Andy. Just the name says it all. We moved to the East Coast in this upper class family home and I was lost. And there, Andy showed up, all of 2 years old, wearing diapers and nothing else. And he came to me and asked me if I wanted to play.
Andy has the most gorgeous blonde hair and blue eyes. I was smitten the second I saw him. Between 3 and 9, I stayed in this small town in upstate New York and became friends with his 5 brothers and sister. We created “trails” like we liked to call them : the Jenny trail, the Andy trail, the Holy Mary trail (at that time, I was still a believer in the Catholic church) and we would venture to George’s, the local grocery store, to buy popsicles at 5 cents a piece. George would offer them to us for free many times, since we had little to no money to spend.
Andy was a gem. We had a pretend wedding when we were 7 and we announced to the family that we would be faithful and live together forever. Moving to North Dakota killed that dream, but I always wonder what happened to him. He went to Duke, was diagnosed as bi-polar (so I hear) and recently wed and had a child. Somewhere, Andy is still waiting for me in my childhood dreams.
I remember beating him with a stick and him running home to his Mom to scold me…. I was screaming after him, asking him not to tell, but it was too late. I was forbidden from seeing him for a few days — which seemed like a lifetime ago.
Back then, Andy and I would walk home from school together. About a mile from our houses. No one thought anything of it, kids were free to roam and be happy. No helmets, no overbearing parents. Just 2 kids stopping by Friendly’s to get an ice cream cone made of mint chocolate chip and stop by the railroad tracks to scour for the next train to pass.
I miss Andy. He can’t be found on all of the social media networks, but he was my first true friend.