This past Friday, I did a random search on the Web just to confirm what I heard on Wednesday was, in fact, wrong. Sadly, it wasn’t. Once a small, black and white picture appeared on a page from my friend Symeon, I gasped, said “No” a lot, closed my office door and started crying. Valerie was gone.
I felt a whole piece of my teenage years ripped from me. Valerie was my reality in my mid to late high school years. One of two friends that stuck by me everyday. The three of us had lunch in a little corner of the lunch room at school because everyone hated us. We didn’t have a whole table, just a part of one close to the lunchroom doors. We talked about everything. It was me, Maryellen and Valerie in high school. We walked together down the hall whenever we could because it was a form of protection. Now, one of us is missing forever.
It’s odd, but I feel like a part of Valerie herself is part of me right now. Like she left her body and took refuge somewhere safe. She may or may not have known it but she has a lot of people she left behind to stay at. She’ll always have a home in me. I don’t mind. She can stay as long as she wants to.