Andy and Tony were thirteen. Shari and Candace were twelve. The four of them played together all the time. Shari was always at Andy’s bedroom window or backdoor, waiting for the next adventure.
The foursome had played touch football and were tired of that game. Someone had heard of Spin the Bottle. Shari wanted to try it. She ran inside to get a Coca Cola bottle.
She came outside and told everyone to sit in a circle. They agreed that the boys would spin first.
“If the bottle points to a girl, you have to kiss her!” Shari said.
Andy took his turn. The spin stopped at Shari.
Andy was nervous. He had only kissed his mom.
“Kiss me!” she said.
“I don’t know how!”
“Do it!” Shari said.
Andy reached over the circle and planted a wet one on Shari’s lips.
“Aw. Too sloppy! Do it over!”
“Nope,” Andy said. “It’s not my turn anymore.”
When Andy’s turn came around a second time, the bottle pointed once again to Shari. This time he held back his slobber and gave her a dryer kiss.
“Much better,” she said, smiling.
Soon after that, they went back to playing touch football.
For Halloween, Andy said he was going to be an Indian. Shari said she would be one, too. The four of them would meet and trick or treat together.
Andy was getting ready to go out when his mom got the call. Shari had been walking in the street, alongside the parked cars, and had been hit by a driver on her way to her girlfriend’s house. There would be no trick or treating that night. Shari was gone.
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
Losing a friend is devastating at any age. Losing a friend in childhood is traumatic. There is nothing to say except I am so sorry, Andy.