Today I seem to have settled a score with one of my enemies, thus making my shit list even shorter. Forgiveness has never been my forte, but in this instance I'm glad to be back to good since we're co-workers. Those remaining on my list (now only Megan M. and Heidi T.) deserve to be there, and shall remain indefinitely. Those now exempt from my wrath include Brooke (whom I just grew weary of hating), Klarissa (as of 10 this morning), and poor, poor Laura, the first frenemy I ever ecnountered. Laura, an amalgamation of what I wasn't, what I wanted to be, and what I would become.
Lauralee Eve Terrell. Sounds angellic, doesn't it? That's exactly how she wanted it. I wonder if she felt that I was dogging her every move. I moved here immediately after her, dated the same boys (and in the same sequence), and was virtually the same girl; her blonde counterpart. But I had the edge; I was newer, thinner, and in wide-eyed wonder of everything going on around me. The boys, her boys, came to me immediately, escorting me the mere 100 feet to and from the bus stop each day, hanging out with me at my mothers office, sprawling around my bedroom as if it was their own. How angry she must have been; how angry I would have been. She was dethroned after less than a month. She was no dummy, though. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. And we did become friends, in that fake, overly eager way that boys could never understand. We held hands as we walked, brushed stray hairs from each others shirts, puffed on the same cigarette. To everyone else we looked normal. Two cherubic girls surrounded by boys, giggling and trading lipsticks. No one except us understood what was underneath.
She wasn't the only one faking innocence. Beneath my wide smile and shiny eyes, I sent and received hostile undercurrent of my own. Back home I was nothing; Jacquie's tomboy shadow. I was invisible. But suddenly I got to start fresh, with no leader to follow, no role to play. I started wearing makeup, picking my clothes with the greatest of care, and memorizing all those flirting tips in teen magazines. My boobs appeared overnight, I got pretty little curves in all the right places, and added a slight wiggle to my walk. I was a girl, and a cute one at that. The moment I saw Laura, though, I knew. Two girls such as we could never be equals. One becomes the alpha, the other the beta, and I'd be damned if I was to be condemned back to side-kick status so soon.
Our power struggle was silent and epic. For our audience we would play the "youre-so-pretty, no-you-are" game, while not informing the other one about the obvious makeup lines on her face, or the toilet paper stuck to her shoe. She tried to convince me that each of her exes that i dated weren't good enough for me; when I broke up with them, she would immediately swoop back in. I would make sly remarks about how I felt soooo fat that day and pat my stomache, forcing her to make the inevitable comparison. These games made us both feel like crap, and yet the first one to stop would become the loser. And neither of us would stand for that.
We were civil for the last few months of her stay, and when she left her foster home and went back to her mothers', we made a big, mushy deal out of her goodbye. We painted each others' fingernails while listening to the Spice Girls, and we traded rings. For reasons unknown, I kept hers, and for a while it was the center point to the shrine I made after her death. I saw her once after she left; she came back to the home, visiting my enemy number 2, Heidi. Lauralee refused to talk to me, stating that she heard through the grapevine that I was spreading rumors about her. I was estatic; the charade was finally over. We never spoke again, and a few years later her death made the news, local and national. As much as I loathed and feared her, no one deserved to die that way. My guilt, sorrow, and relief intermingled in an uneasy mixture inside my head and has yet to abate. There but for the grace of god and one crazy mother went me.
Jesse was and still is the strongest common bond between us; my first love triangle ever. I won him in life, but she triumphs in death. He will never be as happy with my living, breathing presence as he is with her perfect, immortal ghost. Back then I was the one he kept returning to. Now he cant let her go, even for a moment. You can still see it in his face. Since she died I know that he can only be my friend. We will never get married like he used to promise; his love was buried with her at the funeral I didn't attend.
For those of you who want to know Laura's story, copy and paste this link, or go to the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women and Children www.mcbw.org/files/u1/femicide2001.pdf