now! I think that she would have made such a wonderful nurse but you know what? She makes a wonderful lab tech. Lab techs work their butt off and they need someone like her to cheer patients up!

  12. OOOOO< I LOVED this essay, Kimmmmmmyyyy!
    And I love Lucy.
    AND I Loooooooooooove your writing soooooooooo much. xxxxxx from Duluth.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Lucy was so much fun. I really wish that she had stayed in nursing. She would have been such a wonderful nurse but I understand. She honestly fell like a brick. They put her on the smallest stretcher and plopped her in the middle of the staff meeting room. Her long legs and arms flung all out the sides and she moaned and moaned. I wanted to drive her home but she lived so far…so she just laid there. We laughed about it afterwards but man…I’m sure she’s amazing at what she does and makes people laugh considering they’re going in to get poked!!
      xoxo

  13. Kat Kat

    I don’t know why this gave me goosebumps, you have a way with words. And we all have that special friend who makes us forget how incredibly awkward and shy we are. I bet it felt so good to fall right back in step.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Awwww thanks so much Kat! I loved my Lucy. She was the best.

  14. This is incredible! I love your writing, and I love your story, what an amazing ending! <3

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      THank you so much Jill!

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